How often must one feed new born babies?
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Charlie - posted on 05/21/2010
my son is 5 months old now and he still feeds on demand which can vary from 1hour to 4hours. i dont believe in having a strict routine for my baby, i believe that if he is hungry he will eat and if he is tired he will sleep. this works fine for me.
breastmilk is easily digested so your baby will get hungry quicker than a formula fed baby. if you want a routine for your baby rather than feeding on damand i would advise you to feed every 3 hours.
Noreen - posted on 05/21/2010
WIth the boys, I nursed them on demand, which ended up being every 1.5-2hrs. Never going over 2hrs. Abby on the other hand was a VERY sleepy baby due to her ABO Jaundice. She would sleep through a nursing session if I allowed her to, so I would wake her by changeing her diaper every 2hrs and feed her. So every 2hrs for her. Now at 8months old, she eats every 2-3hrs, sometimes going up to 4hrs between feedings. And at night she gets up 1-2x between 9pm-8am to eat.
Marabeth - posted on 05/21/2010
my daughter was effectively attached to my breast 15-20 hours a day for the first two months. :) it takes them time to become efficient at extracting milk. i guess what i'm saying is don't become discouraged if the 'newborn phase' of breastfeeding lasts longer than you expect--it's a blessing in disguise. most mothers of nursing toddlers long to cradle their little one and nurse quietly. once they're toddlers they are so acrobatic!!
Erin - posted on 05/21/2010
On demand...which for my son, in the first month and a half of his life, was literally every 20-30 minutes. Newborns have very tiny tummies, so they have to eat more often, and if you end up having a very tall, solid kiddo like my son (who is now 4 months and in the 90th percentile), you may pretty much have a baby at the breast almost constantly. Its wonderful though...lots of opportunity to hold your baby and bond!
Kitty - posted on 05/21/2010
I would say that you should feed every two hours (at least), my son had stints where he would nurse for 30 min ever 15-30 min. He doubled his birth weight in the first 2 mos. The doctors were amazed at how well he was doing--apparently many breastfed children do not get enough. I think that especially in the first few months it is very important to feed on demand, unless your child is not nursing--then you should follow the every 2 hour routine. If you are having a hard time producing you can pump after each feeding to increase your milk supply. I hope this is helpful.
Geralyn - posted on 05/20/2010
I agree with the other moms... feed on demand. My son's ped warned me not to feed more frequently than every two hours, for fear of him gaining too much, but I did not follow his advice for very long. Good luck!
Dora - posted on 05/20/2010
I fed my son when he showed signs that he was hungry. Mainly he would be routing when he got hungry. If more than 2hrs went by and he was sleeping, I would pump just to make sure I had more than enough milk.
Amanda - posted on 05/20/2010
La Leche League recommends cue feeding, which is feeding on demand. Schedule feeding is like starving your child. Your breasts may get slightly sore in the beginning, but it gets easier and there are a lot of precautions to take to avoid any problems. It's really a wonderful experience and cue feeding makes for a happy baby. I did schedule feeding for the first three months because that's what the ped suggested. I decided to try cue feeding at the advice of a few friends and my son has successfully done so for two months and my son is so much more happier, but also due what is comfortable for you and your baby.
Jennifer - posted on 05/19/2010
on demand, but at least 10-12 times per day for the first few weeks, then it very gradually decreases from there.
At La Leche League, we say watch the baby not the clock. so do watch for early hunger cues (mouthing movements, squirming, fist in mouth, etc.) Crying is a very late, last resort hunger cue. we give the 10-12 times per 24 hours or every 2 hours guidelines as a minimum for a very young newborn. But in reality, the often ask (and need) to nurse more frequently than that. Some babies may have ONE longer stretch of about 4-5 hours per day where they will sleep deeply and not ask to nurse. This is ok once per 24 hours as long as baby is waking up on their own to ask to nurse the rest of the time, is alert during these times, and is gaining weight ok.
after the meconium has passed, the baby should have 6-7 good and wet diapers and 3 stools (as big as a US $0.25) per day. Good diapers are a good indication that the baby is nursing frequently enough and taking in enough while at the breast.
Katie - posted on 05/19/2010
some babies may feed more often than once an hour, which is fine,
some actually can last longer too, like my little girl, once we got home, she made her own schedule, and was about 4-5hrly feeds day and night. some were shorter, about 3hrly feeds, this was after we left the hospital on day 5.
when we were in the hospital - it was all over the place, epecially after midnight.
when I went for a check up at our local health clinic for sore nipples from poor attachment, which got better eventually.... the nurse said to wake the baby up if it got to 4-5 hours, as she thought it was too long in between feeds, but baby was happy.
but she was also a guts, and very thorough, and got huge feeds when she did feed.
check with your local health clinic if you can, if you want some personal guidance!
Katie - posted on 05/18/2010
Breastfeeding on demand is the current attitude.
Last generation when mothers were trying to feed to a schedule, resulted in more failed attempts, and reverting back to bottle feeding. That was when 4 hourly feeds were suggested.
whenever your baby shows signs - such as sucking fists, or mouth open and swinging head from side to side, these are signs the baby is hungry. after these signs, if the baby is still hungry, then whinging and crying occurs... and it's more difficult to get a crying baby to feed well.. some do attach well when they get to feed even if they have started to cry.
How old is you baby?? nothing is on your profile yet.
I fed my baby everytime she woke up from a sleep, and she'd usually go back to sleep, and was awake very little.
after a month or so when she was awake a little bit more, and I was taking her out to our local groups, even though she was too young for playgroup, I went along to meet other mums, and so her pattern of sleep feed sleep was interrupted, I just would offer her the breast if she started whinging. she would snack a bit more on the boob when I offered it to her when we were out.
for example when out shopping, I'd offer every hour or so to keep her happy, and she'd nap and be awake on and off, and then feed her good when we got home.
so yes, if you want to feed him/her every two hours that is fine.
if that what the baby indicates, the frequent feeding will definitely help build up your milk supply.
sometimes the feeding times will vary, like 2hrs, then 3 hours, then 2, then 2, then 4 then 2.... so a schedule doesnt have to be followed. Just react to the signs your baby shows you.
hopefully you have access to a health clinic of some sort.
feel free to make an appointment and see a nurse, and ask what hungry signs are, and any other questions you have, they are there to help!! I had to go to check my attachment of baby girl was ok, as my nipples got damaged (grazed - skin rubbed off), and they were great, very supportive, great information, and if they are mothers too they know what you are really going through!!!
best of luck, keep breastfeeding!!
Cinda - posted on 05/18/2010
As often as the new born asks for it!!
SOME feel that they need to be fed on a 'schedule' (like every 3 hours) & that you should wake them to feed them. I personally disagree with waking a sleeping baby to feed them. If they get hungry, they'll wake & let you know.
If they miss a feeding b/c they are asleep, that just gives you the opportunity to pump & freeze some milk to start building up a frozen supply for times that you may need to be away from your baby in the future & leave them with a sitter or day care if you have to return to work.
Beck - posted on 05/18/2010
I fed on demand, it worked out about every 3 hours, heheh I think... it was 14mths ago and feels like FOREVER!!! Not all the time, but he used to then stretch to 3hrs most of the time, except with growth spurts and at night!! for a while there hmmm!!
Minnie - posted on 05/18/2010
Frequent and unrestricted access to the breast is the best way to ensure that you lay down lots of prolactin receptors to establish and maintain an adequate milk supply.
Most mothers find that feeding when baby shows early cues that he wants to nurse (hands in mouth, rooting, smacking lips, becoming more active) is helpful to ensuring adequate milk production.
Maggie - posted on 05/18/2010
As much as the baby wants. Not only will it help you increase your supply its a comfort thing for them too. They don't realize they are a separate being yet. You know the saying, nurse nurse nurse, and it doesn't stop after newborn.
Congrats and enjoy motherhood!