My 5 week old wants to nurse constantly.

Rhianna - posted on 12/15/2010 ( 76 moms have responded )

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I have a 5 week old son and he nurses about every hour and a half! The pediatritian and my mom and the parenting books say he should go 3 hrs between feedings. The lactation consultant says to feed him when he wants to eat. I've tried extending the time between feedings but he cries and cries. I really would like him to go longer though so I could have a little break and get something done during the day other than nursing him. Any ideas for getting him to wait without being so upset?

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Rachel - posted on 12/28/2010

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At that age, your son needs to nurse as often as he can. Your body is still healing, so the extra time down isn't bad for you either! It takes a while for our bodies to get back to close to normal.
When my baby was born, I was also told to make her wait a little bit. BAD idea! She has needs to. It's not fair to her that I make her wait to EAT, when I am the adult and know what's what. Anyway... My mom (who was my midwife also) told me to plan on spending the first couple of months JUST NURSING. Great advice! I wish I'd listened closer. We ended up having supply issues because I tried to do too much too soon and didn't listen to my baby.
And no, our babies haven't read those books, so they don't know they are "supposed" to do certain things at certain ages. But again, those numbers are based on formula fed babies. To be successful at breastfeeding, nurse on demand! :-) You're doing great!

Rachelle - posted on 12/31/2010

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Whenever I hear people ask things like this I just think that if you were growing as fast as they are you would be eating all the time too! It will slow down in time but he is growing and 1-2 hrs is normal at his age,

Jenny - posted on 12/31/2010

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Sorry, that is what it is like to breastfeed. Your baby will be nursing all the time! Try to enjoy it. He will only be this young for a short time. Just let the house be messy. He is not crawling yet anyways, right. LOL. :) This is the time when the husband should pamper the wife. This is a lot of work. Well worth it though!!!

Carol - posted on 12/29/2010

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Please nurse him when he asks for it, they go through grw spurs. Nursing on demand is the best way. Also, when you nurse, dont let him go to sleep or nurse for a short time teach him to concentrate in nursing and drink as much as he can at once, from both breasts. Could he be crying because of gas or colic after nursing?

Jessie - posted on 12/16/2010

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you don't make a breastfeeding baby wait to eat. feed the kid when he is hungry if that means you whip out a boob every 30 minutes of the day or not. there is no such thing as schedule feeding a breastfed baby. you are only going to jeoprodize your breastmilk supply regardless of what any mother or pediatrician tells you. I would put money on the fact that they didn't exclusively breastfeed any babies successfully anyway and therefore should not be doling out advice. three hours is a looong time in a breastfed babies world to go without a nurse, even at night. been there, done that.

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Irene - posted on 02/13/2012

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My baby is 5weeks old and does same.she breastfeeds between feedings in 2-3hrs.she cries after each session showing she aint satisfied.I jos cope wit it and continue.u can do it fellow moda.take a lot of fluids and rest to help in your milk supply.u r d best moda 4 ur child.kip it up

[deleted account]

To me, it really sounds like a major growth spurt and it will feel like you are nursing constantly when it happens. Growth spurts are the exception to the "rule" that books, dr's, etc. give. I've talked with women whose babies had growth spurts that lasted a week.

Time between nursings is the time from the start of a nursing session to the beginning of the next. For my DS when he was that age, that meant he nurse for 50 minutes and I had about an hour and a half and then he nursed again. That's 2 1/2 hours between feedings. Nursing any less frequently than on demand (when your baby needs it) can risk your supply.

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Demand feed if your baby is hungry then feed breastmilk is digested quicker than formula throw out what the pead and your mother told you every baby is different and he will settle down as he gets old my 10 week still feeds 1.5 to 2.5 hrly DO NOT MAKE YOUR BABY WAIT

Rachel - posted on 12/30/2010

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my daughter nursed every 2 hours like clockwork for almost 9 months... Even through the night a lot of times. Honestly ever child is different and it is best to let them stick to their schedule. I know it is tiring but it really is so worth it! My daughter never took a bottle and she has never had a single ear infection and she does not get sick very often. Good luck!

Melody - posted on 12/29/2010

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i was feeding my son every hour and a half during the day until he was 10 months and he constantly latched on overnight in our bed until 11 months, he just didnt want to be without it. i thought i was gonna lose my mind sometimes, but i couldnt let him cry coz hes just to cute! it is hard to get stuff done, but at the same time we stopped feeding 3 days ago now, he's nearly 13 months, and he doesnt even mind, he lead the way and im thinking its coz he fed so much he got sick of it~! but he woouldnt even take solids until 10mths and i started trying him at 6 mths. but all that feeding seems like a drag right when your doing it, i onlyy stopped 3 days ago, but it feels like ive never even fed now.. so if he's happy to be feeding, i would just go with that.. its a little bit tiring, but its only for such a short period of time when you look at your whole life.. but thats only my opinion coz of how i dealt with it, if your tired and want to be able to relax a bit, then maybe try bottle feeding, because my friends daughter goes 4 hours between feeds and 6 hours overnight, and she is only 6 weeks..

Amanda - posted on 12/29/2010

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it felt like my guy was attached to the boob constantly also- but, this too shall pass.....and then you will miss it!!! tiny babies nurse for so many different reasons and you are still establishing that relationship. so, be boobalicious and enjoy. also, have you tried wearing the baby in a sling? maybe he just wants a good, secure snuggle. good luck!

Kate - posted on 12/29/2010

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Hi Rhianna, I know it was a while ago that you posted this, but I can't help but reply - I haven't read alot of the other responses and I know things may be very different in the US to here in Australia, but a 5 week old baby is supposed to be fed pretty much whenever he wants. It's his survival instinct and you should just go with it. he must be about 7 weeks old now and you could be feeding for upto an hour at least 8 times a day - a good way to judge is if he's crying and doesn't have a dirty nappy need a burp etc then offer the boob and let him go for it. There will be days where you feel as though all you have done is feed and that's ok, those are the days where you call on your Mum, friends etc to come and help with other stuff. Hang in there and remember you can't over feed a breast fed baby and your nipples won't drop off - that was the best advice I was given by our midwife when we had our first son, baby number 2 gets as much as she wants, although it's abit harder with a toddler to run after as well. Enjoy this special time and stick with it as in my opinion Breast is best, most convenient and FREE! Not to mention you get some special bonding time with baby! Take care xx

Terra - posted on 12/29/2010

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This time will go fast. Enjoy the time with your little one. He is doing two things. Increasing your milk supply and he is hungry. It will change sooner than you think.

Kimrose - posted on 12/29/2010

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I only read a few responses - and I'm betting you've already gotten this - but truly - I always think that a VERY important thing for any BF mom to remember is that it ALWAYS changes...just when I would hit an "oh my GOSH" point like where you are - it would change - and I would realize - oh, it was a growth spurt...or whatever. I personally nursed on demand and never concerned myself w/anyone else's timeline's/guides - I just watched my son and his growth for cues. I KNOW it's hard when it feels like EVERY minute you're nursing or getting ready to nurse...but I'd bet it doesn't stay that way for too long... GOOD LUCK to you - trust your gut - always the BEST thing! :)

Kim - posted on 12/29/2010

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When he does feed, make sure he doesn't fall asleep whilst feeding. I have found that if they fall asleep they haven't actually had a full feed, he has just had a little snack so of course he can't go 3hrs between feeds. Same as if you or I snack all day long, thats what he is doing. The best option is to keep waking him up during the feed - a little jiggle, pat his bum, a wet coth on his head, whatever works within reason and obviously not violently. You need to wait until he unattaches from your breast and then move him onto the other one. If you can keep him awake he should feed from each breast for approx 5-10 mins but that means he is awake and sucking for that time, not sucking and then sleeping.
I agree that you will know if it is sucking he wants (soother/dummy) or actual food because he will know there is no milk coming from the soother/dummy and will definitely spit it out. Good Luck - its crazy times but stick with it and you will get the hang of it and you will be able to pick up his signals really soon. xx

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I hate to sound harsh but so what? he's hungry! There are babies out there who won't eat or can't eat. This phase will pass soon enough, you just have to suck it up. I wish you rest and sleep, although you probably won't have any until he's a year old unfortunately.

Donna - posted on 12/28/2010

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I had the same problem! What helped me with her was to swaddle her. I recieved those swadler fleece blankets and it was the best thing ever. I would put her in her swaddle blanket nice and cozy not too tight and feed her and she would sleep till her next feeding and at times past her feeding. Hope this helps! I know this helped me get her a 3 hour feeding and waking up 1-2 times in the middle of the night. :)

Rebekah - posted on 12/28/2010

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Yeah, at 5 weeks he should be able to go 2 1/2-3 hours. I would DEFINITELY give him a pacifier or something... because some babies want to suck ALL the time. And he is using you as his pacifier! :) You feel like you have enough milk right? Also, I think the woman who said trying to go 10 mins longer a day is a good idea. He will eventually get used to the routine of not eating as often. My daughter got on a schedule right away and she is now the most scheduled 15 month old ever! Ha! She knows EXACTLY when it is time to eat and time to take a nap. I love it! And there IS such thing as a schedule with breastfeeding... I breastfed for 13 months (I would have gone longer but I got pregnant again at that point and started throwing up 4 times a day) and we were on a schedule. But I never went longer than 3 1/2 hours feeding my daughter. Even at 13 months. Just to make sure the supply stays up. Anyway, I wouldn't panic too much... 5 weeks is still really young and it's normal for him to want to eat so much. I would just try the 10 min thing a day until you get to two hours apart.

Tine - posted on 12/28/2010

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What your son wants is REALLY NORMAL!! 1.5 hours is a totally totally normal and healthy interval for feeding for a baby that age - breastmilk is very quickly digested as it is perfectly suited to your baby's body, and his stomach is tiny, so he needs to feed that often to get enough.

Also, your body produces milk according to how often your baby feeds, so more frequent feeding is excellent for ensuring you have a good supply of milk for your son.

Pediatricians and doctors are a very poor source of information on breastfeeding (not all, but many) as they do very little training on this in thier course, and what they do is usually sponsored by formula companies! Please consider contacting the La Leche League (or ABA - Australian Breastfeeding Association in Australia) for advice on what is normal and for support from people who understand what you're going through.

My BEST suggestion for you to meet both your needs and those of your son is to buy a sling!! Pop your son in a comfortable sling (I love my Baba sling, but there are lots of good ones out there - ring slings are ace!) or soft carrier like a mei tai or Ergo that you can safely and comfortably feed in. This way your baby gets his needs for contact with you and food met, and you get to do some stuff at the same time! Once you get the hang of it after a few tries, feeding in the sling becomes so easy and you have your hands free again ...

The other point to make, though, is that the little baby phase lasts for such a short time - you won't believe how fast the time goes! If you put the time into meeting his needs now, and just enjoy the time you spend snuggling with him and feeding him, you will always be glad you did. My daughter is now 2, and I still enjoy feeding her (although it's a lot less often now!) and love the closeness that it brings for us.

:-) :-)

Breastfeeding on demand (feeding whenever your baby wants it) is the best way to have a successful and healthy breastfeeding realtionship and a happy healthy baby. Your lactation consultant is right, and your pediatrician and mum are giving you advice that is outdated and a bit dangerous. Not feeding according to baby's needs is a prime reason for breastfeeding problems and failure of feeding.

Kristin - posted on 12/27/2010

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it's a growth spurt and it will pass in a few days when your supply catches up with his demands. In the meantime, eat well, drink lots, get rest as you can. Feed him when he wants it and it will level off faster. Good luck.

Julie - posted on 12/27/2010

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It really will pass, he is growing like crazy. Try and let him eat if you can, it's so much better for him than formula. Be sure he is getting your hind milk which is richer and may keep him fuller longer. Hang in there, it passes quickly. I weaned our daughter about 13 months and my son @ nearly 2. I can tell you it's exhausting but my kids are healthy (yay) and they are both tall! Good luck, hang in there, it's tough!

Ericka - posted on 12/27/2010

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this is normal, and healthy. it doesnt matter what some book or some doctor says. your child is hungry, and he will let you know when he is, and it is your job to simply respond to that. its likely hes going through his 6 week growth spurt, and with that is the REQUIREMENT that he nurse FREQUENTLY, even if you think he isnt getting any milk, because his sucking will stimulate your breasts to make more milk. if you are serious about keeping up your milk supply (and you should be - breastfeeding is the BEST! :)) you will do on demand nursing as long as you can (except in the cases of work or misc, in which case you should still try to pump as often as work or misc allows - all you have to do is ask and know your state's particular breastfeeding support related laws)

anyway, just keep it up. dont force him to try to wait longer, you will have trouble with your milk, and with your son if you try to schedule his stomach pains. he knows when hes hungry. the best thing you can do is listen and respond.

also, there are 2 kinds of babies: increasers and releasers. some babies when they are tired fuss and go to sleep on their own (releasers) - releasing stress as they fuss. typically this takes less than 5 minutes. other babies fuss and increase in intensity as they go. they are increasers and will NOT be satisfied with being left alone or ignored. this kind of child can be emotionally damaged by the CIO method or other methods of "training" which are typically just masked methods of detachment.

find yourself a local la leche league group. they will have mom tested advice and help. also find yourself a sling and figure out how to nurse in the sling. that will be EXTREMELY helpful, and will free up at least one hand so you can do other things.

give yourself a break though. your child is only 5 weeks old. you just got the hang of nursing in general (usually takes 4 weeks) - so dont expect so much of yourself. the housework will wait. read a book while you are sitting and nursing, watch movies, take up knitting? i did a lot of things while i was nursing. my son nursed until he self weaned at 20 months. :) its the best thing i ever did. but a la leche league group will have moms of every kind, and likely will have a mom who has been where you were and figured something out. me? i just nursed my son on demand the entire time, and let things go. its more important at this stage to just care for your son and let other responsibilities slide. as he gets older, he will nurse less and more depending on his phase; as i said, growth spurts require more nursing even if theres "no milk" - and htis is a good thing. it will be over soon, and then something else will come up.

i hope you understand what im saying though. im sorry you are tired, frustrated, and overwhelmed. this happens to all nursing moms. but trust me, you will NOT regret this. :)

Mary Renee - posted on 12/27/2010

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BTW, the every-three-hour feeding timetable is for formula-fed babies, not breastfed babies.

Kathleen - posted on 12/27/2010

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Feeding on demand is still the best at that age when breastfeeding. They go through a growth spurt around 6 weeks he may be starting early, like my son. The good news is after this growth spurt things start to even out in feedings and more looking around and discovering things. So while your life will never be the same you have a little more time to do things that need to be done.

Angie - posted on 12/27/2010

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It is normal at this time for them to nurse like this, as they are growing and gainng weight, plus they are still adjusting and learning. Don't introduce a substitute fir them to not nurse like a soother. What you could do to get a break is after your morning feeds pump, and then in the evening give it to them. The fatty milk from the morning may fill them up. After 6 to 8 weeks they will begin to create their own schedule. The otherbthing to remember is that thesevfirst weeks you have one main job and that s to feed and be with the baby ( it is crucial) the laundry, house cleaning and errands can be doe by someone else or can wait. Enjoy this time getting to know your baby you never getbit back. Good luck!

Jessica - posted on 12/26/2010

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P.S. You can't always trust other people's advice, even your own mom's or your pediatrician's; you'll just have to gather as much information as you can and make the decision on your own, based on your values and your gut feeling as to what is right.
And remember that he's just a baby, so him "being so upset" isn't just him being angry or unreasonable: if he wants milk and doesn't get it, he probably thinks he's being neglected and fears dying! It's a huge deal for a young baby to not get what he needs, when he needs it. He doesn't understand that he just needs to wait, and he doesn't have any wants--if he wants it, it's a need for him at this age.
And I don't remember ever hearing or reading that infants should go three hours between feedings; I thought it was an hour and a half to two hours, max. I think that's normal. It's just part of being a new mom!

Jessica - posted on 12/26/2010

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My son nursed every thirty minutes to an hour for the first six weeks. It was very tiring and frustrating. I never would have withheld it from him, though, because of all the research showing that not giving Baby what he needs when he's an infant, leads to a whole host of issues throughout life.
We finally found out, when he was six weeks old, that he had reflux. That's why he was nursing all the time: to self-soothe because of the burning acid. So I recommend reading up on reflux, to see if that might be the cause of his frequent nursing. Once we got my guy on Zantac, he became a whole new baby and we were all much happier.
You can also offer him your finger to suck on, in case it's just a high sucking reflex that he's satisfying; but using your boob as a pacifier is really good for your milk supply!
If nothing seems to work, just remember the best motto a new mom can count on: THIS TOO SHALL PASS. :o) It won't be like this forever.

Mary Renee - posted on 12/26/2010

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At 5 weeks old this is normal. I know, it's totally overwhelming. They prepare you for childbirth, but they never prepare you for breastfeeding. My daughter was a slow eater and she used to eat EVERY hour and a half FOR an entire hour!!!!!! Basically until she was two months old I was constantly breastfeeding, with a half an hour in between to change her diaper, use the restroom, and grab another water bottle before nursing her again!

But I got through it. Now she's 7 Months old and I actually LOVE nursing her. She looks up at me and strokes my cheek while she nurses. It's so wonderful and lovely... and I never could have imagined it would be this nice when she was 5 weeks old. Hang in there!

Tina - posted on 12/25/2010

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Hi Rhianna, I know it seems so overwhelming right now, you probably thought it would be getting much easier by now, but believer me - it will be getting easier - just hang in there a bit longer. All babies are different, some start so space out feedings sooner, some take a bit longer. You will be so proud of yourself when you make it past this very demanding and difficult stage. My best advice for you is to help the baby to sleep as much as possible between feedings, if you don't have a nice swing - go out and buy one immediately - that is the best you can do to prolong feedings, other than that, let him feed when he wants - it WILL SPACE OUT - believe me and hang in there - you are giving your baby such a wondersul gift.

Beverly - posted on 12/25/2010

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I agree with lactation consultants, feed babies when they're hungry. I never understood the schedule setting. When we're hungry, we eat! Both my sons were the same way and I just fed them. It's for a reason. Now they are hearty and healthy eaters. I would recommend pumping and giving it to him in a bottle, maybe a few times per day just to give you that break.

Jeany - posted on 12/24/2010

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Feeding as often as he wants to feed is the best and easiest way to ensure that your breasts make enough milk to meet his needs.Offering formula will reduce his appetite for breastmilk, so your breasts will respond by making less. As he grows, he will become more efficient at getting the milk, so feeding will be quicker, and he may be able to go for longer between feeds. My first was still "feeding" about every two hours at 10 months - of course by then, we were alternating breastmilk feeds with table food meals and snacks.

Mahnaz - posted on 12/24/2010

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with my first he ate every 2 hrs from start of feeding so i only got half an hour or to an hour break between feedings .... I just dealt with it for about six months then it was spread apart a little longer. Maybe he feeds so often because you don't produce enough, you can try two things. One is to supplement with formula and see if that works. The other if you want to breast feed exclusively try eating or drinking things that will enhance your milk production such as mothers milk teas or lactation cookies/muffins. there are great recipes online

Jeany - posted on 12/24/2010

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Feeding every hour and a half to two hours for most of the day normal for a tiny baby. It is common to have a period of more frequent feeding for a few hours in the late afternoon and/or early evening, when he might want to feed every hour or even ore often (if the feeds are short). If he is sleeping for three hours at a time once or twice in 24 hours, then everything is very normal. If he is sleeping for longer than three hours at a time in the night, then he will heed to feed more often during the day to make up on feeds missed during the night. Remember, his tummy is tiny, and he needs to triple his weight within a year - how often would you eat if you were trying to achieve that!!

Kat - posted on 12/23/2010

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By the way, my LO eats every two hours. I didn't even know that breastfed babies could go for three hours without eating. You should definitely feed on demand. If that's what your son needs, and you've committed to nursing him, then just accept it. Get yourself some stationary activities to keep you entertained and feed him whenever he wants. Enjoy it. It will be over before you know it and you will miss having that bond with him.

Kat - posted on 12/23/2010

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I had this situation too when my LO was younger. At 5 weeks they're not very good at getting the milk out yet. As they get stronger and more skilled at nursing and build up your supply, the nursing sessions will get shorter and there will be more time in between. We started off with 40 minute nursing sessions, so about an hour and 20 minutes later I already had to nurse again. Now at 6 months she nurses for 3-4 minutes per breast and is growing, growing, growing! Honestly, I miss the long nursing sessions because I was able to read a lot of books, surf the internet, and watch movies while she ate. Now I have to run around and entertain her way more! :)

Merry - posted on 12/23/2010

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The stomach is a stretchable organ, when you make him wait and then eat a huge meal you will stretch his stomach larger then normal.
So, if you make him wait and have a bigger meal you are increasing his risk of being obese because his stomach will be larger then it should and he will get used to stuffing himself full instead of just satiating himself.
If we were to breastfeed like great apes, and like women in more traditional cultures we would be breastfeeding our babies for a few minutes, a few times an hour!
That keeps the stomach small, and keeps baby full and never getting dehydrated.
Moms have a lot to sacrifice, but our babies are worth it.
Making him wait seems really mean, in the womb he had a constant supply of food, why should we expect now that he's born him to wait three hours?
My son is almost two and he still breastfeeds like every two hours in the mornings, then les frequently in the afternoon and evening.
Making him wait can wreck your milk production too, like our babies, our bodies are biologically designed to be feeding them hourly or more. So making your body wait tells it that it doesn't need as much milk.
Babies have growth spurts too and then is normal for them to cluster feed and be on the breast more then they are off it!
It's time to feed him if he puts his fingers in his mouth, if he wants a pacifier, if he is fussy and otherwise ok, any time he wants to eat, drink, or suck he needs to breastfeed.
It's a lot of work, but you can make it easier by not making a big issue of feeding him. Wherever you are you can breastfeed him, no need to make an ordeal of it, it's just a natural part of your life as a mom, and it gets easier and more natural with time.
I dont think of breastfeeding as a chore, it's a relief! It's the easiest part of being a mom now.

Angela - posted on 12/23/2010

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I agree with most of the posts here -- sounds really normal for 5 weeks old. My daughter was a small baby and nursed very often too, especially during growth spurts. Don't let it be frustrating for you ... if you can, just flow with it. Also, if you can get a good baby sling that holds him close to you, you can do some activities =while= he nurses. I often folded laundry or caught up on phone calls, email, reading, etc., while my daughter nursed. Use the opportunity to rest too. I know it's hard to feel this way all the time (believe me, I know, I'm a type A working mom), but there truly is nothing else you're doing right now that is as important as this. Try to hold that thought, and it helps keep everything else in better perspective. And, really, enjoy this time. Make a conscious effort to do that. You will look back and be really glad you savored it. You're doing a wonderful job. Sending you love and peaceful energy!

Allison - posted on 12/23/2010

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PS While it COULD be a growth spurt, my son and several other EBF babies I knew nursed that often for many many months - it was just how often they needed to eat.



To answer your original question, the only thing that would make my son go a little longer is if I carried him on my body in a cozy carrier - and I could do chores or relax that way, too :) My favorites are the Moby Wrap (until 6 months old) then the Ergo carrier after that. BEST investments I EVER made :) His nanny (for the first year) would do the same thing - she had a simple sling and would carry him around on her back.

Allison - posted on 12/23/2010

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Congrats on your new one! I know exactly how you feel, I exclusively breast fed my son, and EVERYONE told me the EXACT same things. He wanted to eat every hour - and sometimes more often, like every 30 min - so I was told by my ped and mother and mother in law he would need formula. At about 4 weeks he seemed to cry whenever he wasn't nursing. A few in my family even went so far as to say he looked "weak" and "sickly" but I didn't think so at all. In retrospect, I think they only said it because they didn't think any baby could thrive on breastmilk alone, and because I was making him wait between feeds he was crying a lot. Anyway, I didn't do the formula, and found out at his 2 month appt. (with a new pediatrician) that he was growing well and meeting (and exceeding) all his milestones so I decided the breastmilk must be just fine - at the time a hard decision since family were telling me otherwise!!!



SO what I did was this - I made him wait 1 or 1.5 hours between feedings, and we were both MUCH happier. He was almost 10 lbs at birth, and went above the "chart" for height and weight until he was over a year old. He was a FAT fat, very healthy, baby - and I never gave him formula.



My son did NOT go 3 hours between feedings until he was almost ONE YEAR OLD !!! I worked full time, so I pumped and gave him bottles of breastmilk - that meant I had to pump every 2 hours at work til he was 1 year old. I continued nursing him in morning and evening until he was 2.5 years old, when HE decided (with my encouragement) that he didn't want to nurse anymore. Anyway, in retrospect, it was SO worth it, he is SO healthy and smart and hardly ever got sick (except for a few colds from daycare), plus about 100 other advantages that I never even thought of :) Now he is almost 4 years old and the tallest kid in his class, super healthy and active, yet VERY mellow and calm whenever he needs to be :)



It wasn't until recently that I realized that all the people giving me advice about breastfeeding had never breastfed - they all used formula. They were basing their recommendations on that! So as hard as it is to accept, sometimes people you respect are just wrong - you have to go to breastfeeding experts (lactation consultant or La Leche League leader) for trustworthy breastfeeding advice! Good luck!

Melissa - posted on 12/23/2010

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sorry, but that sounds totally normal to me. My kids never went 3 hours between feedings at that age.

Melanie - posted on 12/22/2010

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GROWTH SPURT. its a commonly known fact that babies hit a huge growth spurt at 6 weeks ish. it shouldnt last forever and the growth spurt will pass. just go ahead and take the time to nurse him when he wants. it will end after a few days to a week.

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What your baby is doing is totally normal, natural and to be expected for a breastfed baby. Please don't give him a bottle.

Erin - posted on 12/22/2010

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Please please please nurse your baby on demand! He's hungry when he's hungry and there's no outside 'information' that's going to change that. Whether he's asking to nurse out of hunger or a need for closeness or because he's uncomfortable for some other reason, they're all just as important. My first daughter nursed 40 minutes of every hour day and night. Yes I was deliriously tired (which led to cosleeping, thank goodness!), but by 4 months she started to go longer periods, and we've always had everyone ask how we have a baby that's so happy and never cries! Meeting all of your baby's requests on demand is critical to forming a trusting child-parent relationship and setting the foundation for a content, thriving child.

Sally - posted on 12/22/2010

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The littler the baby, the more often they need to nurse. More than two hours between feeds under 2-3 months is for fomula babies, not mommy fed ones. Also, every time he wants to grow, he will nurse more to teach your boobs to make more milk. With a five week old, you need rest much more than you need to get things done. Sit down, relax and enjoy your baby. I know it's hard to believe now, but this level of need will not last long and in a couple years you'll miss the sweet baby snuggles.
Good luck

Carmel - posted on 12/22/2010

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That's perfectly normal! Your son is busy getting ready for his 6 week growth spurt. Nursing frequently brings on more milk for him. You can expect another period of frequent nursing at about 3 months and another at 6 months.

I'd be careful about introducing soothers as they can become a bad habit and it looks bad when you see kids as old as 4 or 5 with one still.

[deleted account]

Remember that a newborn's stomach is about the size of a marble. Doesn't take that long to fill that up, empty it and feel hungry again.

Laurie - posted on 12/21/2010

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I seem to remember reading that newborns that nurse (not formula fed) should nurse 8-12 times in 24 hours... 12 time in 24 hours would be every 2 hours or so. 3 or 4 hours might be right with formula, but the little guys digest breastmilk so fast that 3 hours can be too long. "On Demand" is best because he is telling you he is hungry NOW, poor guy can't run to the kitchen if he is hungry between meals like we can. I nursed my son (now almost 2.5) and plan to nurse my daughter who is due in about a week. :)

Wendy - posted on 12/21/2010

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hes doing his job as a baby, letting the breast know to make more.they go through these stages a couple times throughout their first year.they are basically letting the breast know "hey im about to have a growth spurt so i need more milk next week." so when he does this hes doing his job or els u wont have enough milk made for him when he does have his growth spurt.once u get past this and stick with it ull look back n laugh.it doesnt last forever :)

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It takes more than 6 weeks to establish a healthy milk supply and the way this happens is that your baby nurses constantly, and I mean constantly! As a midwife, I have never had a client who's baby DIDN'T nurse every waking moment. It is normal and if you don't nurse your baby whenever they want, you can interfere with the formation of your healthy milk supply. Nursing can be hard at first, because it is literally ALL YOU WILL DO (except when the baby is asleep!!). BUT, it is so worth it, and becomes easier and easier the older they get. Trying to put babies on a schedule too early is one way to make sure you don't breastfeed for very long. Just accept you aren't going to get anything else done for a while. It's only a short amount of time, really, and breastfeeding is one of the best things you can do for your baby. He's totally worth it!!

Gretchen - posted on 12/20/2010

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if I remember correctly with my now 1 year 13 month old, he went through different weeks with different phases. I believe at 5 weeks there was a growth spurt that threw everything we were doing off. He would nurse for an hour, every other hour! There are so many ups and downs with breastfeeding! My best suggestion is to just be available when he needs you. He knows more what he needs than you think. Of course, everyone says I really lucked out in that my son only cries if he is hungry or tired....only! I agree that I got lucky with that. You just need to watch his cues, and this too will pass!

Coco - posted on 12/20/2010

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Sounds like a growth spurt during which he needs more nourishment. I remember my son doing this. Is it something he has done since birth? If so, he may have tummy issues he's trying to quell through nursing? I would trust a lactation consultant over a Pediatrition on this type of thing. There is no prescription for timing nursing - every baby is different. Hope it's just a phase, and remember before you know it he won't be a baby anymore and you will miss nursing terribly. Also - glad I thought of it - try wearing him in a sling or front carrier of some kind where you can nurse and be mobile at the same time. Carriers are the best, I highly recommend them, for many reasons. Look into "baby wearing" through your favorite search engine, if you haven't already. Best to you!

Jennifer - posted on 12/19/2010

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My Daughter didnt read the books either :)
The pediatricians and doctors don't have first-hand experience on the matter. The baby knows when they are hungry and we must just comply and push through. My daughter did the same thing but around 7 weeks she started going longer between feeds. It was really tiring but definately worth it!!!

Ash - posted on 12/18/2010

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He's little! Its totally normal! If he wants to eat feed him! Hes hungry! When he's ready he will start spacing it out more and more. My daughter nursed constantly until about 2 months old then she slowed down. For his age its totally normal to eat that often. Just be patient, relax and enjoy the time you have with him, because pretty soon he'll be crawling or trying to walk like my daughter.

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