Breastfeeding evolution through the first year... what's normal?

Melissa - posted on 07/16/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




So my baby was the one that did not let go of the breast, I always had to break suction and take him off. At about 3-3 1/2 months he started to become distracted. He would start to nurse but pull off (without breaking suction), then go back. Over and over again. Well,I thought this would be a phase. At five months he is still doing this. I can no longer feed in public because everyone would be seeing everything. He also doesn't feed that long. He may nurse for a total of 15 min... at the most! Sometimes only ten. He is gaining weight fine, so that isn't an issue. But I was wondering what everyone's experiences have been. Has this happened to you? Was it a phase? What are some other issues I could face in the months to come? Teething, starting solids, heavy babies, anything you can think of that changed how your baby nursed. Please share your stories, I am interested in hearing them!


Janine - posted on 07/18/2012




My DS is now 15mo and still nursing. I enjoy nursing him now more than ever, it's our special cosy time and he seems to enjoy it too for bonding.

We went through the usual tough first weeks where life seemed to be consumed by nursing sessions. By 3mo this had settled into a pattern and he was nursing every 3h during the day and going longer spells at night.

By 5mo he became VERY distracted and started nursing more at night, his day time sessions also became very short, just a couple of minutes, maybe 5mins. He was gaining weight fine, although as with many BF babies he dropped on the percentiles at 6mo and has remained on the same percentile ever since.

Between 7-10 months was pretty challenging to keep the breast-feeding going. He was much to busy to stop and nurse and there were many times when I'd offer only to have him refuse. I was worried that he was self-weaning, but he was not very interested in solids, so I guess it was just a long series of nursing strikes. It was also when he was teething, so perhaps that didn't help either. All I can say is that after this phase he has settled back into a more 'normal' nursing relationship.

He was slow to take to solids, preferring to nurse 9-10 times per day up until about 8mo. His appetite for solids only really took hold when he got interested in what we were eating (about 11-12mo). His appetite for food is building but he still nurses 5-6x per day at 14mo.

As he's got older the sessions have become more efficient and quicker.

Since 5mo he has NEVER nursed in public, there was just too much going on for him to think about being hungry. Now he'll only nurse in his darkened room (or any bedroom if we're on vacation, thankfully he will nurse on a plane or in a car if we're travelling).

Each month seems to bring a new phase, so even if it's tough going, hang on in there!


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My son also fed for really short periods of time. Even as a new born his longest feeding was 10 minutes. He is still that way at almost 7 months. I do have a very fast let down so he gets a lot of milk in a short time, he still chokes on milk every once in a while.

He's been on solids for a while, he did lessen his feedings for a couple weeks once he started eating a full jar a day. But he went right back to feeding at his normal routine once 2 jars were added (which is weird).

My daughter was a cluster feeder until solids were introduced. She self weaned really early, by 10 months she was only wanting to feed 2 times a day. But since she was gaining weight well, I didn't push it.

Both of mine are crazy for solids.

I don't like the idea of breastfeeding than offering solids, I'm afraid of over feeding them. What I do is breast feed an hour before I plan on offering them a solids meal, then again after. My daughter was happy after the solids, my son however feeds after.

Alecia - posted on 07/17/2012




When my son got to two months old, he was nursing for a total of 1 1/2 hours!!!! By the time I was done nursing him, I had to turn around and do it again in an hour. My life was so overrun with breastfeeding that I didn't know how to do anything else. I often had my husband feed our son a bottle of pumped milk when he woke up at night, while I pumped to replace it because then I could actually get some sleep. Finally, our pediatrician asked me why I let him do this (huh?). I didn't realize I had a choice! Once he explained to me that he would get adequate nutrition in 20 minutes on each side, I began to stop him from sucking to see if he would be upset. He wasn't! He had an insatiable sucking reflex apparently! At about 6 months, he began to get distracted and would turn away and come back. Usually this signifies that there growing mouths can get more milk out in less time, so the time they nurse decreases. I went from 45 on each side to maybe 10 or 15 by the time he was 6-8 months. At around 9 months, he began to bite and turn away with his new little teeth to signify that he was full (OUCH!). I usually tried to keep a finger close to his mouth to open it before he had the chance to yank. I would bet your little man is just becoming more efficient at getting what he needs, though I know how worrisome it can be. The only other issue I noticed by about 9 months was where his weight was on the charts. Many babies are formula fed from 6 months on, so the average weight tends to be heavier than that of breastfed babies. If you begin to feel worried about weight percentiles by this age, just stay confident that you know your baby is getting enough milk and by the time whole milk comes, he will be right where he is supposed to be! Good luck!

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