how long can my baby stay on the breast?

Efe - posted on 02/09/2011 ( 15 moms have responded )




My baby is about 3 weeks and only stays on the breast for about 6 mins. I know he should be on for between 10-15 mins on each breast but he is tired after 6 mins and i have to wait a while before he can continue. Any advice?


[deleted account]

My children were both like that. You just have to watch them and see if they are gaining weight. I was blessed to have a LLL friend. I have a large milk supply, and it comes out very fast. So eating fast is a survival mechanism - lol! The LLL friend also told me that it's best to nurse only on one side unless the baby completely drains it and is still hungry. This ensures that your baby gets enough of the hind milk. If the baby doesn't get enough of the hind milk, then he or she can show signs that mimic lactose intolerance, and the first thing your ped. is going to tell you is to quit nursing. Btdt. So just relax, enjoy the times when you're nursing, and trust your body and your baby's body - you're doing great! :)

Maria - posted on 02/12/2011




My first baby would nurse 20-30 minutes each time she nursed. When baby number 2 came along, I was lucky to have him nurse for 5 minutes. I worried about him getting enough for the first 4 months or so. Turns out he is just a fast eater! He was always happy, never fussy between feedings and he gained weight well. Even now,(at almost 12 months) the only time he nurses more than 5 minutes is at bedtime.

If the issue is keeping your baby awake to finish eating, there are some tips to help on the following website .

Look at the Sleepy Baby section and the Active sucking section...


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Efe - posted on 02/14/2011




Thank you so much, its good to know that there is nothing wrong with my baby. I will mention it to the ped though. thanks again

Rachel - posted on 02/13/2011




If your baby is gaining the right weight, not too much to worry about. I found that feeding first thing after my daughter woke up guaranteed me that she would have the energy to stay on long enough and not get too tired. You can also try 6 mins on, 6 mins off, 6 mins on again as a feeding just so he has time to regroup his energy. Try interecting in between the feeding and as I ended up donig with my daughter (although it sounds cruel :P) a cool-cold damp cloth will wake them up and shock him into wanting comfort :P As long as he is hungry- he should atif there are no problems so if it is just his energy level stopping him from eating regularily try waking himup your own ways :P My daughter could sleep through anything! the cold cloth shocker was the onyl way by 3 weeks old and it only lasted until she 6 weeks or so :) Good Luck and congrats on your new baby boy!!! ♥

Aicha - posted on 02/13/2011




If your baby is gaining weight and getting enough dirty and wet diapers then don't worry about how long he is on the breast

Molly - posted on 02/13/2011




That's how mine were - 6 mins or so, for one letdown. I agree with block feeding, to get more of the rich hind milk. So two nursings on one breast and then switch the next time.

You can also take off some clothes (both of you!) for skin to skin, and play with his feet or something to keep him awake. Or just enjoy all that sleeping because it won't last forever!

You're doing great!

Tricia - posted on 02/12/2011




my daughter was the same way but she always was in the growth range of 95+% so she apparently was getting plenty. she never nursed long and she nursed until 2 y/o so no advice just dont stress until her dr says she is not growing and enjoy those few minutes. its gone before you know it

Sarah - posted on 02/12/2011




First, no, it's better to nurse on one side at a time, not switch breasts unless your baby empties one side and is still hungry.
Second, some babies are very effecient and don't need to nurse for long. Follow your baby's lead and nurse as often as he wants for as long as he wants. When he seems done, change a diaper or burp him and see if it wakes him up enough to offer the same breast again.
As long as he's having wet and poopy diapers, you know he's getting enough.
If you are really worried that he doesn't get enough, go to the pediatrician and strip him to a clean diaper. Weigh him. Feed him. Then weigh him again. You'll know how much he ate. Don't change him in between even if he poops. What was in him when he was weighed the first time needs to be counted in the second weight.

Harmony - posted on 02/12/2011




My munchkin would be done with her feeding in 10-15 minutes, both breasts and burping in the middle all in about 10 minutes, so don't worry, as long as your baby is gaining weight. You probably just have super milk that comes out quickly. Also my baby girl all of a suddend stopped pooping as much once she got to be a couple months old. Going a day or two without pooping is normal for breast fed babies, just fyi. Good luck!

Cindy - posted on 02/12/2011




You may have an ample supply and he is getting all he needs in that 6 mins... that was how both my babies were. If you are concerned, the next dr visit, have the baby weighed then feed the baby and had them weigh again to see how many ounces they got. Remember Breast milk they need less ounces than formula so I would say 3 ozs is good.

Leslie - posted on 02/12/2011




I might mention that to your pediatrician though. Newborns are tired however if they are getting worn out by eating that could be a sign of another problem. Maybe nothing but it can't hurt to give your ped. a call.

Lauren - posted on 02/12/2011




Little ones are often tired. How frequently is he nursing? If he's nursing frequently but for short periods of time, and if he's peeing/pooping normally, I wouldn't worry. If it was me, I'd probably put him back to the same breast several times before switching (block feeding) to ensure that he's getting the hind milk, which is fattier and more satisfying. Otherwise, unless he's showing signs of not doing well, I wouldn't worry and bet that in a few weeks he'll be up to longer sessions.

Efe - posted on 02/09/2011




Thank you so much for setting my mind at rest. Yes he gets up to 5 soiled diapers a day and a lot of wet diapers. He is also adding weight.
Thanks again

Katrina - posted on 02/09/2011




You should be watching your baby not the clock. That 10-15 mins each breast per feeding is not set in stone and often doesn't apply and can set yourself up for issues like your baby getting too much of the foremilk and less of the good fatty hind milk(been there with my first so I speak from experience). Is your baby gaining weight, having enough soiled diapers, content after a feeding? This is a wonderful list of how to tell if your baby is getting enough that does not involve watching a clock but instead your baby.
A baby gets good at getting what they need from the breast. It wasn't long before mine could get an entire feeding from one breast in a matter of minutes and be full until next feeding at which time I would give them the opposite breast where they again would get their fill within minutes and be good until the next feeding.
Congratulations on your new baby!

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