How long do you breast feed your baby per feeding?

Heather - posted on 01/20/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )




Hi there, I have been exclusively breast feeding my 8 week old daughter and was wondering how long each feed should take? Ever since she was born her feeds usually take an hour in total. Is this supposed to go faster as she grows? Or is this normal? She feeds ever three hours during the day and sleeps pretty much all night without a feeding (1030p-530a).


Michelle - posted on 03/04/2013




Hello, I have a 3 week old and he is breast fed. I'm having troubles telling if he is getting enough? He will nurse on both sides and sometimes even on one, and then he will either pull off or fall asleep. But when I lay him down, he starts crying and sometimes acts like he's still hungry. Any suggestions?

Emily - posted on 01/20/2009




A baby should nurse on one side until they stop on their own and unlatch themselves... then you should offer the second breast until they stop on their own and unlatch again. This can take anywhere from 5-90 minutes. It varies based on your baby's efficiency and your milk flow. Each of my children have nursed from one side for 5-10 minutes, then flatly refused the second side altogether. My kids usually want to nurse every 2 hours or so, but sleep through the night pretty well.

So, yes! Your daughter is perfectly normal! She should get more efficient as she gets older, but she still might enjoy hanging on longer, and the more she sucks the more milk your body will make, so I would just feed her on demand and continue to let her nurse as long as she needs to.

Emily - posted on 02/13/2010




As long as they are being fed "on-demand" there is no rule on how many. Newborns should be fed 8-12 times a day... but by 4 months this can vary greatly. One of my twins (5 months) is currently eating about 6-7 times a day, while the other one only nurses 4 times a day. (And the one eating fewer times a day weighs 3 lbs more than his brother, even though they were almost the same weight at birth.)

Basically, just go by your baby... don't worry about "schedules" or how long it's been since she ate last. If she's acting hungry, feed her, if she's tired, help her to fall asleep... etc.

Tamara - posted on 01/20/2009




She'll eventually become a more efficient nurser. I recall mine having hour long feeds at that time. It's also growth spurt time so she's gonna spend more time eating to grow. It helped me to put mine in a soft carrier like a MayaWrap or a mei tai to do things while she nursed.

Bobbi Jean - posted on 03/11/2013




Sounds about right from nursing my babies. One thing which might help. Put a small safety pin on the side of your bra where your baby left off nursing. Next feeding, start there.

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Stacey - posted on 02/13/2010




Thanks guys, all your resposes helped. basically, all children are different, I agree with Frogley, as long as he/she is putting on weight, all is good :-) Kaley is 4mths on the 14th, weighed 14.5lbs & 64.5cm (two wks ago) sleeps thru the night...

Q' Is there a rule on how many feeds one should have, sometimes Kaley gets 4 feeds per day , other days 5, depending on her sleeps thru the day. Does anyone know?

Rachael - posted on 01/20/2009




Every baby nurses differently. Some are lazy eaters and take their time while others seem to be in a race to finish.

Our son nursed less often every 4 hours and would nurse 30-40 min per feeding on each side so it equaled out to almost an hour feeding. Our daughter nurses about every 1-2 hours and will only nurse for 10 min per side or sometimes just one side (she's busy and very distracted :)

As long as she is gaining weight she is getting all the right stuff and you are doing a good job!

Meghan - posted on 01/20/2009




My son is 3.5 months. He eats every two hrs (unless he is asleep then he can go 6) He doesn't normally wake up from a nap even if it is at the two hr mark. He eats for 5-10 min a side...when he stops I burp him, then switch sides until he stops again.

Sarah-Jane - posted on 01/20/2009




This is my second breastfeed baby & both of them I feed roughly every 4 hours, 10 minutes a side. The first one I breastfeed up to 8 months & now the second one is 6 months. The 10 min. a side stayed the same from day one to 8


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