My 3 week old wants to nurse CONTSTANTLY!

Lindsay - posted on 06/16/2012 ( 18 moms have responded )

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My son will be 4 weeks on Monday. He seems to want to nurse constantly since the day he was born. I thought maybe my supply wasnt up so I went to a lactation consultant and after weighing him before and after each side he is definately getting plenty to eat. After helping me get a better latch, she told me that he may cluster feed for a couple of days. This was on Thursday. I expected it, but then I remembered that he has basically been cluster feeding for the last almost 4 weeks. He usually sleeps good at night and I have to wake him up to feed him, I try to do this every 3 hours if possible. I am so confused. I need a break! I know about this time he should be going through a growth spurt. But considering he has been wanting to nurse for the past weeks not days worries me. It is hard for me to even get a shower in. I also have a 2 year old that is barely getting my attention because I feel like I am always sitting on the couch with my new born and I feel bad. Will this pass, is this normal? Thanks ladies!!!

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Amy - posted on 06/16/2012

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It'll pass but if he's sleeping at night I'd let him sleep, go ahead and get some rest! If he wasn't gaining weight then I'd say keep waking him but it sounds like he's doing good. With my daughter I offered a dream feed before I went to bed, if she woke I fed her otherwise I slept.

Stifler's - posted on 06/17/2012

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This is totally normal. Id'let him sleep too instead of waking him up for a feed. if you're really full express during the night.

Viktoria - posted on 06/28/2012

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NORMAL! WILL PASS! 2 of my 3 babies that were equally insatiable. :)

first, stop feeling guilty. Guilt is a load that is too difficult to bear, so tell yourself the positive things you are doing, and focus on those kids!

Second, get some books, or puzzles, or other "sit down" things, and then tell your 2 year old, excitedly: "guess what? when I'm feeding your brother, we're going to see how much of this puzzle you and I can do before he's done!! it's a race!"
or ask the 2 year old to pick a book for each time you have to feed the baby. get a family photo album, or digital photos on your phone, or anything, and look at pictures with the 2 year old, telling the names of the people, so that the toddler can remember friends or family that you don't see as often. teach sign language with your free hand while the 2 year old sits with you... get some tupperware (or other plastic kitchen items) and a big spoon so the 2 year old can build a drum set while you nurse. make 2 of your nursing times snack times for the toddler, so that there is not competitive resentment toward the infant. that 2 year old will remember if you pass them up every single time, so just say often that you are doing "something special while I feed your brother"...
just a few suggestions from me. :)

Ash - posted on 06/26/2012

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So normal, when my daughter did this at her age i was fine with it made me feel so wanted. She got so plump and the compliments of "oh look how healthy she is!!!!" made it worth it ontop. Was one of many growth spurts.

Jocelyn - posted on 06/25/2012

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This is one thing to keep in mind. This is now summertime. Babies nurse a lot more because they are also trying to stay hydrated as well. If there's no other problems, let him do it.

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Kelly - posted on 06/28/2012

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my boys were attached to me constantly especially my first but they do go longer for feeds as they get bigger jus enjoy the time coz once you stop breastfeeding you will miss the conection i know i do!!! good look. x

Gale - posted on 06/27/2012

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My son was the same way from birth until 2 mths old, it seemed as if he was always on the breast all the time. Its ok and its normal. He will slow down eventually and get on a regular feeding schedule. After my son slowed down I was nursing him every 3-4 hrs. I would nurse him when he woke around 5-6, he would go back down for a nap, he would sleep a few hours I would nurse him when he woke. I wouldn't wake him to feed him. Let him sleep when he needs to. You don't want to mess up his sleep pattern. Get him on a good feeding schedule and in time he won't be nursing as much. Good Luck. Hang in there. It gets better. Just sit and relax with some music while nursing. When baby sleeps, shower and then take time for you and your 2 yr old until baby wakes again. Or spend your time with the 2 yr old during the day while baby sleeps and shower at night when they are in bed.

Bethany - posted on 06/26/2012

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Oh, I really feel for ya. What a challenging time. *hug*

I would not be waking a baby for anything, ever. I remember expressing into the bathroom sink through the night if I was full, but my daughter slept on. My daughter also cluster fed, especially in the afternoon, but then slept for longer periods through the night which was great.

Their needs come and go and come and go. less one day/week, more the next. At 4 weeks, I'd be just feeding after he sleeps, then changing him and then watching for tired signs, then back to bed. I followed Tracey Hogg's Sleep/Eat/Activity routine from birth with mine 3.5 years ago, and will be doing the same with the next one in December.

The short 'awake' time after a feed and before the next sleep could be great for your 2 year old to get up close and personal, handing you things when you change him, and doing silly faces and dances for him. Baby's sleep time could be when you get to muck around with just the 2 year old, one on one, even just for a short time, he'd love it.

As for the 2 year old, perhaps have an activity space set up for them, for when you're feeding. A preschool tv channel won't kill her for a little while each time, Crayons and big bits of paper, that kind of thing? Things will change over time, with more time for one, and more time for both.

Melissa - posted on 06/24/2012

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Yes , this will improve, but with him getting enough at the breast as long as he is gaining it is not necessary to wake him at night to feed. Now that the consultant has improved his latch he may not need to eat as often. Come up with some activities that are special that your toddler only gets to do while you are nursing. I am also a lactation consultant.

Janice - posted on 06/19/2012

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It is normal and it will pass.
I must say that with my 1st she could go longer between feeds during the day 2.5-3.4 hours but didnt sleep well at night for a long time. My son is 6.5 months and he is a great sleeper but when he is awake he wants to eat every 2 hours or less. Every baby is different.

Delci - posted on 06/19/2012

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Try feeding on demand and not on a schedule. Try pumping if you feel full so someone else can bottle feed while you rest. Include your toddler while you nurse... story time maybe? Maybe turn on your toddler's favorite show and put baby in a bouncy seat in the bathroom with you while you shower? Like others are also saying, this too will pass. Good luck!

Saskia - posted on 06/19/2012

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Please get him tested for diabetes! If you already have one child who didn't do this, you have a baseline to compare him to. Yes, babies nurse a lot. I had one who wanted to nurse every single hour. And he does not have diabetes. But needing to drink all the time is a sign, and it's probably a good idea to get it ruled out.
Good luck :)

Rachel - posted on 06/18/2012

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First, have you tried a sling? He may just need that constant skin-to-skin contact. You can have him in the sling and have him latched to your breast while you do other things. Second, it could be reflux. Ask your doc. Third, it could be completely normal. Mine went through that for weeks/months but it didn't last forever. He self-weaned at 6 months. But every drop of breast milk you can give him is doing him good.

Alyssa - posted on 06/18/2012

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Yep, as said before, this is totally normal. Also, before & during a growth spurt (usually 3 wks, 6 wks, 3 mos, & 6 mos), baby will amp up his nursing to increase you're supply. My girls both start this weeks in advance, not just days. Baby's tummy is still tiny right now & can only hold so much mama milk, so he'll still need to nurse often. Also, some of it might just be for comfort. My experience (baby girl #2 is 5 mos) is that baby stays attached at the boob until about 6-9 mos. Nothing is as wonderful as the boob. It's the bee's knees, or so baby thinks. My eldest was also nursed, & she often plays with her toys or something while we nurse, but sometimes she likes to just come over & talk with me while baby sister nurses or watch & pet baby. Some carriers make it easier to nurse while doing other things. Maybe read a story with the older sibling while nursing or cuddle up together with something that can be done near the baby (a puzzle, maybe?). I try to involve my eldest as much as possible with the new baby, like getting me diapers, etc. It's not easy, but it can be done, & it will pass. If he's gaining weight & sleeping well, I wouldn't worry. Someone mentioned a pacifier, & if you're ok with them & baby will take it, use it! My kiddos use me as a pacifier, & the eldest refused to use a traditional paci. My new baby, tho, will use one occasionally, like in the car. Hang in there, Mama! You're doing great!

Ana - posted on 06/17/2012

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Wow, this littel guy can eat! Welp, I'm prego and have a 2yr old so I haven't had to split my time between the 2 yet, but if little guy is on the boob this much now, pumping may give you a break so that someone else can feed him and so that you could spend a lil time with your toddler. But if you can't even get in a good time to pump, you may consider formula and breast milk mixed..maybe a bottle at play time when you are with the other baby?...just thinking...

Sarah - posted on 06/16/2012

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I would agree with letting him sleep at night. He will wake if he is hungry. If he is sleeping let him sleep. My second would nurse about every hour around the clock until she was 2 months old. This was really hard and I too had a 3 yr old that needed me. My second was the first one I nursed, so there were a lot of unknowns. Does he nap or catnap between feeding at all? One thing I noticed with my third was that she would get fussy about an hour after she ate, but instead of nursing her (like I had done with my second) I would try to get her to fall asleep. She would then sleep for about an hour or two and then wake to eat. Her cry for hunger and tired was very simular. I am not sure how you feel on pacifires. If that is something you are ok with that might be another thing to try. Sometimes babies just need to suck, but are not hungry. I would not replace a feeding with a pacifire, but if baby has been just fed and is fussy I would try the pacifire and see if that helps (I would not suggest this if baby was not gaining weight).

Sharlene - posted on 06/16/2012

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Have you thought about a baby swing, that worked for all my children and you can probably have me time then lol.

Jennifer - posted on 06/16/2012

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It will pass. Eventually he will drink more at each feeding and feed less often. Until then, even though it is hard, sit back and enjoy this time, because it won't last long.

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