? from mother of 5 day old — The Bump

? from mother of 5 day old

This is our first baby and thus my first experience with BFing.  My son goes through phases.  He will go about 2 hours between nursing and  then when he nurses he will be on for about 20 minutes.  Then he will go through spurts where he  wants to nurse every 30-45 min and is only on for 6 minutes.  It's only 2:45 and he has already eaten about 13 times today.  It makes for really long nights.  Is this normal?  Do I just have to wait it out or is there anything I can do to make the feedings longer?  He does fall asleep and I try to wake him but sometimes he just doesn't want to wake up.  Any suggestions are appreciated.
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Re: ? from mother of 5 day old

  • mopsiemopsie member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments Photogenic

    After he finishes a 6 minute session, can you wait a few minutes and see if he'll go back on?  It's possible that since the sessions are so short, he's not getting any nutrition out of it, so he's always hungry.

    I had to learn to let my DD take a little break at the end of a nursing session, and it turns out she's still hungry even after she comes off the nipple.


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  • My son is 6 days old and does the same thing! It does make for long nights!
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  • I was reading on kellymom.com that sometimes it's not about being hungry but more about comfort.  Since they've been inside us for 9 months, it's the closest to "home" they can get.  DS will nurse for 35-45 minutes and I will burp him and then he starts the rooting thing looking for food, so I've been trying to just cuddle him close until he stops because I know he's not hungry still, it's more about comfort. 
  • As for trying to keep LO awake to nurse, I used to rub Drew's arms and legs, slowly turn him back and forth, rub his face, etc before we started.  Then when I switched breasts I would change his diaper.  Man did that wake him up!  As he got older I didn't have to do so much to keep him awake - that comes with time.

    Keeping them awake long enough to get a good feeding should help a little bit, but really there's not much you can do if they want to eat again.  Their tummies are so tiny and they are still learning to nurse - that combination means they may need to eat often.  I know it's killer, I've been there!  But for now it really is best to nurse as often as LO wants for as long as they want.  It'll help get your supply going while giving LO (and you) lots of practice.

    Hang in there!  It will get better!

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  • Very normal ;-)  Babies should always be nursed on demand so you are doing the right thing by following his cues.  Right now he is working on establishing your milk supply - the more he is on the breast, the better!  And it really won't be this way for long - promise!

    You can encourage him to nurse longer when he only goes a few minutes - newborns are sleepy critters and nursing is sleep inducing - try tickling his feet, blowing on his check, stripping him to his diaper, burping him, etc. to get him to go longer.  The longer he nurses, the more fat rich hindmilk he will get - and that's good!

    But do also be prepared for him to want to nurse just for comfort - again, this is good because it will build your supply.

    Try not to worry about anything right now but hanging out with your new baby - congrats!

  • Thank you everyone for your responses.  Makes me feel better and not so overwhelmed.
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