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How Much and How Often to Breastfeed

By Teddyy 8 May 2023
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Breastfeed Your Newborn – A Complete Guide

One of the most common questions new parents have is, “How many times to breastfeed a newborn?”

To add to the confusion, babies require different amounts of food depending on their body weight, appetite, and age! Experts say, instead of sticking to a strict newborn breastfeeding schedule, just let your little one’s hunger and fullness cues guide their feedings. Read on to learn more about how often to breastfeed your newborn.

Feed on Demand

How often should a newborn breastfeed? Instead of sticking to an uptight once-every-three-hour breastfeeding frequency, it’s recommended to be flexible and feed your little one whenever they show any hunger cues. This is called ‘demand feeding’ or ‘feeding on demand’. Feeding them on demand also helps your milk supply to adjust to your baby’s growth and needs.

Look Out for Hunger Cues

So, what are these hunger cues? Since your baby can’t actually say “I’m hungry,” they will let you know that they’re ready to eat through these cues:

  1. Leaning towards your chest while being held, or towards a bottle.
  2. Sucking on their hands or finger.
  3. Puckering their lips, licking their lips, sticking out their tongue, opening their mouth.
  4. Pulling up their legs and squirming around.

Your baby may show some or all these hunger cues. You may have trouble identifying them at first, but as the days go on, you’ll get the hang of it.

Stop with The Fullness Cues

Your baby will show the following signs to let you know that they’re satisfied:

  1. Falling asleep during feeding.
  2. Stopping on their own and turning away from the breast or bottle.

Continue to breastfeed until you notice these signs. This way, you can also make sure that your baby is getting enough breastmilk at each feeding.

Wake Your Sleepy Newborn

Newborns feed as often as every 1 to 3 hours. But if you have a sleepy newborn, wake them up if it’s been more than 3 hours since the beginning of the last feeding. Do your best to keep your sleepyhead awake and interested while you’re nursing.

Feed More During Growth Spurts

You may notice that your baby sometimes wants to breastfeed all the time or demand larger amount than normal. This usually happens when your child is going through a growth spurt. A growth spurt usually lasts about 1 to 2 days, and might happen around these ages:

  1. 7 to 14 days (about 2 weeks)
  2. 3 to 6 weeks (about 1 and a half months)
  3. 4 months
  4. 6 months

Don’t worry about running out of breast milk. Nursing your baby more frequently stimulates your body to produce more milk, so it’s important to keep feeding your baby until they’re satisfied.

Try to alternate breasts and give each one the same amount of nursing time each day. This helps keep up the right amount of milk supply in both breasts and prevents any painful breast engorgements. If you’re worried your baby is not getting enough milk, contact your doctor and they can find out if your baby is getting enough nutrition and gaining weight.

Another good indicator that your baby is getting enough breastmilk is their diaper count. Here’s what to expect according to their age:

  1. 1 day: 0 to 2 wet diapers
  2. 2 days: 2 to 4 wet diapers
  3. 3-5 days: 3 to 5 wet diapers
  4. 6 days and on: 6 to 8 wet diapers everyday

Have your newborn wear Teddyy Diapers, arguably the best diaper for newborns in India. Teddyy Diapers are the first diapers in India to feature a naval protection design to help your newborn’s navel heal. If you have any more questions, we are always here to help!

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FAQS

How many times a day should a baby be nurse?

In general, a breastfed baby should nurse at least 8 to 12 times per day, or every 1-3 hours during the first few weeks of life. As the baby grows and becomes more efficient at nursing, the frequency may decrease.

How often should you breastfeed and how long?

The frequency and duration of breastfeeding can vary depending on the baby’s weight, age, and hunger cues. In general, newborns may need to nurse every 2-3 hours, and each feeding session may last 10-45 minutes. As the baby grows, the frequency and duration of feeding may change.

How do you know if your breast is empty?

Signs that a breast is empty after feeding may include softer breast tissue, the baby releasing the breast on their own, and less frequent swallowing or sucking by the baby. However, it’s not always easy to know if a breast is completely empty, and some babies may continue to nurse even if there is little milk remaining.

 

Should I wake my newborn to feed at night?

In general, newborns need to feed frequently, even at night, to ensure they are getting enough nourishment. It’s important to monitor the baby’s weight gain and wet and dirty diaper output to ensure they are getting enough milk. A healthcare provider can offer guidance on feeding and caring for a newborn. It’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor for guidance on feeding and caring for a newborn.

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