How Often Should I Breastfeed My Baby?

mother breastfeeding her baby

Breastfeeding Q&A

1. How often should I breastfeed my newborn?

Newborns should feed at least eight times a day. Some babies may eat more than a dozen times a day, which is also fine. Each baby has a slightly different feeding pattern. Some babies eat little and often, while others eat more at one time or prefer to eat at night.

A rough overview of these frequencies and feedings can help you understand your baby’s natural patterns. On some days, as your baby is growing rapidly, they may spit or dribble and still ask for more milk. This usually settles naturally after some time.

2. What is the fast-growing period?

The fast-growing period is a short period of time when your baby is growing at a rapid rate. During this time, your baby will have a strong appetite and they may be more irritable. The rapid growth phase usually occurs at around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, and 3 months after birth. At this point, the baby will want to be more attached to the primary caregiver. Don't worry too much and keep in mind that this period will pass naturally.

3. It seems that the baby is not able to latch on well.

It is recommended to feed the baby before they start crying. This is because when they start crying, they go into a state of excitement, meaning that your baby might refuse food until you can calm them down. Calm the child by putting a clean finger in their mouth and letting them suck it for about a minute. Another way is to change your breastfeeding position. Are your breasts hard because of too much milk? In this case, the baby might not be able to suckle well, even though you have plenty of milk. After first expressing a little by hand, then help your child feed.

4. I don't know when my child is hungry.

Each baby is a little different, but in common they send the following signals. If your baby is too hungry, they will cry and will not be able to feed properly. In that case, soothe the crying, calm them down, and help them to suckle.

baby looking at the camera

 The signals of hunger include:

- Moving their lips as if sucking something.
- Bringing their hand to their mouth or face.
- Your child might suck their fist or finger.
- Opening their mouth and turning their head left and right.
- Trying to move towards the mother's breast.

5. Your nipple hurts every time your baby latches on.

Your feeding position may be wrong. Help your child bite the nipple as deep into their mouth as possible. The baby’s chin and lower lip should touch the chest first. It’s also a good idea to gently pull the baby’s shoulder toward the mother’s chest when the baby is breastfeeding. It is also a way to change the feeding position in various ways to experiment with what is comfortable for you and your baby.

 


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