Frequency and Duration of Feedings
Guidelines and Technical Pointers
Most babies need and naturally request at least 8 to 12 feedings in a 24-hr period.
Approximately every 1-3 hours with one 4 to 5 hours stretch (hopefully at night).
May cluster feed- your baby may want several feedings in a row. It is important to feed your baby when he requests or shows signs of hunger. Each cluster feed counts toward the 8 to 12 in a 24-hour period.
Nurse until baby shows signs of being full.
Sucks less vigorously.
Breast will feel less full.
It is important to listen for nutritive sucking.
First three days may be difficult to hear swallowing. If heard, it sounds like a soft, “Ca-Ca” or a soft expiration.
After larger volume milk arrives, you will hear definite suck-to-swallow ratio changes.
In the early sleepy days, baby tends not to request feedings often enough.
Notice the hunger cues.
Wake the baby 2 ½ hours from the beginning of the last feeding.
Keep baby interested and awake.
You may want to massage and compress your breast during a feeding to increase milk flow to the baby. This will gently “remind” him to continue sucking.
If your baby continues to be sleepy, then ask for assistance from your lactation consultant.