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Nursing question: How long and how often should my newborn nurse?

He is nursing every hour to every 3 hours. How do I know if he is getting enough? He usually nurses about 10 mins and falls asleep again. Is this a normal pattern? He is 4 days old.

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Asked by nakoal87 at 4:49 PM on Jul. 12, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 9 (273 Credits)
Answers (16)
  • you should be looking at his output.... look for 5-6 or more wet diapers a day

    Answer by peanutsmommy1 at 4:51 PM on Jul. 12, 2010

  • Try not let him fall asleep to allow him nurse (because he is a newborn) for 30 minutes 15 on each side if possible, Tickle his feet or something. I am reading a very good book on nursing a newborn every 21/2 to 3 hours and keeping them up during the day as much as possible but still getting enough napthat he is resting. 3 hours is great btw

    Book is

    Babywise by Gary Ezzo

    Answer by UAFwife at 4:52 PM on Jul. 12, 2010

  • when i nursed my son as a baby he fed for 20mins-10mins each side. he fed every 3hrs sometimes more. it depends if he is a hungry baby. every baby is different. if u are concerned in any way u should contact ur local health clinic/nurse

    Answer by shell394 at 4:53 PM on Jul. 12, 2010

  • that sounds pretty normal to me. i would just feed on demand. and 5-6 or more wet diapers a day of course is a good sign.

    Answer by jennifer588 at 4:53 PM on Jul. 12, 2010

  • Sounds pretty normal forhis age. As peanutsmommy said to know if he is getting enough milk see how often he is using the restroom.

    Answer by mrsbean08 at 4:53 PM on Jul. 12, 2010

  • I used to change the diaper in the middle of a feeding if he fell asleep after nursing on only one side. It woke him back up and I could then have him nurse on the other side. He started out nursing every two hours and then the spacing got longer and longer. Best wishes.

    Answer by elizabr at 5:04 PM on Jul. 12, 2010

  • I nursed successfully 3 little ones and i'm a mother of 5. First, relax! Nursing can be a wonderful bonding experience for most moms. Second, I learned to discover each of my babies, each were different in the way they learn to nurse, the way they nap and even how easy or tough became the weaning process. I personally nursed as often as they wanted, no restrictions here. If I noticed that the baby was totally asleep, after more than 15 minutes on each side or more ( but i did not watch the clock), i would unlatch carefully and take the baby to her/his crib. It helps to consult other moms but a lactation consultant from LaLeche or other organizations or your OB or local hospital services can be of a great help! your baby is so new, give him time to develop his routine. Observe his weight gaining and wet diapers. The first days is suggested to nurse as often as possible to increase your milk flow but the little you give

    Answer by roxipoet at 5:04 PM on Jul. 12, 2010

  • all the baby needs! Avoid giving the baby formula if you really want to provide him with breast milk, which will give your baby the nutrition he needs. Eat healghy food, drink lots of water and take good vitamins. Some nursed babies do not poop every day, some even do it every 4 days or so! ( my 2 cents because I was scared with when i discovered this!) Enjoy your little ones and big congrats!

    Answer by roxipoet at 5:08 PM on Jul. 12, 2010

  • Expect to have him at the breast 10-14 times in 24 hours in these first couple of weeks. Short frequent feedings are fine. The best way to make sure he gets enough is to keep him on you as much as possible. You get into bed with him, take off your shirt, have him in only a diaper and let him lay on your chest. This will encourage frequent feedings and you won't miss any of his signs that he is ready to feed. You get to rest and really get to know your new baby!
    With careful observation you will quickly learn to read his cues and he will tell you how frequently he needs to nurse, how long to nurse on each side and when to switch sides (watch for him to signal he is ready to switch, don't switch after a certain time).

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 5:28 PM on Jul. 12, 2010

  • I really disagree with this advice "Try not let him fall asleep to allow him nurse (because he is a newborn) for 30 minutes 15 on each side if possible" 10 minutes is fine as long as you are letting him nurse again when he shows interest, sometimes just 10 minutes later.

    Babywise by Gary Ezzo is well known for giving bad breastfeeding information. It focuses more on you setting a schedule for your child then you following your child's lead. Members of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the highly respected body of primary care pediatricians, have found a great deal wrong. In fact, in April 1998, after receiving a letter signed by a hundred doctors, lactation specialists, and childcare professionals exposing a number of Ezzo's statements as unsubstantiated and false, the AAP issued a Media Alert. In it, the AAP directly contradicted Ezzo's advice on scheduled feedings, and instead advised parents to feed on demand

    Answer by maggiemom2000 at 5:33 PM on Jul. 12, 2010

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