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How many times?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
My husband was noticing how big our nine week old is and he asked me how many times I nurse. I told him I have no idea. So today I started counting. Since midnight last night to now (9am) there has been seven nursings. Some may say that is too much they should only nurse every 2-3 hours at this age but what about for comfort? Most countries outside of the US wear their babies and their babies don't cry because they get to nurse when ever they want. My daughter was an on demand bf, yeah she was big for a long time but started to thin out once she started more solids. I know at our doctors appointment I will probably get a bit of a talking to about his weight, like I did with my daughter. Oh well. What are your thoughts? Do you make baby stay on a strict 2-3 hour schedule or do you nurse on demand?
post #2 of 33
Im a ftm and my dd is 8 weeks old. I nurse on demand however i
post #3 of 33
Did reluctantly introduce a pacifier about 2 weeks ago primarily because she screams bloody murder in the carseat and i thought it might help. Shes definitely a higher needs baby always wantimg to be held, walked, and nursed, however i noticed from about 4 weeks on that if she tried to comfort nurse and got milk when she didnt want it shed pull off and cry. So now when that happens i offer her the pacifier for a mins before i try again. I had serious oversupply issues and i havent seen any effect on supply. Its difficult to say how often i nurse because during the day it can be anywhere from 1 to 3 hours between feeds and overnight we usually get one 4 or 5 hour stretch in.
post #4 of 33
What is your pattern like the rest of the day? My baby peaks in needing comfort nursing in the early morning hours and just suckles continuously while I sleep, heh. I have supply issues though, so she's not overeating from this.
post #5 of 33

Of course I nurse when he's hungry. They are supposed to get big fast that first 6 months, at least mine all are maybe some have DNA to say otherwise. I'm of the opinion with good balanced food and no psychological issues it's near impossible to overeat, and breastmilk for a little one is the 100% perfect food. Sometimes it's every hour, sometimes he'll go 3 or more. Only the baby knows when he's hungry or not, or needing to suckle. Well, that and the chest aching I get if he goes too long without. Scheduling comes with a risk of milk supply loss and failure to thrive.

post #6 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cynthiamoon View Post

What is your pattern like the rest of the day?.

He seems to cluster nurse when we first get up in the morning and the comfort nurse around 4pm to 6:30pm. Afternoons vary 2 hours maybe?
post #7 of 33
Thread Starter 
I
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamieCatheryn View Post

Of course I nurse when he's hungry. They are supposed to get big fast that first 6 months, at least mine all are maybe some have DNA to say otherwise. I'm of the opinion with good balanced food and no psychological issues it's near impossible to overeat, and breastmilk for a little one is the 100% perfect food. Sometimes it's every hour, sometimes he'll go 3 or more. Only the baby knows when he's hungry or not, or needing to suckle. Well, that and the chest aching I get if he goes too long without. Scheduling comes with a risk of milk supply loss and failure to thrive.
I agree with you completely. It's curious to me why some healthcare providers still see just the numbers, ie weight and growth percent charts. My daughter was 98% height and 99% weight as a baby and it was suggested that I didn't have to nurse her just because she cried. But that is all she wanted.
post #8 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemylab View Post
 It's curious to me why some healthcare providers still see just the numbers, ie weight and growth percent charts. My daughter was 98% height and 99% weight as a baby and it was suggested that I didn't have to nurse her just because she cried. But that is all she wanted.

 

When my first was high on the charts nobody said a thing to me about it, maybe a sense of "good job fattening him up" if anything. He's avg now or maybe a little dense in muscle, my second was big then slowed way down and now he's tiny, my third is a big baby too, no telling how he will turn out. We stopped well baby/ well child visits a long time ago so only I track their growth, no need for a fuss about it.

post #9 of 33
Yes. I would say congratulations to you on the good work! Flu and cold season is coming and you never know...best to go into fall and winter with a nice fat baby. My daughter was similarly enthusiastic and chubby and while she has remained very tall (off the charts), she has thinned out quite a bit. I wouldn't worry.
post #10 of 33

I always nursed on cue. The "every 2-3 hours" is at least every 2-3 hours.

post #11 of 33
I remember reading that nursing babies put on brown fat which is completely different from average fat and is ideal for storing extra energy for growth. BF babies ideally double birthweight by 3-4 months and triple around their first birthday. Starting around 5-6 months, most babies become very distractible at the breast and often slow way down on the gaining. Also, many babies become mobile between 6-9 months (whether that's crawling, cruising furniture or walking while holding hands) and burn up a lot of energy. The brown fat they laid down in early infancy is the perfect fuel for these stages. My DD1 was always a very chunky baby (4 chins, rolls upon rolls, etc) and once she started walking, she really thinned out and sprouted up. She's still big now at 2.5 but tall too and in perfect proportion. That's the beauty of exclusively breast feeding a young baby: it's foolproof (provided you have a healthy supply). Baby will take exactly what's needed; no more and no less.
post #12 of 33
Two to Four times an hour is not uncommon. You may like the following article:

http://www.parentingscience.com/infant-feeding-schedule.html

Quote There is probably no single, “right” answer to this question. But the practices of contemporary hunter-gatherers—-whose life-ways are probably most similar to those of our ancestors—-are strikingly different from those of industrial Westerners.

Among the !Kung San of South Africa, the traditional pattern is for babies to be fed about 4 times an hour. Feeding bouts are brief, lasting only 2 minutes or so (Konner 2006). And nursing continues—on demand—throughout the night. The !Kung might represent the extreme end of feeding frequency, but other hunter-gatherer groups—from South America to the Philippines—follow a similar pattern, nursing at least twice an hour (Konner 2006).

And it’s not just hunter-gatherers. In a recent, cross-cultural survey sampling 48 non-industrial societies—-including nomadic pastoralists and settled agricultural peoples—-demand feeding was the rule in every society for which information about the infant feeding schedule was available (25 out of 25; Severn Nelson et al 2000).

It seems likely that frequent, infant-initiated nursing has been the normal human pattern for over 99% of human history.
end quote
Edited by Asiago - 8/21/13 at 4:53am
post #13 of 33
The 2-3 hour thing should be taken as at least 2-3 hours (when they are little, they can space out more as they get older, not that all babies/toddlers will if you don't intervene though). If it is working for you, it's fine and I would guess some of that nursing is more/all for comfort than food which is also fine if it works for you. My first DD would probably have nursed 24 hours a day if I would let her, I never knew what to say to the doc when they asked how much she nursed because the answer was constantly, my twins are much more laid back and I end up nursing them every 1.5-4 (sometimes even a 5 hour stretch at night!) hours depending on the time of day and if they are having a growth spurt.
post #14 of 33

All of my three have gone through phases where they nursed every half hour during certain times of day.  In the first three months or so, my third nursed every 30-50 minutes around the clock most days.  Your baby's feeding pattern sounds completely normal to me.

 

I'm concerned about the tone of your question and especially your husband's question....babies are supposed to be chubby, especially in the first six months, and certainly they are supposed to get bigger because that's how they turn into adults!  Babies need to store up extra pudge for the growing and moving they do.  It's normal for children to fatten up a bit before growth spurts.  It's totally inappropriate to be using "diet talk" or "fat talk" about infants-- they can't get "too big", especially exclusively BF babies, and your doctor should absolutely not be insinuating that.

 

Of course, what matters is that baby is growing and meeting milestones, and that nursing doesn't hurt you.  It's VERY unlikely that a breastfed child can habitually "overeat", although sometimes if they are very upset and mom has a strong letdown they can overfill, in which case you'll know it because baby will spit up-- this is very rare and has never happened to me in eight years of nursing, but I have friends who have experienced it.  Remember that unlike bottle feeding, breast feeding is often more about the breast than the food-- small babies use the skin-to-skin time to bond with you, to be comforted by your familiar scent, to let your body take on some of the work of regulating their body's temperature, to memorize your face, to spend quiet time examining the details of their environment, to calm their bodies and minds, etc.  And of course, breastmilk is more than food itself, it's an inoculation against disease, it's their only source of hydration, it's a stem cell transplant, it's a laxative, it's a blood sugar regulator...

 

I would never deny an infant's need to nurse.  By the time nurslings approach 2 years old, they certainly can manipulate you and they should be learning to be patient for a time when you're free to nurse them, but with a baby, especially a young baby, you have no idea what's going on in their body or mind that might be motivating them to demand nursing, so you have to trust.  I often find that just when I'm starting to wish I could cut down on an infant's nursing sessions, I notice that they're getting sick or entering a growth spurt, which explains their need to nurse more often.  If I had them on a schedule, I would be teaching them that what their body tells them is irrelevant, and potentially endangering their health.

post #15 of 33
Nine weeks old? My son nursed every 45 minutes at that age, around the clock. Normal!

As a breastfed child, your baby may gain weight very quickly for the first 6-8 months and then level off.
post #16 of 33
Yes, nursing on demand is ok! My opinion is that as long as baby is happy, all is right with the world! If nursing, snuggling, closeness makes baby happy, then it's working!
post #17 of 33
I absolutely nurse on demand/cue and not according to a schedule. A baby is a living biological system (well, and a person with feelings, obviously), but as such- each one is unique and has needs that vary according to their own complex make-up. Also, their mother's unique biological make-up producing the milk. A schedule is for trains and airplanes and machines that run exactly the same and out of steel and gears. The wisdom of our bodies is ancient, even if baby is new. Listening to our bodies, whether mama or baby, is the safest bet.
post #18 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissAnthrope View Post

I'm concerned about the tone of your question and especially your husband's question....babies are supposed to be chubby, especially in the first six months, and certainly they are supposed to get bigger because that's how they turn into adults!  Babies need to store up extra pudge for the growing and moving they do.  It's normal for children to fatten up a bit before growth spurts.  It's totally inappropriate to be using "diet talk" or "fat talk" about infants-- they can't get "too big", especially exclusively BF babies, and your doctor should absolutely not be insinuating that.

Ha, no there has been no talk of dieting or limiting nursing. I am not concerned about his size. Mostly I wanted to hear what other people are doing. There are lots of books out there that tell parents to get their babies on a schedule and no on demand feedings. A friend of mine has a young infant and she is strict about his nursings. There is no comfort nursing for that baby.
post #19 of 33
Both my babies were/are fed on demand. They were both chunky monkeys until they started crawling/walking. My second babe was way above the 99th percentile line until 9mo.

The only comments I have had is that it is great for babies to have "some reserves" in case they get sick.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovemylab View Post


Ha, no there has been no talk of dieting or limiting nursing. I am not concerned about his size. Mostly I wanted to hear what other people are doing. There are lots of books out there that tell parents to get their babies on a schedule and no on demand feedings. A friend of mine has a young infant and she is strict about his nursings. There is no comfort nursing for that baby.

 

So sad...that baby likely won't make it to the first bday and then the mother will tell a story about how her db weaned itself at 9 mos.  Sigh...

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