Some kids just really feel the need to nurse a lot. My daughter came out ready to eat...nursing within minutes literally and would nurse 45 minutes an hour all through the night during her first few months and continued to nurse every two hours or less until she was at least 2. My second child was much less urgent to feed and was able to settle without milk if he didn't get it right away and ask again later. Neither kid ended up eating much food until 18 months old or more, and refused pacifiers.
Lying down to feed and lowering my expectations (of what to get done) drastically and just going with the flow allowed me to enjoy the extra rest and/ or reading time much longer than those who just couldn't handle feeding "all" the time.
adding my .02. my dd who is about to turn (!!!) 13 years old this month nursed just like your baby and I remember it like it was yesterday, partly because it was so hard for me.
here's two things i wish someone had said to me then:
1) follow your own instincts (the voice in your head that comes from your own heart-center and sounds like YOU, not your well-meaning mom, MIL, husband, sister, grandma, or lady on the street)
2) everything with babies passes, everything is "just a phase." the first 12 weeks of nursing can be challenging, but it absolutely gets much much better. some of my most joyful mothering memories are of nursing my sweet ones (even when I was so sleep deprived I felt like a zombie). so HANG IN THERE!!!
Like the other posters, I have both fond and exhausted memories of our daughter's nursing constantly during her first weeks of life. (She is now an active 10-month-old who still loves to nurse.) She used to have four-hour nursing sessions we called the Suckle-Fest, and we called her Chupamama and the Suckubus. Initially I'd nurse her with a bolster in bed, with pillows to either side, and I know I was in and out of sleep half the time--I was relieved when she learned how to nurse side-lying. (That wasn't easy at first for us because my breasts were so huge compared to her little head, and I had to stay awake to make sure she was positioned properly.)
Now that I've had the experience of newborn nursing, I remind my pregnant patients that the guideline of nursing every two to three hours is a maximum time most babies can go without nursing (except for perhaps one four-hour block at night--and I know there are sleepier babies who regularly rest for long periods in between nursing, but my little one certainly wasn't one of those), not the typical nursing interval, especially in the beginning.
I hope all is going well for you and your normal, healthy new guy!
Naturopathic physician, licensed acupuncturist, writer, avid commuting cyclist and community-theater performer; joyful mother of Kathryn (adopted summer 2011) and Luthien (born 11.30.12), and guardian of seven feline ascended masters!
My baby essentially did the same thing as a newborn. I realized she wasn't "nursing" so much as she wanted to be latched and suckling. Many babies will take a pacifier as a trade off but mine did not. He will probably start nursing less as he is able to stay fuller longer when he grows bigger. Also, a lot of people will say pain when latching is a sign that he is not latched properly, but I think nipples also need some time to get used to so much nursing. I was sore in the first few weeks and then adjusted to everything and haven't had soreness since. Hang in there!
Excited, anxious and proud to be pregnant for the first time! My partner and I can't wait to meet the little boy sometime around Sept 20th.
@lilmamita congrats on your baby! Yes this is normal, it also part of a positive feedback loop to bring in more milk. Pretty soon you'll have so much that the little one might only feed for 10- 15 tops and you'll have to figure out what to do with the excess. I'm not sure what your belief system is regarding pacifiers but the three hour nursing sessions wore me DOWN so I was open to idea and it's been working well for me. You might want to put the LO down as soon as he's drowsy and in his crib. Be sure to set the mood for sleep- dim lights. Many babies may not understand the cue but nursing in dimmed light will disperse the hormone melatonin in the body which is an important component for snoozing. If you're against pacifiers, swaddle him, nurse him and when you see his eyes closing put him down. If he starts to freak out put your finger in his mouth and let him suck for a few minutes before drifting off. You NEED sleep mama. Don't be afraid to take a break, his stomach is only so big, he's mostly nursing for comfort. Good luck girl!
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