When do BF babies start feeding less often?

(21 Posts)
Ericadm Wed 19-Feb-14 06:31:16

My baby is almost 4 weeks old and I am BF him. he still feed every three hours day and night, with each feed lasting one hour or longer. How old do they start to feed less often? My first was bottle fed and at this age was only feeding every 4-5 hours.

Thisisfreakingmeout Wed 19-Feb-14 08:41:13

Just marking my place as I'd like to know too.

tiktok Wed 19-Feb-14 09:07:51

I am a bit older than 4 weeks, and I have something to eat or drink more often than every three hours smile smile Though I do go through the night without needing anything.....

Very few babies, breast or bottle fed, would thrive on feeding 4-5 hourly (ie 5 times in 24 hours) at four weeks, so your first baby was unusual.

3-hourly feeds are normal, and most babies of four weeks will feed more often and less predictably than this, for quite a while....she may continue to do this forever, and after all, we don't expect four and five year olds to go from breakast (at, say, 7.30) to lunch (at say, 12.30) without something in between.

What you may find is that the feeds take less than an hour as your baby gets older, and older babies do tend to become more efficient at getting what they need in a shorter time.

Hope this helps.

fish88 Wed 19-Feb-14 09:41:18

My LO has always gone for a longer stretch at night but during the day he fed every two hours and for an hour at time.

He is now 15wo and for the last couple of weeks he has started cutting down his feeds to half an hour but still feeds every 2 hours. So it could be a while before you see much change.

ems1910 Wed 19-Feb-14 09:46:56

My baby has always been every half hour to an hour at home, feeding for half an hour, sometimes both sides. Still the same now at 9 weeks but his feeds are now shorter. Trying to wean onto bottles but he's just too erratic lol

LimeLelloLizard Wed 19-Feb-14 09:50:05

I've bf four dc. I found they still need 7 breastfeeds a day (so every three hours with one long 6 hour stretch at night) until you start to wean them. From about 7 months I reckon 4 breastfeeds a day - first thing, mid morning, mid afternoon and before bed.

LimeLelloLizard Wed 19-Feb-14 09:51:40

BTW I never bf for more than 20 mins with dc 2, 3, and 4. There wasn't time. DC2 and 3 only took 10 mins anyway, DC4 I just unlatched and stuck the dummy in.

vichill Wed 19-Feb-14 10:00:24

my 8 mo feeds every 3 hours (inc nights) as well as 3 meals a day! at 4 weeks it was every 1.5 hours. she is a tank though.

Germanwife Wed 19-Feb-14 10:00:45

I'd say every 3 hours at 4 weeks is pretty good! My DS was feeding probably every hour at that age!

I think his feeds became noticeably more spaced out at 8 weeks. He is now 11 weeks and still feeds every 3 hours during the day. However, his feeds have become much shorter. He would often feed for up to 40 mins when he was 4 weeks but now the feeds seem to be around 15 mins only.

NickyEds Wed 19-Feb-14 10:07:28

My DS (8weeks) is mix fed and will very rarely go any longer than 3 hours day or night without either boob or bottle- don't really expect him to any time soon!

TheScience Wed 19-Feb-14 10:16:20

3 hourly at 4 weeks sounds good to me too. I think by 5 months DS had settled into about 2.5 hourly in the day and maybe 4 hourly at night. By 9 months he wasn't feeding at night (between about 8pm-5am) but still had maybe 5 feeds in the day - he still fed 4 hourly (eg. 4 feeds) when I stopped breastfeeding at 13 months.

LST Wed 19-Feb-14 10:18:48

My ff 4.5 wo rarely gets to three hours before downing another bottle.

TheScience Wed 19-Feb-14 10:20:14

Hour+ feeds do sound quite long to me though - has your latch been checked? If the baby falls asleep or comes off one side you can switch to the other, that sometimes perks them up a bit too. DS was a fairly slow feeder but was down to about 20 minutes by 3 months, except for the bedtime feed which still took 45 minutes+.

Booboostoo Wed 19-Feb-14 10:32:31

My DD was 18mo before she stopped feeding every 2-3 hours. By the, of course, she was eating a lot of solids but she needed those at the same intervals. I remember I had to take food with me everywhere as she would get very cranky if hungry. Even now (2.10) she eats quite often (breakfast, brunch, lunch, afternoon snack, dinner) with bfs first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

tiktok Wed 19-Feb-14 11:03:02

Hour-long feeds are normal at 4 weeks. It can easily take this long, by the time you factor in all the stop-start-stop-start-fuss-doze-wake up again-feed again that goes with newborn territory.

Hour-long feeds with a baby who always seems miserable and unsettled are not normal, and are an indication that something could be improved.

I'm so lucky dd has been an efficient feeder since birth and rarely feeds longer than ten minutes, but she still feeds every 3 hours (or more) during the day with a couple of longer stretches at night, she is 11 weeks on Friday. It's good to know this isn't likely to change anytime soon so I can be prepared for it.

Laquila Wed 19-Feb-14 12:28:28

My nearly-6-month-old feeds every 3 hrs, even overnight, with little. Sign of slowing down, but his feeds have shortened drastically - closer to 8-10 minutes now, as opposed to 40 minutes as a newborn and at least 20 minutes up to about 3 months. Honestly, he will get more efficient and quicker, and you won't be marooned on the sofa quite as much!

mrscog Wed 19-Feb-14 12:33:01

I would say DS fed for a 45mins -1 hour every two hours until he was about 16 weeks old, then jumped to 30 mins every 4 hours by about 18 weeks old.

I would say it's going spectacularly well!

HopefullA Wed 19-Feb-14 16:18:57

My 4 week old fed every 2 hours and it would take 45mins.
now she is 13weeks and ebf and feeds every 2/2.5 hrs in the day and thank god, sleeps through the night. However i give her a massive feed of expressed milk at 5.30 and then the boob at 6.30 and she is asleep from 7 til about 4/5.

Frequent nursing in the early weeks is important for establishing a good milk supply. Most newborns need to nurse 8 – 12+ times per day (24 hours). You CAN’T feed too often—you CAN feed too little. (Mastitis is common problem when you nurse too little or try to feed to a schedule)

Nurse at the first signs of hunger (stirring, rooting, hands in mouth)—don’t wait until baby is crying. Allow baby unlimited time at the breast when sucking actively, then offer the second breast.

The following things are normal:

Frequent and/or long feedings.
Varying nursing pattern from day to day.
Cluster feeding (very frequent to constant nursing) for several hours—usually evenings—each day. This may coincide with the normal “fussy time” that most babies have in the early months.
Growth spurts, where baby nurses more often than usual for several days and may act very fussy. Common growth spurt times in the early weeks are the first few days at home, 7 – 10 days, 2 – 3 weeks and 4 – 6 weeks.

Some mums worry about milk supply. As long as baby is gaining on mum’s milk alone, then milk supply is good. Between weight checks, a sufficient number of wet and dirty nappies indicates that baby is getting enough milk.

SqueakdeSqueak Wed 19-Feb-14 20:39:03

I think dd was about 4 months before I could get off the sofa hmm

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