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Number and length of feeds at 8 weeks

(14 Posts)
clarkland Sun 29-May-11 21:33:08

I was just wondering on avaerage how many feeds an 8wo should be having and how long they are feeding for? My little one seems to sometimes be on the boob for just 5 minutes sometimes is this too short?

kimberlina Sun 29-May-11 22:48:56

I think my baby was feeding about 8 times per day at that age. Some babies are really efficient and can get plenty milk in 5 mins. The usual advice that if they are growing fine, producing plenty wet nappies and are alert when awake then you are probably doing fine

BooyHoo Sun 29-May-11 22:52:08

TBH i really coudln't give you an accurate answer. some babies feed lots and some not so much. some for long periods and some jsut five minutes. 8 weeks is still classic growth spurt stage so it can vary alot from baby to baby. as kimberlina says, if your baby is content and producing lots of wet nappies then you are probably doing well. at 8 weeks old i was still very much demand feeding so every time he wanted it, i fed him, whether it was 2 hours or 30 minutes since the last feed. i didn't watch the clock or count how many feeds in the last 24 hours etc. if he wanted it he got it.

lilham Mon 30-May-11 02:40:02

Clarkland, mine is doing around 5-7 min per feed, and goes between 2-6 hours between feeds. I feed on demand as well so there isn't much of a pattern on how many feeds she gets.

Wabbit Mon 30-May-11 02:59:27


How can I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?
This may be the most asked question for La Leche League Leaders. It is understandable, since breasts are neither see-through nor marked off in ounces. Thank goodness there are other signs that indicate baby is getting enough milk.

Typically during the first few days, while the baby is receiving mother's thick, immunity-boosting colostrum, he will wet only one or two diapers per day.

Once mother's milk comes in, usually on the third or fourth day, the baby should begin to have 6-8 wet cloth diapers (5-6 wet disposable diapers) per day. (An easy way to feel the weight of a wet disposable diaper is to pour 2-4 tablespoons of water in a dry diaper.)

In addition, most young babies will have at least two to five bowel movements every 24 hours for the first several months, although some babies will switch to less frequent but large bowel movements at about 6 weeks.

A baby that is sleeping rather than feeding every 2-3 hours or is generally lethargic may need to be assessed by a health care provider to make sure that he is adequately hydrated.

These are additional important signs that indicate your baby is receiving enough milk:

The baby nurses frequently averaging at least 8-12 feedings per 24-hour period.
The baby is allowed to determine the length of the feeding, which may be 10 to 20 minutes per breast or longer.
Baby's swallowing sounds are audible as he is breastfeeding.
The baby should gain at least 4-7 ounces per week after the fourth day of life.
The baby will be alert and active, appear healthy, have good color, firm skin, and will be growing in length and head circumference.
The physical act of breastfeeding is more than the quantity of milk that is supplied, as you will find once you hold your baby in your arms. Breastfeeding is warmth, nutrition, and mother's love all rolled into one. Understanding and appreciating the signs of knowing when your baby is getting enough to eat is the one of the most important things a new mother can learn. If you have any concerns regarding your baby, they should be addressed with your health care practitioner.

MrsTerryPratchett Mon 30-May-11 04:27:04

Clarkland I worried that DD wasn't getting enough in the five minutes she feeds (on average). She has grown well and is doing fantastically. She is an efficient feeder and I seem to have a strong let-down. As others have said, just see if your LO pees, poos and grows grin

PenguinArmy Mon 30-May-11 04:29:48

After 6 weeks DD was a 5 minute feeder but decided she would like to feed 2 hourly.

Hopefully Mon 30-May-11 09:10:15


8-12 feedings!? DS2 does more like 18. And they are most definitely not 5 mins each.

I'll be rocking in the corner (with my boobs out) if you need me... grin

clarkland Mon 30-May-11 11:16:14

Thanks for your responses my little man is probably feeding about 8-9 times a day (in 24 hrs) he has one formula feed last thing at night so that Dad can get involved. He seems to be doing fine and is mostly content after feeds, still demand feeding but trying to get to 3 hours between feeds. He's just found his fingers/thumb so getting a few mixed messages in terms of hunger/tiredness as he is definitely sucking hands for comfort not just hunger (any ideas on how I can get better at interpreting the difference). I find it all a bit confusing when sometimes he does want to feed after an hour and others he might just be tired. As crying is a late sign of hunger I don't want him to get to that but also know that he likes a cry before he drops of for naps!! Arrrgh sooooo confused! How does your body continue to make the right amount of milk when his feeding patterns seem to change daily at the moment? Worried it'll all disappear or should I just have faith in my body? Also I was told that night feeds were the most important in encouraging milk production. What happens as he begins to feed less over night (shorter and less frequent) does this effect milk supply?

kimberlina Mon 30-May-11 12:55:07

DD also sucks fingers for comfort - I usually find with her that sucking fingers is a sleepy sign not a hungry sign - but 'if in doubt whip them out' always works well. If he's hungry he'll nurse if not he'll sleep. I think if he cries in hunger occasionally then that is not a disastor so be a bit easier on yourself! (I know it's hard!!!)

You sound v like me at that stage - but honestly have faith in your body. If it can grow a whole baby it can easily provide the milk to feed him! Most milk is made as he feeds I believe so even irregular patterns are ok for production.

I think that night feeds are vvv important in first 2 weeks for 'ordering in' milk so by 8 weeks I wouldn't worry so much if he feeds less. Your body will be happily making enough milk each 24 hrs by now.

Hope that helps

PenguinArmy Mon 30-May-11 18:14:16

If you're worried about the night feeds (or lack of) maybe move the FF feed to first thing in the morning and give you a lie in.

lilham Mon 30-May-11 19:38:33

When my daughter is overtired she has an unfocussed stare, with eyes looking like they are propped open. She also swing her arms and legs wildly and jerkily. It looks different from her hungry look.

RitaMorgan Mon 30-May-11 19:57:03

I fed ds regardless of whether he was hungry or tired - if he's hungry then all good, if he's tired then it puts him to sleep, so it's a win-win. Have faith in your body, offer a boob at every grumble and you can't go far wrong.

You can feed too little, but you can never feed too often so I wouldn't worry about interpreting hunger cues as opposed to tired/bored/irritated cues.

My ds never went 3 hours in the day until he was on solids too, but for a while he slept 8 hours at night (didn't last long though!) and that had no effect on my supply.

Albrecht Tue 31-May-11 10:05:15

Don't worry about feeding him if its for comfort as the world is still pretty new and confusing, sometimes he just wants to be close to you as you are the thing he knows best.

If you are concerned about your supply you could replace formula feed with expressed milk, although this still isn't as much stimulation as the baby feeding direct. But your supply should be established by now so I wouldn't worry too much. You could consider it if there are any concerns about weight gain.

We found there were lots of ways for dh to get involved aside from giving a bottle (bottle refuser here) - chatting, making faces, looking in the mirror, dangling toys, having a bath, going for a walk etc.

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