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5 month old baby only breastfeeds for a few minutes at a time in the day - am worried about my supply.

(18 Posts)
OovoofWelcome Wed 01-Feb-12 20:29:22

My 5 month old DS will only feed for a few minutes each time I offer him the breast in the day, between 1 min and 10 mins per feed, usually around 3 minutes.

Surely this is not enough! I have tried making him wait three and a half hours between feeds - he still only has a short feed, the incorrigible little beauty grin

So, I continue to offer him a feed quite often, just to try to ensure that he gets enough calories in the day (which he probably doesn't - he makes up for it at night though, wakes 4 or 5 times).

I feel that this must be reducing my daytime supply, which won't help him sleep through any time soon.....Ultimately he needs to be getting his milk in the day.

Perhaps he's just a REALLY efficient feeder?!

I am considering giving him a morning bottle of formula, to see if it helps him, but am aware that will affect my supply for sure... sad

Has anyone experienced this or got any advice?


33goingon64 Wed 01-Feb-12 20:34:42

I am not an expert but I have a feeling DS started becoming very efficient around the same time. Continue to offer regularly and let him nurse for as long as he wants. Don't worry about it only being short feeds, he wouldn't come off if he was still hungry. You could try giving him formula before bed - we introduced this around 4 months and it did make a difference to DS's sleep (only woke once instead of several times!). Good luck and don't fret about your supply. Just feed on demand and you can't go wrong really.

TruthSweet Wed 01-Feb-12 20:42:53

It's quite normal for a baby to feed frequently for short durations (or long durations if they are a leisurely sort). It's also very normal for lots of night wakings.

How often (roughly) does he feed in the day?

You are right in that giving a feed could impair your supply especially if it removes several feeds/results in a long gap between feeds or it may make no difference and you baby may wake just as frequently. There is also the impact on the baby's gut etc to be considered. It is entirely up to you though if you look at the risks and decide they are out weighed by the benefits (the risks/benefits may well vary between families so not a one size fits all) but do look into it before trying formula so you can make an informed choice.

tiktok Wed 01-Feb-12 20:42:55

Sounds normal - many babies do exactly this beyond newborn smile

No need for formula - that would be a bit mad and a faff smile

Eglu Wed 01-Feb-12 22:33:28

How is his weight gain? He could just be a quick efficient feeder, some babies are.

OovoofWelcome Wed 01-Feb-12 22:55:18

Thanks all, I feel reassured smile

TruthSweet he feeds between 7 and 10 times a day. And thinking about it, some of them are less than a minute.

Eglu, his weight gain is fine, he was on the 91st percentile last time he was weighed. I know I should just be guided by that, but I guess I am worried that over time his snacky feeding could diminish my supply. At some point I want him to sleep through or at least drop to less night feeds, and for that to work I need a good strong day supply.

Tiktok, heh, yes I guess it does sound crackers to think about introducing formula in the mornings! My thinking was, maybe it would tank him up, help him nap better (he never naps for long enough), which might lead to longer stretches between feeds and sort of kick-start a slightly different routine with longer day feeds.....

losttheflickumdickumagain Wed 01-Feb-12 23:10:47

My dd (11 months), was/is very similar to this, I timed her when she was younger, and she never fed for more than 4 minutes during the day. I was worried sick, she's dc no3, and dc1 and 2 fed completely differently (none of them have actually fed alike).

As long as her weight gain is okay, I'm sure she's fine. As others have said, she's probably just a very efficient feeder. My dd always (and still does) made up for it through the night.

TruthSweet Wed 01-Feb-12 23:13:06

If he is getting what he needs from 7-10 feeds of around 3 minutes (enough to be on the 91st centile!!) what on Earth would you change? If he fed for longer he'd be far, far bigger (would that be healthy?) and if he fed less often you might find your supply dropping.

If it isn't broke, don't fix it grin

losttheflickumdickumagain Wed 01-Feb-12 23:14:43

Sorry, you have a ds, not a dd grin.

OovoofWelcome Wed 01-Feb-12 23:27:42

TruthSweet, yes it sounds fine really now I've written it out & received so much reassurance smile

Only issue is the strong supply in night, weak supply in day fear. My underlying issue is with sleep, really - how's he ever going to sleep through if he only snacks in the day? He is enjoying one of his leisurely, sleepy, luxuriant night feeds as I write.....we co-sleep, feels like the only option with him waking so often.

midori1999 Thu 02-Feb-12 02:21:35

My DD is 7 1/2 months old now and has only just started taking more daytime and less night time feeds again. She stopped feeding much in the day when she started noticing the world around her at about 4 months old. At one point, barely taking any feeds at all during daytime. (some days 2 or 3 feeds of less than 5 mins each, more than making up for it at night!) I always seem to have enough milk to keep her happy and healthy, so my supply must just adjust to what she needs, as I'd expect it to. I assume she'll sleep through when she's ready, which clearly isn't yet. I don't deny a full night's sleep would be wonderful, but for now it's easiest to do what she needs rather than trying to make her do what I want.

passthestuffing Thu 02-Feb-12 03:38:49

My ds did same at this time. Have you tried feeding in quiet room? They often seem to get distracted by the world at that age but also get more efficient. Mine also went from sleeping through to waking lots then.he's now eating 3 big meals a day plus lots bf but still when he woke at 3am was trying to eat my face so attempts to get him off night feeds failed.hubby now won't let us cosleep when he wakes as he ends up half off the bed so sat UK feeding with mn to keep me awake. I guess I'm saying I feel your pain!

Reesie Thu 02-Feb-12 09:36:34

Ds1 feeds for about 3 mins at a time - he is also over the 98th centile and a short napper. He's 3 months old. DD1 and DD2 also were the same. Well done for breastfeeding so brilliantly

bigmommamom Thu 02-Feb-12 16:45:52

Message deleted by Mumsnet.

minimammy Thu 02-May-13 09:29:34

I am having this very trouble now I'm struggling to survive the days after terrible nights where he even now refuses to feed lying down :0((((
Did you have any results???

violetlights Thu 02-May-13 10:36:05

I was in the same position when my baby was that age (although I never got as much as ten minutes!) I actually weighed him before and after a 3 minute feed because I thought it couldn't be enough and he'd taken on 130-150ml. I think in a 5 or 6 minute feed he was getting close to 200ml.

violetlights Thu 02-May-13 10:36:57

I forgot to add he only feed 5 or 6 times a day. I think some babies are just very efficient.

rootypig Sun 05-May-13 16:41:25

I was recently on a thread about night waking and feeding for my 6mo (mix fed) and someone introduced me to the concept of reverse cycling:

Does this sound like your DS? my LO is so distractible in the day, she hardly feed at all, then wakes up 2 / 3 times a night to guzzle then confused

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