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How much time per day do you spend bf?

(16 Posts)
Meringue33 Tue 19-Feb-13 13:36:37

LO is six weeks tomorrow. I am spending 6-10 hrs per day bf - it is exhausting! I do find it rewarding but missy freedom to do other things - not least sleep! Not to mention that he also poos nearly once per feed so have to run round changing him too. I've heard that as babies grow they get more efficient at this - interested to know what others are experiencing, at different ages?

OhMyNoReally Tue 19-Feb-13 13:41:54

My ds is nearly 4 months, you do feed less and your lo will settle into a pattern. Maybe by about 8 weeks lo will have two or three main naps and proper feeds through the day in a pattern, so you will have more freedom to work around them. Also sleeping through should happen between 3-4 months. It will get easier. All the best.

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Tue 19-Feb-13 13:51:57

Dd is 6 mo and in total I spend less than an hour a day bf. she got a lot faster, they bring their wind up much quicker and she only feeds once at night- sometimes not at all. It will get a lot quicker. Don't worry.

BiscuitCrumbsInBed Tue 19-Feb-13 13:57:56

It really will get better, mine is a toddler now but I think I remember her getting a lot more efficient around 3 months ish. Watch out for growth spurts though when you might have a couple of days of constant feeding...And not to scare you but ignore OhMyNo's red herring about sleeping through! (sorry OhMy!) 4/5 months is a classic age for sleep regression ie very disrupted sleep, I think due to all the physical and mental development around that time and you could have one like mine who still doesn't sleep through at 18 months

RichManPoorManBeggarmanThief Wed 20-Feb-13 03:16:35

Biscuits DD still doesnt sleep through, but even so i think it's fair to say that the feed+settle takes a LOT less time once they get to 3+ months. Also, not all babies do the sleep regression thing.

At 6 weeks, it was taking me 45 mins to feed DD , and then maybe another 45mins to get her back to sleep- she'd sleep for 90 mins and wake up again. Brutal. At 6 mo she still wakes up a couple of times, but either I settle her back without feeding, or feed for 5 mins and chuck her back in her cot asleep, so total sleep time per night = much better.

Also, once they get older, i think you can afford to get a bit harder about night feeds. Obviously, some people want to feed completely on demand, and that's up to them, but many others do pro-actively limit/stretch night feeds from around the 3 mo mark if they havent already spaced by themselves, and this usually seems to work in terms of limiting, if not eliminating night wakings.

mrsbugsywugsy Wed 20-Feb-13 08:59:59

meringue I think 6 weeks is the absolute worst time, dd is eight weeks and seems to have stopped the evening cluster feeding and slept for 5 hours at a stretch last night.

hang in there!

EauRouge Wed 20-Feb-13 09:27:51

I could count it in minutes now that the DDs are older. The first weeks can be so relentless but it does improve! If he's a very slow feeder and you're concerned then you might want to chat to a breastfeeding counsellor- things like a poor latch and/or tongue tie can make a baby less efficient at feeding, even if the latch feels comfortable.

You might also like to try learning to feed in a sling. It can take a few goes to crack it but once you have then you'll be free to wander around and have both your hands free to do other things if you want.

mrscog Wed 20-Feb-13 09:33:30

About 30 mins - across 4 feeds, but DS is nearly 1.

I know it's hard but try and enjoy it - I'd give anything now to quietly sit and watch TV for 45 mins while DS fed. Now even if he needs a 5 min feed having the TV on is just a massive distraction!

Meringue33 Wed 20-Feb-13 19:11:29

Thanks guys! Really appreciate hearing this. How much time do you think you spent per day bf when they were say 8 weeks and 12 weeks? I need to have some interim goals! I am finding it rewarding but would love to carve out a tiny tiny bit of me time, and be able to cook a fresh meal in the evenings. I have had help and don't think he is an especially slow feeder just hungry! It seems to be 30-45 mins of proper feeding, then about 15 mins of more half hearted comfort eating! Then I let him doze on me for 10-15 mins before trying to settle - often he needs changed by this point which wakes him up and starts the whole process again. It's almost comic how little time there is for anything else at all!

shoppingtrolley Wed 20-Feb-13 19:48:04

This does change. Your baby will become much more efficient at feeding, and be able to drain each breast in 5mins or so. Also what happened with my DD is she changed from pooing every feed to only doing one every day or two (which albeit presents another problem as the whole house is literally covered in poo when she goes).

EauRouge Wed 20-Feb-13 20:05:16

Ah, cooking in the evenings- blooming hard when they are cluster feeding for hours! I used to bung stuff in the slow cooker in the morning when they were less fussy. That or batch-cook stuff on the weekend and freeze it all.

One of my favourite things to do when DD1 was tiny was put an audiobook on my ipod, stick DD1 in the pram and go for a really long walk in the local country park. It was like proper me time but without having to arrange someone else to look after her.

Meringue33 Thu 21-Feb-13 02:57:53

Slow cooker - genius!! Going to go check out prices now smile

Meringue33 Thu 21-Feb-13 02:58:55

And thanks Shopping - how old was your DD when she cut feeds to five mins?

shoppingtrolley Thu 21-Feb-13 08:03:28

Maybe 2.5 months?

mrscog Thu 21-Feb-13 10:23:43

My DS was a slow feeder, but by 4 months he only fed for 20 mins at a time every 3 hours. Like others have said he also stopped pooing every feed at some point before then which gives you more time. Also, by 3 months he didn't need to be cuddled constantly so my day would have looked a bit more like - feed for 30 mins, cuddle 15 mins, play on mat (aka you time) 15/20 min, maybe a nappy change then a nap for 30 mins or so.

It does get better - and every baby is different, and when they do leave the constant feeding and cuddling stage you will be so grateful that you're still bf as it gives you the ultimate freedom - you can just leave the house with a pushchair, boob and a nappy or two and you can look around the shops/go for a walk or whatever knowing that if they get upset you can just feed them.

That is the phase to enjoy as once you introduce solids you then have the pita of trying to organise a snack/meal on the run or getting home on time so they can eat. It was a shock to the system for me - especially around 8 months when I could no longer really replace a meal with an extra bf which is what I'd managed between 6 and 8 months.

KatAndKit Thu 21-Feb-13 12:25:48

10 months old - probably a total of 45 minutes perhaps 1 hour a day, occasionally more if he is poorly or won't settle to sleep. I do remember the early days of being stuck under a baby on the couch though! It does pass - make yourself comfy in the meantime and get some good dvds.

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