Advanced search

BF DS only feeding for 5 minutes maximum

(27 Posts)
Shatteredmom Thu 17-Jan-08 17:43:36

Hi, wondering if anyone has been through what I am experiencing. DS is now 15 weeks and almost entirely BF. My big concern is that he only feeds for a maximum of 5 minutes, once every 1-2 hours. Once he has finished he looks satisfied, but I am concerned that he never reaches the hindmilk and even more worried that I don't actually produce it anymore (read that 'snacking' can do this). He is gaining weight, but only slowly (4oz per week), so I was wondering if anyone else had been through this problem and managed to get their DS or DD back on track and feeding longer as I am convinced he can only be getting 20oz a day max.

Twiglett Thu 17-Jan-08 17:46:54

never fed either of mine for longer than 10 minutes from newborn and about 5 minutes from around 3 months .. always only from one breast too .. they were completely satisfied .. although to be fair by 15 weeks I'm sure there were 3 hours or so between feeds

some people just let down much quicker .. if baby is happy don't worry

weight gain sounds fine when not in growth spurt to me

foremilk / hindmilk is a bit bollocks really and there's no way you can judge how much they're getting on an oz basis .. he's getting what he needs

I think I'd want to try to see if he can go a bit longer between feeds .. maybe you're reading his signs wrong and he's tired? or wants a change? or a cuddle? ... worth seeing though (within a demand feeding context of course) because I think you'd be exhausted

tiktok Thu 17-Jan-08 17:55:32

foremilk/hindmilk is not really where it's at, Twiglett is right....disregard anything you have heard about 'reaching' the hindmilk, and disregard anything you have read about the evils of 'snacking'. We know so much more than we used to do about this, and there is a lot about it in the mumsnet archives, and at

Your baby is gaining perfectly normally and he is (I assume) healthy. You don't need to know how much he takes - where do you get your '20 oz a day max' from, by the way?! I wouldn't have a clue how to estimate a baby's intake! He may well need to feed frequently, and you can assume he takes what he needs to thrive even in a 5 min max feed. Again, more info at kellymom, which explains that women with massive capacities (unrelated to breast size, BTW) may be able to make and store large quantities of milk, and if they have a baby who is fine to feed infreq, then they will be fine; whereas others with smaller capacities may not make and store as much at any one time, and their babies will need to feed more often. Neither is a problem.

Shatteredmom Thu 17-Jan-08 17:57:46

Thanks Twiglett. Have tried to eek out the time between feeds by keeping him occupied, but sometimes it appears to be impossible as he just arches his back a turns towards me as though demanding his feed. Although it is quite hard, I am more worried about when I have return to work. Will perhaps try over the weekend to break the cycle when there is back up from DH.

Just another voice to say it's OK for them to do this - my DS rarely feeds for more than a few minutes and has been this way since a few weeks of age. He can now (at 6 months) go up to 5 hours between feeds during the day if there are distractions! I think we just have efficient babies and fast letdowns. Also, I would echo that you cannot possibly tell how many oz of milk he is getting a day - and even if you could it wouldn't mean much because you can't compare breastmilk with formula milk on a like-for-like basis. Weight gain is your best guide, I think. If he's settled and happy and you're happy then go with the flow

Having read your last post I would urge you not to worry - from around that age DS became incredibly distracted and hard to feed during the day, so you will probably find as his awareness of his surroundings increases his need to feed frequently will alter a bit (more evening feeds though ). When are you going back to work? If it's not for a few months then really don't worry, things will change loads in the next few weeks, I'm sure.

rosealbie Thu 17-Jan-08 18:02:58

My ds used to feed for 5 mins max - I remember sitting timing it and getting really worried when he stopped. He fed quite regularly as well like yours.

He always put on a lot of weight, I used to get him weighed each week blush but he was my first ! He often put on 1 lb in a week.

Shatteredmom Thu 17-Jan-08 18:29:14

Thanks for the advice Tiktok. I did a 'yield' test as recommended in the Baby Whisperer book and found that I managed about 2-3oz in 5 minutes, but that the amount didn't increase much after I pumped for longer. I am not sure if I am drinking enough as he seems to have more milk when I make an effort to drink and eat well. My father is very ill at the moment and my welfare is coming bottom of the list, I am worried that this is now having a negative impact on DS.

Twiglett Thu 17-Jan-08 18:46:53

pumping has no relevance at all to how much a baby can get out of your breast .. it really isn't anywhere near as effective

fishie Thu 17-Jan-08 18:53:20

nor does what you eat and drink, although it is important to keep yourself happy smile

Shatteredmom Thu 17-Jan-08 19:30:42

Just done the 'last' feed of the day which must have been a record for the shortest feed at just about 2 minutes. I know that what everyone is saying is right, but with his low weight gain (he is below the 9th centile on charts and whilst weighed 7lb 7oz when born he is only 11 1/2 now). We both suffered from thrush a while back which really hit our feeding badly and I have since had the norovirus. Stuck at the BF throughout all of this, but worried that it has all taken a toll on his feeding habits. Being a first-timer and naturally completely paranoid I guess that I should stop being a worry-wort, but it is easier said than done.

You're doing really well to have stuck at it through thrush and norovirus, and with worrying about your dad too! I'm sorry you've had such a rotten time

No wonder you're stressed. But you must trust your body. Boobs are GREAT.

If your baby is gaining OK, is happy and settled and your HV is happy, then believe that everything is OK! The centile charts are just a rough guide, they don't really help anyone and IMO they just give us something else to worry about.

Your body will make your baby enough milk as a priority, so even if you aren't eating or drinking well, milk will still be made for your baby. It's an evolutionary thing - babies cannot survive without nourishment whereas adults can manage better, so milk production keeps going even when you're not putting much fuel into your body. Having said that, you do need to look after yourself physically and emotionally, and you've had an awful lot to worry about, so make sure you have some time to rest and chill out each day.

And a huge well done!

laksa Thu 17-Jan-08 21:56:59

hi shatteredmom,

Oh my god are you me?? I could have written your post down to the last detail, incl the thrush and norovirus! My baby is 16 weeks tomorrow and weighs about 12lb, she was born 7st13 so very similar gains ie about 4oz a week, sometimes more and sometimes less.

I have written numerous posts querying the same issues as you. My baby feeds for around the same time as yours and at the same intervals during the day. I have also tested my output and get the same results as you ie a reasonable amount in a quick space of time but then no more.

Don't worry about the fore/hindmilk balance. Basically if you feed frequently then your breasts are emptier and therefore the milk has a higher fat ratio so it doesn't matter if your baby is 'snacking'. I'm not explaining it very well, but look at this link on the kellymom website which explains the biology of fore/hindmilk etc

I have given up worrying (most of the time) about my baby's quick frequent feeds and weight gain. She is alert and although a bit skinny is very strong and rolls over which wouldn't be happening if she was undernourished.

I think these parenting books are designed to scare us. Not all babies feed for 20mins every 3 hours. Some like to graze as and when they feel the need.


Shatteredmom Fri 18-Jan-08 16:45:35

Hi laksa,

It is reassuring to hear of someone else in my shoes. I think that the only reason that I am worried is that there are so many people telling me that grazing is bad for babies and I am making a rod for my own back.....'you'll have trouble weaning if he doesn't eat more soon etc.'. If I didn't know otherwise I would have thought that DS was doing really well. Very alert and strong for his age and smiling most of the time. After all we have been through I think that I should be really happy that he is still BF.

tiktok Fri 18-Jan-08 17:40:10

Shattered.....hope this thread gives you confidence to ignore people who are poorly informed and likely to undermine you as a mum, and who also seem to enjoy poking their nose in angry

Your little boy is fine and you can feel wonderful and proud that it is all down to you

Shatteredmom Fri 18-Jan-08 17:41:37

Thanks everyone for being so supportive - Mumsnet is great!

Tangas Fri 18-Jan-08 17:50:20

MY DS only fed 4 around 5mins. But again he looked satisfied, and boob was empty. He's grown up fine.

If he was not getting enough you'd just know.


laksa Fri 18-Jan-08 19:32:08

Hope I've made you feel more 'normal' shatteredmom. Actually thats kind of the point, each baby is different and it just so happens that ours like to drink for 5 mins every 1-2 hours. Recently I have started offering the second breast (for ages she wouldn't take it so I stopped offering as she seemed satisfied) and she has been drinking from both in the last week and her poos which had started to take on a green hue have gone back to being a lovely mustard yellow. Not sure if you do this already but it might mean she goes slightly longer between feeds, if not then at least you know that she is satisfied as if she is refusing the second breast with easy letdown and instant milk on tap then she can't still be hungry smile


LittleMissMac Fri 18-Jan-08 21:20:38

Shattered and Laksa, I'm with you, practically word for word! DS, now 18 weeks, feeds (still exclusively BF, yay me!) for 5-10 mins at a time, and always has done. We battled through thrush which I thought would never go (him and me both) and I too was puking over Christmas :-x. He had always just fed from one breast but only recently has started sometimes to tuck into number two. His average weight gain is about 4oz per week, and he is a happy, alert little chap.

I have a little wobble every now and then when I look at growth charts by mistake, and see my mummy chums' DCs guzzling bottles. Then I come on here and feel much better.

Well done us. smile

laksa Mon 21-Jan-08 18:19:57

littlemissmac, I think you gave me advice once when I was getting green poos about feeding from the same breast for up to 4 hours, ( I think it was you, sorry if mixing you up) So thanks for that!

It is reassuring coming on mumsnet isn't it, all my mummychums have big chubby babies and some are starting to wean already. I am going to try to breastfeed till 6 months and then try some BLW. I think everyone is going to think I am mad which is why mumsnet is a

musicmusic Sat 30-Jun-12 18:11:08

hi mums. I had a terrible worried about feeding. my baby 9 weeks EBF feeds sort of every 2 hours 5 minutes or less and sometimes the way he finishes off his feeding - by crying... i wonder whether to interpret this cry as " I have finihsed".. or is it a discomfort during feeding and he gives up?

mawbroon Sat 30-Jun-12 18:42:23

Hi musicmusic. You would be best to start a new thread about this. The ones you have added on two are ancient and it might confuse folk!

kcrampy Sat 30-Jun-12 20:33:47

Hi musicmusic,
Firstly, sorry to hear you had a rubbish day, but remember everyone has bad days, so don't beat yourself up. Tomorrow is another day. I've not been on mumsnet before and came looking for advise on quick feeding too. I know this is an old thread, but I didn't know if you posted somewhere else.
My LO feeds for about 5-10 mins each time, sometimes more, sometimes less but does manage to go for 3-4hrs between feeds. She is up alot at night so I am worried she isn't getting enoughin the day. She has had thrush alot and it's back again so feeding today has been awful. If your LO is crying after feeds, it might be the same issue. check for white patches in the mouth. If there are some that don't wipe off like milk residue, get some dakatrin cream for your boobs and some nystatin for your LO. If you've ruled out thrush, and it happens everytime, it might be worth investigating reflux. Babies with reflux don't always throw up. Feeding can be very painful when they stop and stomach acid works it way back up. They can want to feed frequently as the milk soothes, but obviously the cycle continues.
Sorry, you probably know all this, but thought it might be of use if not! hope tonight is less stressful for you :-)

musicmusic Sat 30-Jun-12 21:11:46

if it is a refulx ( silent) - will the baby cry at night as well? at night he wakes up every 2 or 1 hour, feeds about 5 min and goes back without crying -= does it rule out reflux?

kcrampy Sat 30-Jun-12 21:40:00

I'd have thought it'd be the same all the time, so probably. You might want to have a look at as there's a bit about babies who cry after feeding. I've seen a few people mention the site in posts whilst i was looking today. sorry not to be much help. hang in there, it will get better and it's all worth it in the end x :-)

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now