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BF on demand - how often should he be demanding?

(3 Posts)
mootthing Tue 02-Jun-09 13:56:18

Hi, can anyone help me. I have a 2.5 week old son - my first - and we have just been signed off by the midwife and left to continue on-demand breastfeeding. However, I'm concerned that he doesn't wake up and demand food often enough. He certainly feeds voraciously when he does wake, but sometimes he'll go for 5 hours or more without feeding if we don't go and poke him and from what I've seen this isn't usual with such a young baby. Any advice? Should I be trying to make him feed more often? It seems a shame to wake him when he's sleeping peacefully, but at the moment I've been waking him every four hours or so just to be on the safe side.

tiktok Tue 02-Jun-09 14:01:26

moothing, there is no 'should' about feeding freqency, and there is a wide spectrum of normal.

It's reassuring the midwife things all is well, but the fact she's still involved at 2.5 weeks makes me wonder if you have had problems in the beginning?

Most babies of 2.5 weeks feed between 8 and 15 times in 24 hours, on both breasts, and are gaining weight. They do not have to be woken to feed, and they do not sleep for 5 hours except occasionally. If babies don't do this, then it doesn't mean there is anything wrong, but it does suggest the need for a closer look at what's happening.

Is he gaining weight? Is he producing several large poos and wees each day? What happens if you don't put him to sleep away from you, but keep him close to sleep 'on' you between feeds?

mootthing Tue 02-Jun-09 14:34:10

Yes, we had a wobbly start because he wasn't feeding early on and lost weight. As soon as we got home he started feeding well (though I had to wake him to feed) and put on a lot of weight, but then I got mastitis and another infection and was ill for a few days during which time his weight dropped very slightly again. That's the reason for only just being signed off.

Most of the time he prefers to sleep on one of us, though you can put him down eventually. It doesn't seem to make any difference where he is, he just loves to sleep, but when you wake him he's definitely hungry. Often I notice that he's sucking in his sleep and wake him up then, but he seldom seems to bother of his own accord.

Once we got rid of the mastitis he started gaining weight again and he's definitely producing his quota of nappies of various varieties - though whether this would be the case if I left him to sleep when he wants to...

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