erratic feeding pattern of my 4 week old(4 Posts)
Hi all - I am new to this site and so happy to have a forum where I can talk to other mums.
My son is 4 weeks old and has really erratic feeding patterns. He sometimes feeds for only 10 mins on 1 breast and then falls asleep immediately. I cannot rouse him and he refuses any more milk. Other times, like yesterday he fed for 30 mins and wanted a top up of expressed afterwards. I am so confused and don't feel confident enough to know that this feeding pattern is ok. I try to keep to a 3 hourly rountine but it's impossible sometimes.
My breasts do feel softer after he has fed but I simply don't know if he is getting enough milk on a regular basis. I am exhauster, confused and upset...any advice would be warmly received!!! THANK YOU!
4 week old babies on the whole behave exactly as you describe and there is nothing to worry about if your baby produces lots of wet and dirty nappies and is putting on weight well.
When you say you try to keep to a 3 hourly routine, do you mean you try to feed at least every 3 hours, or you try to hold him off for 3 hours? At this age it is best to feed on demand or every 2 hours, for the benefit of your baby and your milk supply. His stomach is so, so tiny that he may not be able to go for 3 hours easily.
Also, feeding for 30 minutes and still wanting more does not mean you haven't enough milk or you are doing it wrong. It is perfectly normal and is good for your milk supply. Babies will often take a bottle even after a massive feed - doesn't mean anything.
There is no way to tell how much milk your baby is getting but as long as you feed as and when he wants it, your breasts will do their thing and it will all become SO much easier and less worrying in the next couple of weeks, honestly! I remember feeling just the same as you but if you can drop the idea of routine for a while - he is too little IMO - and just go with it, then you will be much happier.
I have started giving him an expressed bottle in the morning - about 110 mls which he drinks. He then goes for over 3 hours before feeding again. Depending on what's going on I might give him another bottle or offer the breast. He put on 8 oz last week so I am happy that he is gaining weight. I still worry that he is not eating often enough but I guess I just have to go with his eating patterns. I do try and feed him within 4 hours though if he hasn't yet woken up!
This sounds all normal for a 4 week old baby - feeding patterns are not really a guide to anything as babies are very individual. As TPL says, if he is thriving then you do not need to be concerned about his timings.
But you do need to know that giving ebm in the way you are doing will undermine your breastfeeding - as will trying to stick to a routine This is because increasing the gaps between feds means you make less milk...just feeding responsively, offering both breasts (and putting him on the first one agai8n if he seems to want it!) is the way to do it
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