My feed

to access all these features

Get advice and support with infant feeding from other users here.

Infant feeding

20+ Feeds a Day

39 replies

MumofRose · 11/05/2018 21:58

My baby is five weeks old and I am breastfeeding her. She feeds 20+ times every day. Some feeds only last 5 minutes but others can last over an hour.
After my baby has finished feeding, I wait for her to fall into a deep sleep and try to put her down in her Moses basket but the majority of the time, she wakes up straight away and wants feeding again.
I spend most of every day feeding the baby, holding her until she's in a deep sleep and then repeating this for hours on end.
Does anybody have any advice as to whether there is a way to reduce the number of feeds my baby has each day?
I am considering switching to exclusive pumping but I'm unsure if that will mean she will want 20 bottles a day or if she might then take 8-12 bottles a day but take more milk at those feedings. Also, could switching to formula reduce the number of feeds so that I could perhaps give formula at night to try and get some more sleep?
Thank you Smile

OP posts:
JiltedJohnsJulie · 12/05/2018 09:04

What’s happening is totally normal as long as baby is gaining weight and I promise you things will get better. Have a read of what to expect in the early weeks.

Giving formula at night at this stage will interfere with your supply unfortunately, much better to wait until your supply is well established. I’m not trained though, so it might be better to talk about how you are feeling to a fully trained BFC on one of the Bfing Helplines.

In the day Hace you tried feeding her and then putting her in a sling? My DD would feed loads and then zonk put for a bit like that. If you’re tired in the day, could you feed her on your bed for a bit? St least that way you’d get some rest.

If you’re having trouble getting her into a Moses basket at night. Try some of these, swaddling, white noise, warming up the Moses basket with a hot water bottle which you remove before placing her in, and using a tshirt that DH has worn (the smellier the better) as a sheet. The smell comforts them. If you use one of yours it might not work as it will smell of milk.

Grandmaswagsbag · 12/05/2018 09:14

If babies weight gain is ok I suspect a lot of it is comfort sucking. I remember well the stage of waiting til dd fell asleep on the breast, then trying to put her down and her waking again immediately. Some (most) very young babies just want to be held constantly, In the day I used a sling so she was close to me. At nights we often coslept until she was a few month old then I think she went down in her Moses basket. I certainly wouldn’t bother pumping. It’s such early days, by 2/3 months you will have got into the swing of it and breastfeeding for night feeds will be a hell of a lot easier than formula. You will learn to recognise when baby is actually feeding effectively and when it’s just comfort/they want a cuddle.

JiltedJohnsJulie · 12/05/2018 09:35

Grandma is right, lots of newborns love to be held, which is perfectly natural. If they were held or carried in ancient times it would have increased their chances of survival. I think this is why lots of them seem to like slings Smile. Have a google of the fourth trimester.

Before having DC2 I read Baby Calming by Caroline Deacon and it really helped. You could download the kindle version and read it whilst you feed Smile

Have you got someone around today who could take her out for a walk while you have a bath or a nap? Could they prepare the meals today and let you sit and feed, feed, feed? Stocking up on drinks and snacks, having MN, the remote and your phone should help too.

And like I said before, it will get better and I really do promise Brew

JiltedJohnsJulie · 12/05/2018 09:37

One last thing, are you going to a Bfing Support Group? I found just going along having a Brew and talking to some local Bfing Mums really, really helped me in the early weeks, even if we didn’t talk about Bfing Smile

Grandmaswagsbag · 12/05/2018 09:41

I’d second the suggestion of a breastfeeding support group. It was a lifesaver and great to chat/ find out what’s normal. You don’t have to have specific problems to go along.

MumofRose · 12/05/2018 11:23

Thank you both for getting back to me.
I've bought a sling but I was a bit put off using it as I tried it on the day it came but my baby's head got very hot and sweaty so it I started to worry about her overheating in the sling.
I've tried feeding in bed in the side lying position but I can't seem to get the hang of it. At the moment, I feed her in the cross cradle or football hold position sat on the couch. I'll have to go to one of the breastfeeding support groups for some advice as I've not been yet. The local

OP posts:
MumofRose · 12/05/2018 11:26

The local group is in the morning and that's usually the best time for me to try and get some sleep as the baby sleeps best between about 5am and 12pm.
Thank you for the suggestions re getting her to sleep in her Moses basket. I've tried swaddling, rocking and white noise but I'll also give the hot water bottle and tshirt a try.
My partner is home in the evenings to help out with cooking etc but it seems that whenever I try to have a shower, she wants feeding again, even if she's just finished feeding. I wasn't expecting it to be normal for her to feed so often! I've tried expressing for people to feed her when I'm in the shower if she's hungry but she's not taking bottles well yet.
I'll have a Google of the things you mentioned as well as downloading that kindle book.

OP posts:
MollyDaydream · 12/05/2018 11:34

Feeding isn't just about hunger, sounds like she's ensuring she stays nice and safe close to you. Have you tried a dummy?

Rainydaydog · 12/05/2018 11:34

I agree a lot of this might be a mixture of comfort sucking and it also works to increase your supply of milk. You might be more comfortable continuing with the normal seated feeding you prefer (with lots of snacks and MN etc) for now and slowly practice things like the sling and lying down. With the sling you might just need to reposition the baby a bit or try a different sling. It's great around the house so you can get bits done while feeding but only aim to do the minimum you need to at first until you get used to the sling.

Rainydaydog · 12/05/2018 11:36

With the shower I did have a shower sling with mine lol. I was a keen sling user! But really as I say it she probably just wants you for comfort so tell your Dh to try to calm her so you can have your break, you do need it. He can try taking her for a walk or something.

bigmamapeach · 12/05/2018 14:29

My first was very like this. Is baby growing and developing well - weight curve etc? If so, likely their total milk intake per 24hr is good. But one possibility may be (hard to tell) that they aren't transferring well at each feed, hence long or very frequent feeds. Having some help at a group with positioning and attachment would be an idea.

Not sure if pumping would help - but bf tends to be reasonably established by around 5/6 weeks with supply set up, so it probably wouldn't be harmful if you want to try and see how you get on with the odd feed of expressed milk - if you think it would work for you. I don't see why the occasional formula feed would be a disaster for supply either, at this stage. A lot of this is not set in stone, to be honest there isn't a huge amount of science to inform these sorts of questions abx much of it is "suck it and see" or finding out what others have done.

JiltedJohnsJulie · 12/05/2018 15:44

Agree with rainy if you want a shower and she’s been fed, get your DH to comfort her. Maybe change her nappy and take her out for a walk either in the Pram or with the sling.

Are there any sling groups near to you too? They can help with getting one that is comfy or just getting the best out of the one you already have.

If you are finding the morning group a struggle, have a look here to see if there is another that you can get too. Don’t forget that you can call one of the Bfing Helplines too.

Like mama my first was like this too. It’s a good idea to get the latch checked and positioning. Nothing you have said indicates a problem but a bit of tweaking won’t hurt. Has DD been checked for tongue tie too? Always best to get these things ruled out Smile

There are some good videos here too (just in case you’re bored of MN and TV) Smile

MumofRose · 13/05/2018 12:28

I keep trying a dummy but the majority of tries, she just spits it out fast so I'll keep trying.
I'll also give the sling another go and also try feeding her in it as I didn't try that last time. What is a shower sling? I didn't realise sling groups were a thing so I'll look those up.
Her weight gain was fine at 3 weeks but at 4 weeks she had only gained 5 ounces which they said put her at the 50th centile and she was at the 75th centile before that. I am going to get her weighed again tomorrow so hopefully she's gained well.
I had a lady from the local breastfeeding charity around and she checked for tongue tie and said my baby was fine. She also showed me how to latch correctly. Sometimes my baby seems to latch fine and feed for a while and go from fast to slow sucks but others she's constantly coming off and on and only feeds for about five minutes before going to sleep. There are more breastfeeding groups locally but I can't drive until next week as I had a c-section so after I'm clear to drive, there are some other groups I'll be able to go to.
Thank you for all of your suggestions.
I tried expressing for my partner to feed her this morning and it did just seem a lot of hassle compared to me just feeding her with having to pump and sterilise. My partner saw one of his friends at the supermarket this morning and that friend had a baby two weeks before us. His baby is formula fed and sleeps from 9pm until 7am on a good night or from about 11pm until 6am on a bad night. I feel lucky if I manage three hours sleep in total!

OP posts:
hodgeheg92 · 13/05/2018 13:03

Hey, congratulations on the birth of your baby! You've had some good advice above so I won't repeat it but I wanted to let you know that it does get better and your little one will change on a weekly basis! I'm 4 months in now and so incredibly glad that I stuck with breastfeeding because it's easy and I always have the "tools" to comfort my daughter.

Some babies do sleep longer than others, I know of breastfed babies that sleep through and formulae fed babies who don't. It's really normal for a baby to wake in the night and I thought people were crazy when they said that you get used to it but you do.

There is a Facebook group called breastfeeding younger babies and beyond that offers lots of reassurance and support

MollyDaydream · 13/05/2018 14:17

I used to feed the baby first thing and then dp would take him out for a walk for two hours so I could sleep.

What kind of sling have you got? Tbh I didn't feel safe feeding in a sling until 3-4 months when they can support their own head and keep their airway clear. However dummy & sling used to keep the baby asleep for an hour or two between feeds.
I'd do a big feed, swapping sides every time they stopped actively swallowing, breast compressions etc then into sling or pram with a dummy.

MumofRose · 13/05/2018 18:38

I keep seeing people say that breastfeeding gets easier but I feel like it is getting worse. I've pretty much not left the couch again today! Maybe she's going through the 4-6 week growth spurt. I think I must spend about 20 hours of the day holding her to feed or as she sleeps as she just won't go down in crib/Moses basket. I wasn't expecting it to be that much!
The sling is called Funki Flamingo sling and it's just a fabric sling that had good reviews on Amazon. I'll probably start to use it once she has more head control so her head isn't just getting sweaty against my chest.

OP posts:
MollyDaydream · 13/05/2018 18:42

You do need to adjust clothing for the extra layers of fabric - baby will have 3 extra layers plus your body heat so probably only needs to wear a vest.

JiltedJohnsJulie · 13/05/2018 19:23

Agree I know formula babies who wake and BF babies who sleep through, one MW said to me “formula isn’t a magic formula” and that’s always stuck with me.

I’d give one of the Bfing Helplines a call now, and just talk through how you are feeling and see if they have any suggestions.

Like you, I found expressing to give DH a chance to feed the baby was a huge hassle at this age. Instead he bathed them or took them out for walks while I slept or had a bath.

If she likes to be close to you, have you thought of co-sleeping? Have you got the safe bed sharing guidelines? My DM is obviously from another generation and was horrified that I shared a bed with my babies, but for us, it was the only way we coukd all get some sleep.

If she’s feeding for 5 minutes then going to sleep, again this could be perfectly normal, but if you think she’s hungry, have you tried breast compressions?

Grandmaswagsbag · 13/05/2018 19:31

As an aside,I was advised by a very experienced midwife and lactation consultant that you don’t need to sterilise bottles for breastmilk, just clean in hot soapy water. I used to chuck my breast pump ‘bits’ into Milton after and rinse as they have the potential to get a bit gunky. It makes feeding an expressed bottle a lot easier, although I admit that the pumping bit is still a bit of a faff.

JiltedJohnsJulie · 13/05/2018 19:53

Defintely Grandma. I expressed more with my second and I used to rinse the bottles and pump and put them through the dishwasher once a day. Totally different if you are using formula though.

MumofRose · 14/05/2018 00:13

I was just assuming that it was correct that the baby would sleep better with formula as that is what people keep telling me. None of my or my partner's relatives have breastfed their babies and are all shocked by the amount my baby wants to be fed. I suppose not having to sterilise and make formula as well as less time burping save time with breastfeeding. I think I'll continue breastfeeding for at least a couple more weeks as lots of people say it gets easier after eight weeks. I wouldn't mind the amount of feeds if I could put the baby down to sleep soon after so I could also get some sleep but I usually spend at least twenty minutes after each feed holding her until I attempt to put her in her basket and then most of the time, she wakes up and wants another feed.
I think I'll give one of the helplines a call tomorrow when I'm up. My partner held the baby tonight and she managed to sleep for two hours without wanting a feed so I got a two hour nap so I'm feeling much better :) I don't think it helps that I'm someone who loves my sleep and used to fall asleep at about 9pm after work and sleep for ten hours a night!
I keep seeing things about co-sleeping and I think I'd be too scared about rolling onto the baby. I do sleep very lightly and wake up each time the baby makes any grunt or other noise but I'm still a bit wary about co-sleeping. I think I just worry too much. I constantly check the baby's temperature at night and then regret it when she's fine and I've woken her up.
I have been doing breast compressions when she starts feeding and falls asleep quite soon. It does usually keep her going for a couple more minutes.
I had no idea that bottles can be used without sterilising if they are going to be used for breast milk. That will save some time. At the moment, I pump in the early morning/middle of the night as that is when my breasts feel most full and that allows me to have at least one bottle in to try to feed her with in case visitors come around and I don't want to feed in front of them. It'll make it better if I don't have to put the steriliser on each time if I've just got to sterilise the pump parts instead of bottles as well :)

OP posts:
Grandmaswagsbag · 14/05/2018 07:06

The fact that she slept on your partner does suggest that she is capable of going for longer stretches and it’s more that she wants to be held or close to you. I’d give co sleeping another think. It’s safe if you haven’t been drinking/smoking (which I assume not with a 2 week old). You won’t roll on her, trust me your instincts will prevent that. For me it was the only way to to get some longer stretches of sleep in the early days. Sleep deprivation is soooo hard! It drove me a little mad tbh. But I will say that despite being ebf my dd slept really well after a few months and has been a dream sleeper for 12 hour stretches since about 7 months old. Not had a single issue. Where as my ff friends have toddlers that still don’t go through the night. It’s totally dependent on the child and luck of the draw.

MumofRose · 15/05/2018 01:00

No, I don't drink alcohol or smoke so I'll look up safe co-sleeping. I'm sure I've read before that you should wait until your baby is at least three months old before attempting co-sleeping. Is that correct?
Another thing that I am unsure about is whether I should still be waking my baby during the night if she does manage to sleep for more than three hours at once. I'd been told to do this by the midwives in hospital so I have been setting three hourly alarms but I'm not sure whether this is still necessary now that she is six weeks old. Does anybody know the answer to this?

OP posts:
INeedNewShoes · 15/05/2018 01:28

At six weeks old and no strong concerns about weight gain in my view you do not need to wake baby up every three hours during the night.

My baby was 2nd percentile and I was on a three hour feeding regime due to very slow weight gain so I did set alarms but equally she was only feeding every 3 hours during the day as well.

It sounds to me as though your baby is getting plenty from you in the evening if she is relaxed and asleep for a few hours at night. I wouldn't let her go too long (maybe 5 hours absolute max) at night but take the opportunity to get some sleep. In my experience, waking a very sleepy baby rarely leads to an effective feed anyway so I'd only wake baby if I was concerned that they were so tired due to malnourishment (which doesn't really sound like the case here).

It might be worth picking up the phone to your health visitor in the morning (as long as they're well informed re breastfeeding) or going along to a breastfeeding clinic (or if you can afford it you can have a consultation with a lactation consultant who could check the latch and talk at more length about your concerns).

KoshaMangsho · 15/05/2018 03:18

I am going to disagree slightly here. I have breastfed two babies and while the odd day of constant feeding is normal, 6 weeks of 20+ hours of feeding is not.
I think the main problem is that she isn’t feeding efficiently so if she falls asleep at the breast, I would wake her up gently and get her to finish the feed. When she’s had a good feed (so 15 mins each side), then let her sleep. Maybe on someone else so she doesn’t constantly smell the milk.
I would get a second opinion on latch and tongue tie. Sounds like she isn’t latching effectively and then cluster feeding.

As I said one round of cluster feeding a day, maybe two is normal but this sounds beyond that. And if the OP doesn’t have more practical solutions she will find it hard to keep breastfeeding.

Arm sleeping is normal at this age and many babies hate their Moses basket. I used the suggestions in the No Cry Sleep Solution to reduce arm sleeping slowly.
Finally, again v gently, I would introduce a comfort object, or a dummy or whatever so that long term you are not being used as a human dummy as that is soul destroying.

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.