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  • Writer's pictureCherish Postnatal Retreat

Feeding on demand, or keeping a routine?

Updated: Feb 19, 2020

Breastfeeding is a natural thing to do, but it still comes with its fair share of questions. Here's what you need to know about how often and how long to breastfeed your baby.

How Often Should I Breastfeed?

Newborn babies should breastfeed 8–12 times per day for about the first month. Breast milk is easily digested, so newborns are hungry often. Frequent feedings helps stimulate your milk production during the first few weeks.

By the time your baby is 1–2 months old, he or she probably will nurse 7–9 times a day.

In the first few weeks of life, breastfeeding should be "on demand" (when your baby is hungry), which is about every 1-1/2 to 3 hours. As newborns get older, they'll nurse less often, and may have a more predictable schedule. Some might feed every 90 minutes, whereas others might go 2–3 hours between feedings.

Newborns should not go more than about 4 hours without feeding, even overnight.

How Do I Count the Time Between Feedings?

Count the length of time between feedings from the time your baby begins to nurse (rather than at the end) to when your little one starts nursing again. In other words, when your doctor asks how often your baby is feeding, you can say "about every 2 hours" if your first feeding started at 6 a.m., the next feeding was around 8 a.m., then 10 a.m., and so on.

Especially at first, you might feel like you're nursing around the clock, which is normal. Soon enough, your baby will go longer between feedings.

Reviewed by: Kristen Littleton, IBCLC and Jamila H. Richardson, BSN, RN, IBCLC Date reviewed: November 2019

Cherish Postnatal Retreat & Breastfeeding Center

We are a group of professionals consisting of medical advisors, registered nurses, nutritionist and breastfeeding consultant who strive to provide our customers with the best confinement care but also to empower parents with the best knowledge to care for their newborns.

Cherish Postnatal Retreat & Breastfeeding center is a Confinement Care Center located in Bayan Lepas, Penang.

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