Thursday, October 14, 2010

How Often Should You Nurse Your Baby?

There is no answer to the post title.

The frequency of nursing depends on the baby and what stage they are in.

You might feel like you and your baby are on a good schedule with nursing. Then something happens. They get sick, or go through a growth spurt. Everything that seemed scheduled changes.

If your baby goes through a growth spurt; it may seem like they are nursing all the time. Many babies get a growth spurt after being sick. This is frustrating for most mom's because the baby goes from not wanting to eat to eating a ton.

I really felt like I was going to dry up after Mica had his staph infection. He went from not eating to nonstop eating. My supply had gone way down from stress, and him not wanting to nurse while he was sick. Somehow your body can build back up the supply. Pumping helps!

Both of my son's had a rough start with nursing, so I tried to nurse very often. I pumped after many feedings. Often times I had to wake up my oldest by tickling his feet. He was a sleepy newborn. He'd fall asleep as soon as we had a good latch.

My youngest spit up a lot! We found that by feeding him more frequently and less amounts helped him keep my milk down.

Many babies are not as difficult as mine were. Make sure you breastfeed them every few hours. Switch sides each feeding at first. When your baby gets more skilled; change sides during one feeding.

Look for a baby's hungry signs. They can not talk, but even at an early age they can communicate. If they are bobbing their head up and down, and puckering or smacking their lips; they are rooting. Give them something to eat. If you try nursing them and they are turning their head away; they don't want to be fed.

A good way to tell if a baby is hungry is by rubbing your hand across their check. Their natural reflex is to root towards your hand if they are hungry.

If you feel like you are nursing your baby a lot more then a formula fed baby eats; that's probably because you are. Breast milk digests faster and is better on the digestive system then formula.

For more on this topic read:
How Often Should I Nurse My Baby?
Breastfeeding FAQs: How Much and How Often?

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