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How often should I feed my baby?

Advice on how often you should breastfeed your baby with information about your baby's normal feeding patterns frequency.
You can let your baby tell you when it needs feeding. At the end of the feed your baby should come off the breast by itself. If your baby does this but still seems hungry then offer the other breast. Quite often your baby will only feed from one breast at a time. Simply offer the other breast at the next feed. If your baby does feed from both sides you will need to start the next feed on the side you finished on.

Most newborn baby's feed frequently, this stimulates your breast to make you produce milk - the more your baby feeds the more milk you produce. As your baby grows it will need more milk, by allowing your baby to feed on demand you will ensure your breasts are stimulated so you make all the milk your baby needs.

If you feel your baby is feeding more often than you can manage, it may be that they are not latching on correctly and therefore not getting enough milk. Babies do have growth spurts so extra feeding for a few days is quite normal.

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i breastfeed my daughter on demand and it seems like she is latched on all the time, how can i make a gap inbetween feeds?
by avfcgal 20th Jun 2013, 2:46pm
I breastfed my first 2 children with no problems so was not expecting any problems this time. However for the first 3 weeks I was experiencing severe pain deep within my right breast and nothing could ease it. I now believe it was caused by blocked ducts. However I persevered as I knew how rewarding it could be and tried every tip I was given and now my baby is over 2 months old and breastfeeding is now so easy I am glad I didn't give up although I very nearly did several times.. I usually express at least one bottle a day so that partner or older children can give feed and this gives me time to have a bath or cook tea without having to stop to give a feed.
by Janeg23 1st Oct 2010, 9:06am
I will like my baby to be feeding frequently to ease me off the breast milk.I normallyfeel heavy on my Breast after 1hr,30min and my babby does not take much.What can I do for him to be drinking much.
by Ujubaby 11th Aug 2010, 5:33pm
I work as a healthcare assistant on a maternity unit and I take a keen interest in breatfeeding and have completed a breast feeding course at university. I don't believe in all this 3 hourly feedinlg malarky. To be honest in my experince a baby will feed on demand and this could be every hour or every 4-5 hours. All babies are different and to say that a baby should be fed every 3 hours is un realistic. During growth spurts a baby will naturally feed more often. I think demand feeding makes women stressed as they think if there baby is not waking for a feed at 3 hourly intervals then something must be wrong!! I explain to the ladies that it is perfectly normal for babies to feed every 4 hours (or longer in some cases )and to let sleeping babies lie.Obviously if a baby is not waking for feeds and is looking jaundiced or losing weight then we would address this but a normal healthy term baby should be allowed to feed on demand.
by breastbuddy 14th May 2010, 5:21pm
by THIBA 24th Nov 2009, 10:54am
Hi clairetimley

It depends how old she is. In the first few weeks then they should be feeding at least every 3 hours in the day and not longer than six hours over night. If fed less than this, they are at increased risk of their blood sugar levels dropping and not being able to wake themselves.

As they get older though, four hourly is fine. My LO has been four hourly since about 2 months old.

Hi Philbeach

It could be a growth spurt as babies do have one at around that age. If it is this then should settle down back to normal pattern after a few days. My LO went through hers at six weeks, putting on ten ounces in five days!
Hope that helps.

MAndy xx
by gruffalo 20th Nov 2009, 9:27am
my baby is 17 days old and his feeds are all over the place, I don't feel that I am producing enough nilk for his demands are there any tips anyone can give me to help produce more milk?!!!
by georgiesmum 28th Oct 2009, 5:50pm
Hi. My 8 week old baby has a cold and the only thing that seems to settle her is the boob. She's now feeding more regularly though (she's gone from every 3-4 hours to 1-2 hours) and I'm worried that I'm overfeeding her and that she's now going to want to feed that regularly even when's she's better. Does anyone know if breastfed babies can over feed and are there any thoughts on whether I may have changed her feeding pattern by offering her the boob to settle her?

thank you!
by philbeach 21st Sep 2009, 9:17am
iv got a 6 week old baby boy he feeds about every two hours which is fine during the day but by the time i get to sleep at night (after listening to make sure he's asleep) its nearly time for the next feed. Im absolutely exhausted and my family have suggested giving him some formula before bedtime to help him (and me) sleep a little longer... I am reluctant to do this as id feel a failure and that im not doing best for my baby. He's gaining plenty of weight which is reassuring its just the lack of sleep!
by lyndseylou86 26th Aug 2009, 11:04am
My daughter is four month and a week,she,s never tired of suking,at least thrice in an hour.
i feel brest milk alone may not be okey for her. Pleace can i introduce formuler to her now?
by bumbum 6th Aug 2009, 9:37am
My daughter is 4 wks old and is feeding like a manic, I have plenty of milk and she is gaining loads of weight but she keeps being sick with wind and also it seems to fill her and then when she gets rid of the wind she feeds again and again, I thought she had reflux but she hasn't, how do I stop this and the constent throwing up and colic, please help. Thankyou
by Kibbers 28th Jul 2009, 12:50pm
this was good help im onli 10weeks pregnant but im just finding out loads of information now wid my bf and this was helpfull thankyou :D x
by Emmey 26th May 2009, 12:38pm
should i wake my baby to feed or leave her sleep? should i be concerned if she doesnt want to feed every 4 hours?
by clairetimney 17th Feb 2009, 9:43am
Hi, gmum, your baby's eating habits seem really normal for a new little guy - they need to feed frequently to stimulate you to produce enough milk. My 7 week old daughter feeds really frequently, although she spends more time socialising the older she gets! Going 4 hours between feeds is really way too long for new babies! The ABA is great on this stuff, I found the helpline useful when she first started feeding so frequently. Wondering what's causing you to change to bottle feeding at this stage?
by tineszoo 5th Jan 2009, 9:19am
Hi, I have a 12 week old baby and am getting ready to start him on the bottle, any tips, he is and has been a very very hungry baby and unless bedtime, goes no longer than 2 hours without feed, between 0-8wks he couldnt last an hour, anyone else been in this situation?
by gmum 15th Aug 2008, 9:02am