On days 5-7, your baby will still be feeding very frequently, about 10 times in 24 hours, including overnight. Some will have a slightly longer stretch, but most will need to breastfeed every two hours or so because they have small tummies. Breastfeeding at night is also important because it boosts your milk production.
Sometimes the feedings may seem as if they go on for a long time. As your baby gets older, they will breastfeed more efficiently. Let your baby breastfeed at one breast as long as they want, burp and change their diaper and then, offer the second breast.
Your baby may breastfeed more often at certain times of the day (every hour for 2–6 hours) and then sleep for a longer period. This is called cluster feeding and it is normal. Some mothers worry that they do not have enough milk if their baby seems to want to be on the breast often. Every baby is different. Follow your baby’s cues and trust that your body will make all the milk that your baby needs.
Knowing Baby is Getting Enough Breastmilk
Babies usually have three or more bowel movements within a 24 hour period. These should be at least the size of a quarter, yellow in color and sometimes seedy in texture. Variations in colour are also normal. Some babies will have bowel movements with every feeding while others may have less frequent but larger bowel movements. Wet diapers vary but five to six wet diapers each day normal.
Other signs that breastfeeding is going well:
- You can hear swallowing at the breast.
- Your baby is content after most feedings.
- Your breasts feel softer after a feeding.
- Your baby feels heavier and is starting to fill out their clothes.
It can take up to two weeks for a baby to get back to their birthweight, but by the end of the first week, a baby should be gaining rather than continuing to lose weight. Remember that every baby grows at their own pace. Talk to your Public Health Nurse or doctor/nurse practitioner if you are concerned about your baby’s growth.
Click here to continue to information about Breastfeeding: Beyond the first week.
Services related to this information: