Frequent nursing

This topic contains 5 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Linda S. Grace, IBCLC 3 years, 5 months ago.

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    LO is 7.5 weeks, for at least the past week (probably longer) he has been eating nearly every hour. If I can get him to sleep for an Hour during the day I consider myself lucky! He’ll nurse for long, long periods of time(45 min +) without ever pulling off the breast. I’m going a little crazy because of this and since I have a toddler at home to I feel like she doesn’t get a lot of attention. Is this normal? I feel like when my daughter was this age she wasn’t nursing like this was able to be satisfied for at least an hour between feelings. Thanks!

     Sonya Myles 

    Often babies need to nurse more when there is lots happening around them. When things change in their lives and things are unsettled for them, they need to touch base with mom more often. Mom’s become the one thing that makes sense. So, at 7.5 weeks, babies have often started immunizations, had Dr’s visits, baby photos and all sorts of other stuff happen to them and they just need mom time. Make sure growth is good, output is good, and if there are no concerns there, just hunker down, baby wear a bit more and ride the wave. I often find that this intense period of nursing has less to do with food than it has to do with needing mom more. If we remembered how intense a newborn was, we probably would all only have 1 child. The truth is we forget, and the busyness in our lives changes, but it is pretty normal for a 7.5 week old to want to breastfeed a lot. See my blog article re toddlers and babies, it is a juggle for sure, and it is important to carve out time with your toddler, but you will need to be imaginative about it. Sometimes the to do list will need to be put aside as you spend the day between breastfeeding and play dough. How long does your little one sleep at night?


    Thank you so much for the information and reassurance! He is definitely having enough wet and dirty diapers. At night he sleeping between 5-7 hour stretches. I will have to check out that blog post!!


    Hi I’m in the same boat…and I’m so emotional having breakdowns very often.

     Sonya Myles 

    If you are really struggling with this transition into parenting a baby, it might be worth speaking to your Dr to make sure you haven’t slipped into a postpartum mood disorder. While parenting is hard, it shouldn’t be so hard that you feel as if you aren’t coping.


    Frequent nursing and nursing for 45 minutes at a time is normal for a breastfeeding infant. However, when an infant does not spontaneously detach from the breast, especially after 45 minutes of nursing, this is often a sign of insufficent milk transfer. A baby’s behavior after nursing is the most reliable indication of milk transfer. So if your baby is fussy all the time and eating his hands, he is probably not getting enough milk. If this is the case, then you need to start pumping after nursing sessions to empty the milk your baby is leaving behind so your suppply does not decrease. Getting the baby’s weight checked would be a good place to start. If weight gain is not optimal, then pumping after feeds and bottling this milk to your baby after nursing sessions will help your baby gain weight and be satisfied. Since the cause of insufficient milk transfer can be complicated, a consult would be in order.

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