TRUE or FALSE??
Babies less than 2 weeks old can get full feeds and go three hours between feeds.
TRUE! Once mom’s milk has come in, usually by day 5 postpartum, a newborn can and absolutely should be able to transfer what they need to make a 2.5-3 hour time stretch. 2 hours is on the low end.
If a baby is eating around the clock, say every 1 hour, it is a strong indicator that they are not getting enough and one of two things is very, very likely:
- There are transfer issues or supply issues
- The feed is being cut short. I see this so often. Baby gets tired, and it may be assumed that the baby is done eating. Baby sleeps for 30 minutes and then is up again needing to eat. This leads to a cycle of everyone being exhausted and the baby not ever being fully satisfied.
I was inspired to write this blog post after working with a repeat client a few weeks ago. Breastfeeding didn’t go well with her first baby and she knew something wasn’t right. Mom client was told by her provider to feed the baby on demand. YES and NO. I am going to explain so all of you new parents have a better idea of what this entails.
Feeding Your Newborn
YES, you need to feed your baby. They are so smart and they know what they need. A baby that isn’t full, WILL NOT sleep well. This is a cause and effect relationship, so I will say it again. A hungry baby absolutely will not sleep well.
NO, If you are feeding your baby around the clock, say every hour, 24 hours per day, something is up. They are either hungry, uncomfortable or overtired, likely from trying to feed so frequently.
Cluster feeding is appropriate for small intervals, not all day. Cluster feeding all day, will cause fatigue for everyone involved.
My client’s were exhausted. They were feeding their baby on demand as instructed, but didn’t realize their little 5.5 pound pumpkin was still hungry. She was getting incomplete feeds, and this little girl loved her milk! Mom’s feedback was: “I didn’t know a baby this young could eat like that and then sleep for 3 hours. I thought she was too little”. She wasn’t too little. She breastfed like a champ, mom had plenty of milk and we repeatedly had to wake her for her next feedings.
When working with new parents, I am there to educate and help solve the challenges they are experiencing. Providing them with the proper knowledge on how to achieve a full-feed with their baby, and what the process looks like, is only one very important component for a new parent’s success.
If you have questions about feeding your newborn or are struggling with anything else baby related, please reach out. We would love to help you!