How Long Should You Breastfeed a Baby


Check out how long should you breastfeed a baby at one go. Also, learn about the feeding habits for the newborn like frequency and duration of nursing along with positions and signs to know if the child is full.

How Long Should You Breastfeed A Baby

The World Health Organization and children’s doctors believe that breast milk is the best and healthy food that we can offer to a child.

Milk is a full-fledged food and is perfectly adapted to the baby’s body. It contains more than 400 nutrients, an ideal balance of fats, proteins and mineral elements that increase immunity. It also helps with digestion and promotes proper growth.

Infants who receive breast milk for the first 6 months have fewer ear infections and are less likely to have colds. They also do not have diarrhea and are less likely to complain to doctors.

The physical closeness of mother and child, breastfeeding, maternal breathing, the warmth of the skin helps the infant to feel safe when eating. Children who have grown on breast milk have a healthy weight, grow well, have a calm, balanced character. Breastfeeding prevents the development of the syndrome of sudden infant death, diabetes, obesity and even certain cancers.

So, let’s learn about how often and how long should you breastfeed a baby. Also, learn about how long the baby should suck the breast in order to fully saturate during the feeding. We will also look into some different variable when it comes to breastfeeding a baby.

ABC of Breastfeeeing

What is the ABC of breastfeeding? It is the essence, the perfect way to breastfeed a newborn.

  1. A is Absolute Comfort
  2. Breastfeeding should be absolutely comfortable conditions for the mother. This is an extremely important point.

    Hands, head, and neck of the mother should have additional support. Legs should be placed on a stand. The body should be in a relaxed position.

    Breastfeed A Baby

  3. B is Great Patience
  4. The baby needs to be fed until it is full. Do not rush and interrupt meals.

    About how long the child should suckle the breast for one feeding will be discussed below.

  5. C is Attention
  6. A mother should pay absolute attention to the needs of the child.

    The baby needs to be fed when it feels hungry. This mode is called on demand.

    In the first days of life, the baby requires 8 to 12 feedings during the day. A hungry toddler wakes up, starts moving the handles, mouths various noises, puts out the tongue, presses his lips so as to suck the mother’s breast.

    In this case, do not wait for the child to start whimpering or crying since it is a signal of severe hunger.

Duration of Breastfeeding

How long should you breastfeed a baby? This is the original question asked by many mothers across the world.

Breastfeeding Duration

Now, this question can be answered two ways, first is how long should a baby be fed in one go. Second is how long to keep the baby feeding as in months or years.

For the first possibility, the duration of feeding depends on the age of the baby. Newborns need food for 20-40 minutes on each breast to get food. However, as the child grows, it acquires the skills of fast food intake and eventually gets food for 5-10 minutes on one breast.

Now for the second one, children’s pediatricians recommend in the first 6 months to feed newborns exclusively with breast milk.

They also recommend adding breast milk to the diet after the baby is transferred to solid food. This is to be done until the end of the year of life and subsequent periods if the mother can afford it.

Frequency of Breastfeeding

Another most asked question is how frequent a newborn should be fed. For this here is the answer.

Breastfeeding Frequency

A newborn baby should be fed 8-12 times a day during the first 30 days of life. If Mom feels that her baby is not gorging, a milk formula can be included in the diet.

Breast milk is easier to digest than an artificial milk formula because it is perfectly matched to the child’s digestive system. It is quickly digested as well and therefore it often makes a child feel hungry.

Frequent feeding stimulates the production of milk, especially in the first 7-14 days. In the next 2 months, the breastfeeding schedule will gradually decrease and can be 7-9 attachments per breast per day.

To feed the baby is better on demand, whenever it is hungry, that is, every 1.5-3 hours. The interval of food intake should not be more than 4 hours, even at night.

How often and for how long should you breastfeed a baby?

breastfeeding

The answer to this question depends on curled from the mother’s body, the baby’s appetite, as well as many other factors that are as follows.

  1. The volume and quality of mother’s milk.
  2. Rate of milk supply to the baby.
  3. The correct position of the mother during meals.
  4. Mood of mother and child.
  5. The overall situation.

Alternating Between Breast When Nursing

To preserve the production of milk in both breasts and prevent the painful swelling of the mammary glands, it is important to alternate the breasts during feeding.

breastfeeding Position

The feeding time is selected for the child’s appetite and the features of milk production for the woman. Some babies can be fed for 5 minutes on one breast where others may need 10-15 minutes on each breast.

Some experts recommend changing breasts in the middle of each feeding and begin another meal with a resting breast. Some women find this method extremely useful and carry a notebook to track the feeding schedule. Others reject this path and feed the baby with one breast for one feeding.

In most cases, infants prefer to receive food from two breasts. However, there are some babies who like feeding only from one breast. Which way the mother and baby will choose depends on personal preferences, but the way in which two breasts participate in the diet is more convenient.

Signs that Child is Full and Satisfied

Young mothers, especially the mothers for the first time, often worry about whether the baby is full after feeding or not.

Happy Baby

A nursing mother can be calm if the child shows any of the following conditions.

  1. It remains happy after each meal and falls asleep sweetly.
  2. Child produces approximately 4-6 wet diapers a day and has regular bowel movements.
  3. Infant sleeps well.
  4. Attentive and calm during wakefulness.
  5. Good weight gain.

However, if the child does not receive breast milk properly then it may show the following symptoms.

    Baby After Feeding

  1. It stays awake after feeding and continues to look for the mother’s breast.
  2. The child does not produce the required number of wet diapers, has rare and meager defecations.
  3. The baby is fussy and crying a lot.
  4. It does not gain enough weight.

If you are worried that your baby is not getting enough milk, call your doctor. Breastfeeding can be supplemented with milk formulas as well.

Eructation After Feeding

An eructation after feeding is a norm or a deviation?

For infants practicing breastfeeding, regurgitation of a small amount of food is normal.

However, vomiting, in large numbers, should cause anxiety. Vomiting after feeding is a deviation that needs medical attention.

Diapers to Check for Nutrition

Diapers are an excellent indicator of proper nutrition. The first milk is colostrum, which the newborn receives. It allows the child to produce from 1 to 2 wet diapers in the first 24 hours of life.

Diaper Check

In the next 3-4 days after birth, milk acquires a more liquid consistency and allows producing 4-5 wet diapers and greenish-yellow stools once a day.

After 6-7 days of life, the baby should produce more than 6 wet diapers a day with clear or very pale urine. A smaller number of diapers indicate that the infant is not receiving enough food. If yellow crystals appear on the surface of the diapers then you should immediately call your doctor. Four or more yellow defecations during this period report the proper nutrition of the newborn baby.

We hope that we have cleared some of your queries regarding breastfeeding. If you still have any concerns then you must immediately consult your doctor and everything will be fine.

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How Long Should You Breastfeed a Baby