How often should I feed my newborn?
Many new parents seem anxious about how often their newborn eats. It is recommended that parents adopt a demand feeding system, where their baby is fed whenever they seem to be hungry. Babies tend to become hungry every 2-3 hours, with those stretches expanding to every 3-4 hours as their stomachs grow and are able to hold more milk.
Babies who are hungry often move their heads from side to side, try to suck on their hands, turn their heads toward a mother’s breast, or move their mouths toward something stroking their cheek.
Breastfed babies also tend to go through periods of “cluster feedings” where they seem to eat every 1-2 hours for 1-2 days. Cluster feedings are an important part of stimulating the mother’s body to produce adequate amounts of milk for a growing baby, but can sometimes result in frustration, exhaustion, or questioning of whether or not the newborn’s behavior is normal.
If you are exclusively breastfeeding your baby and their cluster feeding lasts longer than 48 hours, your milk supply may be inadequate for your baby’s needs. Contact Dr. Kolsi to discuss feeding options.