Important things to know about your baby’s feeding patterns.
It is important that Moms stop worrying so much about breastfeeding routine and also stop looking at the clock, and start concentrating more on baby. A strict schedule is not needed, think of the way you eat during the day... Would you like it if someone took your snacks away?
Feeding Cues in Baby (when you know your baby is hungry)
• Rooting:Turning of the head towards the side or opening the mouth. • Wriggling: Moving around. • Sucking: Sucking on anything baby can, including their own hands. • Fussiness: Being restless. •
Crying: This is the last sign of hunger. A parent should not wait
until baby is crying as this can cause them to gulp while feeding.
This is from the time baby starts a feed until the next time baby starts a feed.
What is the average feeding frequency?
average newborns will drink between 8 – 12 times per 24 hours, but it
is also totally normal for a newborn to breastfeed every hour or once
every 4 hours. It is also normal if baby drinks more during certain
times and less at other times. Very few babies will adopt a specific
pattern (for example eating exactly every three hours).
Cluster Feeding in Connection with Feeding Patterns
is when a baby feeds every half hour for a few hours at a time; they
usually sleep for long periods of time afterwards. Cluster feeding usually
occurs in the evening hours. Cluster feeding can also occur in children
that are a few months of age, not only newborns.
is a period of increased growth in baby. During this time a baby will
usually drink more often than usual. This is so that the mother can
build a bigger supply of milk for baby's increased needs during this time.
babies take 5 or 10 minutes to finish whilst others may take 45 minutes
or longer. As a baby gets older, he/she may start breastfeeding for
shorter periods of time and also may start feeding at regular intervals.
mother should not restrict the time baby spends on a breast. It is best
to allow baby to breastfeed until he/she has decided they have had
enough, and then change sides if necessary. Doing this will ensure that
baby receives the fattier hind-milk, which is the milk produced later on
in a feed. Read more on hindmilk/foremilk imbalance here.
Suck Swallow Ratio in Connection with Feeding Patterns
is how many times a baby sucks before swallowing. The most effective
milk transfer is when baby sucks once and then swallows once; 1: 1 ratio.
This is called "nutritive sucking". When a baby starts to suck for
comfort it is called "non-nutritive sucking" or "flutter sucking", this
usually has a ratio of 5:1 (five sucks and one swallow)
• Baby will fall asleep. Baby might stay attached or come off the breast on his/her own.
• Baby starts to comfort feed with a higher suck to swallow ratio as mentioned above.
Bowel Movements (stools)
babies may have a bowel movement immediately after, or even during a
feed. After a few months, this frequency becomes less and some breastfed
babies may have only one stool every 7 to 8 days. This is because
breast milk is so easily digested.
newborn baby’s tummy can only hold about two tablespoons of fluid. This
is why a baby only needs a little colostrum, the first few days. As Mom's milk supply increases, so does baby’s stomach capacity. Colostrum
is also so much more concentrated than formula, or even mature breast
milk. This is why only small amounts are needed.
babies are also born with extra fluid in their cells, to compensate for
the small amounts taken in during the first few days of life. The extra
fluid leaves the body once it is not needed anymore.