How many times a day should I breastfeed? All information at a glance

There is no universal answer to the question of how often you should breastfeed your baby. Because every baby has different needs, which can also vary from day to day. As a rule of thumb, however, the healthy child knows exactly what it needs and should therefore be breastfed as often as it is hungry and until it is full.

How often do you have to breastfeed?

Breast milk is digested quickly in your baby’s stomach, so they may need food almost every two hours. So eight to twelve meals in 24 hours is not uncommon. Newborns are often hungry every 1 ½ hours. As a rule, the breastfeeding intervals are between 1 ½ and 6 hours. In most cases, however, an individual rhythm quickly sets in for each child. Most children drink about every 2 ½ to 4 hours – so they have to be breastfed frequently, even at night. When it comes to the question of how often you should breastfeed your baby, it is best to focus on his needs. And when it comes to breastfeeding, it often depends on the character of the baby. Some babies drink quickly and greedily, others enjoy more slowly. So give your child the time they need. How do you recognizeIs my baby drinking enough when breastfeeding? “.

signals of hunger

You can tell babies are hungry when they are restless, stick out their tongues and lick and suck on their hands. Most babies also draw attention to themselves by making smacking noises. If you are unsure whether your child is really hungry, give him a pacifier or offer him one of your fingers to suckle. If it’s hungry, that won’t calm it down.

How often to breastfeed during a growth spurt?

As your child goes through different growth phases, it is normal for the breastfeeding rhythm to change often. Because depending on how its development progresses, your baby will have more or less appetite. The classic growth spurts are usually observed between the 7th and 10th day of life, around the 4th to 6th week of life, around the 12th week of life and around the 6th month of life. Especially now you should nurse your child more often and breastfeed as needed, because the child’s organism needs more food and nutrients during the growth spurt than before. Your body will produce more milk within 2 to 3 days and your baby will then quickly return to its usual rhythm.

Don’t worry: the more milk your child drinks, the more milk you will produce. So there won’t be a milk shortage if your child shows a special appetite for a while. The demand regulates the supply, so to speak.

Breastfeeding is a “3-course meal”

Breastfeeding is often compared to a “3-course meal”: At the beginning, the child suckles water-rich milk, which quenches thirst and is rather low in calories. This is the appetizer. After about two to five minutes, the mother’s milk ejection reflex kicks in and your baby is supplied with high-fat, high-calorie, filling milk. This is the main course. However, especially in the first few days, it can take up to twenty minutes for your child to get this nutritious milk. Therefore, you should leave it on your chest a little longer during this time. Later, the baby will only drink from the first breast for ten minutes. Your baby eats dessert on the second breast: a mixture of thirst-quenching and filling milk. A breastfeeding meal can therefore take up to an hour in total. It is therefore important that you take enough time to breastfeed and do not feel any time pressure. So you can both enjoy the closeness and your baby is guaranteed to be provided with everything it needs. More toYou can find out more about the composition of breast milk in our article on this topic. In the article “How long does a breastfeed last?” you will also find out how you can tell that your baby is full.

Proper donning and doffing of the breast

If you breastfeed your baby often, it is a great relief for you if you can put the baby on and take it off the breast without any problems. In our articles “Correctly putting on and taking off from the breast” and “Four popular breastfeeding positions” you will get many valuable tips so that breastfeeding works well. Our special “Breastfeeding” also offers you an overview of further information about breastfeeding .

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