How Often to Breastfeed
Newborn babies want to feed on demand, usually 8 to 12 times in a 24 hour period for the first two to four weeks. While breastfeeding, be careful of well-meaning family and friends who encourage you to breastfeed less often. Watch your baby for feeding cues, such as increased alertness or activity, mouthing, rooting and suckling.. If your baby is sleeping and does not show feeding cues in three hours during the day, try to wake your baby.
- You should feed your baby throughout the day and night.
- For sleepy babies, your healthcare provider may tell you to wake your baby every three hours for feedings until your baby has regained his/her birth weight.
- Do not give pacifiers to lengthen the time between feedings. Watch for feeding cues (examples listed above). Crying is a late sign of hunger and makes breastfeeding much harder.