A question that a lot of new moms have is how often should I nurse? When you are in the hospital, they want you to wake the baby up every 3-4 hours during the day and keep a log of it. Yeah, this is one reason I insist on the early discharge. It’s hard enough being at the hospital but to log your nursing? Also, there were times my son was out of the room for 3 hours like when he got his circumcision. You will also be told that nursing babies eat every 2 hours. So which is it?
The answer is- as often as they want! You need to understand, you are not in charge any more. Once your baby gets older, nursing will probably be on more of a schedule but for the first few months it simply won’t be. Your baby will nurse as it sees fit. Also, every baby is different. Even with my own 3 kids, each one nursed so differently. Your baby will also nurse more if it is going through a growth spurt.
Some babies eat every two hours for a half hour at a time. Some babies eat every hour for ten minutes at a time. And still others will eat every 3-4 hours and be happy. However, I think most babies are somewhat mixed.
Basically, you want to feed your baby on demand. I only have 2 exceptions. The first one is make sure your newborn nurses at least every 4 hours during the day. The second is, if your baby seems to nurse for 10 minutes, fall asleep then want to eat again a half hour later, you need to wake them up. My son constantly falls asleep while nursing. I need to force him to wake up and finish eating before i let him sleep. I will post tips on waking babies later.
So there you have it. How often should you nurse? As often as your baby wants to. It’s kinda hard at first but it gets easier. Your baby will become more efficient at nursing d it gets older and after solids are introduced, your baby will need to nurse less and less during the day and a lot less at night.