Breastfeeding A to Z

How Often Is Your Baby Eating? Week 5-6

It is still typical for your baby to eat 8 or more times in 24 hours.  But remember it is most important to let your baby have a say in how often they are fed.  They will do a good job of regulating their food intake if you follow their lead and pay attention to the signals they give you about being hungry and being full.  (1)

The pattern of their eating may be every 2-3 hours round the clock or they may have a period of the day that they cluster several feedings together and then have a longer stretch of sleep.  Almost as if they were tanking up on food in order to sleep a longer period of time.  Each baby is unique, some are predictable and some are not.

The following quote from Ellyn Satter, RD, MSW, reminds us to follow our baby’s cues:  When you pay attention to what your baby tells you about how they want to be fed you’re showing them love and respect.  You’re helping her [him] feel good about herself [himself].  Right from birth, babies have a hunger to be understood.  When you follow her [his] cues in feeding, you let her [him] know you understand. (1)  Brackets are mine.

  1. Satter, E, Should your baby have a schedule? (0-3 Months) Handout Masters Series, 1995.