Posted by: kaz | 2004/11/24


breast feeding for only 15 minutes!

my son is now 11 weeks old. I am breast feeding & for the first few weeks he was drinking up to 20 minutes each side every three hours. He then went down to 15 min each side. (I have heard that this is normal as they suck more effeciently as the get older.) But what concerns me now is that he will now only drink for 15 minutes, occasionally 20min in one sitting and refuses more. He is still feeding every three hours during the day and goes up to 5-6 hours in the evening before the next feed in the morning. Is it possible for him to get all he needs in 15 minutes? He averages 5 - 6 feedings in 24 hours.

Expert's Reply



The most important indication that your child is getting enough is that he gains weight adequately.

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user comments


Posted by: Purple | 2004/11/25

Yes, its possible for your baby to get all he needs in 15 minutes.

Baby does suck more efficiently as he gets bigger and better at it. Also, your milk might flow faster on some days than others (depends on how relaxed you are).

Remember that the hind milk starts mixing with the foremilk immediately that baby starts drinking, so don't worry about whether he gets enough of each kind - its needless worry, baby gets exactly what he needs.

Also, some feeds baby is just thirsty, so will have a quick few sips of milk, and get mostly foremilk which is 90% water. Sometimes baby wants the equivalent of a soup, roast chicken, potatoes, chocolate mousse and after dinner mint, so will have a long feed, other times baby will just have the main course thanks.

How long baby is at the breast is irrelevant, it just depends on hunger, thirst, milk flow, strength of suck.

The important thing is that you demand feed, this way baby always gets exactly what they need.

Babies will continue to feed anywhere between 2 andc 4 hourly during the day (longer stretches at night) until about 7 or 8 months when they are well established on solids.

You have a growth spurt coming up at about 12 weeks or so when baby will feed more often (as you went through at 2/3 weeks and 6-8 weeks).

Also, breast feeding is about to become MUCH MUCH EASIER for you, as somewhere between 12 and 14 weeks, baby will stop cluster feeding in the mornings and evenings.

Just remember, don't start giving bottles of formula or bottles of water or solids. Baby doesn't need solids until 6 months, and if you are still breast feeding, doesn't need water to drink until about 8 months.

I suggest that you contact a lactation consultant who can answer any breast feeding queries you have. She is an expert on human breast feeding and has a medical background. Find one for your area in the back of Baby and Me or Your Baby magazine, or phone Tina Otte's family and Child centre and ask for Brenda Pierce's number.

Well done for breast feeding!!!

Reply to Purple

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