Is it normal for my baby to breastfeed for only a few minutes at a time?

Is it normal for my baby to breastfeed for only a few minutes at a time?

Yes, short nursing sessions are normal — and perfectly fine unless your baby is having trouble gaining weight.

"As long as your baby is growing well, it's okay if she only wants to nurse for two minutes," says pediatrician Tanya Remer Altmann, editor of The Wonder Years: Helping Your Baby and Young Child Successfully Negotiate the Major Developmental Milestones.

"Some babies are snackers — they nurse for a minute or two, take a break, and then go back," says Altmann. "Other babies can drain the breast in two minutes and be satisfied for a few hours. It depends on how much milk you have and your letdown."

If your newborn baby falls asleep at the breast after just a few minutes of nursing, however, it's a good idea to wake her up so she can have a full feeding — and reach the fattier, more satisfying milk that comes toward the end of a feeding. To keep your baby awake and eating, gently tickle her feet or blow on her face. Or, as Altmann suggests, strip your baby down to her diaper before your nursing session. Keeping her cooler may prevent her from snoozing.

You'll know your newborn's nursing pattern is too short if she isn't gaining enough weight. Your baby's doctor will pay close attention to this — it's why weigh-ins are such an important part of her doctor appointments.

Altmann says there's no harm in an older baby continuing to "snack" — as long as the mother is all right with it and it fits with her schedule. It can be challenging to meet the needs of a breastfeeding snacker, however, because nursing sessions will be more frequent.

If that's true for you, Altmann advises encouraging your baby to lengthen her feedings by lifting her back to your breast after that first pull-away to see if she'll keep eating.

Says Altmann, "Sometimes all your baby needs is an extra burp and she'll nurse longer."

Watch the video: How can I get my baby to breastfeed for longer periods of time? (January 2022).

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