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  1. #1
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    Default How does breastfeeding work?

    Sorry for the weird thread title. Could someone please explain to me how breastfeeding works in terms of dropping feeds.

    My older child was formula fed and it was easy to know when to drop feeds. She would cry for more and then not need to drink for longer so as the quantity increased the frequency decreased until she turned 1 and then I swapped to cows milk in a silly cup.

    With breastfeeding I have no idea how it's works. Do the babies just gradually drop feeds as they increase the quantity or do I need to initiate dropping feeds? She's only 1 month old now so I assume it won't happen anytime soon but for example how many feeds could I anticipate her having at say 3 months, 6 months etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mama Mirabelle View Post
    Sorry for the weird thread title. Could someone please explain to me how breastfeeding works in terms of dropping feeds.

    My older child was formula fed and it was easy to know when to drop feeds. She would cry for more and then not need to drink for longer so as the quantity increased the frequency decreased until she turned 1 and then I swapped to cows milk in a silly cup.

    With breastfeeding I have no idea how it's works. Do the babies just gradually drop feeds as they increase the quantity or do I need to initiate dropping feeds? She's only 1 month old now so I assume it won't happen anytime soon but for example how many feeds could I anticipate her having at say 3 months, 6 months etc.
    If you feed on demand they will just feed when they want. Some feed regularly - some do not.

    Do not try and drop feeds at such a young age. Also, they can increase feeds during growth spurts so you can have them drop a feed one week and then they seem to pick up 5 the next.

    I only ever tried to drop feeds on weaning (and weaning for me was at 2.5yo). You can initiate dropping feeds after 12 months but I would not do so before.

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    Oh. My DS never went by a feeding routine. Some kids do and if you are a routine person I know there are books that do list feed times etc for BF (similar to FF). But that is up to you and how your DD is.

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    Unless you want to mix feed I would definitely not recommend you drop feeds till Bub has solids. It can seriously affect your supply if you start dropping them now. Once Bub has started solids and gets calories/nutrients from that you may choose to stretch bf feeds a bit more.

    Bf works on supply and demand. The more Bub feeds, the more milk you make. Babies become more efficient at feeding so they slowly may stretch their feeds out around 12weeks. They might go from 1-2hrly to 2-3hrly or even 3-4hrly depending on your bubs metabolism and growth. You may wish to move to scheduled feeds around 3-4mths old but I've never done that.

    Breastfed babies are more fluid with their feeds. Some days they feed more than other days. I'm currently feeding my 3rd baby who is 7mths old. Yesterday she fed hourly. Today 4 feeds since 5am. Meh. What else am I doing?

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    Default How does breastfeeding work?

    I always have my kids up to 3 months of wherever, whenever. 3 months being my sanity's threshold!

    After 3 months I tried to space out feeds to develop a routine. Ds1 didn't work, but ds2 and 3 did perfectly.

    I still fed overnight as needed but with no 2 & 3 I felt more comfortable to shhhh and pat them more, rather then always get them to fall asleep with a feed. Again, ds2 perfect. Ds3 took a lot longer but eventually got there.

    I didn't drop feeds till after they were on solids. It was just kinda obvious that he was full/content. My milk adjusted accordingly.

    With ds3 I remember dropping specifically coz he mucked around too much, would have a suck, bite and then start laughing. So he weaned at 11.5 months coz I don't think think he wanted more than a gulp at a time.

    I will add that I did use SOS as a guide for feed and sleep times, along with visits to sleep school. And I'll just again add in, I cuddled, hugged and fed as much as possible up till 3 months.

    Good luck, it's hard work but I love the feeling of a baby nuzzling into mum. No feeling like it in the world.

    ETA: ds 1 was totally different and fed around the clock. My inexperience probably didn't help (along with bad advice) but each kid is different and you just need to go with works for you both.
    Last edited by misho; 05-05-2016 at 14:44.

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    My DD is 10 months and up until about 6 months of age she was feeding 2-4 hourly during the day by demand and 1-2 times overnight so 6-8 feeds total. She now has 3 feeds a day and one overnight. She feeds 7:30am, 2pm, 6:30pm and 3-4am. The 6:30pm feed is hit and miss sometimes she hardly has anything.
    In changing her feeding demands she just wouldn't 'ask' for it or if I offered she wouldn't feed properly or very short feed times so I just stretched feeds out and she fed better and wasn't bothered by it. I think bub will let you know what they want.
    I also think babies have different feeding styles. Some want to feed often and small amounts, or large amounts! Some want to feed less frequently but larger volume.
    As twinklify said it can also vary week to week with growth spurts, illness etc. I know some people feed by a schedule but i would be wary of trying that for a while just to make sure supply is well and truly established.
    How is it going now @Mama Mirabelle? Hope the pain has resolved xx

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    Thanks for the replies. Just to clarify I'm definitely not thinking of dropping feeds anytime soon. Just curious more than anything at what stage they tend to move down to fewer feeds. I guess you have to be more flexible when breastfeeding.

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    With DD we sort of fell into a routine at about 12 weeks. I'm a routine kind of person, but it was more led by DD than anything. Of course there were times when she fed more frequently (growth spurts, illness).
    I tried to follow a routine from a book that said she should be feeding 4 hourly for her age, but it just ended with us both upset. DD was a 2 hourly feeder (daytime only), for a loooong time.
    I don't think you can really start to drop feeds as such until Bub is well established on solids. For DD that was about 8 months or so, when she started going longer between feeds.
    I didn't actively start dropping feeds until I weaned her at 14 months.
    My advice is to just go with it for the first few months, then you will find your rhythm between you.

  11. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by gingermillie View Post
    How is it going now @Mama Mirabelle? Hope the pain has resolved xx
    Thanks for asking gingermillie, it seems to be getting better slowly. Some feeds feel ok and then others are painful again. I'm just trying to push through to 6 weeks, I've tried to set that goal and I'll see how I feel at that point.

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    Hi op. Congratulations.... That first month of breastfeeding can be very labour intensive so you have done awesome to get this far! The good news is that for many mums it will start getting easier from the 6-8 week mark.
    My advice is to try not to think too much about it. Breastfed babies normally make it pretty clear if they want milk or not. I have two exclusively breast fed kids and they both have been in the habit of breastfeeding on waking so they dropped feeds naturally and easily as they dropped day sleeps. Now this will be totally different for all babies but just to give you an idea this is the average that my kids breast fed....
    1 month- about 3 hrly on demand with a few hours of cluster feeding at the end of the day.
    3 months- about 6 times a day (that's after all 3 day naps, before bed and 2 night feeds)
    6 months- 5 feeds a day (morning, after 2 day naps, before bed and 1 night feed). I offer 3 full meals of food from about this age too.
    8 months- dropped night feeds so just 4 day feeds.
    12 months- 3 feeds (morning, after one day sleep and before bed)
    Then when they drop their day sleep they are only having a breastfeed in the morning and before bed at night and I just keep giving these two feeds indefinitely until they wean altogether.

    Wow that's kinda a long post when the gist of what I want to say it that it's easy, it will work itself out and become clear to you as time goes on.

    Good luck. X

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