Breastfeeding Patterns

It is usually best to feed the baby on demand and to forget anything about breastfeeding schedules. Most full term, healthy babies know best when they need to feed, how long and how much they need to feed. You can expect your baby to have between six and eight feeds in 24 hours.

Feed your baby as frequently and as long as he wants to, even at night. As your baby becomes older and more mature the feeding frequency will probably decrease.

Cluster feeding

Especially young babies or low birth weight babies tend to clusterfeed. That means the baby feeds frequently at certain times and much less at others. Typically these episodes of clusterfeeding take place in the late afternoon or early evening. Cluster feeding does not indicate a lack of milk but is indeed a common feeding pattern in young or low birth weight infants.

Growth spurts

If your baby suddenly wants to feed more often, this is called a growth spurt. It should not be confused with the cluster feeding of young or low birth weight infants. Typically you can expect growth spurts when your baby is about two to three weeks, six weeks and three months. If you continue to feed on demand for a couple of days this phase will pass and the balance between supply and demand will be restored.

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