How many minutes should my baby be breastfeeding?

This blog post was inspired by a recent question on instagram,

“My 8-month-old will only nurse for about 5 minutes, every 2-3 hours.  Is this normal?” ~ Kelly

mom breastfeeding her child 

Every class I teach and every consult I do, Moms want to know the answer to this: “What’s normal?  What should I expect?”

It's hard to know how long you should feed your baby but with these tips you will...

Since every baby is different and every stage of an infant’s growth creates a ‘new normal’, this can be a loaded question!  Of course there are generic guidelines to discuss (Offer both sides, Shoot for 10-15 minutes each side, feed 8-12 times in 24 hours).  In addition to these, I ask my clients the following,

“Do you eat faster or slower than your friends?”

“Do you eat at the same time every day?”

“Do you eat more on some days and less on others?”

“Do you sometimes snack throughout the day instead of eat large meals?”

The point is that we don’t eat the same time in the same way every day, so why should we expect our infants to do so?  Some of us eat quickly, and others prefer to take more time.  The answer to Kelly’s question from above is Yes, five minutes can be completely normal for your little one.  Rather than counting minutes, it’s more important to know the signs that baby is getting what they need (hint: its not just about weight gain).  I discuss those in detail in my classes (in-person and online video).

mom smiling at her baby

Hope this helps Create Confidence!  Would love to see you in an upcoming class or hear from you about how you liked the video classes!  Get started with my ‘Top Ten Tips for Breastfeeding Success’ here.

Thanks for coming by,

Lindsey Shipley, RN, IBCLC

Lindsey Headshot white with grey

Photography in this post is by Broken Anchor Photography.