Nursing ALL the Time

Updated on August 26, 2010
S.P. asks from Cincinnati, OH
17 answers

I know people say they nurse all the time, but I literally do. It starts when we get up at 8 am and he'll eat for 30 min or so until drifting off, then I'll lay him down. 5 to 10 minutes later, he'll be awake and demand more. This goes on until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. He's 6 weeks old now and gaining weight (started off at 8 lbs and is now over 11!)

the Only way I really get him down for a nap during the day is to give him 4 oz of formula. Now he's getting up at night to do the same. We were up for 3 hours last night.

What is going on, does anyone know?

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answers from Houston on

I did this as well, and my pedi told me I was just a human pacifier, and to find other ways to soothe him aside from nursing.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

the first month is terrible, you are attached, then the second month it gets better but mine cluster fed at night, then it got much better. i used "my breast friend" pillow because i could feed standing up...also i used a sling so that i could still do a few things at least while feeding.

the other comments are good too, try to keep awake for awhile after feeding even if its only 5min at first, then keep working it up. if you arent opposed to cosleeping, then i would let him night feed, lay on your side & put him to breast, you will at least get to rest while feeding without getting a pain in your neck because you're falling asleep while sitting up! lol!

i know one poster said to pump so you can judge your output, but this is not a good way to know how much you are producing, i could feed my baby till full but never pump even half an ounce after my supply evened out, pumps dont work as well as a baby, & many moms cannot pump milk even though they make enough to feed their baby. i say this because if you do pump i dont want you to get discouraged if nothing or little comes out. this doesnt mean you aren't making enough milk!

kellymom is a good online source

good luck!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boise on

I would try to keep him awake after feeding (or wake him up if need be) by changing a diaper, etc. Then, when he is tired, put him down to sleep. He may seem like he is hungry, but most babies root when tired. When he wakes up, feed him. It should be about 45 min-1hour of wake time, followed by 1.5-2.5 hours of sleep. If you can get him on a routine, he is more likely to get a full meal.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Get thee to a lactation consultant! They are awesome. Maybe soemthing to help keep him awake to feed longer or she can give you info about your supply. They actually weigh baby to see how much milk he takes. I know it is hard, but kudos to you for doing it! And it won't be like this forever.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

He not nursing that entire time. You are not producing milk that entire time. Therefore you are his human pacifier. You will need to find something for him to suck on if he just likes to suck. My son wouldn't take a pacifier but would suck on a cloth diaper instead. Viola solution found. Find out what works for your newborn and congratulations and welcome to motherhood.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from South Bend on

Well, i think your issue is two part...1). He's in a cluster feeding phase, and 2). he's getting used to using you as a human pacifier. I breastfed all four of my children, and my now 3 year old wanted to always use me as a pacifier. I tried giving her a pacifier ALL the time-she never wanted it much. But, the key is to TRY...introduce it and see if he'll accept it. You may have to try more than one brand. My daughter would only use the Nuk brand, and even then it was limited use. With some babies, breastfeeding is a comfort thing. When he needs soothing or comforting, he wants to be at your breast. Then he doesn't really eat, and it leads to him being hungry and you having to whip out the boobies again! Lol. Been there, done that. Like many other moms have said, try keeping him awake during the majority of the feeding. If after he's eaten for awhile & has a full tummy, let him drift off to sleep so you can get 'mommy' time.

Another trick i used to do to get my daughter to accept the pacifier was to hold her up to my chest in the breastfeeding position, then put the pacifier in her mouth. She gets the benefit of being soothed in my arms, in her favorite position, and i get the benefit of NOT having to be Elsie the cow again. :) Try it. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Bismarck on

Have you heard of Babywise? It's an amazing book that I recommend. We used it with our now 17month old son. It basically teaches you how to keep your child on a schedule. They have feeding times, napping times, and playing times. It's also a great way to teach your child to sleep through the night. Our son started sleeping 8 hours a night at 1.5 months old and was sleeping 12 hours a night at 2.5 months old. I believe Babywise to be the help in him doing that. I'll sum it up for you really quick with the most important things in case you don't feel like reading a book (although I still recommend it).

When he gets up at 8am feed him a full feeding (make sure he is not just snacking).
After you feed him make sure you keep him awake for a period of time. This should be his "play/awake" time.
Once he has his "play" time then he can have his nap time.

Basically you just need to figure out how often you are wanting to feed him based upon his age at this time. (I think we were at every 3 hours at 6 weeks). They say the key is to not let your child fall asleep as they feed because otherwise they don't get a full feeding and it just becomes a snacking through out the day thing. It can be hard at first to keep them awake but the more you try and stick with it the better it will get. Also, make sure you don't let them go directly back to sleep after a feeding (unless it is during a night time feeding). They need to learn to associate day time with play time and naps, and night time with just night time. So when you feed him during the day make sure you are talking to him a lot and interacting but when you feed him during the night they say to not be social with your child so they associate that with night time we just sleep. Is any of this making sense?

I know these times seem to last forever but remember this is just a phase in his little life and he will pass through this.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Saginaw on

sounds like he wants a pacifier! Is your son using a pacifier? If not I would def try! Keep in mind you may need to try a few until you find one he likes, my best friends 3 month old went through 6 kinds before she liked one! I got lucky, my 10 week old liked the first one we tried! He uses the Avent ones.

If he is just waiting to eat then you giving him formula is gonna cause you some pain! Try pumping and giving him a bottle of pumped milk. When my son(my 3rd) was little he would nurse like that too every night for about 5 hrs. It was cause he kept nodding off and would stop sucking, I started wiggling him a little and he stayed awake and finished his meal and the crazy nursing sessions stopped! I would try a pacifier and a breast milk bottle and see what happens! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I totally agree with Thuber's response, only my book was 'The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer'. Get him into a routine and your life will change dramatically! I read the book when my oldest was 6 weeks, and it was the best thing I ever did! I started the routine with my second child the day she was born and at 3 weeks she was sleeping through the night. You can do this! Good luck!



answers from Atlanta on

My son would nurse anytime I put him on the breast but he wasn't always hungry. This may sound silly since he is only 6 weeks old, but have you tried playing with him or entertaining him? Has the doctor looked to make sure he isn't tongue tied? He may be having trouble latching and getting enough milk although that doesn't sound like the case since he is clearly gaining weight :)

This may be a pain, but it may be easier for you to pump so he can get a clear 4 ounces at every feeding and then you'll know when he is and isn't hungry. Breastmilk is digested much faster than formula so a breastfeeding child will eat more frequently than a formula fed child. I know it's tough and very frustrating but keep up the good work with breastfeeding; it's so worth it.



answers from Indianapolis on

Have you tried wearing him? Maybe he's no hungry, just needing some cuddles and bonding? Pop him in a sling and nurse him and see if he'll sleep longer.
I'm guessing that the formula is what is waking him at night. It's probably giving him digestive issues and making him uncomfortable:( Also, most babies go through a growth spurt around 6 weeks, so that could be why he's up more at night. The last thing you want to do is supplement. Nurse him as often as he needs it and your supply will come up to meet his needs and then even out and he'll go back to sleeping better.
Don't worry, he'll become more efficient at nursing as he gets bigger and it won't take as long to eat. Just wear him and nurse through whatever else you're doing.



answers from South Bend on

My second child did the same thing. I had to keep her awake during feeding. So, when she would start getting drowsy on the first side, I would unlatch her and then change her diaper with lots of tickling and smiling. Then, latch her onto the second side. Then, I would let her fall asleep if she wanted because by the time she got drowsy, she was full.

If everything you try fails, just remember, this is only a stage (a very tiring one, but still only a stage).


answers from Columbus on

I don't know if this is for you, because its not for everyone, but for me pumping has worked better that the actual breast, because my son would nurse for 10 min., sleep 20, wake and nurse some more, so I would literally have about an hour in between feedings if that.
Now I pump and give him a bottle and its easier to have a schedule and know how much he ate.
Hope this helps you.



answers from New York on

my girlfriend had twins and her dr. told her right off the bat.. get them used to nursing every 3 hours... it was hard.... she had to keep them awake.. if they really screamed she would do it 2 1/2 hours.. but after a few days and nights.. they got the hang of it.. and would nurse every 3 hours.. after they were about 2 1/2 months she pushed them to 3 1/2 and then 4 and so on.. by 5 months old they were sleeping thru the night.. and they were twins.. you have to wean him a little ... he is eating to frequently and not enough.. you have to stimulate him to keep him awake.. or push him till he is upset.. then give it to him.. good luck



answers from Phoenix on

Do you ever pump? I would recommend pumping in addition to breast feeding so you can get a better idea of how much you are supplying at a given feeding. It is impossible to know until you can actually measure it out. If it is under 3-4 oz. you may want to continue pumping to increase your supply. If he can eat more at one sitting then he will be sustained longer.

Also, try to keep him from nodding off during the day. If he wakes every 5 - 10 minutes he is not done with the one feeding. You can try having him in just a diaper to feed, try stroking the side of his cheeks, talk to him, or being in a bright noisey room to help him stay awake to finish the job.



answers from Columbus on

He is either going through his normal six week growth spurt or is using you as a pacifier. If he wakes up, right after you put him down try a pacifier. My son would do this and my mil suggested giving him formula (with cereal) and because I was so sleep deprived I tried it. I ended up causing my poor son some severe intestinal distress instead. The pacifier worked.



answers from Indianapolis on

It should not last forever...he might be going through his six-week growth spurt right now.
It should level off in a day or two.
Usually they have another growth spurt at about three months when they will want to nurse all the time for two or three days.
Sounds like you are doing fine.
Try to rest when he is resting.

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