Breast milk is the best and most healthy diet you can offer to your baby. It is perfectly adapted for the baby’s body, contains more than 400 nutrients, has an ideal balance of fats, proteins and mineral elements that enhance immunity, help digestion, and promote growth.
That is why it is very important to breastfeed your newborn properly. The time of a nursing session may vary depending on many different factors including the age of a child. So, what are these factors?
Factors That Influence The Time Of A Nursing Session:
Different children need various time of feeding to become satisfied. Some babies can breastfeed for about 10 minutes to ease the hunger, others may demand more than 50 minutes for that. The time of feeding might depend on the following factors:
- The health of a newborn. In situations when a baby has some health problems or an illness, they can stop feeding in a short time after the beginning, because they do not have enough energy to suck breast milk out.
- Activity. Feeding of an active child will last longer, in comparison with the feeding time of a sleepy child.
- Physiology of a mother. Low milk supply may also increase the time of a breastfeeding session, as it will take more time for a child to get enough milk. Another physical issue of a mother that can influence the feeding time is the flow of milk. The weaker the flow of milk, the more time a baby needs to become satisfied.
- Latch. Having a bad latch, a newborn will need more time to satisfy hunger because poor latch makes it difficult for the baby to extract breast milk efficiently.
- Age. When a baby becomes older, the time required for a child to be satisfied will be reduced.
Time Of A Nursing Session According To The Age Of A Baby
- Infants should be fed every two or three hours. One nursing session should last about thirty minutes (around fifteen minutes for each breast).
- A baby of three to four months is usually fed not so frequently. The time between the feedings is reduced as well as the time of a breastfeeding session.
- A child of six to nine months breastfeeds less often. They may have some occasional feedings during a day and one feeding at night.
- A child of 12 months and older usually has some quick feedings during the day, because in general, they eat solid foods.
What If A Newborn Feeds Very Fast?
Sometimes, it takes quite a long time for breast milk to reach a nipple. Such a long let-down can be a cause of a short feeding session, especially when a child is sleepy. A newborn can fall asleep or stop nursing before they get enough hindmilk which is rich in fat and vitamins.
Fast feedings are bad for the health of a mother and a child because a little one will not gain weight properly and a mother may get some problems with milk ducts. You should visit a doctor if a problem with short feedings remains for a longer period of time.
What If A Child Feeds For Too Long?
When a mother just starts to breastfeed, it is normal for a nursing session to last more than an hour. After some days when your breast milk supply is well-established, a feeding should not take more than 45 minutes. If a child still needs more time to get enough breast milk, it may indicate that either your baby or you have some problems. Please, visit a lactation consultant or a pediatrician in this case.