With regard to breastfeeding, the word “feed on demand” is one of the words that moms hear the most, but novice parents are often troubled by many problems, such as:

When should I feed my baby?

How long should I feed? Feed one side or two sides?

How long is the interval between feedings?

When should I feed my baby?

This is not a simple question. We are very good at watching the clock. It is a few points now. See how much time has passed, but we often forget to see our baby. When the baby wants to eat milk, it is their business. They must I will tell my father and mother in my own way.

When the newborn baby begins to show these performances, he is telling you: “I am hungry.”



Early signals that newborn babies need to feed

The baby’s body began to twist, the mouth opened, the tongue began to spit out, licking the lips, the head began to turn, began to show the search, the action of milk-seeking reflex. These are early signs of feeding.

When the newborn baby begins to show the following performance, he is telling you: “I really want to eat milk!”



Mid-term signal for newborn babies to feed

The baby’s body begins to stretch greatly, the movement of the limb begins to increase, and even the hand is placed in the mouth, sucking the things that can be touched by the side. If it is held in the arms, the baby begins to show the action of finding the breast, with the little finger toward or extending. The direction of the breast, the mouth is looking in the direction of the breast, and the breathing becomes rushed. These are the medium-term signals that need to be feed.

If you are hungry, you will pick up your hand, but if the he is just quietly doing a pickpocket, it doesn’t show any other signals. It’s not necessarily hungry. Big-month-old babies often use the pickpocket to explore the world. And appease yourself.

When the mother ignored all of the above performances, the newborn baby began to cry. Crying is a late sign of hunger. He is telling his mother: “Please calm me first, calm my emotions, feed me again!”



Late signals that newborn babies need to feed

The baby cried aloud, and the emotions moved the limbs with excitement. The color of the skin turned red. Some babies even cried very fiercely. The suffocating behavior often caused the mother to panic.

Of course, crying is not completely hungry, there are many other reasons, but if it is because of hungry, the baby is crying, there must be a lot of tips before being ignored. At this time, the mother needs to let the skin contact first, talk to the baby, gently touch his back and so on, let the baby calm down, and then feed.


Take a look at the feeding clues given by the newborn baby:

So how long does it take to feed each time? Feeding each side or feeding both sides?

The answer is also not that simple. Because the time and frequency of breastfeeding is not the main problem, the question is whether the baby is effectively transferring milk.

Obviously, a baby who pretends to eat milk does not have a large movement of the chin, and there is no big mouth to swallow. The time and effect of breastfeeding are not matched. The baby who is seriously immersed in breastfeeding can get enough milk for growth and development.

Like adults, some babies are acute, eating fast, while some babies are chronic, eating very slowly, and some babies are relatively hungry before this meal, before the next meal, relatively not so hungry. Therefore, the length of time for a meal to eat does not indicate the amount of food, nor is it a reason to worry about your mother. This is really normal.



Studies have confirmed that the baby’s eating patterns are very different, for example, some babies eat one breast at a time, while some babies eat both sides at a time, and many babies eat again and again after eating the left and right sides in 20 minutes. Side breasts, this is the child’s choice[1] But no matter how long you eat, feed a few times, in the case of a good baby discharge, such as a lot of urine and urine, reasonable weight assessment, if the weight gain is in the normal range, mothers do not need to worry too much about the length of time. However, when the baby is eating very long, for example, eating more than one hour, but the weight gain is not ideal, the mothers should pay special attention to improve the baby’s feeding efficiency. In general, as your baby’s age increases, most babies will become more productive, and babies with chronic babies will also consume the same or even more milk in less time.

How long does it take between babies to feed twice?

This is directly related to the number of times the baby is fed, and there is no standard answer. Many mothers are told to give their baby at least 8-12 times of milk every 24 hours. This is to ensure that the baby is fed the most basic recommendations in the early postpartum period. The actual feeding interval is still determined by the baby.

If the novice parents think that the baby needs to be quietly satisfied for 2-3 hours after each feeding, otherwise it is not normal, then there will be many problems. In fact, there is a huge difference between the number of times and the interval between feeding and each baby. Some babies almost always eat, and some babies can eat 4-5 hours, and may not eat at night for a long time. The same baby may sleep 3-4 hours at a time. Even the milk is eaten once more, and at some stage, the “feeding mode” is suddenly turned on, and the milk is eaten once an hour.


In the first few months of life, most babies often stay in the “intensive feeding” mode during waking hours or before going to bed in the evening, so they are obsessed with calculating how long the baby needs to be quiet after eating a milk. It is completely meaningless. It is not appropriate to impose a precise schedule of breastfeeding plans. It can lead to severe inadequate feeding, dehydration and underweight, reduce milk production, and disintegrate the confidence of mothers in caring for babies[2] When the baby shows a feeding clue, it is the time of the next feeding, and the interval may even be only 10 minutes. If the baby is hungry soon after eating, the mothers don’t need to worry that breastfeeding will allow the child to overfeed, and there is no need to worry about whether this is a lack of milk. This may be just the normal performance of the child, and the baby’s behavior is exactly Helping you build a better supply of milk. When the mothers find that the baby seems to be showing milk again, try breastfeeding again. If it is not soothing, then switch to other different comfort techniques. Little month-old babies don’t have too much time concept. They often want to put their children down. It may make your life increase anxiety and stress. Mothers must believe that as the baby grows up, the feeding rules of he will gradually be established.



When you know enough about your child, at some point, you don’t need to look at these clues. You will also know that your baby is hungry and naturally start feeding!


【1】Kent JC, Mitoulas LR, Cregan MD, Ramsay DT, Doherty DA, Hartmann PE. Volume and frequency of breastfeeds and fat content of breast milk throughout the day. Pediatrics 2006;117:e387–95.

【2】Gartner LM et al. Breastfeeding and the use of human milk. Pediatrics. 2005;115(2):496–506.