Frequently Asked Questions

How often do I nurse my newborn?

How many wet diapers should my little one be having?

What is a growth spurt and can it cause babies to nurse more often?

Why does my baby constantly want to nurse?

Should I wake my baby for feedings?

Why does my friends' baby who is fed formula not eat as often as my breastfed baby?

How do I know if my baby is latched and is sucking effectively?

If I have the stomach flu (or other illness), should I stop nursing so my little one doesn't get sick? 


How often do I nurse my newborn?  Newborns usually nurse every one to two hours, or at least 10-12 times in a 24 hour period. These frequent nursing sessions not only help you bond with your baby; they also help the mother's milk supply become quickly established. Watch your baby, not the clock. Look for feeding cues, such as rooting, sucking on hands or lips, licking and/or smacking lips. Crying is a late hunger cue.   

How many wet diapers should my little one be having?  After your milk transitions to mature milk, which is known as you "milk coming in" you should see 5-6 wet diapers and 2-5 bowel movements in a 24 hour period. See our diaper chart for a good visual. 

What is a growth spurt and can it cause babies to nurse more often? The first growth spurt is usually around 7-10 days, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age you may notice your baby nursing more often. Allowing the baby to nurse more often will help increase your milk supply to meet baby's needs.

Why does my baby constantly want to nurse? There are two types of suckling, nutritive (for food) and non-nutritive (for comfort, security, bonding and to establish and maintain your milk supply). Your baby may also be going through a growth spurt, teething, or not feeling well.   

Should I wake my baby for feedings? If you find that your baby regularly sleeps more than three hours between feedings, he may need to be awakened for feedings, especially if there are any weight or supply issues. Although, if your baby has regained birth weight, you have no milk supply issues, you can let your baby sleep.

Why does my friend's baby who is fed formula not eat as often as my breastfed baby?  Since human milk is perfectly suited for your baby, it will be digested more rapidly and completely. Breast milk is digested in 90 minutes. The law of supply and demand is at work here-the more often your baby nurses, the more milk your body will produce. Formula is also a different composition than breastmilk, it is primarily casein (which is the curds of milk) and breastmilk is whey (the water portion), so it stays in the system longer. 

How do I know if my baby is latched and is sucking effectively? Milk production depends on milk removal. Sore or cracked nipples may be a sign of improper latch or positioning. You will see wet diapers, and weight gain as well.

If I have the stomach flu (or other illness), should I stop nursing so my little one doesn't get sick?  No. The best thing you can do for your little one, if you or anyone in the household is sick, is to keep nursing.  He/she has already been exposed, but thankfully, through your breastmilk, you are already passing antibodies to them.