Mom Confessionals

GIVEAWAY & Convo with Heather Kelly: How Long Should a Breastfeeding Take?

February 22, 2010

{disclosure : written by guest writer | i am a bravado ambassador }

How long a feeding should take, is one of the most common questions of women who are new to breastfeeding. When you are just starting out you may not know what to expect, and how long to plan for a feeding. Having a little bit of information at your disposal will give you confidence. The first thing you should know is that there is no one “set” amount of time for a feeding. Every baby is different, including your own, from day to day. However,  there are guidelines for what to expect.

In general, in the first several weeks of your baby’s life, a feeding at the breast should take anywhere from 20 to 50 minutes. This includes time for gently waking a sleepy baby, burping and diaper changes.

If the feedings you and your baby are having are shorter, your baby may not be getting filled up. This means you’ll probably be feeding your baby again, very shortly. This happens most frequently with newborns that fall asleep too early into the feeding before they’re actually full.

Some of your feedings may also take longer than an hour. Many newborns nurse for a while and then have some ‘awake’ time where they stop feeding, hiccup and look around. This alert time is when your baby gets to look around and get a look at you! Most likely they’ll need another five minutes or so of feeding afterward, to fully fill them up, as well as transition from waking time to sleeping time. It’s not unusual to spend an hour and a half feeding and bonding with your baby on these occasions.

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