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Breastfeeding Schedule for Newborn Babies

Updated on November 10, 2009

Breastfeeding babies

As new parents it is your responsibility to make sure your baby will get off to a good nutritional start. Breastfeeding provides emotional benefits for newborn babies. Breastfeeding will also promote wellness in your infant due to the presence of antibodies in breastmilk. Breastmilk contains all the nutrients required. Avoid giving water and juice. Introducing these fluids too soon can cause diarrhea. Hope you find this breastfeeding schedule for newborn babies useful while supporting your baby's needs.

Breastfeeding baby
Breastfeeding baby

Breastfeeding schedule:

1. Most babies need and naturally request 8-12 feedings in a 24 hour period.

  • Babies need every 2-3 hours with one 4-5 hour stretch.
  • Actively sucking for about 10 minutes with visible movements.
  • Your baby's bowel movement should change from black to brown/green to seedy yellow.
  • Your baby has 2-3 seedy yellow bowel movements every 24 hours.
  • Try to wake the newborn baby by 2 1/2 hours from the beginning of last feed.

2. Nurse until baby shows signs of being full. It is important to note as part of the breastfeeding schedule for newborn babies and should be taken into consideration.

  • Sucking less vigorously.
  • Baby becomes sleepy.
  • Breast will feel less full after 15 minutes.

3. It is important to listen for nutritive sucking. First three days may be difficult to hear swallowing with the small amounts of colostrum. After larger volume milk arrives, you will hear definite suck to swallow ratio changes.

Breastfeeding schedule and benefits

4. If your infant baby is easy to latch on, offer both breasts each feeding and is important for stimulation in milk production.

  • If they choose to take one breast at a feeding, make sure you then begin with the other breast at the next feeding.
  • Keep baby interested and awake during breastfeeding.

5. Alternate the breast with which you begin each feeding.

If you follow these breastfeeding schedule steps you will increase milk production, reduce breast engorgement and nipple tenderness, and maximize infant weight gain. The first sleepy week or two may be a challenge for you to keep them interested in the feeding. You will need to rub the bottoms of their feet or their back to keep them awake. You can also try to unwrap them so they are not so cozy and warm which tends to make them sleepy. Talk to your baby while you are nursing. This also may help to keep him interested in finishing the feeding.

Benefits of breastfeeding for newborn babies:

For Newborn baby

Breastmilk has the following benefits:

  • Easily digested.
  • Perfectly matched nutrition.
  • Filled with antibodies that protect against infection.

Pay close attention to the breastfeeding schedule for newborn babies when feeding them every couple of hours especially in the first six weeks.

For mother

Breastfeeding has the following benefits for mom:

  • It is convenient.
  • It is economical.
  • Helpful with the process of the uterus returning to its normal size.

Benefits of both mother and newborn baby

  • Breastfeeding is a beautiful and intimate way a mother can bond with her baby.
  • Breastfeeding contributes to a very special and loving relationship.


Breastfeeding schedule for newborn babies
Breastfeeding schedule for newborn babies

Preparation of the breasts for nursing:

  •  Expose both breasts to room air a few minutes every day.
  •  Avoid soap to the nipple and areola. This will only cause dryness.
  •  Wear a good supportive bra during pregnancy.
  •  Allow your breasts to air dry after showering and also during the day if you are leaking colostrum.
  •  If leaking colostrum, you may want to purchase breast pads. The pads may be either disposable or  washable. Do not use a mini pad inside your bra. With the sticky area on them, it prevents air from  being able to circulate and may cause nipple soreness.


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