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4 weeks old baby feeding for long time continuously. Otherwise a normal feeder. Anything to worry ?

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Pediatrician, Infectious Diseases
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 1528 Questions
My baby (first born) is 4 weeks old (full term baby, 3.25 kg at birth, 3.5 kg now. Delivered via C-section on 7 May 2012). He has been exclusively breastfed (demand feeding; with burping done every 20 mins, after which I switch breasts). He latches on well to the breasts (no soreness on my part being the clue).

He's active and passes urine and stools regularly (9-12 times a day). He sleeps around 12 hours each day and often stretches in his sleep. At times, he makes spit bubbles when hungry, with a sort of saliva foaming at the mouth..

For the past two days I notice that he's feeding every 30-45 minutes (for 20 mins each time) and every evening between 4-7.30 he is continuously feeding (akin to cluster feeding). I am not sure if this feeding pattern is normal, as earlier he used to feed every 1.5-2 hours for 20-30 mins each time. Could you please advise? He went through something similar two weeks back. This disappeared in 3 days; and I wrote it off as a growth spurt.

Could it be that I am not meeting his nutritional requirements (which is why he could be feeding so frequently)? Or could it be reflux or just another growth spurt? Is there a cause for concern?
Posted Sun, 24 Jun 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Hema Yadav 2 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Yes, according to the details provided it is most probably due to a growth spurt and nothing serious to be concerned of. It's unlikely to be due to inadequate lactation since all of his nutritional ( feeding , excretion)and growth ( weight , activity)parameters appear normal. He doesn't seem to have any symptoms suggestive of reflux .
During a growth spurt, breastfed babies nurse more often than usual (sometimes as often as every hour) and often act fussier than usual.
Common times for growth spurts are during the first few days at home and around 7-10 days, 2-3 weeks, 4-6 weeks, 3 months, 4 months, 6 months and 9 months However,it's an approximation, so your baby may do things differently.
Growth spurts usually last 2-3 days, but sometimes last a week or so.

Remember that your baby will automatically get more milk by nursing more frequently, and your milk supply will increase due to the increased nursing. It is not necessary ,to supplement your baby with formula or expressed milk during a growth spurt.
You may feel more hungry or thirsty when baby is going through a growth spurt hence you may need to eat or drink more during the time that baby is nursing more often.

I appreciate your efforts as a vigilant parent but there seems no reason for you to worry as of now, so you can relax and enjoy your baby's development .

Hope I have answered your query.
Please accept my answer of you have no further queries.
Wishing you and your baby good health

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