When does a newborn stop breastfeeding every 2 hours?

My 6 week old daughter is still breastfeeding about every 2 hours. Except at night between 9pm and 8 am when she feeds about every 4 hours.

I try to get her to wait between feeds to spread them out longer, but she cries and cries so I feel horrible making her wait and I feed her. I thought babies started to eat every 4 hours by now.

11 Answers

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer


    Some babies drop down to nursing 6 times per 24 hours at 2 months, this is rare. Most breastfed babies tend to nurse frequently but for short periods of time -particularly after 4 months when they are just too busy to nurse for long.

    Also keep track one day of just how often you have a drink, a snack, a nibble.

    My 2.5 year old is still nursing at least every two hours during the day. I thought he was giving up the midnight nursing but he's gone back. So he's up at least twice during the night, usually 3 times. My 10 month old used to only nurse 6-7 times a day for the first 4 months. He'd sleep two six hour stretches at night! It was bliss! Now he sleeps "like a baby". Actually this week he is teething so he is not sleeping well at all.


    Anthropologist Kathy Dettwyler from Texas A&M University says that nursing a lot is typical of babies around the world. She cites a study done in 2000 that looked at the feeding behaviour of infants aged three to four months in three different communities: families from Washington, DC, the Ba’Aka hunter-gatherers and the Ngandu farmers, both of the Central African Republic. They found that the Ba’Aka babies nursed 4.02 times per hour, the Ngandu babies nursed 2.01 times per hour and the American babies nursed 1.6 times per hour. Certainly the American babies nursed less often than the two African groups, but they nursed more frequently than many new parents expect.

    Wiessinger reminds parents that babies are growing faster in the first year than they will at any other time in their lives, and asks, “How often would you eat if you were trying to double your weight in less than six months?” She adds that breastfeeding is more than a way of getting food into the baby. “A baby doesn’t necessarily nurse to eat,” she explains. “Breastfeeding offers so many other wonderful things — skin-to-skin contact, warmth, the reassuring sounds and smells of mom, suckling — the milk is just a bonus.”

    So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes


    I nursed my first child every 45 minutes--big deal. Boy, was it! I never expected a child of mine to be so demanding. He had to nurse every 45 minutes or else ... else he'd scream till the end of time. Or so I thought; I never found out. After all, if I let him nurse every 45 minutes, he was in seventh heaven, so who was I to complain?

    Hmmm ... complain. What about all those baby books bedecked with lovely charts and graphs of when babies sleep, eat, and have alert periods? Reading them as a pregnant lawyer, I was sure I could fit my work into the designated "sleep" intervals. The books never mentioned a baby who wanted to nurse every 45 minutes, then sleep blissfully in mother's arms.

    Was this my fault? Wasn't the fact that my son slept through the night a sign that I was doing something right? Ha! He only slept through the night until I wrote it down in my journal. Then he began walking every two hours! Now, I'm not a superstitious person, yet I must confess that I promptly crossed out that entry and wrote that he did not sleep through the night. It didn't work; he still woke up every two hours to nurse.


    I, meantime, was coming upon discoveries of my own. I learned that breast milk is digested in two hours, not three or four like formula.(4) I learned that many babies want to nurse more frequently than every two hours,(5) and that babies who nurse a lot tend to get plenty of milk because their mothers' milk supplies have been boosted by the frequent nursing.(6) Research now shows that restricting the amount of time at the breast and extending the time between feedings can reduce not only a mother's milk supply, but also the fat content of her milk(7)--resulting in a hungry, crying baby.(8)

    Sadly, I also learned that babies who are nursed at four-hour intervals may fail to thrive. One infant, who had been breastfed for 15 minutes on each breast only six or seven times a day, cut back on her nursing and died of starvation a few days later. Her parents were convicted of manslaughter. Fortunately, the conviction was reversed because these parents had no idea they were doing anything wrong.(9) They were simply following the recommendations of a culture that knows little about breastfed babies.


    How many times did you eat or drink something today? Coffee break? Water fountain? Gum? Snack? TV nibblies? Most adults have an urge to eat about every 90 minutes while they're awake!

    Why do you eat or drink? Hunger? Thirst? Comfort? For social reasons? Just because?

    Are you trying to gain weight? If you had to double your weight in 6 months, how would you do it? Would you drink water? Chew sugarless gum between meals? Eat large meals at long intervals? Or would you do lots and lots of snacking, day and night?

  • 4 years ago

    Breastfeeding Every 2 Hours

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I think you misunderstood the nurse. She meant don't let anymore than 3 hrs go between feedings. You feed that baby whatever she asks for. If you didn't miss understand her then she is clueless. As a mother who has only formula fed I can tell you that she should be eating every 2-3 hrs. Or On demand just like breast feeding. @ Whoever said formula makes kids fat. Giving a kid formula will not make them fat. I have 2 formula fed daughters. 1 is actually way to skinny, she's 6 and has a high metabolism and refuses to eat for her father and step mother. My other daughter is 15 mos and though she is a little chunky it is a healthy chunk. Neither has ever been over weight. Your friends kid is over weight because either there is something medically wrong or he has a poor diet. Why can't you breast feed her yet? If its because your milk hasn't come in yet whoever told you that is clueless? If that is the case then ditch the formula and breastfeed. The colostrum that you have before your milk comes in is what is most important. I say this because many nurses and doctors push formula. And many have no idea what they are talking about and will give false info because they don't know any better. Now many other doctors know exactly what they are talking about when in comes to breastfeeding.

  • 5 years ago

    This Site Might Help You.


    When does a newborn stop breastfeeding every 2 hours?

    My 6 week old daughter is still breastfeeding about every 2 hours. Except at night between 9pm and 8 am when she feeds about every 4 hours.

    I try to get her to wait between feeds to spread them out longer, but she cries and cries so I feel horrible making her wait and I feed her. I thought...

    Source(s): newborn stop breastfeeding 2 hours: https://shortly.im/N3rVp
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Your six week old is likely going through a growth spurt. My daughter ate every 3 hours like clockwork while I breastfed. Are you sure that she is finished when you stop and are you keeping her on the same side until she is full? The hindmilk that they get at the end is actually the part of the milk that fills them up. The foremilk that they get in the beginning simply quenches their thirst. Aftter she eats and starts to fall asleep, change her or tickle her cheeks or toes and try again. You would be surprised...she might start eating again.

    Otherwise, f you are sure that she is stopping when she is full and you want her to sleep more supplement with a little formula (1/2 oz -1 oz) after you breastfeed at night. Sorry, I know that most "breastfeeding" moms are not going to like this part of the answer but...it is what it is. I only supplemented when I REALLY needed the extra sleep but it did work.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Sounds like your daughter is right on track for a six week old breastfed baby. Enjoy those four hours of sleep at night, as some babies (mine) nurse every two hours around the clock at that age. By three months old, she will likely have stretched to about 3 hours between day feedings and maybe even six to seven hours at night, and by four months, she should be able to sleep 10 hours at night and eat every three to four hours during the day.

    Keep in mind that every baby is different, so this is only an average, but something to look forward to nonetheless.

  • 1 decade ago

    My daughter was eating every 1.5 hours during the day until she was 3 months old. Then she stretched to 2 hours around 4 months and now does 3 hours during the day at 6 months.

    Feed her when she's hungry, don't try to space her feedings.

  • Pippin
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    It depends on the baby, but typically she will need to nurse about every two hours during the day for at least 4-6 months or so.

    Breastmilk digests so quickly that they just can't go longer. The 'four hour' idea is based on formula -- specifically on old style formulas made from evaporated milk, which digested so poorly, and so slowly that they sat in baby's tummy for hours. (And on old-style parenting practices that considered crying to be 'healthy' and 'exercise for baby's lungs' ... and picking up baby was considered to be 'spoiling' so baby would be expected to cry miserably for an hour or so before every feeding.)

    And please don't make her cry in an effort to get her to go longer. She simply CAN'T ... no matter how much she eats at one time, her stomach WILL be empty again within about two hours.

    What WILL probably change in the next few months is that she will begin to go longer at night -- she'll probably be sleeping 1 or two 5-6 hour stretches within the next couple of months.

  • 1 decade ago

    No, she's too young, wait one more month or so.

    My son started eating every 3-4 hours when he was around 4months old. But every baby is different, give her time, she'll get there.

    God Bless

    Source(s): mom to a 7mo breastfed boy
  • Formula fed babies don't eat near as often as breast fed babies at that age, but it is completely normal for a breast fed baby to still eat that often. Be happy, my son nursed all the time.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.