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Your reliable resource for current topics related to your child’s health and development – plus lots of tips for new (and experienced) parents.

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Getting into a breastfeeding routine

Breastfeeding on demand means feeding your baby whenever he signals that he's hungry rather than according to a set schedule. Some parents are worried that they might be overfeeding their baby if they follow a breastfeeding on demand schedule but babies will only eat when they are hungry. Breastfeeding on demand - or on cue - can help you and your baby establish a strong breastfeeding routine and help establish your milk supply.

Young mother breastfeeding

How do you know when your baby is hungry?

Even newborns will give you signs that they are hungry by crying, smacking their lips, making sucking motions with their mouth, rooting at your breasts, or sucking on their hands. During those early weeks, you may feel as though your baby is giving hunger cues constantly! Remember little babies have little stomachs - about the size of a walnut in the first week. They are only able to take a few ounces at a time and will need to nurse more often.
Don’t be alarmed if some days you are breastfeeding more often than normal. This is very common and often means your baby is getting ready for a growth spurt!
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Breastfeeding on demand with newborns

Some newborns - particularly preemies or jaundiced babies - are too sleepy to cry when they are hungry. If your newborn baby’s hunger cues are small or not there at all, watch the clock. It is important to feed your baby at least every three hours to make sure he or she gains enough weight for healthy growth.

Learn more about our lactation support services

Check out our app NP PEDS MD for further information and home care advice.


Breastfeeding support from Northpoint Pediatrics
Baby girl with pony tail in white