You are here

What's Your Baby's Nursing Style?


The Procrastinator

These reluctant nursers can't be bothered with breastfeeding during their first days -- they wait for Mom's milk to come in. Later, they may cry for the breast, then latch on for just a suck or two before quitting. They may seem like "easy" babies (they sleep a lot and cry less) but need more attention to make sure they eat enough.


How to Help Them

Offer food often. These sleepy tykes may not show hunger signs, so put her to the breast every other hour whether she's interested or not, says Crouse: "She may not drink much, but she needs the opportunity and the practice." You may even need to break the "never wake a sleeping baby" rule if your Procrastinator has gone more than four hours without a feeding (though talk to your doc about a longer sleeping stretch at night).

Don't stress over quantity. It's easy to worry about how much your unmotivated eater is getting, but newborns take in only one or two ounces at each feeding for the first week or so. Even if your session seems short, she may be getting all she needs.

Look to the poop. "A reliable sign of a well-breastfed baby is a bright-yellow, seedy bowel movement by day five," says Jane Morton, M.D., a clinical professor of pediatrics at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.

Track her growth. All newborns lose weight during their first three or four days of life, but they shouldn't drop more than 10 percent of their birth weight -- and should regain it by about day ten, notes Dr. Morton.