How Long to Breastfeed on Each Side

It’s understandable that new moms may have questions about how long to breastfeed on each side or how often to switch breasts while breastfeeding. It is typical for a newborn to 10 to 15 minutes on each side but there can be a large range as well as a lot of factors to consider. Here we will give you some tips on how long to breastfeed on each side as well as when to switch breasts while breastfeeding.

How long should I breastfeed my baby for each session?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how long breastfeeding should last. The duration of a feeding session will depend on individualized factors such as your child’s age, nursing abilities, and the speed of your letdown reflex.

Having a range is normal. For example, a newborn may nurse for 10 to 15 minutes on each side, while an older baby may only nurse for a few minutes per side.

Ultimately, the best gauge of whether a feeding session is complete is your baby’s cues. If they seem satisfied and content after nursing, then they have probably had enough.

If you are ever unsure, though, you can always consult with a lactation consultant or your child’s pediatrician. They will be able to give you personalized advice on how to ensure that your baby is getting the nutrition they need through breastfeeding.

How long should a newborn breastfeed for?

When it comes to breastfeeding, there are a few things to keep in mind in regard to your baby’s feeding. The rate of milk flow, which might be rapid or sluggish, how effectively your baby nurses- which may be quick or leisurely- and if your infant has a good latch and is covering the breast tissue rather than just the nipple.

Is your baby tired or distracted? If your newborn infant falls asleep on the breast after a few minutes of nursing, wake them up so they can get a complete feeding and obtain the fattier, more nutritious milk that comes later in the feeding.

To keep your baby from falling asleep, try tickling their feet or blowing on their face. You can also strip your baby down to their diaper before your breastfeeding session. By being aware of these things, you can ensure that your baby is getting the best possible feed.

How long should an older baby breastfeed for?

It’s perfectly normal for babies to breastfeed for varying lengths of time. Some infants are snackers, nursing for a minute or two before taking a break and returning. Others may want to nurse for longer periods of time.

Don’t worry if your baby only wants to breastfeed for a short while – this is normal, and perfectly fine unless they are having trouble gaining weight.

If you’re concerned about your baby’s feeding habits, talk to your pediatrician. They will be able to give you guidance on how much breastfeeding is right for your baby.

How long should I breastfeed on each side?

Though every baby is different, most will breastfeed for around 10 to 15 minutes on each side.

However, some may take much longer. If your newborn seems to be taking a long time, don’t worry – they’re probably just getting a good drink! You’ll know they’re ready to switch breasts when your breast feels softer than it did before starting to feed.

They may also stop swallowing milk and release the nipple on and off during a feeding. Just go with the flow and trust that your baby knows what they’re doing. They’ll let you know when they’re finished.

What if my newborn is nursing every hour?

Newborns typically eat 8 to 12 times a day, which means they’re nursing about every 2 hours. Some newborns may want to eat more often, however, especially in the early weeks.

This is perfectly normal – your baby’s stomach is very small, and they need to eat frequently to get enough nutrition. If you’re finding yourself nursing around the clock, take heart – this won’t last forever! As your baby grows, it’ll be able to go longer between feedings.

In the meantime, try to take care of yourself and get plenty of rest. Your baby will thank you for it!

Is a 10-minute nursing session long enough for a newborn?

As a new parent, you want to make sure your baby is getting everything they need to grow and thrive. So, it’s natural to wonder if a 10-minute nursing session is long enough.

The good news is that most babies will nurse for as long as they need to in order to get the nutrition they need. However, if you’re concerned that your baby isn’t getting enough milk, there are a few things you can do.

First, talk to your pediatrician or a lactation consultant. They will be able to help you determine if your baby is getting enough to eat and offer guidance on how to increase their intake.

Second, try to nurse more frequently throughout the day. This will help ensure that your baby is getting the food they need even if they don’t nurse for very long at each session.

Finally, trust your instincts. You know your baby better than anyone, so if you feel like they’re not getting enough milk, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. With a little patience and effort, you can ensure that your baby gets the nutrition they need.

It’s Different for Every Baby

The fact is that every baby is different and will want to feed for different lengths of time.

Some babies may want to breastfeed for 10 minutes on each side while others may want to breastfeed for 30 minutes on each side. Pay attention to your baby’s cues and let them determine when they are done feeding.

A Good Rule of Thumb

If you are wondering how long to breastfeed on each side, a good rule of thumb is to offer each breast for two to five minutes per session.

This gives your baby enough time to get the hindmilk, which is higher in fat and calories, from each breast.

You can then offer the other breast until your baby shows signs that they are no longer interested in eating such as turning their head away or falling asleep.

Don’t Live by the Clock

It’s also important to remember that you should not put a clock on your breastfeeding sessions.

Just because your baby was only interested in eating for five minutes on one side does not mean that they will only be interested in eating for five minutes on the other side.

Follow your baby’s lead and offer the second breast when they show signs that they are still hungry such as rooting around or sucking on their fist.

Switch which breast you start with at each feeding

It’s important to switch which breast you start with at each feeding, in order to ensure that your baby is getting enough milk from both breasts. If you nursed from your left breast at the previous feeding, consider nursing from the right this time.

This will help to evenly empty both breasts, and prevent engorgement or blocked ducts. If you’re unsure of which breast you last fed from, begin with the one that feels fuller.

Your baby will let you know when they’re finished nursing, and you can then offer the other breast. Switching breasts is an important part of breastfeeding, so be sure to do it at every feed.

Allow your infant to finish the first breast before switching breasts

It is important to allow your infant to finish the first breast before switching breasts. Your baby may unlatch or fall asleep as a result of being full.

Following the feeding, your breasts should feel softer. If you switch breasts before your baby is done, they may not get enough hindmilk, which is higher in fat and essential nutrients. Additionally, they may become fussy and irritable.

If you are unsure if your baby is done nursing, start by offering the second breast. If your baby refuses it or latches on for only a short time, they are probably done. You can always offer the second breast at the next feeding.

Offer your child the other side

When it comes to feeding your baby, it’s important to let them take the lead. If they’re still hungry after finishing one side, offer them the other. But if they’re not interested, that’s OK too.

Just be sure to let them decide when they’re done. You may want to burp your baby or change their diaper before offering the other side, just to make sure they’re comfortable.

But ultimately, it’s up to your little one to decide how much they want to eat. By letting them set the pace, you’re helping them learn to trust their own hunger cues – and that’s a valuable lesson for life. 

How to know they are getting enough

There are a few ways to tell if your baby is getting enough milk while breastfeeding. First, you should hear your baby swallowing while they are nursing.

You may also notice that they have fewer wet and dirty diapers than they did in the early days of their life. Additionally, you may want to pay attention to your baby’s weight gain. Most babies will gain between 5-7 ounces per week in the first few months of life.

If you have any concerns about your baby’s weight gain or wet/dirty diaper count, be sure to speak with your child’s pediatrician.

Final thoughts

New moms may have questions about how long they should spend breastfeeding on each side or how often they should switch breasts while breastfeeding.

The truth is that every baby is different and will want to feed for different lengths of time so it’s important to pay attention to your baby’s cues and let them determine when they are done feeding.

A good rule of thumb is to offer each breast for two to five minutes per session but remember that you should not put a clock on your breastfeeding sessions and follow your baby’s lead instead.