Breastfeeding 101: Letting Your Newborn Set the Schedule

When it comes to nursing, it's best to listen to your baby's needs rather than to follow your own agenda.

Hi. I'm Kimberly Durdin, I'm a board-certified lactation consultant, and I've been helping families breastfeed for over 20 years. So, congratulations. You've had your baby, and you've noticed that they feed all the time. You might be wondering, "Should I put my baby on a breastfeeding schedule?" As a lactation consultant, I often tell my new parents, talk to my new parents about the frequency of feeds that a breastfeeding baby needs in order to grow and thrive. Breast milk is easily digestible, so babies do feed quite often when they are breastfeeding. And that's okay, and no cause for alarm. You might be wondering if you could schedule your baby's feeds. Generally, we don't recommend that you put your baby on a strict schedule. Many books and information you might need about breastfeeding will often talk about breastfeeding your baby every two to three hours. And typically, that is what babies do. However, we often tell moms not to watch the clock, but to watch their baby. You wanna look for cues that your baby is ready to feed. For instance, your baby will root around, they'll move their head and stick out their tongue, looking for the breast. That's a signal that your baby wants to feed. They might also be sucking on their finger.