The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months, followed by continued breastfeeding as complementary foods are introduced, with the continuation of breastfeeding for 1 year or longer as mutually desired by mother and infant.
Breastfed newborns typically eat every 1 to 3 hours. As they grow, they will begin to wake at increasingly regular intervals to eat and the space between their feedings will increase to every 3 to 4 hours. Within 24 hours, breastfed babies typically feed 8 to 12 times. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that breastfed babies be fed on demand and that newborns go no more than 4 to 5 hours without eating.
Many new moms wonder if their breastfed babies are eating enough since they can’t really tell how much they are eating. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, once a mother’s milk comes in, milk fed babies who gain weight, urinate 6 or more times per day and have soft bowel movements that change from green to yellow are likely receiving adequate nutrition. At first, breastfed babies may have 3 or more stools per 24 hour period, but once breastfeeding is established, babies may have a stool after each feeding. As a baby grows older, stools may become less frequent.
Babies have growth spurts at around 10 days, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months of age, according to La Leche League Canada. During those spurts, they are likely to eat more frequently.
Nannies can offer support to nursing mothers by following their feeding instructions, educating themselves on how to properly handle and store expressed milk and by providing emotional support and encouragement.