Baby Hints & Tips

Encouraging baby to feed both sides at each feed

How would I go about encouraging baby to feed both sides at each feed? He is a fussy feeder and now isn’t putting enough weight to make the health nurse happy. He really only wants to feed for 5-10 minutes (if that) on one side then just fusses around and cries if I offer him the other side. I’m not sure if he is getting enough milk feeding like this. He is 9 weeks old.

  • Could bubs have a tongue or lip tie ? My lg was the same would suck for 5 minutes then fall asleep or cry ! I changed to formula and I was in unbearable pain and at 12 weeks I discovered it ! Phillipa
  • i have a 6 wk old and i pump and bottle feed he is only on pumped breast milk. So much easier and quick and i know what he is getting. He is a little chubber Tammie
  • I would go to see a lactation consultant ASAP. It sounds as though bub could have a tongue/ lip tie which can be fixed so you can continue to breastfeed. Prue
  • I only ever feed one side per feed. At 9 weeks he should be getting enough. Maybe aim for more frequent feeds instead of longer feeds? Katrina
  • I second the lip/tongue tie. My daughter cried, fussed and then refused to feed on my left side… Nurse had a look in her mouth and she had both a lip and tongue tie. Since we had the ties fixed, she feeds beautifully on that side, now my only problem is that I have to build my milk up on again. After 4 weeks of her not feeding properly, my milk supply dropped away. I still find the left produces less. Maybe see a pediatrician to have everything checked, not all nurses know what to look for Melanie
  • I know that latch, burping and let down can cause that to happen. Maybe get a lactation consultant to have a look at how you feed? Stacey
  • Give him a cuddle in between, change nappy when he starts to fuss, strip his clothes back. The nurses in hospital advised me to make them uncomfortable but he could also be a windy baby, so give him a good burp by rubbing his back in circular motion and patting his back. Also it could possibly be that your milk flow could be too much for him, if you are sure you have plenty of milk you could try to express some prior to feeding so it doesn’t flow too quick for him. The only other thing is latching, he may not be able to latch properly. My LO, 4wks, now feeds between 20 to 30mins, 10-15 mins each side. Lisa
  • My son is seven weeks, i feed him eight minutes on one boob, change his nappy (to wake him up) and then put him on the other boob for eight minutes. I feed him roughly every three hrs. This works for us. Amanda
  • Not sure if this is an option for you but I have heard of people expressing milk and feeding bub by bottle -of expressed milk- I heard of one lady who fed her baby this way completely..entire time he was ‘breast fed’. My bub had big problems with weight gain but .. Sounds like it’s a different situation to mine. Good luck! Priscilla
  • I would get in touch with the ABA. You could try offering the other side half an hour after he finishes the first Nat
  • Contact an IBCLC lactation consultant. Best thing I ever did. Lynne mcKensey Hall is fantastic and consults via Skype if you’re not in Sydney. She has a Facebook page but I can’t link it using my iPad. There is also a website that lists all IBCLC’s practicing in Aus I think I just googled IBCLC to find it Kira
  • i was told to feed 1 side only each feed, the hind milk comes from your breast last so let him feed on it until its empty then hes getting the ‘good’ milk (Abit like colostrum). & hopefully put more weight on. If you have an over supply then express abit before you let him drink from it to encourage him to empty it. My kids have all been on the lower percentile for weight but happy & healthy. So dont stress it. They wont starve themselves. Rachael
  • My 5 week old cluster feeds like crazy during the day 5 or 10 mins every half hour – if he’s fussing I give him infants friends and he burps. Then he’s fine and falls asleep feeding. He’s gaining weight like crazy so I’m assuming it’s working Teegan
  • Did the nurse check bub out for tongue or lip tie? Might be worth investigating Renee
  • I would see a lactation consultant or contact the ABA for some helpful info. But I wouldn’t stress too much if he still has plenty of wet nappies they go through a lot of hungry and not so hungry stages as they grow. Hayley
  • I only ever feed one side per feed. Everyone’s different mhn wanted me to do both but it just never worked. I fed my first son for 7 months and my 2 nd son for 2 yrs like that and never had any issues. Good luck Jessica
  • My baby (6 weeks old) does a similar thing. His feeds are usually quite quick and I was told by my child health nurse that’s he’s “average weight” but honestly he’s a happy baby, sleeps pretty well, has wet nappies and happy awake time. If a baby is really hungry they would be screaming for milk all the time. Don’t stress yourself out maybe you just have a great supply and bubs doesn’t need to feed for ages. And I think offering either the same breast or the second one a little while later after he starts fussing that might help, and burping in between too incase he has trapped gas which makes them fuss around. Good luck! Mai
  • Every baby is different. It is important for your baby to get both the foremilk and the hind milk for proper brain development & weight gain . Do, let your baby finish the one completely before forcing the other. It’s perfectly fine to nurse the right side at the 2pm feeding and left side at 4pm There are many ways to burp your baby. If one way doesn’t work, try another until you get a deep burp! Keep going! You’re doing great!!!! Jamie
  • Lots of skin to skin to encourage more BF. And if your child health nurse is still unhappy at the next visit PLEASE see a lactation consultant before starting anything like formula. More importantly tho, is he having regular wet nappies and poos? And is he settled between feeds? Some babies just put on weight slower. A lot of the growth charts are based on formula fed babies and they do gain weight faster then BF babies. Colleen
  • Will he stay for a bit longer on the one breast? The higher fat milk will come towards the end of the….storage, if you like. Could be that your other breast is too full for him to latch on properly? You could try hand expressing a bit before popping him on. Is he otherwise happy? Enough wet nappies?? Remember the “percentage” scales are just that and some babies will be smaller. I’ve had people suggest to me that my daughter will be obese because she’s been a fast grower. You can always get a second opinion:). Good luck! Jenn
  • Maybe try doing something that relaxes his when you are feeding eg, music in the background, walk around, feed him in the bath. Perhaps also try hand express into his mouth to encourage feeding on that side Katrina
  • Try a football hold for the second side. Bub might not like lying on his other side. So if he feeds happily on your left boob then he’s lying on his right side. Keep him on his right side and scoot him sideways to your right boob. Meghan

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