Presentation Information

Amy Brown

What Do Normal Infant Feeding Patterns Really Look Like?

  • Speaker: Amy Brown , PhD, Professor
  • Presentation Type:
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 Nursing CEU, 1 CME, 0.1 Midwifery CEU, 1 Dietetic CEU

We know that responsive feeding gets breastfeeding off to the best start. New parents are told that breastfed babies often feed 8 – 12 times a day, but in practice many new mothers will find themselves breastfeeding more frequently than this. Research exploring breastfeeding frequency is however conducted primarily with younger infants, focuses simply on breast versus bottle, or was funded by industry.

This presentation reports novel findings from a research study of 18,000+ mothers with a baby or child aged 0 – 5 years old. It examines how often babies feed during the day and night for each age range by milk feeding type, mode, and approach (e.g. schedule versus responsive) and how frequent day and night feedings remain the norm for breastfed babies into the preschool years. The data also explores differences in maternal perceptions of infant variations in hunger e.g. in response to growth spurts, variations over different days, and cluster feeding, highlighting how breastfeeding mothers describe a more varied pattern of infant feeding compared to those formula feeding.

Together the findings challenge notions that most babies breastfeed between 8 – 12 times per 24 hour and that irregular patterns or varied numbers of feeds are normal for breastfed infants. Although many breastfeeding practitioners will recognise this pattern, these findings will provide both an addition and challenge to the scarce existing research literature on infant feeding patterns.

Live Presentation Schedule

Apr 8, 2019