Table: Typical Breastfeeding Patterns at Three Months of Age
(Links to more information about the topics in the above table: large milk supply; length of time on the breast; amount of time from the start of one feed to the start of the next; one or both breasts)
1) Breastfeeding patterns
As babies grow, they become more effective at feeding and will feed faster. Feeding length becomes more variable, with some longer and some shorter feeds. At this age, feedings as short as five minutes per breast are normal. If mothers force their babies to feed for longer, they get mad! Rather mothers should just follow the baby’s hunger and ”done” signs.
Most babies need the second breast some of the time. If the mother has a large milk supply, babies tend to just want one breast at each feed and will feed more often. With a more average milk supply, babies are more likely to need both breasts and will feed a little less often. Both are normal behaviours.
2) Nutrition and growth
The baby’s milk intake is stable.
Babies are fleshy, with full tummies, thighs, and necks.
3) Behaviour at the breast
While the baby may still choke, gulp, and pant at the start of the breastfeed, the baby is learning how to deal with these and the baby is much more settled while breastfeeding. Clicking does not bother babies and is normal at this age.
Babies are more alert now and are easily distracted at the breast. Sometimes they look around and don’t let go. This is called nip-lash. It is normal behaviour but it can cause pain in the mothers and this should be addressed. They also pop off and on.
The baby’s personality is starting to show. How the baby breastfeeds, explores the mother’s body, or asks to breastfeed are individual characteristics. In order to breastfeed, mothers have to listen to their baby and understand their signs. This is one of the benefits of breastfeeding: mothers get to know their babies and learn how to respond to the baby's needs.