1) Normal breastfeeding frequency
During the first year, while the feeds get shorter, most babies continue to breastfeed every two to three hours with the longest break being one five-hour break at night. This works out to 7 to 10 feeds a day.
Until babies are around four months of age, many are unhappy in the evenings and feed frequently during this time. This is normal and we call this the evening fussies.
Babies may have the occasional day or two in which they suddenly feed more often. These are called frequency days.
If you have a large milk supply, your baby may only be able to handle one breast per feed. These babies tend to feed more often, about 9 to 12 times in 24 hours. On rare occasions, some of them can manage both breasts and take in a lot of milk at one feeding. These babies may feed only 6 times in 24 hours.
Babies may breastfeed a little less often toward the end of their first year if the baby is eating large amounts of solid food.
Once the baby is ready to wean, the number of daily feeds gradually drops. This is rare before one year of age unless the baby is receiving large amount of other milk or solid food.
2) When to worry
If the baby feeds fewer than 7 times in 24 hours or feeds on both breasts more than 10 times in 24 hours, it is important to ensure the baby is getting enough milk. The former might happen if a baby is a newborn and too sleepy to breastfeed effectively and the latter if the baby is not taking in enough milk and the baby is consistently hungry.