As babies grow past the first month, feeds become more variable in quality and length and there is more communication between mother and baby.
1) Shorter feeds
After one month, breastfeeding times often shorten. In the second 6 months of life, breastfeeds during the day sometimes last only 5 to 10 minutes. Nighttime feeds are often a little longer.
Older babies become more easily distracted while breastfeeding. After one month, while still latched onto the breast, they may suddenly turn their heads toward a distraction such as a noise or person entering the room. Alternatively, they may let go, see what is happening, and then resume breastfeeding. These are both normal.
In general, mothers do not need to isolate themselves to breastfeed a distractible baby out of concern that the baby will not get enough milk.
Babies may be a little more focused during nighttime feeds.
3) Have changes in breastfeeding stage length
Older babies generally spend less time in the “I really like this stage” and are more alert while breastfeeding. They will also vary their breastfeeding stage length from feed to feed.
4) Interact with you
While awake, they will explore your body with their hands. They may:
- Look at you and at their surroundings.
- Pat, massage, or push on your breast.
- Play with the other nipple.
- Pull or hold onto your earlobe, lip, necklace, or clothing.
- Want to hold a toy.
5) Signs the baby is done breastfeeding
Normal babies are generally very good at letting you know when they are done or if they need more milk. Just listen to the baby and offer the breast when the baby shows hunger signs. Don’t offer the breast if the baby is no longer interested or resists latching.
After the first month, babies who are finished feeding are more often awake than asleep. After feeds, they will be happy and interested in what is happening around them. When they are tired, they will need to breastfeed to sleep.