@wifegoodman: My son is 9 weeks old, so i can give you an idea of how things started out for us.
We exclusively breastfeed, and practice feeding on demand and cosleeping. I pump once a day to provide milk for the two nights a week I have school.
DS had a great latch at birth and settled into nursing well at the hospital, so we got into a pattern pretty quickly.
I get up between 8-10. DS gets up with me we change diapers and put on clothes. DS nurses. I pump on one side while DS has the other.
We have a short period of activity followed by sleep. The first weeks this might be 15 minutes. Now its usually around an hour of awake time.
DS falls asleep in my arms and naps for about 1-2 hours ( I put him down once he’s really asleep and use this time to eat, shower etc.)
DS wakes up, we change diapers and nurse again, followed by awake time and another nap.
We continue this pattern all day.
The doctor told us to wake him up if he went more then 2 hours without eating at first, and then after 3-4 hours as he got older.
Since I feed on demand, if he starts looking for food sooner or more often, I feed him. Sometimes this will rarely happen, but we’ve had two growth spurts where I’ve nursed, stopped and had to start nursing again 15/20 minutes later. (This is what helps build your supply up)
We’ve been blessed with a decent night sleeper. We nurse around 9 and DS goes to sleep. He usually follows this session with a 3-4 hour stretch of sleep. We go to sleep around 11, and I get up and nurse when he fusses. He learned to nurse laying on his side next to me very early on (first week I think) so we nurse like that and he goes right back to sleep. I change his diaper and he usually sleeps right through it. We have another nursing/diaper session around 3am and again at 6.
You also asked about knowing when he’s done nursing. For us I wait until he “pops off”. DS will often take breaks when nursing. He’ll either dose off attached to me, and wake up when I tickle his toes or rub his tummy and keep right on drinking. He’ll also let go, take a couple breaths and wriggle a little but look for the nipple right away. I can tell when he’s done because he lets go and doesn’t try to latch back on in the next minute or two.