Yesterday, 05:46 AM
When a mom nurses when her baby asks and there are no external reasons for a decline in milk production (e.g., pregnancy, use of a medication which decreases supply), she will continue to make enough milk to supply her all baby's needs until the first birthday and will likely have enough well into the second year. There are a lot of breastfed babies who do not become interested in eating larger quantities of solids until they are in the 14-18 month age range, yet still grow just fine.
The reason this works is that growth slows down over time. Breastfed babies grow really fast when they are new, often doubling or tripling their birth weight by just a few months of age. All that growth takes a lot of milk! But as time goes on, growth slows, and as a result milk intake starts to slow down, too. Babies generally increase their milk intake until around 6 weeks, at which point they generally hold steady until 6-12 months. There may even be a slight decline in intake with older babies, which may be particularly noticeable as they start eating more solids.
A lot of moms get thrown by 2 things: seeing how much formula-fed babies eat, and reading a sample "meal plan" for a baby their baby's age. So it's helpful to remember that formula-fed babies reverse the normal pattern of intake, eating less and growing more slowly than breastfed babies when they are young, and escalating their intake and growing more quickly as they get older. If you see a formula-fed...