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Thread: 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.

  1. #1
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    Default 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.

    I read in my Baby Sense book that from 7 months baby should be nursing 4 times a day, and the solids should be increased accordingly.

    What would be the general guideline as to number of milk feeds at this age? Is feeding at 4am, 7h30am, 1pm, 6pm and a top-up around 8pm fine? She also gets a full portion of milk in her morning porridge. She now also gets water and rooibos tea after solid meals, although she doesn't drink vast amounts at this stage.

    Baby seems happy with this arrangement (we've been trying it for a few days now), and her number of wet nappies and poopy nappies are still fine.

    Any advice?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.

    Honestly, I would take that book and toss it out the window. Preferably into a fire.

    The advice you're quoting is designed to have a baby weaned completely to solids by the first birthday, if not before. It's telling you to ignore your baby's unique needs and behaviors in order to follow a timeline developed by someone who has never met your particular baby.

    I know you're in South Africa and guidelines differ widely between countries, but let me tell you what my US-based pediatrician suggests. First, she says that breastfeeding should continue on demand during the day throughout the first year. She's all for night-weaning after around 6 months if the mom wants to, but doesn't say that a baby "should" be night-weaned at any point as long as the mom is okay with night nursing. Second, she says that until the first birthday, solids are for experimentation with new tastes, textures, and motor skills ONLY. They are not necessary for nutrition, and should not replace breastmilk or formula in the baby's diet. And since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a minimum of 8 nursing sessions per day for an exclusively breastfed baby, to me that implies that a mom should aim to nurse close to that minimum throughout the first year, exceeding it if necessary and desired. I personally would be very, very uncomfortable giving a 7 month old baby just 4 nursing sessions per day. Breastmilk has the ideal balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to support healthy growth, particularly brain growth. It is much, much harder to achieve that same balance using solids- which is why I would supplement with formula rather than solids at this point, if you are reluctant to nurse as much as baby wants or needs.

    What are your goals, with respect to nursing? Do you want to wean now, do you want to wean closer to a year, or are you comfortable with nursing beyond a year?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.

    whoa, four times a day? Eek!

    My 8 month old nurses five times (7 AM, 6:30 PM, 8:30 Pm, twice overnight) a day plus four bottles while I'm at work (4 oz. each). But for me I really want to nurse as long as possible, and want to make sure that milk is the primary bulk of his calories until he is a year old. But I haven't really read many books on the subject, just on here and a few places online, and I'm not really pushing the solids (he gets some oat/barley/spelt cereal with fruit in the morning, a vegetable snack in the early afternoon, and something interesting for dinner - chicken and sweet potato, or avocado, or bits of whatever I have that are safe for him to try - usually maximum of 2 oz of food at a time.)

    I think if pushing more solids and such works for you, that's OK, but you'll have to really pay attention to the composition of the foods your baby is getting to try and keep the macronutrient (fat, protein, carbs) profile similar to breastmilk.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.

    I agree with mommal, at 7 months baby should still be nursing on demand, for us it was 10-12 x per day
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.

    Well I want to continue breastfeeding past a year, preferably until 2 years. Baby has never taken to the bottle, so it's been quite a struggle getting all her milk feeds in after I started work again at 4 months. Luckily I am able to breastfed her lunch time. I express in-between. I must say she will sometimes feed twice during the night, but usually sleeps through until 4am.

    Thanks for the advice! What I'll do then is to continue to breastfeed as often as possible, and ask her granny to carry on trying to give her a bottle mid morning and mid-afternoon. If she refuses to take it (as is often the case), or she only drinks 40ml or less, t least we're giving her the option.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.

    I think that sounds like an excellent decision. The more milk feeds you cram in at this age, the better it will be for baby's health, your milk supply, and your chances of making it to a year and beyond.

    Have you tried putting baby's expressed breastmilk in a cup? Some kids just aren't enthusiastic about bottles, but will drink from a sippy cup or open cup. That could make it easier to get milk into your baby while you're off at work.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.

    Just shows you how things differ from one place to the next. Some books here advise the reduction of milk feeds after 7 months to avoid an over full baby refusing solid foods... The concern being "breastmilk alone is no longer sufficient in nutrients for a baby over 6 months". Concerning advice I guess. These so called "experts" make it very difficult for a first time mom to know what's best for baby!

    @mommal: Yes she has started using a sippy cup for water and tea, but struggles with it a bit. Not regulating the flow very well yet. Will maybe try the milk in that again.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.

    I wonder what those experts would say about my kids, who at a year were both at the top of the charts for both height and weight while continuing to be 99% breastfed.

    I swear, sometimes I think the "experts" are out there plotting ways to make moms' lives more stressful and complicated. If everything is going right with your baby, why would you have to force a transition? Why not just wait and see if there's actually a problem before recommending an intervention?
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.

    It's not just where you are - there's lots of conflicting information here too. And doctors that say they're pro-breastfeeding but give pretty horrible advice about it. There's a couple books here whose advice was so bad there are actually warnings out there about them, because the advice was actually potentially dangerous. It can be really hard to sort out what's what! I find myself listening a lot more to women who have successfully breastfed over a year than I do to doctors and books, as their advice (whether on here or another board, or in person) tends to be far more helpful, realistic, and reassuring.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.

    I agree. Seems the best way to go is to just go with what feels right and what makes baby happy. And when in doubt ask other breastfeeding mommies! Sadly these days there aren't very many of those around for easy access... Thank goodness for this forum!

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