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Thread: Hungry baby and supply - working mom questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    168

    Default Hungry baby and supply - working mom questions

    Hello ladies!

    My DD is (or will be this week) 4 mo. Her diaper output is good. My mom is taking care of her now, so she feeds my baby while I'm at work with bm bottles. I showed her how to do it so she wouldnt overfeed the baby, and also, it helped her because my baby chocked a lot when feeding from the bottle.

    Yesterday, my mom called me because the baby cried pretty much all day, and she used some of my freezer stash to feed her some more since she was still hungry after 3 or 3.5 oz bottles. She told me the baby was ok after about 1 or 1.5 oz more.

    I pump at work every 2 hours, for a total of 4 sessions, 3 to 3.5 oz per session total. (usually 3 oz... and 3.5 in the first session)

    I am not sure if babies supposed to have growth spurts at 4mo, I thought she already was through her 3 mo growth spurt. I am concerned that 3 oz may not be enough for her anymore and that I would have to supplement.

    I got worried and I started taking fenugreek last night and today, and ate oatmeal this morning (which I was doing a while back, but stopped...). I got 4.5 oz first session, 4oz in the next one and then 3.5 oz in the other 2 sessions.

    She has her 4 mo appointment this friday and I don't know if I should start thinking about feeding her cereal or something like that. I know it doesnt help her calorie intake, but she may be ready for solids?? Don't know... she is not able to sit down by herself yet, so probably not...

    Any thoughts? She's also still eating every 2-3 hours during the night...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    California
    Posts
    418

    Default Re: Hungry baby and supply - working mom questions

    Just like grown-ups, sometimes babies just have a day or two where they're hungrier than normal. I have certainly seen this with my son over the course of the time I've been pumping. He usually drinks 6-7 oz (I'm gone about 7 hours) but there are days he needs 9 or 10 oz. There's no rhyme or reason to it. So, I wouldn't get overly concerned about one or two days where she seems to be taking more than usual. That said, 3 or 3.5 oz bottles should be just about right. My son is 10 months and still only takes 3-4 oz bottles. With breastfed babies, the milk becomes more concentrated in nutrients as they get older, but the overall amount they are taking in doesn't actually change between 1-6 months, and then starts to slowly decline after 6 months as solids are added. It's different from formula in that respect, which your mother may not know. There is no need to increase the amount of breastmilk per bottle as a breastfed baby gets older. Listen to your pediatrician about solids, but typically the recommendation is to wait until 6 months. Any solids you give her would be less calorie-dense and less nutritious than your milk. If she isn't sitting up by herself yet, showing interest in your food (e.g. trying to grab it from you) etc. then there's no reason to think she's ready for solids, and at 4 months it would be unusual if she was.

    For now, I would keep up the fenugreek and the oatmeal, keep up your pumping routine, and just roll with it. If it is a growth spurt her appetite should go back to normal in a few days. If it lasts longer than that, and baby is gaining satisfactorily and eating an appropriate amount while you're at work (the usual guideline is 1-1.5 oz of milk per hour you're gone) then your mom may want to try a pacifier or other means of calming the baby if she still seems unsatisfied after finishing her bottle. Babies have a strong need to suck and will sometimes act as if they want to keep eating even if they aren't actually hungry anymore just because they want to keep sucking. This works fine when you are nursing because the baby usually sucks more gently when comfort nursing and only gets a little bit of milk, but with a bottle, the baby hardly has to suck at all to get milk so can end up being overfed if you try to use the bottle to satisfy all their sucking needs. A pacifier comes in handy in this situation, if your LO will take it.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Hungry baby and supply - working mom questions

    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Hungry baby and supply - working mom questions



    My DD went through a similar phase right as she approached 5 months. At daycare I used to send four 3 ounce bottles - totaling 12 ounces. She was always satisfied by that. She's there for about 8 hours so I realize that 12 ounces is on the higher end of what she might need. Sometimes she'd only have three bottles at daycare (totaling 9 ounces) and would come home with the fourth bottle. My daycare is great about not over-feeding. All of a sudden, she had two days where her teachers said she was starving all day, it seemed! So, I added almost an ounce to each bottle - sending four 4-ounce bottles. Now - she ALWAYS comes home with the fourth bottle - so she's consuming three 4 ounce bottles - totaling 12 ounces, and is satisfied. SO - she's consuming the same amount each day as when I sent smaller bottles! She's just able to go a little longer between feedings with the 4 ounce bottles, I suppose. She's almost 6 months now and not interested in solids.

    Of note, my DS never had bottles larger than about 4.5 ounces - even at 1 year old.

    So I think everything will be just fine. Keep up the good work!
    Last edited by @llli*worknpump; September 19th, 2012 at 10:08 AM. Reason: typo
    Blessed with DS - born 9/2/09 - nursed/pumped for 12 months
    Blessed with DD - born 3/27/12 my dreamfeeder

    903 ounces donated.
    http://www.wakemed.org/landing.cfm?id=135

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    168

    Default Re: Hungry baby and supply - working mom questions

    Thank you for your replies!
    My baby doesn't take a pacifier, so that's not an option for us. For now, I'll try to keep pumping 4oz every time and maybe that way she'll be satisfied. I also noticed yesterday (last night) that she slept longer... So it makes me wonder if it actually was something going on with my supply for some reason...
    Anyway, no problems so far today... My mom hasn't called
    Thanks again!

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