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Thread: How do you maintain supply as baby gets older?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    40

    Default How do you maintain supply as baby gets older?

    On a very well-known website I read today:
    "Typically, by age 4 months or so, babies have started to develop more of a regular sleep/wake pattern and have dropped most of their night feedings."
    Also:
    "At some point between 4 and 6 months, most babies are capable of sleeping through the night. "Through the night" at this age generally means a stretch of 8 to 12 hours."
    While I love the thought of sleeping more, how can you maintain your supply if the above is true? My LO is only 3 months old and I was hoping to breastfeed exclusively till about 6 or 7 months before starting to introduce food, and continue till around 1 year. I feel like now that I've survived the hardest first months (including oversupply, mastitis and thrush!), I need to have an idea of how to maintain my supply as she grows and cuts back on her feedings.
    Thank you very much in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,207

    Default Re: How do you maintain supply as baby gets older?

    What you read sounds more applicable to formula-fed babies than breastfed babies. My seven-month old is still nursing a couple times at night (she definitely does NOT sleep 8 to 12 hours at a stretch!!!) and it's maintaining my milk supply very nicely. In contrast, my second baby had less nighttime feedings, and keeping up my milk supply was more of a struggle (which basically translated into me spending more time pumping at work). I would suggest to keep feeding her on demand, and ignore websites (and people) who suggest that she should be sleeping so many hours at night!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: How do you maintain supply as baby gets older?

    Is your baby sleeping through the night? My 21 month old hasn't dropped most/all of her night feedings. And really - a stretch of 8-12 hours? Yeah, maybe if you do cry it out and ignore your child all night long. My 4 year old doesn't sleep 12 hours in a row.

    If you continue to feed on demand, then you will not lose supply and probably will not get mastitis.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    California
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    418

    Default Re: How do you maintain supply as baby gets older?

    Agree with the others that that sleep advice sounds wildly optimistic to me. My son will be one next week and still only sleeps through the night 1-2x per week, if that. Most nights his longest stretch is about 6 hours, and some nights he's up every 3 hours. I consider him a relatively good sleeper, BTW--lots of mommies on here have worse. At 6 or 7 months old he was up 5-7 times per night. This maintains your supply just fine, believe me Anyway if your child happens to sleep through the night at an early age, then you may have to deal with supply issues, but chances are, unless you are crying-it-out, that's just not going to happen. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
    First-time mama to Joshua, 10/29/11. 29 months and going strong! for 14 months; now finished with pump weaning!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    17,405

    Default Re: How do you maintain supply as baby gets older?

    STTN means a stretch that is 4hours or longer. ONE. If you get ONE stretch like that it's considered STTN.

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    middle of IA
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    Default Re: How do you maintain supply as baby gets older?

    how you maintain supply is by continuing to nurse on demand! and nursing before any solids, when you get to that point. many many bf babies aren't really taking in any substantial calories through food until they're a year - or more.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,631

    Default Re: How do you maintain supply as baby gets older?

    I'm really sorry that what you read on the other website made you worry. It is so inaccurate, so inapplicable to the majority of babies, that all it does is make moms worry when their babies don't conform to that "ideal" pattern. If you ever encounter a baby who sleeps 8-12 hours at night and has perfectly predictable wake/sleep patterns during the day, please let me know. I want to see this mythical creature!

    If you want to make sure you meet your nursing goals, all you have to do is nurse on demand. That's all!
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Victoria, BC, Canada
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    940

    Default Re: How do you maintain supply as baby gets older?

    I think I remember reading this...

    There's no way I could maintain a supply with a 8-12 hour stretch at night. Ouch!

    It's not natural for babies to be sleeping this long unattended. We're humans, not seals. Our milk is low in protein and fat, which means we need to feed our young frequently. Which makes sense because they are so helpless. Seal milk is very high in fat so baby seals can go longer between feedings. However, that's because their mothers have to go off to hunt.

    I don't think it's good for human babies to sleep this deeply, with them being at risk for SIDS still. I'm not sure it's even possible, unless the baby's been subjected to some hard-core sleep training.

    Just keep doing what you're doing. Feed your baby at night and ignore that silly website.
    Canadian mom and breastmilk fan.
    We have 2 beautiful children: Luana who's 9 y/o, had breastmilk for 2 years and is smart as a whip. Lucas who came out kickin', is 4 y/o and continues to enjoy his milkies.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Paris, France
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    Default Re: How do you maintain supply as baby gets older?

    My DD is 4 months and has one 4 hour stretch in the early evening (8-12pm) then sometimes a 4 or 5 or (and this is rare!) 6 hour stretch. Even an 8 hour stretch is really REALLY optimistic for a young baby! DS only started to have 5-6 hour stretches after I had weaned at 8 months (due to the formula, I reckon!!). Even now at 4 years old the longest he'll sleep is 10 hours and that's simply due to no longer having an afternoon nap at daycare so he's so tired at night.

    What you're doing sounds fine, just keep nursing when your LO demands and your supply should be ok. HTH
    -Ishy-

    Married 28 july 2005
    Mummy to my DS , born 30 july 2008
    proud to have BF him for 8 months
    Now a Mummy for the 2nd time to my DD , born 15 june 2012 for 15 1/2months! Still whenever we can and

    DS Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 15oz - 19.5inches
    4 yrs: 35lbs 4oz - 3feet 5.5inches
    5 yrs: 40lbs - 3feet 8inches

    DD Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 13oz - 19.5inches
    6.5 months 12lbs 14oz - 26inches
    9 months 15lbs 13oz
    15months 20lbs 11oz - 30 inches

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Central PA
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    75

    Default Re: How do you maintain supply as baby gets older?

    After all this talk about 8-12 hours sleep stretch being rare I'm starting to wonder if my 3month old's 3 days of 'sleeping through' the night this past weekend was just a rare occasion or because she was under the weather due to a cold. Granted she didn't really sleep the whole way through. About 6 hours into her slumber she tossed and turned a little here and there but would go back to sleep after a few sucks on her hand/fingers. Should I have nursed her when she was restless? I figured that if she was hungry she would wake up completely but maybe I was wrong in not getting her up to eat earlier. She did end up waking up on her own at some point and then I did nurse her right away because I was definitely feeling very full. This is my first time at all of this (baby & breastfeeding).

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