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Thread: Reducing number of feeds / whilst keeping intake the same??

  1. #1
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    Jun 2012
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    Default Reducing number of feeds / whilst keeping intake the same??

    A bit of background - LO is 5 months and currently eats 30oz of breastmilk or thereabouts every day. She sleeps 12 hours straight at night so we now fit in 5 feeds between 7am and 7pm. I was feeding 5oz at each sitting but she was draining the bottles and seeming to want more. The health visitor suggested I increase to 6oz. She now usually seems satisfied on that but does pretty much always finish her bottles.

    My question is - She's now staying awake considerably longer and often seems happy to go longer between feeds. I have fed her on demand until recently, roughly every 3 hours. Now she naturally seems to want to go longer between some feeds but I'm feeding on a schedule so as to fit 5 feeds in that 12 hour period. If I was to drop down to 4 feeds a day, what do I do about those extra ounces. Do I increase the amount in each bottle to 7 or 8oz? This seems like a lot of breastmilk all in one go, no?

    Also - does 30oz seem like a lot? Isn't that on the top end of the guideline?

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: Reducing number of feeds / whilst keeping intake the sam

    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but you're exclusivey pumping, correct? Not just pumping to cover the time when you're at work?

    I would not attempt to drop down to 4 feedings per day, even if the bottles were big enough to cover your baby's calorie needs. Bigger bottles don't mean better bottles- they just mean a baby who ends up more stuffed than she needs to be, and who may go even longer than she naturally would between feedings. Most nursing 5 month-olds are feeding at least 8 times a day. Is there any reason why you'd want to go to such infrequent feedings?

    I am not fond of your HV's advice on bottle sizes. Breastfed babies generally take small feedings rather frequently. Often they'll nurse every couple of hours, taking in 2-4 oz at a time. Since that's the natural pattern, if my baby were fussy after a 5 oz bottle, I'd want to feed her slightly less at one time but also more often.
    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: Reducing number of feeds / whilst keeping intake the sam

    5x5 =25. So was she only drinking 25oz a day and NOW she needs 6 so NOW it's 6x5? Or are you now working to increase to 6x5? So how often are you pumping?

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Reducing number of feeds / whilst keeping intake the sam

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Sorry if this is a dumb question, but you're exclusivey pumping, correct? Not just pumping to cover the time when you're at work?

    I would not attempt to drop down to 4 feedings per day, even if the bottles were big enough to cover your baby's calorie needs. Bigger bottles don't mean better bottles- they just mean a baby who ends up more stuffed than she needs to be, and who may go even longer than she naturally would between feedings. Most nursing 5 month-olds are feeding at least 8 times a day. Is there any reason why you'd want to go to such infrequent feedings?

    I am not fond of your HV's advice on bottle sizes. Breastfed babies generally take small feedings rather frequently. Often they'll nurse every couple of hours, taking in 2-4 oz at a time. Since that's the natural pattern, if my baby were fussy after a 5 oz bottle, I'd want to feed her slightly less at one time but also more often.
    Hi, yes, I'm exclusively pumping. What you're saying does make perfect sense with regards more frequent feeding. I originally fed her 4oz bottles but was given the advice to move to 5 and then 6. There's no reason why I'd want to go to more infrequent feedings, although I am happy that she sleeps 11-12 hours straight through at night! I understand what you're saying - would you recommend I even revert back to 6 feedings of 5oz say every 2.5 hours?

    She's not usually fussy after a bottle and is gaining weight steadily, but she does pretty much always finish which is why I wondered if I should be offering more. I really dislike exclusive pumping because I don't want to be in control of her intake - I breastfed only for 2.5 months and was much happier knowing that she was feeding as much or as little as she liked.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Reducing number of feeds / whilst keeping intake the sam

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    5x5 =25. So was she only drinking 25oz a day and NOW she needs 6 so NOW it's 6x5? Or are you now working to increase to 6x5? So how often are you pumping?
    Hi, yes she ate 25oz a day for around 6 weeks since I stopped breastfeeding. I just used the guidelines off kellymom and took the fact that she was sleeping very long stretches at night to mean that she was satisfied. She never really indicated that she was hungry (crying, hand knawing etc), although she did always finish her bottles. Over that period her weight gain was really poor (only 4 ounces in 4 weeks) so thats when the health visitor suggested I increase her milk. When I explained our day and that LO sleeps 11-12 hours at night she suggested increasing the amount in the bottle rather than trying to add another feed back into the day. I didn't feel especially comfortable with this as I'd read that stomach capacity is 2.5 to 5oz for breast milk.

    I'm now not entirely sure the poor weight gain was down to volume of milk anyhow. She was vomiting after many feeds because I'd allowed dairy to creep back in to my diet. I cut that out after the shock of only 4 ounces gained in 4 weeks and the vomiting immediately stopped. I also increased to 30oz per day and she put on a whopping 18 ounces in 2 weeks. Weight gain has now stabilised at 3-4 ounces each week.

    I pump 6 - 8 times per day depending on how busy my day is. I am just managing to produce 30oz per day.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Reducing number of feeds / whilst keeping intake the sam

    My first two slept 12hrs @ that age, but I would get them up for a "dream feed" right before I went to bed in order to get in an extra nursing session. Our days went like this: wake up around 6-6:30, nurse. Left for work at 7:15; baby took 3-4 bottles during the day at daycare (usually 3 per day by the time they were 6-7 mos), on an average of every 3 hrs (9/12/3). Nursed when we got home around 6, went to bed around 7. I would get them up to nurse again before I went to be around 9-10; each of them would basically sleep through this. You could try squeezing in an extra bottle this way. The most my son ever took in one bottle was 5oz, my daughter's max was 4.

    I wouldn't worry about the intervals as much as the total number of bottles. If she doesn't give you hunger cues, then I would not go longer than 3; otherwise, you can let her eat more often if she wants as long as you keep the amounts to 4-5 oz.

    Sorry for the rambling - hope that helps!
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Reducing number of feeds / whilst keeping intake the sam

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*babyhewy View Post
    would you recommend I even revert back to 6 feedings of 5oz say every 2.5 hours?
    I personally would. Or I would at least try! See if baby is happy at that frequency. I might even push it farther- offer 4 oz at a time, with a 1-2 oz bottle in reserve for a chaser, in case baby still seems hungry after finishing the larger bottle. I'd want to give baby as much of a chance as possible to self-regulate her intake.

    I really dislike exclusive pumping because I don't want to be in control of her intake - I breastfed only for 2.5 months and was much happier knowing that she was feeding as much or as little as she liked.
    Would you like to get back to nursing? It may still be possible! This link explains how to get a previously weaned baby back to the breast: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/
    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!"

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