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Thread: does my baby ever need a 5 oz bottle?

  1. #1
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    Default does my baby ever need a 5 oz bottle?

    My baby is almost 6 months old and gets two bottles a day at daycare. I nurse when I drop her off at 8 am, she gets a bottle around 10/10:30, I nurse at lunch (they call me), she gets a bottle at 3/3:30 and I pick her up around 5.

    I've been pleasantly surprised at how informed her caregivers are about breastfed babies. They seem really good at reading her hunger cues, and aware the possibility of overfeeding. She's generally been drinking between 3 and 4 oz per feeding. Everything I've read indicates that this is right on target for a breastfed baby.

    Then this past week, one of her teachers said that she seems like she's been pretty hungry lately and has been wanting more and more 4 oz bottle and she thinks she might even want a 5 oz bottle from time to time. She suggested that it might be a growth spurt. I was kind of skeptical and asked her to start with 3-4 oz and if she is still hungry, to offer another oz. Which she agreed was the right approach. Sure enough, the next morning she took a 5 oz bottle and then the next morning she had 4.5 oz.

    Is this too much? This seems like a lot for one feeding. But, interestingly, I've been pumping a little more than usual. I usually pump between 3 and 4 oz and now I'm easily pumping close to 5 oz at my morning pump. I didn't even notice it until I looked down and the bottle was about to overflow. I was shocked. I haven't been doing anything differently. I wonder if she really is having a growth spurt and eating more and I am producing more. So that makes me think it really is what she needs. But it still seems like a lot, right? Or is this normal? Thanks for any thoughts!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: does my baby ever need a 5 oz bottle?

    It seems like a lot, yeah, especially since you're going in to nurse at lunch. Have they been trying other means of soothing? Just because she'll drink it doesn't mean that's really what she wants or needs, as I'm sure you know. On the other hand, if it's working for you, it's not clear that it's harmful (there IS some thought that overfeeding via bottle is related to obesity issues down the road, but I'm not sure that 1 oz give or take it going to make or break things).

  3. #3
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    Default Re: does my baby ever need a 5 oz bottle?

    My oldest got 5oz bottles for a while; not every feeding, but once or twice a day. This was during my heyday of pumping, when I was pumping over 20oz per day; I had it to spare He would get 18-20oz total during a 10hr separation.

    Overfed? Probably. But his weight gain was fine, he wasn't on solids yet, and the supply was there. When my supply dipped, I went back to 3-4oz bottles and sent more solids to school (this was around 6-7 mos, after AF returned).

    Point being, it isn't ALWAYS bad to give 5oz per feeding, but if you become unable to pump that much, don't be afraid to put your foot down and go back to 3-4.

    Also, Medela makes 10oz collection bottles
    Last edited by @llli*jeno; November 17th, 2012 at 02:56 PM. Reason: Missed a comma
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    Default Re: does my baby ever need a 5 oz bottle?

    This is a hard question ONLY because you are now pumping more without changing anything else. Which makes me wonder what she is extracting from your directly. Is there a point during the day or weekend where you could pump one side while she nurses the other? The issue with allowing them to feed her 5oz is that even if she IS having a growth spurt, you don't want to encourage overfeeding because it essentially wastes your milk. Because if you move to 5oz bottles that is 3extra oz a day which is 15extra oz a week. Which if she is spurting, it will taper off eventually and then what? When you go back to producing 3-4oz a session and now she is used to 5oz bottles? You don't want to risk not being able to keep up with her demand long term. And long term more than 4oz feedings isn't realistic.The thing is they don't need more milk as they grow. Just RIGHT when they spurt. They feed non-stop and then things calm down. Because your milk content catches up to their nutritional needs. I would be VERY VERY cautious about 5 oz feedings. And have those extra oz stored separately. So that they aren't wasted if not used.

    Way too lazy for formula

  5. #5
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    Default Re: does my baby ever need a 5 oz bottle?

    Before I started reading these forums I'd never heard of overfeeding, the 1 to 1.5 oz/hour rule, etc. (I've learned a lot!) So... my babies have all gotten 5 and 6 oz and probably even larger bottles. I was always able to keep up so it wasn't a problem. And neither my 5 yo nor my 2 1/2 yo is obese nor even the slightest bit chubby! I have read that babies drinking out of bottles lose the ability to self-regulate the way they do at the breast, regardless of whether they're drinking breastmilk or formula out of the bottle. So I think it's actually quite common. Not to say that you shouldn't watch out for it and try to scale back to 3-4 oz - your DCP sounds great about working with you.
    Last edited by @llli*bfwmomof3; November 17th, 2012 at 03:30 PM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: does my baby ever need a 5 oz bottle?

    Mine is doing almost the exact same thing! I send 4 oz bottles as well. My daycare allows us to store extra frozen packets there. So I give them a stock of 2 oz frozen packets for baby's "extra hungry" days. That way they can give him a topper if he really needs it, but since they usually have to put him down first (to tend to other babies and then come back to him), baby often gets distracted by playing and sometimes they see he's not really hungry enough to bother with the topper. Only when he really keeps fussing do they go ahead with the extra 2 oz. I think having the toppers in frozen form gives just enough of a hurdle to avoid them consistently overfeeding him. If your daycare allows you to give them frozen packets, that could be one way to go.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: does my baby ever need a 5 oz bottle?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    This is a hard question ONLY because you are now pumping more without changing anything else. Which makes me wonder what she is extracting from your directly. Is there a point during the day or weekend where you could pump one side while she nurses the other? The issue with allowing them to feed her 5oz is that even if she IS having a growth spurt, you don't want to encourage overfeeding because it essentially wastes your milk. Because if you move to 5oz bottles that is 3extra oz a day which is 15extra oz a week. Which if she is spurting, it will taper off eventually and then what? When you go back to producing 3-4oz a session and now she is used to 5oz bottles? You don't want to risk not being able to keep up with her demand long term. And long term more than 4oz feedings isn't realistic.The thing is they don't need more milk as they grow. Just RIGHT when they spurt. They feed non-stop and then things calm down. Because your milk content catches up to their nutritional needs. I would be VERY VERY cautious about 5 oz feedings. And have those extra oz stored separately. So that they aren't wasted if not used.
    Yes, exactly!!

    One potentially good thing is that we're going to be starting solids soon. I know that for quite a while, solids are just for fun, and won't have any impact on the volume of milk that she needs, but I think it will give me some basis for talking to her teachers about reevaluating the volume of the bottles. i.e., I can say, she had some banana this morning so she probably won't be as hungry for her morning bottle, or whatever. To try to get them to "reset" their perception of how much she needs, if that makes sense. Not sure if that will work, but that's what I'm thinking.

    As for how much she's taking from me directly when she nurses, that's what I'm so curious about! Do you mean I could pump one side while she nurses the other to try to estimate that amount based on how much I pump from the side she doesn't nurse from? I'm not sure if I understand right. If that's what you mean, that won't really work because my left side produces barely 1/4 of what my right produces. And she always takes both sides.

    Anyway, this isn't the end of the world, but obviously I don't want her to be overfed. But I also want her to get what she needs and not go through her day feeling hungry.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: does my baby ever need a 5 oz bottle?

    I think we had that happen on occasion and we gave more as long as I had any to spare. I think there were times when she'd eat more at one feeding but then the nanny would give her less later in the day and she'd be fine with it. I asked her to keep an eye on when LO seemed hungriest so we could give her a little more at those times. My DH gave her her morning bottle and she always wanted more at that time so he'd do 4 to 4.5 oz, but then the nanny would just do 2.5 to 3.5 oz bottles for the rest of the day on most days. Any time I ran low, though, they tried to just make it work with what was there and didn't dip into the freezer stash or anything.
    Mom to my sweet little "Pooper," born 10/12/11, and "Baby Brother," born 6/23/2014, and married to heavy metal husband. Working more than full-time, making healthy vegetarian meals for family, and trying to keep up with exercise routine.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: does my baby ever need a 5 oz bottle?

    Sometimes babies will sleep a bit more at night, and daytime production goes up? This can happen anytime, and switch back at any time, of course. I always try to remember all of the night nursing I was doing when I'd have an "off" pumping day, it reassures me that Maggie is getting plenty. Conversely, sometimes she'll have a great night of sleep and I tend to pump more during the day. It varies.

    Basically, I wouldn't worry about the OCCASIONAL 5 oz bottle. But I agree with the others, it's probably not good to have it be a frequent thing. The main problem with overfeeding her is that it will get harder for you to catch up, especially since the second half of the first year tends to be harder, pumping-wise, than the first half. But it's not a big deal here and there. That said, if you're pumping more, it's good that she eat what you pump.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: does my baby ever need a 5 oz bottle?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*sprocket View Post
    As for how much she's taking from me directly when she nurses, that's what I'm so curious about! Do you mean I could pump one side while she nurses the other to try to estimate that amount based on how much I pump from the side she doesn't nurse from? I'm not sure if I understand right. If that's what you mean, that won't really work because my left side produces barely 1/4 of what my right produces. And she always takes both sides.
    I see. Yeah I was thinking if she ate off one side and you were pumping 2.5 oz on the other side then we'd know that right NOW she IS eating about 5oz per feed. But if it won't work, then I say just don't agree to moving to 5oz bottles because you don't want the bar to be there. Bring additional one oz bags and I like the idea of keeping them frozen! So that they have to do an extra hurdle to get to them!

    Way too lazy for formula

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