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Thread: Other tips to get baby to eat more / boost supply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Other tips to get baby to eat more / boost supply?

    Hi everyone,
    So it's been 2 weeks since our 4 month appt where I was freaked out by the pediatrician (telling me baby needed more milk b/c he dropped down on the percentile chart for weight. I have since tried to watch the clock more and feed him every couple hours (give or take, more often if he wants it, and not waking him from a nap if he seems peaceful). He's been nursing 8-10 times a day, sometimes for less than 10 minutes, and sometimes for 20-25 (the tail end of those is not active sucking, just comfort). He has a wet diaper (somewhat wet or very wet) about 7-8 times a day and 1 BM per day, give or take.

    I learned about switch nursing from this forum (thank you!) and have been doing that when he is being sleepy or fussy at the breast. It seems to help get him on track unless he really doesn't seem hungry, in which case we stop and move on.

    At 4 1/2 months, how many minutes of active nursing per breast is needed? I don't have oversupply - if anything I've always been concerned I don't have enough. I had this concern before the doctor said anything....I'm just paranoid, I have a baby who doesn't seem to have "baby fat".

    What's more effective at helping baby consume more milk (and increasing my production)? Is it better to do more frequent nursing, like every hour even if he's not initiating it, for shorter periods each time, or longer sessions where I try and stimulate him to keep eating by switch nursing or changing positions?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Default Re: Other tips to get baby to eat more / boost supply?

    It sounds like you are doing a great job...your baby's diaper output sounds very good!

    how far did your baby drop? If he dropped from like 90th to 3rd percentile that might mean to take a look at how he's nursing, but just because he dropped in percentile doesn't mean there is anything wrong...I would say looking at how content he seems after and between feedings as well as diaper output and meeting milestones would be a better way to tell how he's doing than only considering his growth percentile. If he lost weight, that might be different.

    I don't think there is a set number of minutes that baby should nurse. Watching the clock probably won't necessarily mean your baby will eat more. If he's full, he's full! If he's happy and content and having good diaper output (which it sounds like he's doing just fine), I would say he's eating plenty. If he's drinking and swallowing and comes off content, you can't really force him to eat more....that is maybe unless you put it in a bottle. My older daughter would chug down a bottle and then spit it all up. So she didn't even get more food!

    I used to get hung up on the percentiles, but I don't think those are a good measure of how well your baby is doing. For example, my 3.5 month old was almost 9lbs at birth, partly because I gained 50lbs and partly because she was just big. Last checkup she dropped in weight percentile but she's now off the chart for height (as in greater than 99th percentile). I'm guessing she was using calories to add length vs just weight. Also, I think at some point after the first few months, baby's genetic pattern of growth is going to start taking over. As I understand it, a percentile just compares healthy babies of the same age. It's not necessarily a red flag. Your baby could have just dropped in weight percentile because that's how her body is designed to be growing.

    So, as hard as it is, I wouldn't put too much stock in the percentile thing. I stopped and I feel much happier. Watching the clock vs. watching my baby has never resulted in solving any problem we had. I actually feed her in a room with no clocks, so I honestly have no idea how long she eats or at what time of day! I like it that way. She's usually happy as a clam. Hope this helps somewhat! I do know how you are feeling though. As far as watching the clock, it doesn't really tell you anything at all. Taking into accound the speed at which your milk flows (even from breast to breast and depending on what position you use), the way your baby sucks, your letdown, I don't think you would never be able to tell how much your baby is getting by looking at the clock. The clock tells time, but each woman and breast is different and each baby is different.
    Last edited by @llli*karrieperry; March 23rd, 2013 at 02:24 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012

    Default Re: Other tips to get baby to eat more / boost supply?

    Totally agree with the above post--minutes don't really matter since baby could be gulping it down or slowly suckling. At that age, I would say that my LO would nurse about 15 min on one breast, then about 10 on the other, but that's just a rough estimate; it was sometimes more/sometimes less.

    Hopefully your pediatrician recognizes that breastfed babies will drop in the percentile range as they get older than do formula babies. Mine was at the 90th around 2 months, then was at 80th at his 4 month checkup. He also didn't have "baby fat," but he's long and tall (still in the 90% for height). I'd say if baby is happy, content after feedings, then you are getting enough milk into him. If he's fussy, not gaining any weight (or losing), doesn't have enough wet/dirty diapers, then you would have something to be concerned about, but it sounds like none of those things are happening with your LO.

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