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Thread: Update on supplementation weaning and questions.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    31

    Default Update on supplementation weaning and questions.

    I've been weaning my now 11wo from supplementation. I was giving her around 13oz a day when I began weaning, and am now giving around ~5oz during the day (with 1-3oz around midnight). Trying to do it gradual as per Kathy Kuhn's suggestion (http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/).

    This is my progress: Two weeks ago I tried to cold turkey her from formula (as per suggestion from an lc over the phone) and I literally bf her ALL DAY with only minimum diaper output. She barely slept at all unless she was bfing in my arms while I was pacing, and her sleep was so light that any movement or noise woke her. Also, if I tried to cluster feed her without formula around that time it was misery... seven or more hours of crying and almost constant nursing with a big finale at night.

    Now I can breastfeed her and she'll actually go to sleep. I try to give formula only when she seems really fussy from not being able to nurse to sleep from the slow flow. Thing is, I'm able to breastfeed her for about ten or so minutes. She gets about a four hour block of sleep at night and then I'll wake to feed her. Then I try to dreamfeed her every two hours after that (or I used to pump). Around 5 o'clock or so she'll begin to go into a feed/nap cycle where she'll feed every 45 min to an hour. This lasts until night time. I still give her formula at night... I think out of fear more than anything.

    My question was this: Should I be giving her more formula? She's thoroughly wet and leaked through four Indian prefolds today, as is per usual for the past few days. She sleeps after I nurse her most times... which she never was able to do before. I know that babies sometimes sleep through their hunger (which she used to do when little), so I fear that I'm starving her. Is there any indicator besides wets and weight that I'll know she's eating enough? One of my concerns is that she gives hunger signs A LOT. I've figured out that sometimes it's hunger, sometimes it's to nurse to sleep (I bf no matter what it is). She doesn't really have any non-hunger sign awake times unless someone else is carrying her and she seems distracted for a while. Is it normal still for her to just eat and sleep? I would like to have some time where I can play with her for longer than five minutes... does that come later? Also, she'll be fine and distracted with someone else, then she'll see me and begin crying to nurse. Normal? Does someone understand what's going on?

    Also, right now she's napping in my lap after I bf her. This was unheard of at this time of night two weeks ago.
    Last edited by @llli*forecastofrain; August 20th, 2013 at 06:42 PM.
    - June 1, 2013

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,608

    Default Re: Update on supplementation weaning and questions.

    Yes it is normal for her to mostly eat and sleep. This is still newborn stage, and if she has not been gaining well previously she might be catching up. Also newborns nurse for comfort, connection-they are born truly needing to nurse most of the time. That intense need to suckle takes months to quiet down. If you are monitoring weigth gain fairly closely that is the best indicator of baby getting enough.
    No way to see the IBCLC in person? When weaning off supplements it can be important to be monitored by an IBCLC or a breastfeeding friendly pediatrician.

    Just out of couriosity-how often does baby poop and how much? And how many onces total of formula is baby getting per day, generally?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    31

    Default Re: Update on supplementation weaning and questions.

    No way to see the IBCLC in person? When weaning off supplements it can be important to be monitored by an IBCLC or a breastfeeding friendly pediatrician.
    That's good to know. No, I don't think she's an IBCLC... just an lc, if those exist.

    Just out of curiosity-how often does baby poop and how much? And how many ounces total of formula is baby getting per day, generally?
    Maybe once or twice every day or two. When she poops it's at least two or three bowel movements at once... And I thought I was super mom and getting her off formula, but she's at about 9oz total daily.

    Thank you for all your help Meg.
    - June 1, 2013

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,608

    Default Re: Update on supplementation weaning and questions.

    OK I re read your first post and I think I missed the question-the single best way to be sure a baby is getting enough is weight gain. If weight gain is average or above average, baby is getting enough. If weight gain rate is below average, that MAY also be fine, of course. It depends, becasue some babies gain more slowly and it's normal. But there needs to be gain happening at this age. I think what you want to see is a minimum of between 5 and 8 ounces of weight gain per week.

    I asked about poops because at this age (any time after 6 weeks or so) some babies stop pooping very much and -may even go several days-weeks even! without pooping, and it is normal & fine. However, if a baby this age IS still pooping every day or so and they are good sized, that is a good sign that milk intake is good. Enough wet diapers helps us know that baby is getting enough milk to be well hydrated, which of course is very important. But I am not sure wets alone give us the info needed to be sure a baby is getting enough to grow appropriately.

    Other signs-baby nurses frequently enough- (at this age, a minimum of 8 times a day, more often is normla and fine,) and baby appears to swallow while nursing and is ‘content’ after nursing. This last is a tricky one because everyone defines "content" differently. For example, content to me means, baby nurses (for example) 30 minutes and falls asleep in my arms. I keep holding her and 15 minutes later she wakes a bit and wants to nurse again for 20 minutes. Falls asleep again, sleeps an hour in my arms, (maybe I pass her to my husband for a bathroom break) she wakes up, wants to nurse immediately and so on. All my babies got plenty of milk but that is how they usually nursed at a few months old.

    For someone else, "content after nursing" means they nurse baby 30 minutes, baby falls asleep, and they can lay baby down in a crib and leave the room without a peep from baby for 2 hours or more. Some babies MAY do this, but if they do not, it does not necessarily mean they are not getting enough milk.

    Ok, in the US, at any rate, anyone can call themselves an “LC.” For example, I am an “LC” because I know a reasonable amount about what is normal and what is not with breastfeeding and I talk to (consult with) mothers about breastfeeding. And I certainly have talked to mothers about weaning off formula and suggest approaches to try. But in those cases, I always suggest that, if at all possible, mom do that under the guidance of an International Board Certified LC- (IBCLC,) because they are clinically trained and educated and tested and certified by an international organization to recognize and help with specific, out of the ordinary, breastfeeding issues. So they could watch baby nurse and make sure there are no issues there, have regular weight checks, or whatever was needed to feel comfortable proceeding getting off the formula.

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