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Thread: Question about feeding 8.5 month old baby

  1. #1

    Talking Question about feeding 8.5 month old baby

    Hi everyone,

    I have an 8.5 month old son who is EBF and our BF relationship has gone very well, despite a few hiccups along the way. I work full time, so I'm pumping three times a day and he is being fed pumped milk at daycare. However, I've had a hard time getting a handle on how much he should be taking in from the bottle and from solids and I've gotten a lot of different information from a lot of different people. I know that he should be taking in about 25-30 oz. of breastmilk per day and that solids are just supplementary at this point. Our pediatrician is very pro-breastfeeding and supports nursing-on-demand, but she also said in terms of solids, to give him as much as he seems to want until he refuses. However, he's a great eater, so sometimes that's at least 4-5 ice cubed sized portions in a sitting, which seems like a lot to me (but he's very long and lean and active, and I suspect he has a fast metabolism). Anyways, I know that diets can vary depending on the child, but here's what he eats now on a regular weekday (on weekends and holidays, we try just to nurse, not bottle feed):

    • Wakes at 6 a.m. - nurses 5-10 minutes
    • 9 a.m. - 4-5 oz. bottle of BM
    • 12 p.m. - 4-5 ice-cubed sized portions of pureed fruits and veggies with a sippy cup of water, followed by a 2-2.5 oz. bottle of BM
    • 3 p.m. - 4-5 oz. bottle of BM
    • 5 p.m. - nurses 5-10 minutes after arriving home
    • 6 p.m. - 4-5 ice-cubed sized portions of pureed fruits and veggies with a sippy cup of water
    • 7:30 p.m. - nurses to sleep, approximately 15-30 minutes
    • Wakes once or twice to nurse at night, usually around 12 a.m. and/or 3 a.m.


    I'm pumping three times a day during work and getting about 10-12 oz. on average. I'm using mostly fresh for him at daycare, although starting to use some frozen milk I stored in late summer/early fall and freeze several oz. each week so I have enough of a stash to get him through age 1 (I am not planning on weaning, though).

    Any thoughts? Does this seem pretty normal? He's happy and healthy, so I'm not overly concerned, but I'm trying to keep up with the pumping to meet the daily demand, and I know at some point around 9-10 months, we'll add another meal into the mix and we'll start finger foods soon. I am also trying to figure out if I let his daycare give him two meals, what should I do to adjust his bottle portions and that feeding schedule. I was thinking that once we add a third meal of having his daycare offer him solids for breakfast around 8 a.m., followed by a 2-2.5 oz. bottle, lunch at 12 p.m., followed by a 2-2.5 oz. bottle, and a 4-5 oz. bottle at 3 p.m.

    Thanks in advance for your help!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Question about feeding 8.5 month old baby

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,209

    Default Re: Question about feeding 8.5 month old baby

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum.

    So you're absolutely right, before age one solids are for experience: learning new tastes, textures, and the motor skills to self-feed. Sounds like your baby has really taken to solids (which will be nice for you once you get to a year - makes it easier to pump wean!) but at this point, you don't want solids to supplant intake of breastmilk. So one suggestion is to always offer milk first, then solids after, until you get to a year.

    If I understand your schedule correctly, there's 11 hours between your morning nursing session and your evening nursing session. Typically baby will need between 1 and 1.5 oz of milk per hour of separation, so in your case that would be between 11 and 17 oz or so. Which is pretty much where you are - maybe on the higher end of that. For that many hours apart, many moms would need at least 4 pumping sessions to maintain supply. If baby were nursing all the time, he would usually be nursing at least 8 times in 24 hours, but more often 10-12 times or even more. It sounds like you are getting in a total of 7-8 total sessions of nursing or pumping and sessions and that may not be quite enough - particularly as you are just hitting the age when a lot of moms face a "pump slump." So, you might want to try to consistently nurse twice rather than once in the night, or squeeze in another pumping session (even a short one) during the day at work.

    Another possibility would be to back down a little on the amount of expressed milk he gets during the day, so that he is getting more of his milk from direct nursing with you, which tends to stimulate supply more than the pump. For example, a 5 oz bottle is a big bottle - usually baby will be drinking 2 or 3 or 4 oz at the breast, so a lot of working moms will give a 3 oz bottle with a 1 oz "topper" as needed. You could try to decrease your bottles from 4-5 oz down to 3-4 oz. Of course that also makes it easier to keep up with what baby is drinking with your workday pumping!

    Another suggestion is to give solids during the day at daycare, and skip the solids in the evening and just focus on nursing at that point. Also, over the weekend, focus on nursing rather than solids. There really isn't any set amount of solids baby needs at this point - even if you spent the whole weekend nursing rather than giving solids, that would be fine, because breastmilk is the mainstay of baby's nutrition. Not to say that you shouldn't give solids at all, because after a year solids start to slowly take over as the main form of nutrition, but you don't need to worry too much at this point about how much solids.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Question about feeding 8.5 month old baby

    Thanks for all your help! Before the evening solids meal I've aimed to nurse about 30-45 minutes before solids (a friend with a 1 year old told me that is what she does), but it usually turns into an hour because my son often falls asleep on the way home from daycare and I usually take advantage and put bottles away, pump accessories in the sink, rinse diapers off, etc. I'm definitely going to try to decrease the bottle amounts and solids amounts just a bit (I've actually started doing that already - I went from sending a 5 oz. bottle to a 4 oz. bottle). When would you say is an appropriate time to give him the third solids meal at daycare? I know they typically have 3 small meals by age 1 and I was thinking about 10 months.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,209

    Default Re: Question about feeding 8.5 month old baby

    I don't think there are any hard and fast rules, but sounds reasonable to add in the third meal/snack in a couple months. In my son's daycare, once he graduated to the toddler room there were set times for snacks and meals, so if you have a similar situation, you might want to try moving towards that a month or 6 weeks before.

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