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Thread: HELP: How many ounces per bottle while at daycare?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    27

    Exclamation HELP: How many ounces per bottle while at daycare?

    Hello Everyone,

    My daughter, Aria, will be 6 months old on the 9th. She has been in daycare since she was 3.5 months. When she first started I sent 3 4oz. bottles for her day. After a week or so daycare said that she was still hungry, so I began sending 3 5 oz. bottles for her day. She is there from 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and I nurse her before I take her, around 5:30. She takes anywhere from 10-15 oz. while I'm at work, but I'm only able to pump 8-10 oz while I'm at work. I pump 3 times during my day, 3 hours apart. So, she nurses around 5:30 and then I pump at 7:00, 11:00, and 2:00. She takes her bottles around 8:30, 11:30, and 3:00. If she only takes two bottles at daycare it is around 9:00 and 1:30.

    This weekend she was fussy at the boob. She would latch on, pull off and cry, latch on, pull off and cry, etc. Daycare said that she was fussy today as well, and that by 11:00 she had already eaten two bottles and wasn't satisfied. They suggested that most babies are taking 6-8 oz. bottles at this age and that she made need more. I responded that most FORMULA fed babies require 6-8 oz.bottles at this age for the caloric intake but that doesn't stand for bf babies. Am I wrong?

    She recently started cereal 1.5 weeks ago for dinner. Then she nurses one more time before bed. Is it time to start cereal more than once a day?

    Thanks for any and all input!

  2. #2

    Default Re: HELP: How many ounces per bottle while at daycare?

    My baby is only 4 months old, so I can't comment on the cereal. However, please check with your daycare if she FINISHES her bottle.
    Depending on the state/daycare regulation, they might dump the rest of the bottle if she doesn't finish it. I was mad when I found out about this.
    I insisted that they put the unfinished bottle back into the fridge for next feedings. They agree to do it if it's within the same day.

    I noticed that my daughter eats less at daycare than when she's with me in the weekends. She just compensates by eating more during weeknights (after I pick her up).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: HELP: How many ounces per bottle while at daycare?

    You are correct about bottle size. Breastfed babies should not be expected to conform to the formula norm. Formula-fed babies do take 6-8 oz bottles, and to feed relatively infrequently, but breastfed ones tend to take 2-5 oz bottles and to feed relatively frequently.

    It sounds like you are sending 15 oz per day, which is just right for a 10 hour workday- though baby may not always want that much and may sometimes want more, particularly during growth spurts. You might want to try sending the same amount of milk but splitting it up into smaller portions, perhaps a mix of 1, 2, and 3 oz bottles. That way the caregivers will be less likely to dump the remains of a large bottle, and if the baby finishes a bottle and is still hungry, they will need to pause the feeding to reach for another bottle. Pausing the feeding will give the baby a chance to decide whether or not she's really still hungry, which she may not be.

    6 month-old babies are fussy for a lot of reasons. Like teething. Or illness. Or just being 6 months old. It's important that the baby's daycare caregivers use a varied different ways to cope with fussing, like carrying the baby in a sling, giving her a pacifier, giving her toys and teethers, rocking her- and not simply try to defeat the fussing by feeding the baby until she passes out. When you're faced with a fussy baby, nursing is hands-down the best way to cope, even if baby is fussing and pulling off and acting like a loon. I'd also suggest taking her in to the pediatrician if the fussing continues- it's possible that there's a stealth ear infection or something like that going on.

    Until 12 months, breastmilk or formula alone are all a baby needs for nutrition, and they provide superior nutrition to solids. So at this point, you want to prioritize baby's intake of your milk, and to think of solids as something you do for fun with new tastes, textures, and motor skills. Cereal is fortified with vitamins and minerals but aside from that it's just pure starch and not really the healthiest food you can feed a baby. If this were my baby, I'd skip the cereal altogether, and offer her something more interesting, like fruits, veggies, or meats. You might want to read up on a feeding approach called "Baby-led Solids"- there are lots of threads about it here- and skip the purees and spoons altogether, and just let your baby have fun feeding herself. It's messier than the spoon-feeding approach, but a lot more fun for the baby- and fun new activities are great when your baby is fussy!
    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!"

  4. #4
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    Default Re: HELP: How many ounces per bottle while at daycare?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*blueteapot View Post
    My baby is only 4 months old, so I can't comment on the cereal. However, please check with your daycare if she FINISHES her bottle.
    Depending on the state/daycare regulation, they might dump the rest of the bottle if she doesn't finish it. I was mad when I found out about this.
    I insisted that they put the unfinished bottle back into the fridge for next feedings. They agree to do it if it's within the same day.

    I noticed that my daughter eats less at daycare than when she's with me in the weekends. She just compensates by eating more during weeknights (after I pick her up).
    Blueteapot, she does finish the bottles and they will save any unused portion if she doesn't finish it. I made sure of that.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: HELP: How many ounces per bottle while at daycare?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    You are correct about bottle size. Breastfed babies should not be expected to conform to the formula norm. Formula-fed babies do take 6-8 oz bottles, and to feed relatively infrequently, but breastfed ones tend to take 2-5 oz bottles and to feed relatively frequently.

    It sounds like you are sending 15 oz per day, which is just right for a 10 hour workday- though baby may not always want that much and may sometimes want more, particularly during growth spurts. You might want to try sending the same amount of milk but splitting it up into smaller portions, perhaps a mix of 1, 2, and 3 oz bottles. That way the caregivers will be less likely to dump the remains of a large bottle, and if the baby finishes a bottle and is still hungry, they will need to pause the feeding to reach for another bottle. Pausing the feeding will give the baby a chance to decide whether or not she's really still hungry, which she may not be.

    6 month-old babies are fussy for a lot of reasons. Like teething. Or illness. Or just being 6 months old. It's important that the baby's daycare caregivers use a varied different ways to cope with fussing, like carrying the baby in a sling, giving her a pacifier, giving her toys and teethers, rocking her- and not simply try to defeat the fussing by feeding the baby until she passes out. When you're faced with a fussy baby, nursing is hands-down the best way to cope, even if baby is fussing and pulling off and acting like a loon. I'd also suggest taking her in to the pediatrician if the fussing continues- it's possible that there's a stealth ear infection or something like that going on.

    Until 12 months, breastmilk or formula alone are all a baby needs for nutrition, and they provide superior nutrition to solids. So at this point, you want to prioritize baby's intake of your milk, and to think of solids as something you do for fun with new tastes, textures, and motor skills. Cereal is fortified with vitamins and minerals but aside from that it's just pure starch and not really the healthiest food you can feed a baby. If this were my baby, I'd skip the cereal altogether, and offer her something more interesting, like fruits, veggies, or meats. You might want to read up on a feeding approach called "Baby-led Solids"- there are lots of threads about it here- and skip the purees and spoons altogether, and just let your baby have fun feeding herself. It's messier than the spoon-feeding approach, but a lot more fun for the baby- and fun new activities are great when your baby is fussy!
    Mommal, she is normally a VERY easy going baby, doesn't fuss, always content and always happy. So, seeing her fussy that past two days throws up a red flag for everyone. Daycare also seems to think she could be teething because she was clenching the bottle nipple as well. If it continues I will take her to the ped.

    We started oatmeal cereal on Saturday night and I'm wondering if it doesn't sit well with her. She had the oatmeal Saturday and Sunday night and was fussy the day after each, but I didn't give her any cereal last night and so far she hasn't been fussy today. (It's only 10 a.m.) I think I will hold off on cereal for at least a couple more days and see how she does. Then I will watch her reaction when I reintroduce the oatmeal. She didn't have any issues with the rice cereal.

    I haven't hear of baby-led solids but I am definitely going to research it.

    Thanks for the input!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,767

    Default Re: HELP: How many ounces per bottle while at daycare?

    Has your baby always gained fine?

    because assuming normal weight gain, It makes no sense for a 6 month old to suddenly require a ton more breastmilk. It did not make sense at 3 months either. Breast milk fed babies need about the same amount (on average, as mommal suggests, it will vary day to day) of milk each day from about age 6 weeks on. (Until baby begins to rely more completely on solids which is a long way off.) In other words, the daily total for a 6 month old is no more than for a 6 weeks old.

    BUT, I am confused how often your baby nurses when with you. The rule of thumb that babies typically need 1 to 1.5 ounces of milk per hour of separation assumes that baby is nursing frequently when with mom, including overnight. If your baby is sleeping very long stretches at night without nursing, baby will probably need more milk during the day.

    Grains of any kind can be irritating. And most cereals have added iron which is constipating. If you think the solid introduction is part of the problem, I would suggest, hold off on solids for a few weeks and then start with something simple like a mild fruit or vege, such as pear or sweet potato, both of which work well if you are going the baby led route as well as conventional purees.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: HELP: How many ounces per bottle while at daycare?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Has your baby always gained fine?

    because assuming normal weight gain, It makes no sense for a 6 month old to suddenly require a ton more breastmilk. It did not make sense at 3 months either. Breast milk fed babies need about the same amount (on average, as mommal suggests, it will vary day to day) of milk each day from about age 6 weeks on. (Until baby begins to rely more completely on solids which is a long way off.) In other words, the daily total for a 6 month old is no more than for a 6 weeks old.

    BUT, I am confused how often your baby nurses when with you. The rule of thumb that babies typically need 1 to 1.5 ounces of milk per hour of separation assumes that baby is nursing frequently when with mom, including overnight. If your baby is sleeping very long stretches at night without nursing, baby will probably need more milk during the day.

    Grains of any kind can be irritating. And most cereals have added iron which is constipating. If you think the solid introduction is part of the problem, I would suggest, hold off on solids for a few weeks and then start with something simple like a mild fruit or vege, such as pear or sweet potato, both of which work well if you are going the baby led route as well as conventional purees.
    Yes, she has always gained well. Born at 8lbs. 1oz, 11lbs. 13oz at 2 months, and 13lbs. 14 oz at 4 months.

    I didn't think she would require more milk either. I actually went into it blind though. Although this is my 3rd baby my first was a formula baby by 3 months because I lost my supply completely and he wasn't gaining. My second didn't enter daycare until 16 months old, because I was home with her, so she was ebf, and rarely was given a bottle. I just estimated 4 oz. bottles when I started daycare. I was providing 16 oz. a day, but she was only taking 3 bottles. However, they said she wasn't satisfied after the bottle was gone. I thought she may just be looking to suck, but I decided to bump it up to 5 oz. to see if that would make a difference. According to daycare it worked like a charm. She would finish the bottle and be satisfied. She usually only takes 2 5oz. bottles while there, but recently she has been taking 3 5oz. bottles.

    While I'm working, her typical nursing schedule is once around 3:30 a.m. and then again at 5:30 a.m. before I drop her off. Once I've picked her up she usually nurses once around 5:00, gets cereal around 6:30 and then nurses again at bedtime around 8:00. She generally sleeps from 8:00 p.m. to 3:30 - 5:30. On the weekends I nurse on demand. She will usually nurse around 3:30, then again around 7:00, then 10:30, then 2:00, then 5:00, then cereal around 6:30, then nurse around 8:00.

    So far she has not had any constipation, which I am thankful for. I think I am going to hold off on solids for a while longer. We introduced solids because she was actively interested in our food. She reaches for our food while we eat and will gladly lick and suck on food if we let her. She took to the rice cereal no problem, but since her weight gain is fine it just might be best to hold off, at least until her 6 month appt. when I can discuss it with her ped.

    Oh, and I think daycare is pushing for more milk because there is a baby boy there that is 2 months older than my daughter and his mom provides 4 9oz. bottles of bm for his day!! Plus, he gets cereal in the morning. That to me, seems like overfeeding and way more milk than required. Plus, until recently caregivers assumed all babies followed the formula fed baby norm. It has only been in recent years that studies and peds advise that bf babies rarely require more than 4-5oz. bottles. My daycare lady has been in business 25 years, and it AWESOME. I feel like her concern is well intended but I can't help but feel like she is questioning whether I'm "starving" my baby.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: HELP: How many ounces per bottle while at daycare?

    That other mom is definitely sending milk in the quantities of overfeeding territory. That's more milk than the average breastfed infant will drink in an entire 24 hour period! That's fantastic for her that she has such a robust supply, but it in no way means your normal supply is questionable. It's certainly not something your DCP should be using as a measuring stick for what you are providing for your infant.

    It sounds like you are nursing baby around the clock when you are together, so I would agree that there is no reason your baby should need more than 1-1.5 oz per hour of separation. It sounds like you are pumping really close to that target--I think if you added a fourth session into your pumping day, you might start reliably hitting that target again. But I agree with lllmeg that the sudden and permanent increase in bottle intake at 3 months and 6 months makes little sense for a breastfed infant, and a lot more sense if your DCP is inadvertently encouraging baby to bottle feed in the same manner as a formula fed infant.

    You are totally within your rights to insist that your DCP learn about and follow the feeding guidelines for a BF infant, no matter how many years of experience she has.
    Apologies for the short responses! I'm usually responding one-handed on my smartphone!

  9. #9
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: HELP: How many ounces per bottle while at daycare?

    Thanks for all the input. I told my DCP that I am going to begin sending 3 oz. portions of milk because "my ped suggested it". I figured if I told her the direction was coming from my doc she would be less likely to argue. I explained that my DD may eat more frequently, but less at each feeding, such as she would if I were nursing her. (I have a sneaking suspicion that the amount of milk she intakes at daycare will decrease when given in 3 oz. portions.) I also asked her to try to have her hungry at pickup, and if my DD seems starving close to pickup time to offer her an ounce to hold her over until I get there. Thursday and Friday I only worked from 9-1 so I could take my older two kiddos to and from school, because their childcare was closed those two days, and my DD only took 6 oz. on Thursday and 5 oz. on Friday at daycare. However, both days when I got there I was told that she was SOOO hungry, and that they held her over with an ounce of milk about 30 minutes before I got there...but another 1-1.5 hours passed before she showed signs of being hungry and needing to nurse. To me that proves that either they are misreading her cues or she appears hungrier of her desire to suck while I'm away. What do you think?

    I must admit that it is difficult to not worry about my supply and how much she is taking in. If only we could see into our boobs to see just how much milk our LOs took at every feeding, it would make bfing a whole lot easier. Her diaper output is totally fine and she poops anywhere from once a day to once every other day so I know she is getting enough nutrition but it doesn't make it any easier.

    My DD has still continued to be fussy this week as well and I just can't figure out why. I'm not sure if it is teething, a growth spurt, or an earache. If it continues next week I think I am going to make a doc appointment just to be sure.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: HELP: How many ounces per bottle while at daycare?

    Oh, and I forgot to add that this past week she has been waking up, like clockwork, at 1:00 a.m. and 4:20 a.m. She has been sleeping through the night for quite some time now. Does it sound like a growth spurt maybe?

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