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Thread: Almost 4 months still nursing/taking bottles every 2-3 hours

  1. #1

    Default Almost 4 months still nursing/taking bottles every 2-3 hours

    My daughter will be 4 months this coming Monday. She takes bottles during the week at day care. Currently, I've been sending her with 4 three ounce bottles. I've read many times that as they get older, they should be eating less throughout the day, but taking more in at each feeding. She's still eating about 8 times each day... Lately, she's only waking up ounce a night after going to sleep about 7:30-8:30pm.

    My question is - should I send her with four ounce bottles instead of three ounces portions? In order to get her feeding amount up and number of feedings down since she hasn't done that herself?

    Sometimes the bottles are a little over 3 ounces and could be 4. She takes them fine. I don't believe day care ever discards anything that I know of.

    She does spit up if not burped.. Day care burps her after every ounce..

  2. #2

    Default Re: Almost 4 months still nursing/taking bottles every 2-3 h

    Also! Sorry... She has been gaining weight in the 50% range. One week ago today she weighed 13lbs 6oz.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Almost 4 months still nursing/taking bottles every 2-3 h

    HI! Welcome to the forum.

    Are you concerned only about feeding frequency? Or do you think baby may not be getting enough milk overall?

    As far as I am aware, despite many sources that claim differently, there is no actual evidence a child 'should' start eating any particular way at any particular time. What does seem to happen, is that a typical newborn baby MUST nurse at least around 10-12 times per 24 hour day in the newborn period, or they cannot get enough milk. (And many nurse even more frequently) and as they get older, bigger, and more efficient, the frequency typically goes down somewhat from that very high frequency, but how much and when depends on baby.

    But what is also normal is that feeding frequency will go up and down many times for any number if reasons, and certainly, as far as nursing goes, comfort nursing may increase even if baby's efficiency at the breast increases. This is why cue feeding (as much as possible) remains the recommendation for as long as the child nurses, or at least for the first year or whatever period breastmilk remains the primary source of nutrition. With bottles the recommendation is to have those mimic breastfeeding as much as possible, which means cue feeding and doing paced bottle feeding. Eating 8 times a day or HIGHER seems entirely normal feeding frequency for a 4 month old. Some might be ok eating less often, of course. But there is no reason to encourage that.

    Basically, a baby, just like an older child or an adult, knows when they want to eat and how much they want to eat. And because baby is continuing to grow very quickly (although not as quickly as the first 3 months) and still has a small tummy, that is going to be way more frequently than an older child or an adult. Usually, by following a babies feeding cues, we ensure a baby gets plenty of milk and (when nursing) comfort as well.

    Whether 9 -12 ounces per day is enough depends on how long baby is separated from you and how much baby nurses the rest of the day. Assuming growth has been normal, (and for growth to be normal it need not be in the 50%, that is not how the charts work, but assuming she has stayed on or reasonably near the same growth curve, that indicates normal growth) then baby is probably getting enough milk overall. If you think your child would like to eat more at each bottle meal, but is not getting it because there IS no more (at daycare) then maybe you could send a second bottle with an ounce or two in it to be given if baby is showing signs they want more at a particular feeding? and see how that goes for a bit? I am just concerned that making the bottles uniformly bigger will result in either overfeeding or waste. There is also never any harm in offering to nurse more often when baby is with you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    73

    Default Re: Almost 4 months still nursing/taking bottles every 2-3 h

    My son took 3oz bottles every 2 hours at day care until 11 months. He started spacing bottles out to 3 hours after that as he ramped up his solids. I never worried about it. I guess I didn't know I was supposed to. DS did start spacing out his nighttime feeds so they weren't every 2 hours, and I was really excited about that because it got me more sleep. But his bottle pattern at day care worked, so it never dawned on me to mess with it. When he was home with me on weekends, he nursed every 2 hours too, or even slightly more often.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Almost 4 months still nursing/taking bottles every 2-3 h

    My baby takes 8-9 ounces in 8-9 hours. So it's about an ounce an hour, and he's perfectly fine with that - he's 6 months old. We are planning to introduce solids soon so I'm sure that will change things. Yes, he also eats every 2-3 hours (probably because I offer it that often, even though he's not really HUNGRY that often), and I'm cool with that. He eats once in the morning, two bottles at work, three more feedings before bedtime, one dreamfeed, and then he wakes up like 2-3 times in the night for a quickie.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Almost 4 months still nursing/taking bottles every 2-3 h

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*momma2e View Post
    I've read many times that as they get older, they should be eating less throughout the day, but taking more in at each feeding.
    This sounds more like what happens with a formula-fed baby. There is no reason to increase the bottle size or decrease bottle frequency for a breastfed baby. My concern would be that if you increase the bottle size, she will simply get more expressed milk, which will be harder for you to keep up with, and decrease baby's motivation to nurse when you are together. It sounds like you have been doing great so far, don't change anything!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: Almost 4 months still nursing/taking bottles every 2-3 h

    The idea that babies "should" eat larger amounts less often is a complete myth. It comes from the days when formula-feeding was the norm and parents were being encouraged to put their babies on rigid schedules. Even though the thinking about how, when, and how much babies should eat has changed, this myth lingers on in a lot of baby books.

    It sounds like you and your baby are doing just fine- why change anything?
    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!"

  8. #8

    Default Re: Almost 4 months still nursing/taking bottles every 2-3 h

    Thanks mommies! Today I did send her with two 4 oz bottles instead of all 3 oz, but I'll bring it back down now that I know it will be fine. My supply seems to be right on I assume because each day away from me she needs 4 at least 3 oz bottles and that's my norm result from two pumping sessions at work.

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