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Thread: How many feeds a day does a 9 month old need?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: How many feeds a day does a 9 month old need?

    Here is an article about tips for nursing for at least a year. I am not sure it applies to you, but this thread made me think of it. http://www.lalecheleague.org/nb/nbjanfeb06p4.html

    You may not wish to nurse your child for a year, and of course that is your choice. But unfortunately, so many mothers are thwarted by terrible advice in even this most basic of goals. I do not know what the recommendation is in the UK, but in the US the AAP is very clear that the feeding recommendation is that baby should nurse for at LEAST a year. That does not stop health care providers from regularly thwarting mothers in this goal with terrible, unsubstantiated and undermining advice about feeding. (Of course, nursing longer than a year is entirely healthy and normal at well.)

    A baby who is nursing twice a day is nursing. Your baby is most certainly getting benefits of nursing despite the low frequency! But when nursing is under such a limit, it will often reduce nursing duration.

    IMO the reason terrible advice about nursing is regularly given to mothers is because we live in societies that (generally) do not understand nor value breastfeeding.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
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    UK
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    8

    Default Re: How many feeds a day does a 9 month old need?

    There just seems to be a lot of variation in what professionals or different points of access advise.

    Why? Are you not enjoying nursing? Are you concerned that nursing is holding your baby back from some important developmental step? Are you eager to wean? Are you getting pressure from friends/family/acquaintances to hasten the weaning process?
    No, to all of these, none of those are relevant to me, it just feels like 8 feeds is what we were doing several months ago when baby was in the early months, and the number of feeds has naturally lessened over time, even before introducing solids. He doesn't ask for food as often and is more efficient in his eating so doesn't take as long or need to nurse as frequently, and this was even before he had solid food. So I've been following his lead, considering the lack/inconsistency of professional input.

    Here is an article about tips for nursing for at least a year. I am not sure it applies to you, but this thread made me think of it. http://www.lalecheleague.org/nb/nbjanfeb06p4.html
    Thanks, i'll have a look! Not sure what the nursing line is here, i think exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months, and then milk alongside introduction of solids. I'm definitely going to be continuing but I think that I have the food to milk ratio wrong at the moment (too much food, not enough feeds), at at least I don't have enough feeds in there
    Psychologist, first time mum and attempting to chronicle my experiences!
    See my attempts: Psychology resource and perspective on babies and motherhood
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  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: How many feeds a day does a 9 month old need?

    No, to all of these, none of those are relevant to me, it just feels like 8 feeds is what we were doing several months ago when baby was in the early months, and the number of feeds has naturally lessened over time, even before introducing solids. He doesn't ask for food as often and is more efficient in his eating so doesn't take as long or need to nurse as frequently, and this was even before he had solid food. So I've been following his lead, considering the lack/inconsistency of professional input.
    Okay, so you're happy nursing, you aren't eager to wean, and you're not being pressured into weaning- that's great!

    The issue for a nursing mom faced with a baby who naturally drops feedings as solids are introduced is, do you really want the baby to nurse less? My feeling is that you don't, because even if the baby is eating an absolutely perfect diet of only the healthiest and most balanced solids, those foods still lack the immunologic qualities of human milk. And if the baby gets out of the habit of nursing, how long is nursing likely to continue? For me, that would have been a huge issue because I loved nursing my toddlers- I felt it was the payoff for soldiering through and nursing my kids through the more difficult newborn and baby stages.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    688

    Default Re: How many feeds a day does a 9 month old need?

    The PP's have already given lots of advice, so I won't add any... Just wanted to say my nearly 10 month old nurses on demand and feeds at least 8 times a day - that said I don't bother to count. I offer water in a doidy cup after solids which we do 3 times a day as baby led. I try to take the same approach to water as I do solids... Its there for the experience, I expect her to be hydrated on milk

    I think am lucky as I have met a whole group of women breastfeeding and so knowing feeding on demand has been the form for them has given me lots of confidence to do the same.

    I would ditch the sippy when you go out... Breasts are already attached and it's one less thing to carry!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    10,754

    Default Re: How many feeds a day does a 9 month old need?

    I think one of the most harmful myths about breastfeeding is one that even many breastfeeding support people-myself included- tend to inadvertently perpetuate- that nursing frequency steadily reduces as baby ages, and that it will continue to reduce steadily and systematically basically from the newborn era until weaning.
    I know that in my case, I would use this 'fact' when talking with brand new moms whose newborns were nursing 10-20 times a day and who understandable thought they could never sustain that. IN the newborn period, a nursing session may take over an hour and here everyone is telling you to nurse again immediately! And it is certainly true that that extreme newborn frequency one sees with some babies usually does lessen after the newborn period. On the other hand, if a newborn has always nursed more like 8-12 times a day, their nursing frequency may also lessen-but not very dramatically.

    And frequency lessening after the newborn period does not mean that frequency will continue to lessen! Many children well over one year old nurse 8 or more times a day.

    I have no idea if this has been adequately studied, and I am sure nursing experience runs the gamut, but I think it would be interesting to see such a study if there was a way to study only those babies who have been routinely cue fed rather than subtly and not so subtly encouraged to reduce nursing frequency and away from the breast. Anyway, I have nursed three children and for me it pretty much went like so:
    Very frequent nursing in newborn period, 12-16 times a day.
    After age 2 or 3 months, frequency lessened slightly but remained on average about 10-12 times a day. Some days, more, some days less. If baby is ill, frequency certainly upticks. If we are very busy, it will downtick. Cluster nursing still common.
    at the same time, Overall Nursing session length becomes shorter, except when baby is nursing to sleep. And this is how it pretty much goes the first year.
    After getting well into the second year, start seeing more very quick 'drive by' nursing sessions, and I am able to leave baby for several hours on occasion without baby needing any milk or me needing to pump. But overall frequency? about the same.
    One of my kids nursed very frequently overnight until after age three, the other two nursed at night as toddlers (age 1-3 or so) but not as frequently.
    I have not regularly counted nursing sessions since my oldest, but these are my impressions. Certainly today my two year old has been awake for one hour and has already nursed twice. She will surely nurse at least 8 to 10 times today including a couple times overnight. This is just as her older brothers were at her age.
    When did frequency really go down? I don't really remember, but it did. Life gets busier. The child starts eating more foods in a wider variety. At some point after about age 3 and a half or so, my kids reduced down to nursing about 3 or 4 times a day- morning, nap, evening and maybe once to sooth over some rough patch during the day. It happened pretty much this way with both the child I was gently encouraging to wean and the child I was not encouraging weaning at all. Then one day they are done.

    Two books that I find are very helpful in cutting through the conflicting messages and advice parceled out to mothers are the books My Child Won't Eat! and Kiss Me! How to raise your child with love, both by pediatrician Carlos Gonzalez.

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