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Thread: Enough to eat

  1. #1

    Unhappy Enough to eat

    My son just had his 6 month appointment, and while everything seems to be well with him. His growth chart curve is moving up and developmentally ahead, he dropped to the 1% percentile for weight. He's always been low with weight around 8-10%, but to fall to 1% was very worrisome. His doctor ensured me that there was nothing to worry about since his curve looked good. He was just going to be thin and tall.

    She mentioned possibly upping his bottles at day care from 4 oz to up to 6 oz. His teachers never seemed to have concern that he wasn't getting enough, which makes me think that maybe its when he's nursing that he isn't. Per recommendation from his doctor we started introducing some rice cereal and purees at 4 1/2 months old. He's done really well with that and nursing. I do notice that his bedtime feeds are sometimes much shorter, which I assume maybe are because of a fuller belly from the solids or he is more self efficient. (Typically would eat solids about 1-11/2 hours before last nursing session).

    Now that he is eating solid meals twice a day, again recommendation from doctor as well as 3 bottles (currently 3 at 4 oz each every 3 hours). I nurse him the morning, at night, and once or twice overnight. Doctor still recommends he may sometimes need 2 feedings a night based on his weight.

    I feel like I am doing something wrong... and I am worrying myself. I realize that percentiles are not always a cause of a concern, but it's hard to not think about it and obsess that I am not giving my son the food he needs. Does it hurt to give him 5-6 oz bottles.. and see if that helps in any way? I have also thought about giving him a bottle at bedtime versus nursing, so that I know for sure he is eating enough since I can monitor.

    I am looking for any advice or recommendations.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Enough to eat

    Hi, momma. Congrats on making it this far! Here are my thoughts:

    Firstly, 6 oz bottles are very large for babies. Breastfed babies especially usually prefer small meals more frequently. Instead of making one big bottle, I'd suggest breaking it into 2 smaller bottles and offer them separately. I assume you're gone for 9 hours? And giving 12 oz for the day? If this is so, I wouldn't recommend giving much more. The rule of thumb is 1 to 1.5 oz per hour of separation, so that's between 9 and 13.5 oz. 12 seems like a good number to me but of course I don't know your baby! Daily needs fluctuate and some days baby might need 14 oz and others he might be happy with his 12.

    Secondly, babies do need to nurse overnight, especially those with working mommas. Where does baby sleep? In your bed, in your room, in his own room? The easiest way to help baby get more milk is to nurse more frequently. If baby is close to you at night, it'll be much easier to nurse him frequently and bump up his daily intake. Even one extra session can result in 3 oz of milk, and that can be the difference between just enough and plenty, know what I mean?

    Thirdly, I'm not sure I agree with your doctor's advice about solids. Usually it's best to wait until baby is 6 months or older to start, and even then babies don't usually start having a daily meal until a few months later. Since you got an early start, I'd suggest you be careful about solids replacing milk. Breast Milk is the most nutritionally dense food baby will ever eat! Always offer milk before solids to ensure baby fills up on that and not solids. Solids before one are just for fun

    Fourthly, if baby is gaining weight, having good diaper output, and is happy and meeting some milestones (rolling over, head control, grabbing for toys etc), I'd suggest that baby might just be a small person! If you feel he needs more, as I suggested earlier maybe add a nursing session or two in your day and see where that puts you.

    How does this sound? Does it all male sense? Hang in there, momma! You're doing great

  3. #3

    Default Re: Enough to eat

    Yes, I am typically gone for about 9 hours while at work providing 3 bottles which equate to 12 oz. I do feel like this is sufficient based on what his teacher says, I just didn't know if upping it could be helpful in any way.

    My son sleeps in nursery, and has been since he was about 2 months old. I don't mind getting up, as he is usually fairly quick and can be put in his crib drowsy but awake. He doses off on his own. He typically wakes up once at night, although sometimes twice... do you think I should add dream feed? Right before I go to bed? In case he doesn't wake up that second time. Also, what are your thoughts about a bottle for bedtime to ensure he is getting an adequate amount of breast milk before dosing off?

    With the solids, I have always offered milk before. Sometimes he is not interested in the slightest for the solids, other times he will just eat it up after taking a full bottle or nursing for a decent amount of time. I guess I thought she was recommending the two meals a day to help with gaining more weight, even though he steadly is.

    He has always gained weight, had good diaper output, and is such a happy and milestoned baby! Maybe I should focus on that, rather than the #. At 6 months old he is rolling over back and forth, grabbing for toys, playing with toys, "talking", sitting up, and crawling/inch worming around! When you say baby might just be a small person... you just mean on the shorter side?? I am 5'7" and my husband is 5'9" so we weren't expecting a tall kid.

    Thanks so much for your thoughts and advice! It is so appreciated.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Enough to eat

    I think offering a feed before you go to bed would be wise. I'd suggest nursing, and not a bottle. The reason for this is that you'd likely have to pump before bed to male that bottle, or to make up for it, instead of just nursing. It seems like a lot more work for the bottle! I do understand you want to know how much he's getting, but do you think you'll be able to just trust he's getting enough? He seems to be a healthy baby to me from what you've said, and whatever he takes from the breast will match what he needs - if he needs .5 oz, that's all he'll take vs if he takes .5 oz from a bottle, I know I'd be tempted to try to get my son to take at least an oz to be aure. But what if he didn't want that extra .5 oz? Just a thought. You're always able to switch it up too - some days if you feel like you just have to know, you can offer a bottle and then the other nights you can just nurse so you get the best of both worlds.

    And yes, by little person I meant slender and shorter, not anything negative or mean. I'm a small woman and my DH isn't tall so my son is likely to also be small so I took his growth curve with a grain of salt.

    Your little man seems to be growing well so, like you said, you can take pressure off of yourself in regards to the exact weight gain.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Enough to eat

    Thank you so much. I am already feeling better. Mama's need reassurance sometimes.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Enough to eat

    I hear that! I'm glad I could reassure you sometimes we get a little stuck in our heads and it's nice to get an outside opinion to put it all in perspective.

    good luck momma

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Enough to eat

    Just to give you another idea, my LO is 10 months old, and we started on solids at 6.5 months. We have only done 2 solids meals a day once or twice since starting. Usually, we do 1 solids meal about 3-4 days a week, because we get home too late on work nights to do anything but go straight to bed. My LO takes only 6-8 oz during a 9-hour separation since 4 months old. He was born at 7#, was 14# by 10 weeks, 18# by 4 months, 20# by 7 months, 22# by 9.5 months, so it's definitely not big bottles or extra solids meals that got us here. I am 5'4", my husband is 5'11", both within "normal weight limits", although we could stand to lose a pound or two...

    oh, you should read Help! My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Gonzales. I read this book way before my LO started solids by way of recommendations from mamas on this forum, and it helped me keep the food thing in perspective. It is a very easy and quick read! I got it from my local library!

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