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Thread: Solids, breastmilk, how much?

  1. #1

    Default Solids, breastmilk, how much?


    I'm not sure if I'm putting this in the right place but I have a question. I know I should follow as a general guideline the 1-1.5 ounces of milk for every hour of separation. My son is separated from me for about 9 hours a day during the work week. He is 8 months old and eating solids. I'm having a bit of a problem because my MIL feeds him about 16 ounces of milk a day (supplemented with formula because there's no way I can pump that much each day at work) and a jar or sometimes jar and a half of baby food. We have been doing paced bottle feeding since he was about 2 months old.

    My question is, isn't that too much? Shouldn't he have 13.5 ounces as a max regardless of how much solid food he eats? She also claims he loves solids which I don't really get because when I feed him solids at home he feels like chewing on the spoon more than anything.

    We had already talked with her about feeding him only an ounce to an ounce and a half for every hour away from me. She seems to think he is just super hungry. And he is eating it so who am I to say he's not, idk how he acts when he's there. I just know he doesn't eat that much st home and he doesn't eat that much when my mom watches him, not even close in fact.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Solids, breastmilk, how much?

    Well, it does sound like you MIL is possibly over feeding baby- but the numbers are not all that bad, are they? To fit into the rule of thumb, 9 hour separation would mean 9 ounces to 14 ounces a day... so 16 is not really that much more. How much are you able to pump?

    Where overfeeding potentially causes the biggest issues are three areas.
    1) it interferes with baby nursing enough, and may lead to breast refusal. Any sign that this is happening? How many times on the days you work will baby nurse? Is baby still nursing overnight? Is baby excited to nurse when you are first together or not so much? Does baby nurse before your shift starts? The problem with this age is that is baby is not nursing all that much, it can very quickly lead to baby not nursing at all. This is a prime age for nursing strikes so it really is something to watch out for, if your goal was to nurse for a year or more.
    2) Overfeeding might cause eating issues. if a baby is constantly being overfed, they are going to start to hate to eat. Pushing food on a baby might actually make them more picky, lead to meal time battles, etc.
    3) Overfeeding may be linked to obesity.

    If I thought my child's caregiver was possibly over feeding or pushing food on my baby, I would have them read My Child Won't Eat. He explains how we have been conditioned to think we have to entice a child to eat the whole jar or clear their plate or whatever. of course this is actually unhealthy- you want a child learning to stop when they feel done, not rewarded for eating past satiety.

    I would also suggest they learn about Baby Led Weaning (baby led solids) this is a way to give baby a range of healthy foods that they actually have to eat. An 8 month old is probably well past the need for purees or even the extremely soft jarred mashed toddler foods. Purees and many mashed foods might be particularly problematic as they are basically drinkable, and the child eating these is in fact not learning to eat at all. Eating involves biting, chewing, moving food around in the mouth, etc.Of course it is important that baby eats safely, but this can be done without resorting to finely mashed and pureed foods that tend to just go down too easily.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Solids, breastmilk, how much?

    Thanks for the response.

    I am able to pump usually between 10-11 ounces. Sometimes as much as 14 and sometimes as low as 8.

    He has not stopped wanting to nurse really. He doesn't want to every time I pick him up from her house but he does sometimes, and he still nurses overnight.

    I have been looking into Baby led solids. He does okay with thicker baby foods. I don't trust myself well enough to give him big pieces of soft food. The couple of times I've done it I've freaked out because I though he was choking.

    I guess I should not worry about it so much, I just wonder how she is getting him to eat entire jars of baby food since when I or anyone else feeds him all he seems to want is to chew on the spoon.
    He will put food in his own mouth if I put pieces of food in front of him. I'm just too scared of him choking to continue BLS. I would probably cause him to choke by hitting him when he's gagging...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Solids, breastmilk, how much?

    Can you watch how your MIL is feeding your baby? I am not sure if you are wondering what her magic touch is so you can adopt it, or if you are concerned she is somehow overly pressuring your baby to eat. If it is the latter, then I think you need to know how she is feeding baby so you can either be reassured or correct any problems.

    Not sure what to say about baby led if it is giving you so much trouble. I did not experience my children choking when eating. Gagging yes, but gagging is not choking, the gag reflex acts to prevent choking. "Spears" of foods (like French fry shape) worked well for us when we first started. I found reading the actual book Baby Led Weaning helped me to feel more secure about it.

    Also, baby led does not require that you give baby only big pieces of soft food. Putting small (too small to choke) pieces of soft food or mashed food in front of baby is also "baby led." Putting a little mashed food on a spoon or your finger and letting baby pull your hand toward them and take what they want to baby led- basically, it means allowing baby to fully set the pace of eating and the amount of food they eat. So the problem is not spoon feeding, but rather the problem is "spooning it in" instead of letting baby control the meal.

    Again I think those books I suggested may help.

    Also if you preferred your baby did not get formula, have you tried pumping at other times (when not at work?) You are currently pumping on average daily an amount within the daily guidelines, and also your baby is nursing overnight and eating solids. So a few ounces one way or another is unlikely to matter much. I wonder if you could get your expressed milk up to an amount where you could leave your MIL about 11-12 ounces every day, (or whatever number you are comfortable with) if you could then say "this is all I have been able to pump, and according to the guidelines it is enough, so please do not give baby formula." And if you find you cannot pump that much, you could set a limit on the formula, but that would be harder to confirm.

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