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Thread: Feeding baby on demand at 11 months - looking for ideas

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Post Feeding baby on demand at 11 months - looking for ideas

    Hi All,

    My DD is 11 months old and I have been feeding her by just looking at the clock after the first few weeks. Initially it was every 2-3 hours. Then I saw that her weight gain had slowed down so I fed her every 1-1.5 hrs till she was about 9 months old.

    Now, even though her weight is still on the low side (16.5 lbs at 9 months), I am not worried about that since I figured that she is just a lean baby. But old habits die hard so I am still feeding her every 2 hrs.

    Her typical day is like this - nurse when she wakes up (6.30-7.30am), nurse+solids 8.45am, nap at 9, nurse at 11am, nurse+solids at 1pm, nurse at 3pm, nap at 3.15, nurse 5.30-6pm, nurse+solids at 8-8.30, sleep at 9pm, nurse at 10.30-11pm. Her typical nursing session lasts 7-10 mins.

    Before she was born, I was thinking that I would bf till 1 year. Now, after reading up so much on its benefits, I don't mind nursing her a while longer. I would like to reduce the frequency of nursing though. I am trying to figure out the best way to do this.

    Since I have been nursing her so often, I have never seen my daughter hungry or ask to nurse. She is not a comfort nurser so I don't really know how she will ask to nurse. I am a WAHM so her two naps during the day are very precious to me and I don't want to disrupt that.

    Now to the point of my post... can I change to on demand feeding at this point but keep her naptimes intact? She always nurses when I offer and doesn't complain if for some reason I can't nurse for 3-4 hrs. So, I'm worried that she would be underfed if I go longer regularly. Is it normal to wait for 4-5 hrs to see if she would ask?

    Sorry for the long post and thanks for making it all the way through :-)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006

    Default Re: Feeding baby on demand at 11 months - looking for ideas

    I can't believe no one has responded to your post! Not even the regulars on this site. I don't really have to much advice on this topic except to say that, first, supposedly breast milk is digested very easily and quickly. When you read about people putting their babies on schedules (like on the Baby Whisperer website) I think most of the successful 4 hour schedules are formula fed babies. I've read some people's posts about trying to change their baby to a four hour schedule and they're frustrated because it's not working. I feel bad for those little babies because I surmise that it's not working because the baby is hungry, especially if they are exclusively given breast milk. Second, it is also my understanding that you cannot overfeed a breastfed baby. Babies cannot be glutunous except with a bottle because a bottle just keeps flowing. With these two thoughts in mind, I think you should continue to feed every 2-3 hours and just put another feed in before the nap if necessary. And that doesn't mean you have to let your baby fall asleep on the breast if you're worried about creating a sleeping prop. That way the naps won't be disrupted, and you can still offer the boob when she wakes up!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Feeding baby on demand at 11 months - looking for ideas

    My DS isn't that old yet but he/we have spaced out feedings a little more recently. Today I realized he went 4 hours between feedings-wow! I have found that he eats more at a feeding if they are a little more spaced out. What about trying to go 3 hours? Here is our routine, keep in mind that we just started solids and he really isn't getting much (1-3 Tsp) and doesn't drink anything really except BM

    5:30/6:30 nurse one side (bring him to bed)
    7:30/8:30 nurse the other side (in bed still usually, I work 3-11 part time so I sleep in some!)
    9:00/9:30 solids
    10:00 nurse briefly for a nap
    I used to nurse when he woke up around 11 but we've pretty much dropped that one
    12:30/1 nurse before a nap
    3/3:30 nurse
    5:30 nurse before a nap
    7:30 nurse
    9:00/10:00 nurse before sleep. Sleeps through the night.

    I honestly used to feed him 12-14 times a day so this is an improvement! Perhaps dropping the post nap nursings or substituting a snack as he gets older maybe a sippy/straw cup of water and some finger foods? My thoughts are that when my DS gets to a year I will slowly change over some of his nursings to cups of milk/water and nurse 2-3 times a day.
    Margaret and
    DS 2/06 nursed x1yr
    and DD 3/08, so far so good!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Feeding baby on demand at 11 months - looking for ideas

    Thanks for your responses. I dropped the post nap feeding in the morning and she didn't miss that at all. In fact, it is her behavior that is confusing me. She never asks or cries of hunger. She never shows any signs that she wants to eat. Even when I sit on the rocking chair and put the nursing pillow on, she will just play unless I offer her the breast - even in the morning when she hasn't nursed for a while. I leave her with a babysitter for 7 hrs once a month. Nowadays, she refuses to take a bottle. But she doesn't cry or fuss. She just eats solids and when I get back, she nurses.

    Since I read a lot about how babies demand to eat, her behavior confuses me a lot. I feed her on a schedule because she never demands to nurse herself. It is like she doesn't know my breasts are there till I lift up my shirt :-)

    Is this common for some babies?

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