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How many bottles? (EBF)

I currently send 3oz bottles and instruct daycare to feed DD every 3 hours. They seem to be hinting around that it's not enough and that DD gets hungry after 2 hours. At home she nurses every 2-4 hours and we always just feed on demand.

I'm not asking for advice, I just was wondering what others do. (btw, I EBF)

How large of volume of bottles do you send?

How often does your childcare provider feed LO?

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Re: How many bottles? (EBF)

  • At that age, my LO was taking 4 ounces/feed, about every 3 hours.  But we're formula.
  • That is not a lot of milk at all.  At that age my LO was taking 4-5 ounces of BM every t3 hours.  I think you need to increase the amount.  Do you really want your baby to be hungry at daycare? 
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  • At that age, it was about 4oz bottles every three hours.  Now she is up to 6oz bottles at nearly six months, every 3-5 hours, depending on the time of day.

  • When DS started DC at 12 weeks, we sent him with 3oz bottles to be fed every 2-3 hrs, but they kept asking us to bring more, and he was soon up to 4-5 oz every 3hrs.  I'm not sure if it's all the extra activity or spacing feelings a little more, but he has always eaten more at DC than at home (and he's almost 2 now).
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  • Another thought -- try doing the bottle thing on the weekends to see what you experience with bottles during the day.  If you're EBF at home, but bottles at daycare, then you probably don't have an accurate picture of what your LO needs.
  • 3-4 oz every 3 hours would have worked for us at that age. But every baby's appetite is different, and every mother's milk is different, so go with your baby's cues. Maybe stick one 4oz bottle in there, see if that fixes it. If not, maybe make 2 of them 4oz.

    I would also nurse as much as you can on weekends- it's the best thing you can do for your milk supply. 

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  • When DS started daycare at 3 months old he was taking 3 oz every 2-2.5 hours. At about 4 months, he took 4 oz every 3 hours.

    I know you didn't ask for advice, so ignore the rest of this if you want. How many oz are you pumping? Your output should tell you what you should be serving. Maybe they can try every 2.5 hours? See how it goes? Maybe you can send in an extra bottle in smaller sizes? Like send in a 3 oz bottle and a 1 oz bottle (I know, this will probably be a pita, but might be worth a shot?) just in case your LO does seem hungry? Does your LO take a pacifier? They might be confusing hunger with wanting to just suck on something? You're using the slowest flow nipples correct? DO NOT change nipple size. DS was on slow flow/size 1 for the first year.


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  • We send LO to his babysitter's with 4-4 oz. Dr. Brown's bottles. The sitter feeds him on demand and it's always been enough.
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  • My DS is almost 5 months and a big boy (28.5 inch/19.4 lbs) so I don't know how helpful this is... but I have been sending 2 4oz and 2 5oz bottles and he gets fed about every 2.5-3 hrs.  They usually all come home with < .5 oz left in them.

    ETA: I EBF

  • In the beginning, we sent four 3-3.5 oz. bottles, but he started going longer between feedings and not taking the 4th bottle (but was hungrier during the other times, since he wasn't eating as often). So, we moved to three 4-4.5 oz. bottles fairly quickly. Pretty close to the same amount of oz. total, just spread out a bit more.
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    Zachary (4/2/10) and Ian (3/20/13)

  • 3.5 oz every 3 hours though I'm thinking of upping it. has a good calculator to determine how much milk should go in a bottle based on how many times your LO eats a day (nursing and bottles)  The rule of thumb is that a EBF baby takes in about 25 oz a day.  Divide that by the amount of times your LO usually nurses and/or takes a bottle and that should give you a guideline.  My LO eats about 7 times in a 24 hour period so her bottles are about 3.5 oz. 

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  • I send 3 bottles - with 4 or 4.5 oz.  I also include 1 or 2 one oz bottles just in case that doesn't satisfy her but she hasn't taken the additional yet.

    She eats about every 3 hours and she's EBF.

    My daughter was a little older than yours when she first went to daycare (3 months) but I sent 3.5oz when she started and was still eating every 3 hours.

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  • My LO is almost 12 weeks & goes to DC with four 5 oz bottles. He usually eats 5 oz per feeding every 3 hours or so. He only drinks 3 bottles most days and sometimes just 2 if my DH drops him off later in the day. But I send him with four...just in case.


    The amount you pump really does dictate how much you DD needs per feeding.

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