Breastfeeding

Need advice

I EP and DS was downing 9-11 oz each feeding. Afterwards he would spit a ton back up every single time. An LC told me breastfed babies normally don't take in more than 6 oz of breastmilk at a time, so we've recently started stopping him after 7 oz. This has resulted in no spitting up after feedings (maybe once a day if even). However, for about 15-30 seconds after the bottle is gone he cries. Once I sit him up and take his bib off though, he's fine and babbling and smiling. I don't want to starve my baby but I also don't want to have him spitting everything up after ever feeding. Would you keep doing it the way we are or let him eat until he pushes the bottle away? With the way we're doing it he is getting 5-6 bottles (35-42 oz) of milk a day, plus 2 T of cereal mixed with an oz of breastmilk twice a day.

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Re: Need advice

  • That seems like a lot to eat at once! I have never heard of a BF baby eating more than 6oz at at time, because as they get older and require more calories, your milk will change to accommodate so you don't need to feed them more volume. If he's only crying for such a short period of time, I would keep giving him the 7oz (or even less) and stopping him at that. I'm sure he will get used to having less and that will stop soon. I don't think you're starving him at all, that is a lot of milk! 
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  • That seems like a lot at one time.  If he seems ok after a minute or two I'd stick to the 7.  Most of what I have read says breastfed babies usually eat 3-4 oz at a time.  I know babies don't read the books, so whatever works for him is the right thing to do.

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  • IMO that is still too much.  My LO never took more than 4oz in a bottle.  I realize every LO is different.  The average intake is 20-30oz per day I think, the 25oz being the exact average.  I would go down to 4oz bottles and then add 0.5oz or 1oz if he still seems hungry.  It might take a bit before he can take 4oz bottles b/c his belly is probably stretched out. 
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  • Agreed.  Sounds to me like he might just be mad that he can't comfort suck any more, but getting over it quickly once he's distracted.  I'd stick to the lower amount.  It's not like he's getting any more nutrition from the extra ounces if he's just spitting them up anyway :)
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  • How much does he weigh? I would make sure he's on a slow flow nipple to slow him down too.
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  • Wow. That's a lot of milk. Most BF babies top off at 19-30oz/day, and 5oz per bottle. 

    I would stick with a slow flow nipple and make sure he isn't just comfort sucking. Try replacing the bottle with a pacifier after 6oz. Then try 5.5. Then 5.  

    My LO took 6oz bottles one week when daycare was overfeeding her. But she did NOT need that much at a time. At her new daycare a week later, she was fully content with 4oz bottles every 3 hours.... not all fussing is from hunger.

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  • image af2004rn:
    How much does he weigh? I would make sure he's on a slow flow nipple to slow him down too.

    At his 4 month appointment he weighed 12 lbs 7 oz. I'm not sure what he weighs right now. We were using the slow flow nipples but he wouldn't eat from them anymore and would just scream and scream. Once we started the medium flow he was ok again. He did the same thing when I was nursing, after my first let down and the milk slowed down he would stop eating and just scream bloody murder. That was the reasoning behind my EP choice.

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  • image jlsimon56:
    IMO that is still too much.  My LO never took more than 4oz in a bottle.  I realize every LO is different.  The average intake is 20-30oz per day I think, the 25oz being the exact average.  I would go down to 4oz bottles and then add 0.5oz or 1oz if he still seems hungry.  It might take a bit before he can take 4oz bottles b/c his belly is probably stretched out. 

    Wow--20 ounces seems REALLY low to me.  My 8.5 month old EBF LO has always been 98% in height and 50% in weight--and she has always eaten at least 32 ounces of BM a day, in addition to starting solids right at 4 months.  I know we are not overfeeding her, because she has stayed right on the same place on the curve, even though I exclusively BF for the first four months, and then I went back to work and she drinks pumped milk at the babysitters during the day for the past 4.5 months.  So--I think 35 ounces is not unreasonable at 4 months.  And, heck, if my LO weighed in the upper percentiles, she would probably need to eat even more ounces than she does now.

     Babies don't read charts and don't know "what they are supposed to be doing."  If your LO is meeting milestones and growing appropriately while eating 35-42 ounces of milk a day, he might just have a super fast metabolism and burn through that nutrition like crazy.  You should not pre-emptively cut him off at 20 or so ounces a day, just because you read on the internet that some babies thrive on that amount of food. 

    Look at your LO and his growth--and make all nutritional decisions based on how he, himself, is growing/developing with the food you are giving him.   My LO still nurses every morning before I go to work, and, based on weighted feedings, I know that she gets at least 8+ ounces of milk at that first feeding before she is satisfied.  If I had never done a weighted feeding in the morning, I would assume that she only ate 4-5 ounces at a time, because that is generally what she takes in during other points in the day.  But, consistently, every morning, she drinks at least 8 ounces if not more.  So, that is the trouble with "averages" not telling the whole story...

    Good luck and just keep an eye on it (as you know, just as a very general guideline, spitting up is usually a sign of overfeeding, and being abnormally fussy and waking up lots at night could indicate that your LO is hungry/hasn't had enough calories throughout the day time hours)

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