Babies: 3 - 6 Months

My hungry boy... rice or formula?

My little man is about 16 months (on Wednesday).  He's always been a hungry boy and thankfully I've had a pretty good milk supply and still do for the most part, but his needs are beginning to exceed my supply.

When I went back to work at about 9 weeks, he was drinking 4oz every three hours.  Then about three weeks in we had to up it to 5oz.  Then another few weeks later we increased it to 6oz!  I'm having a hard time keeping up. 

For those of you possibly dealing with a similar issue, would you vote adding rice to breast milk or adding one feeding of formula when I'm unable to meet that 18 oz. demand during his full day at daycare.   Obviously breast milk is my ultimate preference, but clearly that is just not quite enough for him anymore and I'm trying to figure out what the next best option is. 

He has his 4 mo. apt coming up a week from Friday and I intend to discuss  all this with the pedi then (or perhaps I should just call), but in the meantime, just looking for advice from other moms.

New Mommy since 4/3/13



Re: My hungry boy... rice or formula?

  • Adding rice cereal to milk is definitely not recommended. A huge reason is they are unable to control how much they are eating, so they usually overfeed themselves. Another is choking. Another is the lack of nutritional value associated with cereals.

    If anything, I would either increase the amount of times you are pumping (maybe an extra pump at night and in the morning, that's what I've had to do with DD2 eating 3 6 oz bottles at daycare and I am only pumping out 3-4 oz three times a day) or supplement with formula. The latter of the two isn't ideal, but you can only do so much without completely stressing yourself out. 

    I am also assuming you meant 16 weeks, and that is like the bottom range for starting any sort of solids, which is not really ideal because typically a baby is not developmentally ready (can't take a spoon, no loss of tongue thrust, unable to sit), so I would wait. Additionally, solids really aren't intended to be a source of their daily nutrition or a replacement for a feeding, but instead a learning process in their first 6 months (really you don't have to do it the entire first year if you don't want to). 

    That's all I've got for advice, GL!

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  • What does he do if he doesn't get that much?  How is he gaining?

    I sometimes think that DD will take much more from a bottle since it's easier, not necessarily because she wants/needs it.  I also think that with BF babies, it's less about a specific amount and more about how they gain since BM is not static like formula.

    Rice cereal has, like, zero nutritional value and many people don't give it at all these days.   I wouldn't give it unless you were committed to starting solids this early.

    BFP(1) DD1 born 4.17.10 @ 33w5d due to pPROM
    BFP(4) DD2 born 2.14.13 @ 35w5d due to pPROM

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  • I typically nurse him at least once in the middle of the night and he usually cluster feeds in the evening.  While at work I pump at my morning and afternoon breaks and during my lunch hour.  I also occasionally pump at home in the morning after his morning feeding.  I'm pretty much doing all I can, really.  I suppose most days I'm still meeting his needs, but one days I'm just not quite getting there, I'll just have to supplement formula. 

    Thank you for your advice. 

    New Mommy since 4/3/13



  • The average amount of BM babies consume between 1 and 6 months is 25 ounces per day.  High end of that is around 30 ounces daily.  If you divide that by his numer of daily feedings (25/8 = 3.1 oz) that's the average bottle your LO should take.  You may be over feeding, unless there's a specific reason your little guy needs more nutrition.  My little guy will eat until he vomits if I would let him.  What he can consume is not an indicator of what he needs.

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  • I think his daycare or whoever is overfeeding him. Lot's of people don't know how to bottle feed a breast fed baby. Most of them will top out at 4-5 oz. Is he still using a slower flow nipple? 

    Regardless, I'd have them try feeding less, more often if necessary, and maybe nurse him at drop off at daycare? 

    I would not give solids yet, especially cereal.  

    If you are with him, you are keeping up w/ his demand, right?  

    E 09.08, V 08.11, J 04.11
  • With my first I was told to give my daughter rice cereal at 4 months, this time with my son they say 6 months.

  • I still have him on the slow flow nipple.  He eats SO quickly when he is not with me, I figured I should hold off moving to level two.  He seems to only be eating 7-8 feedings a day right now.  Seven if he sleeps through the night, eight if he doesn't (so usually 8).  

    I typically feed him at 7am and he's at Daycare by 7:30 quarter of 8.  Then he typically eats three 6oz bottled at 10am, 1pm and usually between 4-5 pm.  Then I nurse him 2-3 more times before he goes to sleep around 8:30-9.  He likes to cluster feed in the evenings. 

    On the weekends, yes, he seems to be content during the day... sometimes not so much during the evenings though.   


    As far as his gaining, he seems to be gaining well.  As mentioned, he's 16 weeks tomorrow and is close to 17 lbs. and nearly 27 inches long.  (certainly not official measurements).

    New Mommy since 4/3/13



  • My LO is completely FF so it may not apply, but when he started daycare at three months, he was drinking a 4oz bottle in the morning, four 6oz bottles at daycare and another 6 oz bottle right before bed. 
    At our 4 month checkup Thomas was 27.25" and 16lbs. Now that he's almost five months we've started introducing solids and it really hasn't affected his milk intake at all. I started giving him rice cereal (with spoon only, putting it in the bottle is a personal preference but after all of my own research on the subject I decided against it) at four months, he got a stomach bug and we stopped all solids and now that he's over it I decided I would rather skip the cereal since it's empty calories. It was good 'practice' for learning how to eat off the spoon but I don't want him skipping his bottles over it.
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  • I wouldn't do rice cereal. I would send what you pump and have them feed the bottle that is the lower oz at the end of the day since you will be picking him up soon and can feed him more if he's still hungry. DD takes 6oz bottles at daycare too. I recently had to up it from 5oz because she would want more after eating and seem hungry again after two hours. She hardly ever spits it up. However, she only takes two bottles with a four hour gap between the two, usually. She's also 16lbs at 4 months!
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