How much breastmilk do you leave for your LO

I just started back to work and LO is 4 months old weighing in at 18.8 lbs. I was leaving 4oz with a little side car of 2.0 ounces for him during the day. He was crying after the 4 ounces so (because we are still trying to feed on demand) doctor recommended giving him more, 1 ounce at a time. The past two days he has been VERY hungry my MIL says after each 4 ounce he will cry and she will do as I said and give him more. Today he ate everything in the fridge!! He gets three bottles while I'm away that means today he had a 6 ounce bottle, 6 ounce bottle and a 6.5 ounce bottle = 18.5 ounces. Is this normal? Should I leave more if possible?? What are your LOs ages and what are you leaving for them/what are they eating?? TIA

Re: How much breastmilk do you leave for your LO

  • Well, your LO is way bigger than mine, 14 lbs at 6 months. I am gone 8am - 6pm and leave 19oz (3x5 oz bottles and 1x4oz). My mom also has a frozen milk stash I left her so it's 50/50 that he gets an extra 4 oz bottle. So, 19-23oz total. She does paced bottle feeding and all that, he just likes to eat every 2 hours and we don't try to hold off since he's on the small side.
  • krissyberbkrissyberb member
    edited January 2016
    My LO is almost 6 months and he weighs just over 19 lbs. He typically eats 3 5.5 ounce bottles while I'm at work. Sometimes he'll want a snack in between. I just leave what I pumped the day before, usually 18-20 ounces. He's cared for at home now which is nice because the freezer stash is available. When we start childcare in 6 weeks, he'll be eating solids too and I don't know how that will change his milk intake.
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  • General rule of thumb is 1-1.5 oz for every hour you are away. I am gone about 13.5 hours and I leave the sitter 16 oz. she takes 4 oz every 3 hours. And then some times she will take another 3-4 oz for dh before I get home around 8 pm so she averaged between 16-20 oz from 630a-8p with 2 overnight and usually one evening nursing session. Does your mil do paced feeding. DD2 is 4.5 months old.
  • LO is 6 months old, I feed her before at leave at 5. She wakes up again around 830 and gets a 5 ounces bottle at 9/930, play, nap and another 5 ounces bottle around 1. Then more play, nap and some time she gets a snack bottle of 1-3 ounces (depending on how much I pump the day before) at 2. Then mommy is home by 4 and she eats from the boob from then on, 4, 7 and at 830 before bed time. She sleeps through the night until we wake her at 5am.

    So she gets 10-13 ounces while I am gone. She weighs 16 lbs 5 ounces as of yesterday, six month birthday.
  • My LO is 10 weeks at 12.5 lbs I am gone 9 hours and I leave him 20oz of milk. He always drinks at least 15 oz, but often drink or at least start on his last bottle.
  • My lo is 18 weeks and 15 lbs. I feed him at 9 when I drop him off. I also go home at lunch to feed him around 2. I end up being gone about 8 hours (9-2 / 3-6) and leave 2 4oz bottles plus an extra 3/4 oz to either top off or have a snack if needed. I agree with PP that on average 1-1.5 oz per hour is usually right, but I would always send extra if possible.

    I like to take the extra bottle so mil doesn't have to worry if he's extra hungry one day. But I do remind her to just give him an ounce at a time, and send home any extra. I also left a frozen stash (just 2 3oz bottles) at mil just in case.

    My lo will randomly have days that he eats a ton! Last week he ate 12oz in just 6 hours. But I know this is not the norm.
  • My 7 month old goes through about 14 oz while I'm at work. However, there was a few months back that he went through 22 oz. I wouldn't worry too much as long as you are able to keep up.

  • On average, breastfed babies need 1.0-1.5 ounces of breatmilk for every hour they are away from mom. That means if you are away for ten hours, most babies will only need 10-15 ounces. There's a calculator on Kellymom's website that helps determine how much milk you should leave your little one based on how many feedings they typically have in one day here.

    Also, most breastfed babies will go their entire first year of only taking 2-4, sometimes 5 ounce bottles. Five ounces is typically the max recommendation per sitting for a breastfed baby because it is very rare for a baby to remove more than five ounces from the breast at one (on average) during a feeding. This can of course vary due to growth spurts and things, but typically, BF babies take smaller bottles than formula fed babies.

    From KellyMom:

    If your baby is taking substantially more than the average amounts, consider the possibility that baby is being given too much milk while you are away. Things that can contribute to overfeeding include:

    • Fast flow bottles. Always use the lowest flow bottle nipple that baby will tolerate. Even with a slower flowing nipple, it is important to pace the bottle feed to allow baby to better control his intake.
    • Using bottle feeding as the primary way to comfort baby. Some well-meaning caregivers feed baby the bottle every time he makes a sound. Use the calculator above to estimate the amount of milk that baby needs, and start with that amount. If baby still seems to be hungry, have your caregiver first check to see whether baby will settle with walking, rocking, holding, etc. before offering another ounce or two.
    • Baby’s need to suck. Babies have a very strong need to suck, and the need may be greater while mom is away (sucking is comforting to baby). A baby can control the flow of milk at the breast and will get minimal milk when he mainly needs to suck. When drinking from a bottle, baby gets a larger constant flow of milk as long as he is sucking. If baby is taking large amounts of expressed milk while you are away, you might consider encouraging baby to suck fingers or thumb, or consider using a pacifier for the times when mom is not available, to give baby something besides the bottle to satisfy his sucking needs.

    DS: EDD, December 19th, 2014. Born, December 19th, 2014!
    DD: EDD, July 18th, 2016. Born, July 19th, 2016!
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  • ladythriceladythrice member
    edited January 2016
    A GREAT resource for working breastfeeding moms is the facebook group "Working moms who make breastfeeding work."

    DS: EDD, December 19th, 2014. Born, December 19th, 2014!
    DD: EDD, July 18th, 2016. Born, July 19th, 2016!
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    Baby #3: EDD, April 16th, 2016
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  • Agree with ladythrice's posting. Babysitter was over feeding what I was pumping by 3-4 oz a day, so I had to give her guidelines.
  • What are you able to pump?  And is this a change from baby's previous eating schedule?
    Could be a growth spurt.  Or could be overfeeding.  Or could be your baby just eats more than average.  I'd say its worth exploring these potential explanations, but not a major issue.

    If you can keep up with the demand, I think its fine. Especially if baby has a similar pattern on weekends when you can BF on demand.   If you can't pump that amount, baby may need to adjust to take less during the day and more when they are home with you at night.  This might mean more nighttime feeding.
    My smaller-than-average EBF baby took 5.5oz bottles on the regular even at 4 months old, despite the rule of thumb on KellyMom that BF babies won't eat that much at a time.  And I think I just had large breast volume and that is what they were used to.  So while the KellyMom recs are good, and worth trying, they are not gospel truth-- they are just guidelines based on averages.


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