BF moms: What is going on here? — The Bump
May 2011 Moms

BF moms: What is going on here?

Jonah will be 5 months old on Sunday. He's always nursed on a pretty predictable 3 hour schedule. On Tuesday, his DCP called at 2:30PM to let me know that he was starting his last bottle for the day. Apparently he'd wanted a bottle closer to every 2 hours rather than every 3 hours on Tuesday.

To try to increase my supply, I have been pumping/nursing every 2 hours since Tuesday at 3PM. Since I was home with Jonah yesterday, I was able to confirm that his demand does seem to be every 2 hours now, instead of 3. 

Also, for the last week, he's been waking at 3-4AM and wanting to play/jabber for over an hour after nursing. He's never STTN, and I don't expect him to. But usually he wakes and falls quickly back to sleep after nursing.

I know he must have gone through "growth spurts" before, but it's never been like this. Does this sound like a true growth spurt and we should just ride it out for the next few days, or should I take his increased appetite as an indication that he's ready for solids? I'd planned to wait until after 6 months, until he gave very clear cues that he was developmentally ready, and I'd planned to try BLW when the time came for solids. But (of course) with the way he's acting lately, several of my IRL friends have mentioned maybe I should try some rice cereal with him now.

I'm not sure if it matters, but I figure the question will come up: at his 4 month checkup, he was in the 90th %-ile for weight (not sure which set of growth charts our pedi was quoting) at 16lbs & 12oz. Also, he doesn't have any teeth yet. He seems to teethe on and off, but right now he seems more "off" than "on". He also did have a slight headcold last week.

Sorry for this long and possibly incoherent post. I'm doubting myself and the sleep-deprivation isn't helping.

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Re: BF moms: What is going on here?

  • Sounds like it may be a combo of a lot of different things - teething / growth spurt / cold / and just a growing little boy!  How much milk are you putting into the bottles for DCP?  It may be time to up the ounces just a touch (maybe 0.5 ounces) or you may want to put up to 1 whole extra ounce in there to see if that will allow him to go a little longer between feedings.  It may take a few days for you to be able to keep up with pumping the extra ozs, but don't worry...you will.  He is just a hungry little boy and giving him a little more throughout the day may help with the sleeping at night.

    About the cereal...I held off as long as I could, but I eventually gave in because he was showing obvious signs that he was ready...following every motion while we eat, opening his mouth and sitting up great.  At about the 5 month-1 week mark, I started packing about 0.5 oz in a bottle for DCP.  They mixed up a very watered down cereal for him and they have slowly thickened it up over the past few weeks.  He is now eating about 1 oz of milk mixed with cereal every day between his 2nd and 3rd feedings of the day.  Oh...and I do not feed him cereal through a bottle...I wanted to teach him to eat with a spoon to prep for the baby food extravaganza that will start taking place soon.

    IMO I would try uping the oz in his bottles first.  Then wait to see if that satisfies him before trying the cereal.

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  • Maybe try adding extra ounces to see if that helps and then if that really isn't helping, maybe he is ready for solids. Good luck.

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  • If you really want to wait on solids, don't compromise your desires. You can make it to the 6 months by increasing the bottle amount or frequency. However, I too have a big boy (same weight as yours at 4 months) and was having the same problem. My pediatrician suggested solids and I started around 5 months. Walker was totally ready - much different than my first son - and took to them right away. He started sleeping more and requiring nursing every 3.5 hours instead of 2.5 hours. Big difference to me actually. Now he eat veggies and fruits and it has helped his disposition too. That's just my experience though and I don't want to tell you to do it if you feel strongly about sticking to your BLW plan. GL!
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  • I wouldn't add solids if you're not ready.  Sounds like a growth spurt - I would just feed on demand and up the bottle quantity slightly (.5-1 oz).  If the feedings continue to get closer, solids might be necessary.
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  • Thanks for your responses, ladies.

    I did include 1 extra oz in each of his normal three bottles for today (so, 7 oz each rather than 6oz each) and I also sent a smaller bottle that had 4 oz in it, just in case it becomes necessary. 

    Hopefully this is just a growth spurt, and he'll slow down in a day or two. I don't work Fridays, so after today, I'll be able to nurse exclusively until Monday which I'm hoping will help increase my supply if he's still needing it.

    I just want to do whatever is best for him. Regardless of my plan to wait until after 6 months, if he needs solids now, then I'm prepared to give him solids. I just don't want to jump the gun with it. In some ways, he does seem to be giving cues that he's ready (very interested in watching us eat, reaches for our food, smacks his mouth a little when we're eating), but he doesn't sit unassisted yet and he isn't quite 5 months.

    Thank you all for your advice! 

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  • There are a few signs to know if a baby is truly ready for solids -- regardless of what people will tell you.

     1) doubled birth weight

    2) teeth

    3) ability to sit up pretty much on their own with good head control (so as to not choke)

    4) lost the tongue thrust reflex 

    From what I've heard these tend to be around the six month mark, but you'll have babies that are ready early and those ready late. These "milestones" really mark gut maturity, which means the gut is ready to work with solids and it is safer for them to eat. 

    Also, you don't necessarily have to go buy a lot of "baby" food for first solids -- things like avocados and bananas are great first foods provided they are ripe and mushy enough. 

    If he doesn't have all of these signs and then he's probably just going through a growth spurt of some form. 

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  • My BIL didn't get a tooth until he was 11 months.

    That's why I thnk "teeth" is a silly benchmark for solids.

    Good luck, OP. Go with your gut. We're waiting on solids and just coming out of a lovely "I'd rather eat all night" phast that lasted about 2 months.

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