Can't Keep Up!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Can't Keep Up!
Wed, 02-24-2010 - 1:49pm

My daughter (6 1/2 mo. old) had an ear infection a couple of weeks ago, and during that time she wouldn't eat/drink much. In the last week, it is almost like she is trying to make up for lost time and has started drinking almost twice as much milk as she was before. I work and on a normal day I leave a 7 oz. bottle for the morning, go home for lunch and feed her, and then a 5 oz. bottle for the afternoon. This has worked since she was 3 mo. old. Now, she wants to drink twice that amount, and I can't keep up with the milk I'm pumping. I never even thought about using formula, but should I start thinking about supplementing with formula? If so, how do I do that - split 1/2 and 1/2 with bm? We also just started feeding her solid food, but she isn't completely interested in that quite yet, so I don't know that increasing that would work.

Thanks for any advice!!


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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-12-2006
Wed, 02-24-2010 - 4:24pm

I would personally offer two smaller bottles instead of one big bottle in the morning ... it will help to space out her feedings / keep her from feeling too hungry before you get there to nurse. To be honest a 7 ounce bottle is actually 2X the amount of milk we'd expect to see in a bottle for a breastfed baby during the entire time of the breastfeeding relationship. Some babies who sleep through the night need slightly more ... but if baby is getting 6 feedings a day (nursing and bottles combined), we'd still only expect the bottles to be about 4 ounces each.

Did you ever change the membranes on your pump? Did it make a difference in your output? I know last week you were concerned that antibiotics had lowered your supply.

It is very possible that baby is wanting to eat a bit more often to make up for lost calories during her illness ... but again, I'd recommend smaller bottles more frequently and then encourage as much nursing as possible when you are with her. On the weekend ... take a nursing vacation, which basically means you get in bed and nurse, nurse, nurse baby all weekend. THis is a great way to help baby and your milk supply cover from illness.

If you do feel a need to supplement with formula, we'd recommend NOT mixing breastmilk and formula, as any unused formula in a bottle must be thrown out. We hate to waste breastmilk. Instead offer all available EBM first and then offer formula later, by itself. But don't be surprised if she rejects drinking it ... it tastes and smells awful ... and at 6 1/2 mos she may or may not be willing to take the formula.

In the meantime, please follow up w/ answers to a few questions:

- how many bottles /day? how big are the bottles?
- how many times are you pumping / day and what kind of pump?
- how many times is baby nursing directly / day?
- how are baby's wet diapers?

Don't worry about the solid food. AT this point it's not really necessary and is just for fun. If she takes some great. If not, no worries. We certainly wouldnt' recommend adding more solids and less milk at this age. Breastmilk or formula should be the primary food source for baby the entire first year of life. We'd expect solids to only make up about 20-30% of babies diet at 12 mos.


iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2007
Wed, 02-24-2010 - 4:41pm

Thank you so much for your response!

I did change the white membranes on my pump, but I haven't really noticed a change in the amount I am pumping. One other thing - I feel like my daughter is feeding longer, especially in the morning and at lunch when I see her and these are the feedings that occur before I pump. Perhaps that is why there is less milk when I pump?

During the week she normally only has 2 bottles/day - one mid-morning (6-7 oz) and one mid-afternoon (5 oz.). I feed her at 7 am, 12 noon, 5:30 pm, 8 pm, and 10:30 pm. She also has been waking up in the middle of the night for a feeding (somewhere between 3 and 5).

When I do pump, it is usually only twice a day and it is around the times that she is getting the bottle at home. I use the Medela pump in style.

She normally has a wet diaper every time we change her and this is quite frequently (I'm not sure exactly how many though). And over night, she definitely fills the diaper...

The other thing is that I normally don't have any milk leftover in bottles to save. She usually drinks the whole bottle, so would that change the mixing bm/formula recommendation?


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