Is he eating enough?

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-20-2005
Is he eating enough?
3
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 1:07am

So my little one is 6.5 months. He has had great weight gain so far (I'm not sure what he is now, but i think about 16-17lb). This might be all over the place, so I apologize in advance.

I am away from Brady 9 hours a day and pump 12 oz in 3 sessions (I pump another 1 or 2 times at home and get another 4-8 oz). He gets 12 oz when I am away (he is with our nanny) and another 4 oz bottle before bedtime (that i give him). I nurse him once during the night and twice in the morning before i leave. So that's 16 oz by bottle (pumping 16-20 oz) and 3 nursing sessions per day. He gets a taste of solids an hour before his bedtime bottle (maybe 1 tbsp - 2 max). I believe he is getting at least his 25 oz, possibly a little more. He has recently started sitting and is really excited about it. Also I think he is hitting his 6 mo growth spurt.

The thing is, he seems to be constantly hungry (he chewing his hands, is not satisfied with a paci, lunges for the bottle/breast...). Our nanny thinks so, but I also see it on the weekends (for the record, i still pump and bottle feed for the daytime feedings during the day on the weekends). I know I should be pushing BF when I can, but we have had so much trouble the last couple months with it that I find it less discouraging this way, it is just working better for our situation - plus my husband can participate more. He still gets comfort nursing when he wants on the weekends during the days.

I guess my question is, should we offer more bm during the day (i don't know how much more i can pump)? Should we offer another solids snack, or is he fine as is? He only started solids 2 or 3 weeks ago and from the start has wolfed it down. These babies can be hard to read. I am not sure what to do. I think I am reading him right. He really seems like he is not getting enough despite the 25+oz.

Any thoughts?

-Karen
Lily 07.01.06
Brady 12.05.09
-Karen
Lily 07.01.06
Brady 12.05.09
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
Wed, 06-16-2010 - 5:53am

When he is bottle fed, are paced bottle feeding techniques being used?

It sounds as though he could have developed a preference for the faster pace of the bottle.

With a paced feeding technique with the bottle, not only are new-born nipples used, but the bottle is removed from the babies mouth every so often to wait for a bit. Then the baby sucks again. The feed is spread out over twenty minutes or so, so that the baby has a chance to feel the sensation of fullness by the end of the feed, and to take things at a more normal pace rather than gulping the milk down quickly.

Asking the sitter to use paced feeding techniques all of the time may lead your baby to realise the breast is OK after all.

Teresa

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-20-2005
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 11:29pm

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The last 2 months, he is very impatient with nursing. I know this is normal behavior for the age. I tried relaxation techniques, deep breathing, visualizing letdown, making sure we had plenty of quiet time, but he is just not happy. (And yes, he is still on newborn bottle nipples). He pulled, bites, screams and cries, pull off constantly (again, i know this is normal) and then I can't letdown at all. I have come close to weaning a couple of times now, but am really trying to hang on. Up until 2 weeks ago he was eating every 2 hours so even with him in bed with us, I just was not sleeping. Combine that with chasing a 4 year old, and working 40 hours a week, and housework, cooking, etc etc, I just can not take it anymore. Nursing became so stressful for both of us no matter what I tried - with the exception of the middle of the night and mornings when I am fuller and he is sleepy.

So I am pumping. He is welcome to comfort nurse when he wants to (for instance when i get home from work he usually wants a few minutes just to say "hello") but when he is hungry I am sticking to bottles. I am much happier even with the extra work and we are both more relaxed. I am not as frustrated and don't want to quit like i did before.

I think this just works better for us. I know we could probably overcome this with a lot of work, but right now it is at the expense of my sanity... Something has to give.

-Karen
Lily 07.01.06
Brady 12.05.09
-Karen
Lily 07.01.06
Brady 12.05.09
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-20-2008
Tue, 06-15-2010 - 12:41pm

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Just curious but is there a particular reason why your giving him a bottle before bed rather then just directly nursing him?

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Breastfed babies take in between 20-30 oz of breastmilk per day with 24 oz being the average. If he is getting at least 25 oz per day then he is within the normal range for a BF baby.

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Exactly what sort of trouble have you been having that has scared you away from more direct nursing, especially on weekends?

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At 6 months, 1 solid meal is about what is recommended for a BF baby so I would stick with just one solid meal for now. As far his BM intake goes, the maximum we would expect for a BF baby is 30 oz per day. I would recommend trying to work towards addressing whatever issues are preventing you from direct nursing more as a baby who is direct nursing is going to be able to nurse longer if it really is his BM intake amount that is an issue. Also, it may simply be that your baby simply desires more comfort nursing and more direct nursing would help with that too.

It's important to not judge whether he is getting enough BM solely on his behavior as that can be misleading. There can be a number of reasons for his behavior unrelated to hunger. Make sure he is still producing 4-5 wet diapers per day and is gaining an average 2-4 oz per week of weight (after 6 months). If his wet diaper count and weight gain seem fine then likely your dealing with a different issue.

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