How often to nurse almost 1 yr old

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-10-2009
How often to nurse almost 1 yr old
1
Sun, 08-15-2010 - 7:48pm

DD will be one in about two weeks. However, she was 8 weeks premature.

Because she was a preemie, I've always offered her to nurse way more than she has ever demanded. And as such, she really rarely demands to nurse, even if I go a while without offering. Generally, I've been offering every 3-4 hours during the day and feeding on demand at night (1-2 times usually).

Now that she is getting a little older, I'd like to par back that schedule a little bit so I can have some freedom to be gone for more than 3 hours without worrying about feeding and having enough pumped milk.

So, I've been following her lead and yesterday she went 7 hours between feeds, and today she went 5, and then 4 hours later (bedtime) she barely ate, maybe 2 minutes total. (Her normal is about 5-7 min per side, taking both sides.

My question is: How many times per day, minimum, should she be nursing. I don't mind nursing more, but I want to make sure she gets enough BM in case she doesn't demand enough. She will take a sippy cup, but she only likes water in it, no milk. We aren't giving any formula or cows milk, so all her milk is BM. She eats a variety of solids, more or less depending on the day.

 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-17-2007
Mon, 08-16-2010 - 12:54am

One year olds are pretty unpredictable. My 15 month old will sometimes have a few days where he seems uninterested and then will go a few days nursing like a newborn - it was the same with my older 2 boys as well.

"Breastfeeding frequency for toddlers is usually pretty erratic and varies greatly from child to child. It's normal for toddlers to be interested in everything around them and, as a result, not as interested in breastfeeding. At other times, baby will be so focused on the big changes within herself (developmentally), that she will want to spend lots of time at the breast to reconnect with mom and adjust to all the new skills in her life. Some children breastfeed often ("like a newborn" is a frequent comment that you hear from the moms of 12-15 month olds), some breastfeed only once or twice a day, and some breastfeed a few times a day on some days and frequently on others. No matter what the breastfeeding pattern, average breastfeeding frequency decreases gradually as baby gets older. Once or twice a day breastfeeding sessions can continue for months and even years, depending upon the child and mom.

Toddlers breastfeed for comfort, in addition to nutrition. Breastfeeding can work wonders when baby is hurt, sad, upset (nursing is a great tantrum-tamer), or sick. Toddlers may also use breastfeeding as a quick way of "checking in" and reconnecting with mom throughout the day.

Sometimes your toddler may go through phases of increased night nursing. Common reasons for increased night breastfeeding in toddlers include teething, decreased breastfeeding during the day because of distraction, developmental advances and reconnecting with mom." more on what is normal nursing after the first year: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/toddlernursing.html

I try to still offer every 3-4 hours during the day but sometimes we get busy or he is not interested etc. Generally the MINIMUM number of nursing sessions to not need "replacement nutrition" is 4 sessions per day. More on nutrition for nurslings over 1 year: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/toddler-foods.html

Follow up with additional questions.



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