Your 3-7 month olds: how much/how often are they eating?

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Registered: 02-11-2009
Your 3-7 month olds: how much/how often are they eating?
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Thu, 11-03-2011 - 10:36am

So this post stems from perusing through the nap survey thread and realizing that many of you with 3-7 or 8 month olds are having them down for 12 hour nights (8pm-8am) or so. I'd really like to get the girls on that schedule (right now they typically go down for the night around 9:30 or 10 and get up around 7:30). I actually think at night they are ready to go to bed sooner, but they still have a feeding left to have in the evenings so we have to wait for that. I guess I'm just wondering what your feeding schedules look like and how you manage to get them fed enough during a 12 hour day so you can have them down for a 12 hour night.

RIght now my girls are eating every 3-4 hours, 5 times a day (a typical day might be eating at 7:30a/11a/3p/6:15p/9:15p). They're eating 4-7oz per feeding for a total of about 25-30oz per day (entirely bottle fed at this point). The only way I can put them down earlier for the night is if I get them to eat more at each feeding and can drop a feeding, right? So I'm just curious for comparison's sake what your LO's eating schedule looks like (and amounts if you are bottle feeding).

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-11-2005
Andi, Sully doesn't sleep through the night. He may go to bed at 8 or 9pm (though recently it has been closer to 10), but he is up at least 2 to 3 times a night to nurse. He sleeps with me though so I just roll over in bed to nurse him.

In fact recently he has been reverse cycling, which is oh so much fun, because he is too distracted to eat during the day.

Out schedule looks something like this though:

8am: Nursing for a few minutes (or not) and wake up

10amish: Nurse and nap for 30 minutes to 2 hours

between 12 and 1pmish: Nurse for a few minutes, oh wait I don't want to nurse Eloise and Desmond are doing something!

between 2pm and 3pm: Nurse and nap for 30 minutes to 2 hours, nap who needs naps? My brother and sister are playing, I want to play too!

5pmish: nurse for a few minutes, but oh look Daddy's home, oh look brother, oh look what is Eloise doing, you want me to nurse Mommy? But there is so much going on that is far more interesting.

6pmish: dinner (he gets part of whatever we are having for dinner)

7pm: Dang I am hungry I think I'll nurse now Mommy, oh wait what is Desmond doing, oh that is cool, I'll be over here on the floor, leave the boob out in case I come back to nurse for another 2 minutes in a bit Mommy.

between 8pm and 9pm: Oh bed sounds good, too bad you won't be able to do anything but lie next to me while I sleep Mommy. Let's take Eloise up with us. Nurse, nurse, nurse while you read Eloise her story. Fall asleep while nursing and continue to nurse for 30 minutes (first long feeding except possibly at one of the nap times for the day).

10pm: Nurse some more, wow this food thing is great. Okay I'm up and not tired is it time to play? Or keep sleeping, just keep sleeping, sleeping, sleeping, sleeping.

midnight: nurse some more, glad you aren't asleep yet Mommy, cause I'm hungry!

3am (if I am lucky): nurse some more, at least you just have to roll over to nurse me Mommy.

5am: nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse. I need to get prepped for my busy day ahead of going full tilt and not nursing enough!

6am: hmm maybe just a sip or 10 for me, nurse, nurse, nurse.

7am: nurse, nurse, nurse, still sleeping, hope you aren't tired mommy, I had a good night's sleep and lots of food!


Oh and that is normal schedule, the past few weeks we've had a number of days of nursing every 45 minutes at night (that one is just "fun") and a couple of nights of waking screaming at 3am and not going back down till 5am! and a couple of night of both, which are just the "best".



Thank you for the sig Mary

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-17-2002

Umm. Hmm. I will go off the days that I have school and work so you get an idea of the bottles. Wakeup around 8 or 9, nurse, nap at 10 or 11, nurse at 12, nurse at 2, then nap til 4ish, 3-4 oz BM bottle at 5, sometimes nap at 6, 3-4 oz bottle at 7:30-8ish. Then, depending on if he had that last nap or not, goes down between 7:30-8:30.
But then, he wakes to nurse at 1, then again at 5. There were 2 glorious nights like a month or so ago that he slept 8:30-7 without waking. And before that, he was usually only waking once at about 4. So he's only added another wakeup back in since he was about 3 months. I think he's been reverse cycling though, since right around that time I started class again.
IDK if this helped or was confusing but I hope it's an idea! lol

ETA: Forgot to say that we nurse (mostly) on demand. When I have class, I am gone from 9:30-12:15ish so I really hate DF to give him a bottle when I can nurse right before and after. And the rest of the feeding (and naptimes, and wakeup times) vary a lot day to day, especially if I am here at night or not, or if we go somewhere.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-15-2001

It's a great question, but honestly...I have no idea. We nurse completely on demand day and night. Some days, we nurse most of the day. I'm parked on the couch, and even when I'm making a sandwich or (gasp) going to the bathroom, Charlotte is latched on while resting in the crook of my left arm. But I can say, that she never goes more than 3 hours between feedings except at night. She sleeps in her co-sleeper bed from about 8:30pm until around 3:00am, and then I bring her into bed with me. She'll nurse on and off until morning.

We are supplementing about 6 ounces of formula a day, but we're considering increasing that amount. I give those 6 ounces in two 3 ounce feedings using the SNS. Usually one in the morning and one in the evening.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 04-29-2008
No 12 hour nights here:) We really have no schedule either--generally Anna nurses every 3 hours and want to eat more frequently at night. I've weighed her before bed and then in the morning and found that she drinks 12-14oz per night--no clue how much she drinks during the day...Our current approach is to try to extend her night nursing to every 3 hours, so DH will try to get her back to sleep when she wakes up an hour or 2 after bfing.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-13-2008
No STTN here either! He goes to bed at 7pm. Then I'll give him a dreamfeed before I go to sleep, around 10pm. Recently, he has miraculously started sleeping longer stretches, so he'll wake up between 5-6am for a feed. Afterward he goes back to sleep until 7-8am (sometimes I hit the jackpot and both boys sleep until 8.30!!).
As you say you feel they are ready for an earlier bedtime (and I agree - the sweet spot for most babies is 6.30/7pm), why don't you try an earlier time and then do a dreamfeed later? That way they still get their last feed for the day.
As for feeding schedule, there is none really. I reckon he nurses 8-9 times a day. The only "scheduled" ones are the one before bed and the dreamfeed.

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Registered: 04-22-2006
I know Evan isn't that age, but I thought I would chime in since we did bottle feeding and not many people on the board do.

Evan didn't go to bed for the night until about 10pm for the first 3-4 months. We really wanted to him to go to bed earlier, but weren't sure how to get him to do it. Then, one week, he just put himself on a new schedule and started going to bed at 8pm. I can't remember how much we were feeding him then, but I do remember dropping a bottle and then just adding an ounce to each of his other bottles.

We did the same thing with the bottles a couple months ago. We wanted to get him from 6 to 5 bottles, so instead of 6 5-oz bottles, we just started giving him 5 6-oz bottles a day. The transition went smoothly! We've now decreased the number of bottles and oz's because he's getting a lot of solids these days.

Anyway, not sure if it helps, but I would suggest to just go ahead and drop the last feeding and add to the other bottles and see what happens over the next few days. If it doesn't work well, you can always go back to what you were doing before! Good luck!




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Registered: 01-29-2008
We don't have a 12 hour night either lol. He goes down anywhere from 7-12 (lately he's been going down early then thinking needs back up). But he'll sleep 6-9 hours that way. Then does off and on naps through the day. More sleep would be good, but I'll take what he does now! :-)

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Thank you Dedi and Kelly for my
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Registered: 02-11-2009

Ooooooooohhhhh.... okay, when so many of you put a "bedtime" and a "wake up" time in the nap thread, I thought that meant no wake ups in the middle of the night! So I was thinking all your LO's were sleeping straight on through! Okay, whoah, I don't know if I feel better, or worse for all of you not getting much sleep!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-29-2008
My understanding of a dream feed is they are still pretty much zonked but you try to feed. Some will eat some won't.

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Thank you Dedi and Kelly for my
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2005
Andi, it's been a while for me, but I'll still answer! :) I think you could set an earlier bedtime for the girls, and then see how it goes... maybe they will go the 12 hours stretch, and then wake up really hungry, and so you can regulate their feedings by adding a little more into each bottle. But keep in mind that most babies won't do a 12 hour stretch... remember that with babies, you can say they "sleep through the night" when in fact they are only doing a 6, maybe 8 hour stretch. So you could put them in bed at 8, and then offer a bottle at midnight (or whenever it's your regular bedtime), and see if they sleep the remaining time. Since it's two babies, you and DH can feed one of them, right before going to bed yourselves. Oh! and you don't need to wake them to do that last feed. Most babies will eat happily while sleeping. (I used to co-sleep with Fede, and we would do late night nursings where neither of us was properly awake!)

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