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Increasing 6 month old's intake per feed?

(5 Posts)
Spanneroo Fri 17-Nov-17 11:13:35

This will be long but I wanted to make sure all the info was in here:

I have EBF my 6.5 month old. She has always been an awful sleeper (I've never had longer than an hour and a half between feeds at best). It's crippling me to be honest, and I'm a complete zombie for my 3 year old (when I'm not feeding her sister).

Recently DD2 regressed to just 45 minutes between night feeds and I decided now was the time for DH to start doing some night shifts because I just can't take it anymore.

To get her used to a bottle, I was doing one a day of expressed milk. She wasn't too bothered about taking the bottles, but only took 1-2 ounces at a time. Because of this, I assumed she was just feeding enough to not be too hungry and then waiting until she could have the breast again. So I decided to do a full day of bottles to see if she would start kicking up a fuss after the first few. We're on day three of this now and she is still taking just 2 ounces per feed (with the exception of one feed she had which was 3 ounces).

I suspect that this is why she has been such a frequent feeder and why my nights are so awful still. I have always had over supply (my eldest had expressed feeds most days for months and I always pumped more per feed than she wanted). I also have a very forceful let down. I suspect that DD2 is just super duper lazy and more or less just takes the milk from my let down and then thinks "Thanks. I'll wait until a bit later because then I can exert as little effort as possible again. Cheers mum"

Does anyone have any tips on improving this? I know it will likely improve anyway as she weans but I honestly don't think I can bear to wait that long. I am beside myself with exhaustion these days - dont dare drive most of the time, my vision is definitely worse because I find it hard to even focus my eyes, all I want to do is sleep!

Besides going to bottles 100% of the time so that there is no let down, is there anything I can do?

OP’s posts: |
Ebony12 Sat 18-Nov-17 01:40:48

Hi there,

She seems to just be snacking all the time and probably tired herself as she’s got into that habit. it’s trying to break that cycle and getting a big feed in to her so she will go through the night for at least 5 hrs. Is she like that during the day or just at night? Have you slowly started to get to her to stretch the time between feeds? Even if it’s just 20 mins and increase from there?

Spanneroo Sat 18-Nov-17 03:00:05

Thanks for replying. Yes she's like it in the day, too. Occasionally she'll go a little longer if she falls asleep on a long car journey, for example, but the longest she's ever gone can't have been more than 3 hours.

To be honest I've only just started thinking about it retrospectively because I've just been feeding on demand like I did with DD1 who had bad reflux so would often feed close together because she'd bring up so much of each feed. It's only recently that I had a bit of a lightbulb moment and realised this wasn't normal for a baby without reflux.

A while back I did try stretching out feeds during the day as they were every hour and very disruptive. It took several days of a very grumpy/whingey baby to extend it to the hour and a half or so it is now. It suited us ok once it got to this point so I stopped paying attention/was too tired to think about keeping at it so I just sort of stopped.

Do you think lengthening time between day time feeds will make a difference at night? I feel bad making DD1 deal with old grumpy guts when she's hungry too. She's really very persistent about it and I wonder if it's my genes at play because I really struggle when I'm hungry myself.

OP’s posts: |
Ebony12 Sat 18-Nov-17 13:18:34

My little girl has just turned 12 wks and is wanting to feed every 2 hours still but whilst I keep presenting the bottle she will just snack which is what your little one keeps doing (grazing all day) She’s more settled when she gets to 3 hours hungry and seems more content afterwards.

It’s a bit like us adults if there are nibbles out before a big meal we will just snack as well and then we can’t manage a large meal. I think it’s behavioural as well - when you did stretch it was feeding longer or if you used the bottle was taking more breast milk? She also comforted by the constant feeding and I assume you haven’t used a dummy and wondering if you are being used as a dummy especially at night? A full tummy will help her get to sleep mine little girl does go through now for 5 hrs that’s only just happened and I wake her at midnight to give her the last feed of the day but with your little one not having a full tummy it must be hard to sleep for a long period of time. I guess what’s happening is there are a few things going on and nothing is in isolation as to why she is constantly feeding - when do you plan to wean her? Sorry my post is probably not that much help but you’re doing an amazing job I think and when she’s on solids it will get better I’m sure smile

Spanneroo Sat 18-Nov-17 13:53:52

I can't be sure how much breastmilk she's taking as these are the first bottle feeds she's ever had. She's growing very well though and is on the 95th centile so I never really stopped to think about it before now.

Can I ask how you spread feeds out without the crying? DD2 has the most grating cry I've ever heard and it drives me and DD1 insane if it goes on for more than a few minutes. I've found I can distract with music for a little while but 15 minutes is the limit really when it comes to distractions.

Interestingly I've had 're back on the breastfeeds today (because I couldn't be arsed to pump!) and she seems to be going 2 hours between feeds. Seems she's appreciating the boobs and having a bit more than usual. If only she felt this way every day!

OP’s posts: |

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