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given that BM is so wonderful, should I be ENCOURAGING my 9 month old to feed a lot?

(8 Posts)
skidaddle Wed 24-Sep-08 09:05:42

He feeds probably 3 times a day plus one (EBM) bottle when I am working, and a bit more when I am with him. I had in my head a goal to cut it down to just morning and night feeds - don't really know why - just what I thought babies tended to do at this age.

Anyway, he had a cold last week and I was feeding him a lot and I suddenly thought, hang on, maybe I should be offering him loads of feeds a day so he will get MORE BM - does this make sense? Which is better for him - lots of (solid) food and a few feeds, or lots of feeds and (possibly) a bit less food?

I can't believe I'm still worrying about how much milk he gets and he's almost walking blush

HolidaysQueen Wed 24-Sep-08 09:12:54

skidaddle - i think 4 feeds a day or more sounds about right for a 9mo. I wouldn't have thought he needs more and that at that age you should be encouraging him to gradually rely more and more on solids than bm so that by one year old he is eating 3 good meals plus snacks a day, so increasing bfs might counter that progression IYSWIM. Don't know though - I've only got a 6mo myself! - but 4 feeds a day sounds sort of what I was expecting by the time we get there. He's having 6 feeds a day at the moment incl the 11pm one, and I'm imagining that he'll have dropped a couple by the time he is well established on solids.

anastaisia Wed 24-Sep-08 12:48:42

I think it depends quite a bit on how long you see yourself feeding for - I'm letting DD set the pace and tbh some days now at 3.5 YEARS she feeds more than that! But then other days she doesn't feed at all till bedtime. I just see it as if she's asking she either wants or needs it - and its a good thing for her to want so I have no problem with that, just like I never say no if she asks for a drink of water! But if I'd wanted to stop at 1 or 18 months or 2, then I'd probably have wanted to keep more control over when the feeds happened and to gradually decrease them.

My understanding is that for the 1st year milk should be the main form of nutrition and solids should complement rather than replace it. But you can't figure out how much milk they get from the number of feeds if you're breastfeeding so you do need a little bit of blind trust that between your body and their body you'll get it right!

Personally I think 1 is a little soon to expect every child to be on 3 meals plus snacks (for anything more than fun) given that I have know some perfectly healthy babies who've only started to take in more than a few tastes of food as they approached 1. But you'll know best how satisfied your baby seems to be with varying ratios of milk to food.

anastaisia Wed 24-Sep-08 12:52:08

oh - if its inconvenient to feed I'm quite happy to ask her to wait. But to wait till it is convenient not till a certain point in the day just because. I expect her to have manners about how she asks and responds if I can't do it right then. That was something I started thinking/working on when she was about 1.

BouncingTurtle Wed 24-Sep-08 13:03:51

Skid - you are not alone, I was under the same assumptions as you.
DS feeds 2-3 times during the night, once in the morning, once when I pick him up at nursery and once before bed!! And even more often during the weekend!

Anastaisia, that is very good advice, thank you!

BouncingTurtle Wed 24-Sep-08 13:03:52

Skid - you are not alone, I was under the same assumptions as you.
DS feeds 2-3 times during the night, once in the morning, once when I pick him up at nursery and once before bed!! And even more often during the weekend!

Anastaisia, that is very good advice, thank you!

claireybee Wed 24-Sep-08 13:05:53

Skid ds feeds way more than that so IMO you have nothing to worry about!

DD didn't eat solids til she was one so I tend not to worry about how much solids he has just let him feed whenever he wants it (just did a count and I think he has already had 5 feeds so far today).

I do think it depends on the baby, some will take a big feed every few hours, others graze a bit more-ds probably does have only 5/6 big feeds over 24 hours and the others are more snacks/drinks.

I do forget to give him water most of the time though so he does still rely on me for pretty much all of his drinks, also sometimes if I am busy he can be fobbed off with a ricecake or some banana. I just figure there will come a time when he'd rather have the banana than a bf!

Sorry I am absolutely no help to you!

skidaddle Wed 24-Sep-08 14:32:31

clairey - you sounds exactly the same as me - forgetting to give water and fobbing him off with a rice cake when busy!!

anastasia - that is very wise advice, thank you. I don't know how long I plan to feed for - I always thought I'd stop at 1 but now that it is approaching I'm not so sure.

Well I think I will just carry on as I am - milk supply seems fine no worries on that score. I suppose I am a little worried that I still feed him to sleep and feed him for comfort but maybe that is just me conforming to what i think is expected rather than seeing anything really wrong with it.

thanks again x

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