How often should 7 month old nurse?

Melanie - posted on 01/06/2010 ( 23 moms have responded )

17

0

4

My son is 7 1/2 months old and has been nursing less and less. We have slowly introduced food so I'm wondering if that is why he won't nurse as often, but we started solids when he turned 6 months old, and he just now started nursing less. He wakes up in the early morning hours and nurses, and then again about 2 hours later, and sometimes once more when he wakes up for the day. Then he won't nurse again for about 5 hours, around lunch. Then again about 3 hours later, and then real quick before he falls asleep. I nurse him one last time before I go to bed so he'll sleep most of the night. He was nursing every 3 hours for several months, and also drank from a cup in the morning and evening when I fed him food, now he doesn't even really drink that so I know that's not filling him up. I know he takes in a lot in the morning, but I worry because he goes so long after that. Have any of you experienced this as your child got older? I never give him food until he nurses first but he does like it and wants to eat when we do. I know his main sourse of food should be BM and since he doesn't ever take a bottle I don't really know how much overall he is taking in. Total he nurses about 6 times a day, but I just worry that it's not enough, even though he doesn't act hungry at all. I've even try to nurse him anyway and he won't take it.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Jennifer - posted on 01/09/2010

217

34

8

The book am reading 'Save Our Sleep' says 4 times a day.
Milk 7am
Solids 8am
nap 9:20
milk 11am 9when baby wakes from morning nap)
solids 12pm
nap 1:20
milk- when baby wakes from afternoon nap
solids 5pm
6:30 milk
bedtime 7pm
Hope this helps:)

[deleted account]

I disagree with Jenni. Breast milk (or formula) should be the primary source of nutrition within the first year. You should definitely nurse first and offer solids after. You DO want your baby to fill up on breast milk. Solids should not really be for nutrition yet. More for practice. "Food for fun until they're one" as they say.

Keigh - posted on 01/09/2010

1

8

0

Demand Nursing, is that, nursing on demand, when your child wishes/wants/needs too be nursed, they are nursed, and for the first 12 months best practice if you choose too be a breastfeeding Mom, is too give Baby the breast, when they feel the need, be it for comfert, hunger, or simply down time for both mom and Babe. Breast milk is always best for Baby, and usually they will decide when they are done, as I was taught by my Midwife Grandmother and I have passed too those who I midwife for, Never have I seen a child enter school who was still breastfeed or not toilet trained...best advice..BREATH, relax, ENJOY this time, as it goes so quickly and they are off too college or university.

Jennifer - posted on 04/01/2011

217

34

8

Lisa M- It doesn't matter who approves what or which group recommends what. Each mother gets to know her own baby and knows when they are hungry. My son started refusing to nurse at 7 months and was eating huge portions of solids. I worked with pediatricians and lactation consultants and in the end was told he was just a fussy feeder and if he wanted solids give them to him. The book Save Our Sleep has a HUGE following and was recommended by friends of mine- it really helps struggling parents get a bit of structure in their life and some sleep for all those concerned which results in a happier baby and parents. If you actually read the book you will see that it states breastmilk is most important and to offer some solids 1 hour later for this age group. It is important to allow your baby to experience a variety of textures, flavours. There is no right or wrong way to introduce solids as long as you introduce age appropriate foods and space things out to watch for allergies. one of my sone first foods was homemade organice chicken soup which he devoured at 7.5mos. We can all agree to disagree.

[deleted account]

I agree Lisa.
Also, I don't think there should be any books saying how often a 7 month old SHOULD nurse. Every baby is different. And if you're not feeding on a schedule (which one shouldn't be doing) then what that book says is obviously quite silly.
My son is a year and still nurses 3-5 times a day on average.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

23 Comments

View replies by

Sarah - posted on 11/17/2011

14

1

1

My daughter is just about 7 months and is nt nursing as much or as long. I was worried I wasn't porducing enough but I am starting to think she is just more efficient. She won't take a bottle from me, but I am thinking of introducing a sippy cup during solid feeding. Sometimes she is still waking at night to feed and I really want her sleeping through the night. I offer her the breast more during the day but she doesn't want it. I just wait for her to decide she is hungry for it. She gets a little barley cereal in morning and a little solid in late afternoon.

Terri - posted on 06/02/2010

44

54

7

When I said from a spoon I only ment not from a feeder, I think it's great to allow self feeding. :)

Naomi - posted on 01/09/2010

125

22

7

Hi melanie, although my son doesn't nurse any less since we've started solids.. for us every 2 hours, he really just takes a little for the taste/texure, I have noticed that he is much more efficient with his nursing... he's a lot quicker at getting the milk out. And, he takes way less solids in the am, I've started doing lunch and dinner just cus there is more milk in the morning and he isn't hungry enough, even an hour later. I have seen a lactation specialist at various times, they can do test feeds where they weigh before nursing and after to see how much baby is getting, and recently, as his nursing sessions have gotten sorter, he's actually been taking MORE milk in during that time.
I don't think what your little guy is doing is abnormal. a 5 hour gap between a feed for a newborn would be worrisome, but I think they are at the point where if he really isn't acting hungry, that's ok. He's making up for it at other times! enjoy the break!
and jennifer, I know you were just trying to be helpful, but I'm sorry, I do have to say that If I had read that schedule in that book and tried to follow it, I would have been frustrated beyond words and possibly caused real harm to my son. For his body I've found that he needs to eat every 2-2.5 hours. starting solids has not changed that. It's how he digests, he's not a big baby and we had problems with weight loss at the start, so I really don't want to withold the nutrition he needs. also, there is NO WAY we would be able to go down for naps without nursing LOL!

Minnie - posted on 01/09/2010

7,076

9

786

Quoting Katie:

I agree Lisa.
Also, I don't think there should be any books saying how often a 7 month old SHOULD nurse. Every baby is different. And if you're not feeding on a schedule (which one shouldn't be doing) then what that book says is obviously quite silly.
My son is a year and still nurses 3-5 times a day on average.



I find it slightly amusing how people think babies need to be told when they're hungry and sleepy.  Pshew! Good thing I have so and so to let me know that my child should fit a cookie-cutter norm!



For the record, my 15 month old nurses at least twice an hour.

Minnie - posted on 01/09/2010

7,076

9

786

Quoting Jennifer:

The book am reading 'Save Our Sleep' says 4 times a day.
Milk 7am
Solids 8am
nap 9:20
milk 11am 9when baby wakes from morning nap)
solids 12pm
nap 1:20
milk- when baby wakes from afternoon nap
solids 5pm
6:30 milk
bedtime 7pm
Hope this helps:)



This schedule does not follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization, The AAP, or LLLI- breastmilk is never to be replaced by solids prior to 12 months.

[deleted account]

Terri, why do you say, "from a spoon"? It doesn't have to be. In fact, from what I've seen and heard from friends with babies, and from my own experience, allowing them to feed themselves actually is more likely to produce less picky eaters and avoid mealtime battles.

Jenni - posted on 01/08/2010

44

23

2

Breast milk was my son's primary source for nutrition. My problem was that after he nursed he had no interest in food. So I started offering him food first then nursed him until he basically fell off. I still nurse him about one to two times a day (he's 2). He was a good chunk of a baby, forever eating and he still is! I can never get enough food into this kid.

Terri - posted on 01/08/2010

44

54

7

I agree that milk should be their primary source, however if you don't introduce different textures to them around six months old (from a spoon) it can (and from my own experience) sometimes does cause them to be very picky eaters later on.

Rachel - posted on 01/07/2010

236

4

19

my seven month old has little interest in solids--he plays around with them and does eat a little but he mainly just wants to nurse. And even so, he nurses less--he's older, can drink more at one time, is more efficient at nursing so he can nurse for shorter times and still get a lot. Even though his nursing is more spaced out and it seems like he's taking in less because of the lower frequency of nursing, I know he's getting just as much :) And when he hits a growth spurt, he nurses like a newborn again ;)

As long as your babe has plenty of diapers, is growing, is developing, and is active, nurse when he's hungry and enjoy!

Minnie - posted on 01/07/2010

7,076

9

786

Yes, baby should be nursed first- he SHOULD be filling up on milk.

Solids are to be complementary for the first 12 months- meaning they are never offered before nursing, and not in place of nursing. Aside from some iron-rich foods once baby is truly ready for solids, solids are not absolutely necessary during the first year. They shouldn't be taking priority over breastmilk.

Jenni - posted on 01/07/2010

44

23

2

With my little guy I offered solids first and then nursed. I did it the oppisite way at first, but he would fill up on milk! So I gave him as much food as he would take then I offered to nurse him. It worked really well.

Terri - posted on 01/07/2010

44

54

7

I have six month old twins and they have started eating solids. They breastfeed four times a day (about six ounces). The more solids they eat the less milk they will drink. Goodluck!

[deleted account]

My son started nursing less not too long after starting solids. I was afraid that BFing may be coming to an end so I contacted a lactation consultant. She suggested we ditch purees and try baby-led weaning. Once my son was in control of what he put in his mouth/belly, he stopped filling up on solids and started nursing more again. It was as if my son just liked the novelty of being fed. so when he was getting purees he never really ever gave me a sign that he was done. He would just let me keep on feeding him. I never fed him more than the max recommended serving but that was still too much I guess.

Melanie - posted on 01/06/2010

17

0

4

Oh yeah, he has plenty of wet diapers! I guess I'm just suprised that he's not nursing as frequently and I wondered if that's normal for babies his age. I'm going to cut back on the food a little bit and make sure that isn't why. When he nurses in the morning he eats a lot, nursing 2-3 times in about 3 hours, for about 10 minutes each time. When he nurses during the day he only nurses about 4-5 minutes. I think he eats so much in the morning that it holds him off, but I never want to go anywhere or do anything because I keep thinking at any moment he will be hungry! He never has been the type to nurse just because I offer it, no matter what I can't get him to eat if he's not ready! He's never been one to comfort nurse either. Thanks for the advice!

Minnie - posted on 01/06/2010

7,076

9

786

You can let him feed himself with soft veggies and fruit slices. This may help pace him more.

There really isn't a cut and dry number of nursings required for an older baby- it's dependent on who he is and who you are. So an adequate number of nursings per day would be however many YOU need to sustain your supply, and however many he needs to meet his nutritional and fluid requirements while making breastmilk a priority. Add to that what comfort nursing he needs.

If you're making nursing a priority, and it sounds like you are, and he's gaining weight, isn't dehydrated, is happy, and you're being sensitive to his emotional needs- you're doing just fine!

Babies his age are very distractible- so if you want him to nurse more, you can offer your breast rather than waiting for him to ask for it, and you can nurse lying down in bed in the dark, and right when he stirs from sleep. He'll likely nurse longer then.

Lindsey - posted on 01/06/2010

28

6

3

My son is 8 months and he nurses only four times a day and has been for about two months. We also didn't start solids until six months and he would much rather eat what we are eating. Definitely make sure he has plenty of wet and dirty diapers.

[deleted account]

Does he have plenty of wet diapers? How many times a day does he eat solids? When my daughter is not going through a growth spurt or anything else that would cause her to want to nurse more she would eat about 6 times a day. She was completely emptying both sides each time though. Now she's 8 months and nurses 8-10 times, but she's still not eating solids. If you want him to nurse more you could try cutting out a solid feeding especially if you offer something after his second morning feed (when he goes 5 hours before nursing again).

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms