Pumping enough milk for cereal

Jessica - posted on 03/05/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )

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Hi, I'm a stay at mom home and feed my son around every 3 hours. My son is almost 5 months old and I started him on rice cereal when he turned 4 months. I mix his cereal with freshly expressed milk. At first I was doing one PM feeding with 2 oz of milk with cereal, now I've doubled his PM feeding to 4 oz plus cereal. I guess I'm wondering how to find good balance of pumping and being able to have enough milk for my son. One of my problems is that i don't have a good supply of frozen milk. When do you find the best time to pump? Eventually I'd like to also add another AM feeding. I'd like any suggestions from anyone who has dealt with this. Thanks!

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Jessica - posted on 03/06/2009

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Thanks for all your suggestions! I guess I'll just stick to the same cereal routine for awhile and work on getting my milk supply up till he's 6 months.

Vicky - posted on 03/05/2009

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Lots of good advice...I also pump in the morning. I have done this for 3 months now and I usually am able to nurse on one side, pump the other, and then pump the first side and get around 5 oz. In the evening if she doesn't nurse on both sides then I will pump the other to store. I find pumping in the mornng is easiest for us...I nurse and then let her hang out in her swing while I pump. good luck!

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I breastfed my now 6 1/2 month old son exclusively, until the day of his 6-month check-up, when we introduced rice cereal. I pump in the morning, when my supply is the greatest, and I can get about 5 oz. I store it in the fridge & use it as I need it. Because my son's pediatrician recommended giving him 4 oz. of water daily so he's getting enough flouride, but he doesn't yet like the sippy cup & refuses the bottle, I add 1 oz. of breast milk and use enough water to make the cereal the right consistency. I still offer him the sippy cup throughout the day, to try to get him used to it. But that way, the cereal still tastes familiar to him by mixing it with breast milk, but he's also getting the water he needs. I hope this helps! Good luck!

Stephanie - posted on 03/05/2009

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Morning is the best for pumping. I work full time and had difficulty pumping enough for daycare, so I didn't really have any spare for cereal. I started out with using milk for cereal, but I decided to use formula in the cereal in order to have enough for her bottles.

Kathryn - posted on 03/05/2009

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I always pumped first thing in the morning. If it becomes your habit, your body adjusts and makes the amount of milk you need for pumping and feeding your baby. I would like to add that mixing cereal with water is also fine, though, as their primary food is breastmilk anyhow. I pumped and mixed with my first, pumped for my second, but he wouldn't eat cereal, so used the milk for baby food, and don't pump at all with my third. (no time!!!) His cereal was mixed with water. I wouldn't push the solids so quickly, though...if your baby's only 5 months, you don't need to worry about it. 6 months is really the earliest you want to be introducing solids...Good luck!

Tammy - posted on 03/05/2009

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i try to pump off my excess milk after each feed, i bought a pump but i find it easier to hand express. its usually only 3 oz but by the end of the day it adds up. this also helps build up my supply

Lindsey - posted on 03/05/2009

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Good questions because this gets to be tricky! Once you start your son on foods you will be able to mix the cereal with foods. I am not always able to pump enough milk, so I use some milk and some fruits for example to wet the cereal down. Before starting solids I would use a little bit of warm water and he seemed fine with it. I do agree that pumping in the morning or middle of the night are the best times. 

Lindsey - posted on 03/05/2009

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Good questions because this gets to be tricky! Once you start your son on foods you will be able to mix the cereal with foods. I am not always able to pump enough milk, so I use some milk and some fruits for example to wet the cereal down. Before starting solids I would use a little bit of warm water and he seemed fine with it. I do agree that pumping in the morning or middle of the night are the best times. 

Allison - posted on 03/05/2009

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I didn't use cereal until later, after other foods had been introduced after 6 months, but only used water and didn't bother with using my milk for it. Because babies under 1 year need most of their nutrition to come from breastmilk, cereals and other foods are more for exploration, exposure, and experience than anything. As long as your baby is nursing a lot still (the cereal shouldn't be replacing his nursing sessions), I wouldn't worry about pumping more milk just for his cereal feeds.

I also didn't feed my kids 2 or 3 meals a day until they were much older, like 7 or 8 months. We worked up to it gradually. The food isn't as important as nursing, so you might want to take it a bit slower for a little while.

As an aside, have you seen http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/? I love this site as it talks about introducing foods and what to start with, plus recipes and menu ideas. Much fun and very helpful!

Good luck!

Wendy - posted on 03/05/2009

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I pump in the morning.  I've found I usually am so full after she has slept 6 or more hours that I can feed her on one side and pump on the other.

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