Is it best to listen to my 5 month old son's peditrician and cut his breastfeedings down to only 5 times a day with no night feeds?

Tara - posted on 01/28/2015 ( 10 moms have responded )

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My son was born a big boy at 36w5d he weighed 8lbs4.3oz. Had some complications with severe jaundice and was 're-admitted to hospital on day 5 of life with a weeks stay in the nicu. I am ebf my little one and I was always under the assumption that you can't overfeed a breastfed baby yet my pedi at 4 month check up told me to cut babys feeding down to 5times a day and to wait on baby food until closer to 6 months. My son weighed 20lbs and measured 27 inches at 4months, is that too heavy? Yea my boy has an appetite on him but I was told in my breast feeding class that there is no over feeding a breast fed baby and that I should feed on demand. About two weeks ago we started baby on rice cereal and breast feeding 6 times a day and about a week ago started introducing veggies and some fruit but at 5months we took him to a developmental specialist since he was a premie and had the severe jaundice and they told me that I should not night feed my son at all since he was considered overweight (22lbs.) Can a breastfed baby be overweight? Am I hurting my son by feeding him at night when he wakes up hungry or should I let him go without it? I'm a first time mom and I feel like somehow I am failing and making my baby boy fat... :'(

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Tara - posted on 02/06/2015

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Thank you ladies so very much I really needed to hear everything you all said :) I have never double guessed myself as much as I do as a new mother and truth be told sometimes it's a bit overwhelming... I had asked my husband what he thought and like everything else I ask him he said, it's up to you what u want to do.' I think that I am going to look for another pediatrician after my son gets his 6 month check up at the end of this month. I completely agree that breastfeeding is a wonderful relationship I have enjoyed the bond it has given my son and I and well I'm not ready to end that just yet. I have been feeding him at night when he wants it and only after I have tried everything else to soothe him and that doesn't seem to work. Recently this past week he went on an eating frenzy for like 2 days just wanted to be at the boob. I think he went through a growth spurt because he seems longer to me :) my little guy is the perfect baby to me and as his mommy I feel pretty blessed to have him any way God makes him :). Thanks again ladies for the support and understanding it helped more then you all will ever know!!

Amy - posted on 01/30/2015

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I would say change your pediatrician lol my DD was 21 pounds at 4 months and she was 7 pounds when she was born. She's now 6 months and almost 24 pounds. Not one single Dr at the facility I go to (there's 4) have said she's over weight,just that shea healthy. Its your baby! Every baby will be different. Don't make your baby starve if your ebf. When he eats again he will eat longer so either way he's still going to be healthy, your just going to make him go hungry for a while. He will lose some of the weight when he gets older and starts crawling around and walking, so its totally normal for him to be like that. Again, every baby is different. Maybe it also is genes. Both my husband and I were chubby babies and everyone in our families are 5'9 and up and she already is a big baby.

Sarah - posted on 01/30/2015

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I agree with the other posts, as long as you are not pumping and putting milk in a bottle or using formula at all, you cannot overfeed. A baby can suck non-nutritively at the breast. When my kids were frustrated, frazzled or stressed I would let them nurse a bit even if they weren't hungry. You could see them relax as they latched on. Nursing is a relationship. A unique, complex and temporary relationship. Enjoy it while you can. I did not deny my children access to feeding and none of them developed overeating habits or to eat for comfort. That's the difference between offering a bottle vs the breast for soothing. Don't worry, I am sure as your little guy gets more active he will thin out a bit.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 01/29/2015

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Well, your pediatrician is right about not feeding solids until 6 months (or later). As far as the BFing goes, he is your baby and you do what you want. If you do not like your pediatricians advice, you have 3 choices. Do what he says. Don't do what he says. Find another pediatrician.

Dove - posted on 01/29/2015

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You are fine, Tara... nurse that baby whenever he wants it... comfort sucking and nutritive sucking are different. If all he is fed is breast milk from the tap... his growth is exactly where it is supposed to be right now. Hang in there... go w/ your gut and your baby.

I also wouldn't wait 20 minutes of crying before you nurse him at night... but then again, my son didn't night wean til he was 2.... NONE of my 3 kids went w/out nursing in the night at 5 months old. They were all nursed 1-5 times/night (depending on which kid) at that age.

Dove - posted on 01/29/2015

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Comfort nursing is again... 100% normal. I had a kid that comfort nursed for over 3 years.... he would frequently nurse 3 times in the same hour. He was NOT overfed and NOT overweight. (he wasn't 20 pounds til close to a year). I also know people w/ comfort fed breastfed babies who were 20 pounds at only 4 months... and at 5-6 years old are skinny as a pole.....

Tara - posted on 01/28/2015

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At night I will only feed if he cries for 20 mins plus and I can't get him interested in anything else. He does take a pacifier every once and a while but usually he will not take one in the middle of the night. My ob told me that had I gone the full 40 weeks my son would have been born weighing 10 lbs and that he is just a big boy. Yes to me 20 lbs was a lot I thought but I myself and my husband were both chunky babies so I figured family genetics plays a roll. On my side of the family my 2 brothers and my father are 6ft plus and stocky. Could it be that my son just got that from my side of the family? There are times that my son can sleep through the whole night and not want to eat but other times he tugs at my shirt and will try to latch on to me while I'm asleep( sleeps in bed with my husband and me when its super cold out because we don't have central heat and we must use space heaters). He was not able to do tummy time for the first 2 months because when he was born he had trama during birth and his right shoulder was messed up. He couldn't use his right hand and I was told not to lay him on his tummy since he would scream in pain when we touched that arm. He picked up rolling from back to tummy really fast and jumps around all crazy in his activity play center so I'm thinking that he is just a bit delayed and gained the weight because we could not put him on his tummy for so long. Maybe?

Tara - posted on 01/28/2015

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This is where I find it hard to decide. On the one hand when the pedi told me to cut down his feeds I had noticed that my son was a lot more cranky and when he would bf he would suck like it was the only feed he had for the day. I started giving him rice cereal because when my husband and I would eat he would scream at us and stare at our food like he was starving and the only way to stop it was to carry him on my lap as we ate. He would lunge towards our spoons and open his mouth every time we ate and would mimic our chewing movements. The developmental specialist told me to stick with introducing solids and rice cereal but that I needed to stop feeding him at night when he woke up. So should I follow what she says or still go with my instincts?

Sarah - posted on 01/28/2015

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20 pounds at 5 months is overweight for being 5 months old. Usually babies reach 20 pounds at 12 months old. In saying that each baby is different so it does vary some but in general being 20 pounds at 5 months is a lot of weight to be able to do what developmentally he needs to do......crawl, walk. For baby food go with what your doc suggested. Baby food is pretty much empty calories (which your baby does not need right now). For the first 12 months of a babies life breastmilk or formula is where baby gets all it's nutrients for proper brain and growth development. Baby food is meant for baby to learn how to eat by spoon and eat different textures. Right now your baby does not need the extra calories, so sticking to just breastmilk is best. As for breastfeeding. Yes you want to feed on demand, but you also want to make sure baby is not just using you as a pacifier or nursing just for comfort and not out of hunger. Don't immediately go to nursing if baby gets fussy. Some parents will immediately go to nursing or the bottle as soon as a baby gets fussy. Not always is a baby hungry, but will eat a couple ounces . First try to entertain. Also look for cues about what baby is telling you. Fussy could mean bored, tired, hungry. If you look for the cues your baby gives you you will know which one he is telling you.

As for night time feeding......again a couple things to make sure first before either continuing or stopping. Is baby comfort feeding or feeding because he is hungry. If baby starts to get fussy do you go in right away or so if baby is just going through the sleep cycle and needs a few minutes to fall back to sleep? Are you baby's pacifier? So a big question to ask is is baby waking due to hunger or a sleep issue. If it is hunger then feed. If it is a sleep issue then address the sleep issue without feeding. Again look for cues baby is giving you. If you jump right to feeding then you are not paying attention to baby's cues.

Dove - posted on 01/28/2015

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He doesn't need any solid foods yet (that CAN cause issues). No, you can not overfeed a breastfed from the tap baby. I absolutely would not be limiting his nursing sessions... at all. It is very, very likely that his rate of growth will slow as he becomes more active coming up here in the next few months. Some babies go w/out night feeds at this age (or younger)... some nurse through the night for over 2 years. Listen to your baby when it comes to how much/how little he wants to nurse... not the doctor. Doctors are great at diagnosing illnesses and fixing up injuries, but unless he is also a breastfeeding specialist and a nutritionist... he is not the one to listen to when it comes to how often you nurse your baby.

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