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Can I increase the calories in my breastmilk?

My son is 6 months old today. He is my 3rd baby and all 3 of them have gotten really skinny starting around this age. I've wondered every time if it's genetics or my milk supply. My first gained a lot of weight as soon as I weaned him, jumping up from the 10th to the 50th percentile in weight between 12 and 15 months, while being at about the 75th percentile in height the whole time. My daughter stayed small. It's not just the weight that's concerning me but my baby has gone back to wanting to nurse every 2 hours and waking up twice in the night as well. Before I was able to just give him a pacifier if he woke up in the night and he would go right back to sleep. But now he won't. He doesn't take solids very well so he isn't really getting any extra calories there. So, do you think there is something I can do to help him get more calories without nursing constantly?

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Asked by mybella81 at 4:12 PM on Jul. 27, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 17 (4,022 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • Supplement with Formula.

    Answer by JGRIMMER at 4:14 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • Breastmilk digest better than any food out there, so, breastfed kids aren't unnaturally fattened up by unnecessary calories and fat. As long as they aren't losing weight and are having at least 6 wet diapers a day, your kids are fine. Just healthy slender kids.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 4:15 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • And no, formula does not need to be supplemented. It is hard to digest, another reason for kids not waking up to feed, it sits in their stomach trying to be digested. And it is only a substitute for BM anyway. Not knocking it, but, in your case, clearly not needed.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 4:16 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • My kids were all like that, but especially my youngest. As soon as I weaned at 15 months he had a huge growth spurt. He was in the 4th percentile at a year and 50th at 2 years. His doc was not worried. And said it is really common for it to happen that way. No worries Momma!

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 4:21 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • But what about him wanting to eat every 2 hours, that's what concerns me, or bothers me I suppose. He didn't even eat that frequently when he was a newborn.

    Comment by mybella81 (original poster) at 4:27 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • It's a growth spurt. This eating behavior is perfectly normal. Also breastfed babies tend to be leaner than their formula fed cousins. Your breastmilk as the perfect amount of calories. Some babies are also just lean and mean. Alert healthy happy babies that meet milestones are okay to be slender.

    Answer by amileegirl at 4:27 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • its a growth spurt, it won't last long. he is building your supply, then will reap the benefits, then slow down again. expect another at 9 months, 12 months, 15 months etc.

    Answer by amileegirl at 4:28 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • I'm hoping you're right and it's a growth spurt. I know I've heard of kids doing that but after 3 kids this is the first time I've really noticed it like this. Unless I just forgot which is certainly possible. Thanks everyone!

    Comment by mybella81 (original poster) at 5:02 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • The more empty your breast the higher the calories, theres NO real way to raise calories...just let him nurse often, theres more calories in BM than in formula ounce per ounce anyways.

    IF you give solids give them after a full nursing everytime AND make sure to use high calorie foods like avacado...thats REALLY high in fat.

    Remember that BM gives a child natural body type..and natural fats So the baby may not look as chubby as its FF peers but its weight is a healthy weight and not artificially inflated. Your older child may gain more weight on processed foods but its not as healthy as the weight gained with lean meats and fresh fruits and veggies, same deal.

    Eatting every 2 hours is normal around 6 months, its growth spurt time and he is telling your body to change the nutrients in your BM to make it what he needs. Give him time. If getting 6 diapers a day and 2-3 oz gain minimum a week in weight your LO is FINE!

    Answer by tabi_cat1023 at 5:04 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

  • Supplement with formula. Worst possible answer.

    You want your childern to be small. The weight charts are based on averages, not ideals. As long as your child does not drop below the 3rd percentile there is nothing to be worried about. We know that big babies can start having weight related problems in infancy. They can have weight and weight related health problems their whole live.


    Answer by Gailll at 5:27 PM on Jul. 27, 2010

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