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3 Bumps

How many ounces of pumped milk should I put in his bottle?

I am exclusively breastfeeding my 1 month old son. I'm pumping to store up for after the new year when I am going to need to look for part time work in addition to the portrait sessions I get in my little budding photography studio in order to help pay for my student loans.

Anyway if I pump for approximately 10 minutes I will get 1-2 oz out of each side depending on how long it has been since the last time baby nursed. I freeze 4 oz in each bag. Not sure why it just seemed like a good amount. lol

So my dh gave him a bottle the other night just to see how he would do with it since I have a photo session scheduled for next week and will likely be gone long enough for the baby to need to eat once without me here. (He tends to want to nurse every hour from about 6 - 10pm but then sleeps for 5-6 hours has nearly every night since coming home from the hospital, lucky me I know.) He did just fine going from breast to bottle back to breast btw. I was so relieved.

The bottle had 4oz in it and I think he drank between 2.5 and 3oz probably closer to 3oz. The reason I couldn't tell exactly is because we use breastflow bottles and if you aren't familiar with them the nipple traps probably an ounce to an ounce and a half of milk that doesn't go back into the bottle so there aren't measurement lines to go off of.

Now that I've rambled, I'm just wondering if we gave him the right amount of milk or if I am overfeeding him terribly here since he nurses approximately 10 times a day. I guess I should also add that we would expect to give him the 4oz bottle every 2 hours while I'm gone. Of course allowing him to stop when he stops NOT when the bottle is empty so I would expect he would take 2.5 -3 oz every 2 hrs. (BTW I know I could bag less milk to freeze, but as lazy as it sounds I really don't want to have to split that much milk into that many bags everyday since I always get at least two ounces at a time so either way we would most likely need to get out 4 oz at every feeding unless I would have some one ounce bags or dump out one ounce a day which seems wasteful since eventually he may take the full 4 oz at a time)

Answer Question

Asked by kfroz0415 at 3:44 PM on Dec. 22, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

Level 16 (2,977 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • I've always heard to give 1 oz for every hour mom is away. Based on that, if you are feeding him every 2 hours, it shouold be 2 ounces.

    Answer by mamaoftwins9197 at 3:49 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • Mine never took more than three ounces. EVER. And for a one month old that may be a lot.

    I went with "a pumping = a feeding" rule. Made storage ridiculously simple. Admittedly, there were no nifty bags back then. My pumped milk would be used in the next 24 hours.

    Answer by gdiamante at 3:50 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • 4 ounces sounds perfect!

    Answer by mompam at 3:50 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • By mid-January he'll likely be taking the full 4 ounces, or even more, almost every time. You might waste a little using 4 ounce bags right now, but within a month or two you will likely need to have some 1 or 2 ounce bags to add to the 4 ounce bags when 4 ounces isn't enough anymore. By 4 or 5 months he'll probably level out and be more predictable. GL!


    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 3:56 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • mamaof twins9197 does it make a difference that my baby was a big boy weighing 9lbs 1oz at birth and weighing 10lbs 5oz now? I have never nursed him more than 12 in one day and only did that a couple of days really early on since then he has always been on 8-10 feedings. Maybe I should put away some 2oz bags for awhile...

    gdiamante- I thought about that too, but I would have a freezer full of baggies for the next year. lol

    mompam - Thank you. I hope so I am just so afraid I am going to overfeed him and give him a bellyache. He stopped before finishing so I thought maybe what I gave him was ok, but as usual I end up doubting myself. lol

    Comment by kfroz0415 (original poster) at 3:56 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • TweenandTwinMom- Thanks. This is all so new to me. I ff my first who was a preemie because he had a severe milk protein allergy among some other issues so breastfeeding is 100% foreign to me. Then add to it that luckily this boy was full term at 39w2d and weighed 9lbs 1oz at birth, 8lbs 8 oz when he left the hospital, 8lbs 11.5 oz at 1 week, 9lbs 3oz at 2 weeks, and 10lbs 5oz at 1 month. Compared to my first who was born at 6lbs 3oz , 5lbs 6 oz when he left the hospital, 4lbs 15oz at 1 week, and that's when he gradually started gaining back a little at a time. It's like having my first baby all over again in some ways. lol

    Comment by kfroz0415 (original poster) at 4:02 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • Wow, he is a big boy! 4 ounces is probably just right. My twins were much smaller and were up to 3 ounces of breastmilk by 5 or 6 weeks when I started pumping for them. My smaller twin didn't hit 10 pounds until he was 3 months old, and by then he was consistently taking 4 ounces.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 4:24 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • I never feed more than 3oz of pumped milk at a time. Now many EBF babies will cry "for more" and even eat more. They do this because they want to nurse for comfort.

    I store in 2 oz bags. It's a lot of bags. But it's the best system we have. And my baby is very fat and very round. I only give 1oz per hour apart.

    Answer by ecodani at 4:43 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • 1 to 1.25 oz per hour of seperation. If you're gone for 3 hrs, leave maybe, 2 bottles, 2oz each, and offer about every 2 hrs.

    Answer by Krysta622 at 5:15 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

  • Do 2 oz bottles. You may be pumping a ton right now, but that won't last forever and you be happy to not have wasted any milk right now. You want about an oz per hour of separation and that's about 2oz every 2 hours. For the milk you have stored already, when you thaw just split it into two bottles.

    He should never take much more than this per feeding.... 3 oz at most. His size doesn't matter. Remember that you just want to get him through until you're home again, so a stuffed belly is not the goal. Limit what he gets when you're away so you can keep your supply up when you are together.

    Human milk isn't like formula. The milk changes to suit babies need, you don't increase the amount they get (after about 6 weeks when supply regulates and after that big growth spurt).

    Answer by LeanneC at 9:22 PM on Dec. 22, 2010

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