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Is feeding every 3 hours too much for a one year old?


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#1 happygurl06

Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:23 AM

Hi ladies,

DS has just turned one.  He is still having a full breastfeed every 3 hours during the day and one (sometimes more) over night.

He doesn't eat a lot of food, so I'm concerned I'm BF him too much.  

Here's a sample day:

5-6 ish wake up and a quick BF in bed so I get a few more zzz's.  he goes back to sleep until about 7/ 7:30.
7:30 he has a small handful of dry cereal like nutra grain/rice bubbles/wheeties/cornflakes.  1/4 cup of fruit like 2 fruits/watermelon or banana.  He feeds himself so I can get DD organized for school etc.

9-10 ish BF

11:30 ish lunch... Either small shell pasta with veg or a sandwich.  Eats small amount.  Try some fruit as well- eats about a tablespoon full

1-2 BF

3.30 - ritz cracker or similar while I set DD up with homework.

4-5 BF

6 dinner - some of whatever we eat, sometimes supplemented with peas and corn as he likes them but will only eat about 10 of each.
Fruit if I think he did not eat enough, most goes in floor or in his hair

7-8 BF

9-10 BF if he needs one to get him to sleep.

3:30am generally wakes up so I feed him in bed.

He is extremely active happy and walking/running all day.

He drinks about 300+ mls water a day

(Egg and dairy free)

So... Too much BF?  Not enough food? Or am I over thinking this and I should just let him set the pace?  All BF's are demand ones apart from the sneaky "go to sleep feed" at night.

Edited by happygurl06, 10 December 2012 - 10:34 AM.


#2 Rosiebird

Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:31 AM

Sounds like my 12 month old DD. I want her to eat more solid food but she has a mind of her own and scrunched up her face or runs away. We did BLW but now I am trying all different tricks to get her to eat and she still won't. On days I work, she goes 10hrs with only 1-2 feeds during the day but if I'm home, it's a constant pestering for milk.

#3 Fright bat

Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:33 AM

It's up to you, really. Breast milk (as with all kinds of milk) does tend to 'displace' solid foods. 1 year olds are quite good at managing their caloric intake, so if they are still consuming a lot of milk/breastmilk/formula then they will eat less.

A 1 year old does normally eat every three hours or less during the day, whether that be solid foods or milk. At 1, with DS1, he would eat something at 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 2, 4, 5:30 and 7 (with three of those being milk, three being meals, and three bein snacks like fruit, savoury biscuits, cheese etc.

Breastmilk alone is not enough at that age, and your child is getting some solids which is good. Try and maximize the nutritional value of those meals. And over the next few months, you probably want to move towards more solids and fewer breastfeeds, but I wouldn't have thought there was any major urgency as long as your son is getting a few good meals a day of good quality food.

The best way to transition towards solids is to offer solids before the breast when he's showing signs of hunger. So give him some fruit, or some cubes of cheese first and then the breast if he still wants it. This will decrease your supply slowly and is a pretty gentle way to wean.

#4 Fright bat

Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:36 AM

Also - you should get some protein and veg in there.

#5 Tesseract

Posted 10 December 2012 - 10:44 AM

Sounds fine to me, DD was exactly the same at 12 months. Agree with MsN about maybe some protein, especially at breakfast.

He is probably eating more solids than you think since he eats frequently.

What's he like when you're not around? DD (21 months) definitely eats more solids when I'm at work. They're pretty good at regulating their own intake, so I'd trust him, sounds like you're doing a great job.

Maybe just check the nutritional information on nutra grain, isn't it full of sugar? (Sorry I might be thinking of another cereal!)

#6 happygurl06

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:10 AM

Yeah, nutri grain has some sugar and I try not to offer it so much.  I find it hard to think of breakfast that he will eat.  Occasionally toast with Vegemite is eaten but more often thrown over the side of the high chair.

He loves spaghetti Bol so I offer that at least twice a week.  Other protein is chewed and spat out.  He can't have dairy and refuses any soy be it drink or otherwise.  Due to both DD and DH having an egg allergy I don't have them in the house.

Any other suggestion in how to get him some protein?  

He will happily snack all day on dry biscuits and a bit of fruit if I allowed it.

He refuses anything offered on a spoon sad.gif

#7 Guest_divineM_*

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:15 AM

I must say it does sound to me like too much BF. My DD was only having 2 BFs a day at that age. Having said that it's only a problem if affecting her growth etc. I say this because I have a niece who is 6 months older than DD, both are still BFed but DD still only has 2x a day and eats solids while niece has multiple feeds and eats poorly. the result is mine is a robust healthy looking 21 month old and niece is tiny (seems too tiny for her age) at 27 months. Maybe speak to your MCHN (as long as she's the non-judgemental type...)


#8 a letter to Elise.

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:25 AM

That's about what DS was having at that age. His growth was fine, and he was happy and healthy.

He got more interested in solids at about 15 months, but he breastfed pretty frequently until about 20 months. I offered food before solids from 12 months, but it really didn't make much difference to his eating. He just held out for boob.

I would only worry about it if he isn't growing well, or if you are over having to feed that frequently. DS fed less if we got out and about more, which helped to gradually cut back on his intake.

#9 Rosiebird

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:26 AM

I offer solids first 90% of the time but sometimes she is upset/frantic for a b/f and she needs a feed before she can settle down enough for solids. Sometimes I do the double-offer meal (eat, wait 30min then offer food again if she didn't eat much) but we can't do that all the time because it would take all day!

I try to look at her weekly intake rather than meal-to-meal. Funnily enough, she loves all kinds of meat and veggies but is not fussed on bread or fruit. Pasta and rice are fine, cereal and bread go onto the floor. Tomatoes, corn, cauliflower, broccoli, peas and capsicum -acceptable, potatoes -blerch!

I figure that she looks supremely healthy and is growing along the 75 th centile so she must know what she's doing.

#10 bambiigrrl

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:33 AM

she sounds like shes doin fine but i would definatly try to encourage more solids cause breastmilk does not have everything she needs at this age. Also you might be needing a bit of space by now! i know I definatly was by the time my kids turned 1, its hey i would like my body back now please! lol

Also try and encourage some cows milk, pretty sure they should be drinking it by this age shouldnt they?

#11 Tesseract

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:33 AM

QUOTE (divineM @ 10/12/2012, 12:15 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I must say it does sound to me like too much BF. My DD was only having 2 BFs a day at that age. Having said that it's only a problem if affecting her growth etc. I say this because I have a niece who is 6 months older than DD, both are still BFed but DD still only has 2x a day and eats solids while niece has multiple feeds and eats poorly. the result is mine is a robust healthy looking 21 month old and niece is tiny (seems too tiny for her age) at 27 months. Maybe speak to your MCHN (as long as she's the non-judgemental type...)


DivineM that's an interesting anecdote about your DD and your niece, but I would be hesitant to draw any conclusions about breastfeeding and growth from it. My DD (same age) has always preferred breastmilk over solids, at 12 months she was still having 6 feeds a day (and about 4 overnight!), and only picking at solids - she was/is extremely robust and healthy - 75% for weight, 90% for height at her 12 month check. Babies vary in their genetics and what they need so much. No way could I have kept DD, at 12 months, at 2 feeds a day without harshly weaning her. Some 12 month olds need a lot of milk, others prefer more solids. I agree with you that the OP should speak to a good health professional if she's worried about her son's intake.

OP in relation to other protein - DD is also fussy with protein. Although I do find offering it at different times of the day really helps. In regards to breakfast what helped me was to think outside the usual 'breakfast' foods. Chicken and avocado on toast for breakfast? Left over casserole for breakfast? Turkey wrap for breakfast? Meatballs and rissoles are easy for little ones to feed themselves. Home made patties with lean mince and shredded carrot/zucchini are fun. Meat on big bones (lamb cutlets, chicken legs) has novelty factor that little ones like - once DD (who isn't big on protein) fully cleaned up a lamb leg bone just because it was fun! (The photos of this 1 year old with the huge bone are hilarious!)

#12 boatiebabe

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:36 AM

At that age both mine were breastfeeding about the same.

DD probably a bit more as she was a real breast milk fanatic!

Both probably woke once during the night (around 4am) and I gave them a feed in bed and we both slept another hour or two.

It also depends on you, and how you are feeling about it. You could cut down if you wanted to and I'm sure he would start taking more solids?

I always saw breastmilk as the most ideal food (even way beyond 12 months) that they could possibly have, so it never bothered me to give it to them when they wanted it.

Eventually they got more interested in other foods/drinks and self weaned (DD at 2 and DS at 2.5yrs) without any issues or dramas.

#13 Rosiebird

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:37 AM

QUOTE (bambiigrrl @ 10/12/2012, 11:33 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
she sounds like shes doin fine but i would definatly try to encourage more solids cause breastmilk does not have everything she needs at this age. Also you might be needing a bit of space by now! i know I definatly was by the time my kids turned 1, its hey i would like my body back now please! lol

Also try and encourage some cows milk, pretty sure they should be drinking it by this age shouldnt they?


I think cows milk is the last thing that frequently breastfed babies need! It has no benefit over breast milk in terms of nutrients and it lacks the protective antibodies in breast milk.



#14 Tesseract

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:39 AM

QUOTE (bambiigrrl @ 10/12/2012, 12:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Also try and encourage some cows milk, pretty sure they should be drinking it by this age shouldnt they?


There is no 'should' in regards to cows milk. Over the age of 1 babies 'can' have cows milk, but they don't 'need' it if they are getting adequate calcium from other sources (ie breastmilk and other foods). You're right that it can help slow down breastfeeding in some instances. But the OP's bub is dairy free anyway so it's a bit of a moot point!

#15 3mummy3

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:44 AM

I would give him a proper breakfast of maybe weetbix/porridge and toast/fruit and replace the 9-10 bf with a morning snack ( fruit, cheese etc)
The 1-2 bf i would bring forward to straigt after he eats lunch.
i would then offer the afternoon snack around 2.30- 3ish after his afternoon nap.
I would then look at maybe making dinner a little earlier at 5:30ish, and cut out the 4-5 bf.
BF before bed around 7ish, then try not to feed again until the 5-6am feed.

The above scenario is what i am hoping will be the reality for my bub when he is that age, however my last bub who is now 8 was breastfeeding more than what your son does now even when she was 2. She was still feeding a few times during the night up until i forced her to wean at 3yo. She slept in our bed almost every night until she was seven years old.
So yes i think your son is probably feeding a bit too much and ideally a schedule like i set out above would be great, but just dont ask me how you go about implementing it because as you can see from my experience with my last bub, its easy to know what the ideal is but oh so difficult to convince your bub to go along with it!!!lol


#16 *mylittleprince*

Posted 10 December 2012 - 11:53 AM

It sounds like a lot of breastfeeds to me. I would try and offer solids first and then a breastfeed afterwards.

How about peanut butter for protein? Macro wholefoods make an excellent one which only contains peanuts and a small amount of oil. No sugar, butter, etc.

Peanut butter on toast for breakfast or homemade museli bars?



#17 happygurl06

Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:09 PM

Thanks guys, just the info I was looking for.  It showed me that some babies have lots BM at this age while others don't.

I will definitely try the non breakfast food in the mornings.  Little rissoles etc will be easy to make ahead and defrost.

I'm always with him, don't work and yes, if we are out he can go 4+ hours with out a feed, he asks for it several times and shoves his head down my cleavage at any given chance but I can distract him.  If I try this at home he just whinges until I feed him.

I have the MCHN appointment next week and will discuss it there.  She is pro BF but I believe she will try to get me to wean for all but 4 Feds and I'm not prepared to do that unless its totally necessary.  

If I go out and DH. Is looking after him he will drink about 20 mls of expressed milk and then refuse.  So I'm pretty sure he is not starving, he just likes the boob.

#18 Princess.cranky.pants

Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:17 PM

I think it's a lot too. He is not going to be very interested in solids if he is having lots of breastfeeds to fill him up.

Have a look at Baby Led Weening if he won't let you feed him solids. http://www.babyledweaning.com/

I would give him a spoon with his meals and see if he would feed himself. DD3 wouldn't let me feed her ether and started using a spoon 13 months. You can give him peanut butter as mentioned. Also just slowly try going longer between feeds and working up to dropping 1 or 2 feeds. Offer solids first if he is okay with that.



#19 ekbaby

Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

My 1 year old DS can feed that much, but like others said, if I have to go out or am working or something he could go the whole day with just one feed around lunchtime.

TBH it doesn't really bother me to breastfeed him, it's quick and easy, I don't really count how many times he feeds.

The ABA book says that 500ml of breastmilk can provide 1/3 of the daily protein and energy needs of a 1 yr old. Yes they need other foods by 1 year old, but breastmilk is still good for them, and better than some of the other foods offered to 1 yr olds (eg biscuits and crackers don't really have a lot of nutrients in them, fruit is good for vitamins and some fibre but breastmilk would have more protein).

Does your baby drink water? If breastfeeding is his "drink" as well as his food he might want to feed more frequently when it's hot. You could try offering sippy cup of water more regularly.

Iron is one of the main things they need from solid food, so you could try offering iron-rich foods like meat patties (can serve hot or cold as a finger food), the bolognese sounds great- we put grated vegies etc in it too.

How about avacado as another nutrient dense food?

ETA: I don't think there's anything "wrong" with breastfeeding that much at 1 year old, provided mum and baby are both happy with the situation and baby is healthy. Of course if you are wanting to cut down on feeds or wean it's fine to start doing that too.

Re: breastfeeding and baby's weight/health, breastfeeding seems to get blamed no matter what. I've had friends with underweight children told that they need to wean as their baby is filling up too much on breastmilk and not eating enough solids. And I've had a friend with an overweight child told to stop breastfeeding as he is filling up too much on breastmilk and it's making him fat. So I don't think there is any clear answer. As far as the range of foods that 1 yr olds are eating, breastmilk is a pretty good choice, not enough for total nutrition on it's own, but a pretty good balance of protein/fats/vitamins etc.

Edited by ekbaby, 10 December 2012 - 12:30 PM.


#20 Rosiebird

Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:26 PM

QUOTE (Princess.cranky.pants @ 10/12/2012, 12:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think it's a lot too. He is not going to be very interested in solids if he is having lots of breastfeeds to fill him up.

Have a look at Baby Led Weening if he won't let you feed him solids. http://www.babyledweaning.com/

I would give him a spoon with his meals and see if he would feed himself. DD3 wouldn't let me feed her ether and started using a spoon 13 months. You can give him peanut butter as mentioned. Also just slowly try going longer between feeds and working up to dropping 1 or 2 feeds. Offer solids first if he is okay with that.


BLW is not the be all and end all of introducing solids. We did BLW and my DD breastfeeds as much as the OP's daughter but now we can't "force" her to eat because she won't accept any food that is spoonfed and she won't voluntarily eat any breakfast at all.

#21 Chazee

Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:29 PM

I think that all sounds fine. A nice balance for a 12 month old.

My DS is 15 months and has a BF about every 2 hours day and night. But he refuses to swallow food (under the care of a Paediatrician at the moment for this issue), so i feed him on demand.

And i agree with a PP re. cow's milk. There is no 'should'. Human milk is a better option than cow's milk if it's available. original.gif

Regarding breast milk and 'not having enough nutrients'. Perhaps in some cases this might be so,  but my DS is proof that breast milk can be adequate for an older child. He has recently had bloods taken which shows he's perfectly healthy with adequate levels of all nutrients. Guess my milk rocks! laughing2.gif

#22 premmie_29weeks

Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:37 PM

I didn't bf, but at that age my ds was probably eating or having a bottle of something every three hours or more often...he also slept thru, so no feeding ôvernight. Three meals, two snacks and three bottles of cows milk from 12 months.

Milk does cut their appetite, so I would offer food first, and try to make meals as nutritionally rich as possible. Proteins  such as egg and cheese, ds1 also loved avocado mash which is nice and filling. My 9month old ds2 likes veggies so I add beef mince or chicken breat to his purée.

Also if your uñhappy with it address the night feeding ònce your sure he isn't waking for hunger.

#23 lucky 2

Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:37 PM

I'm less interested in the amount of bfing your baby is having and more interested in the type of foods offered.
If you could do some reading for suggestions on increasing protein and fats in the diet.
A lot of what your baby is eating is carbohydrates and they do not give lasting energy, especially if they are processed like bought cereals, white bread, white pasta etc.
It may be a combination of the type of diet leading to hunger which leads to bfing +++, catch 22!
Increase more complex food rich in protein and fats and see how you go, try it when he is hungry, before bf and see how you go. He might surprise you.
The link below is to the Aust Govt Parenting website, it has lots of current and accurate information on toddlers and diet.
http://raisingchildren.net.au/nutrition__f..._nutrition.html
Also talk with your CHN.
QUOTE
OP in relation to other protein - DD is also fussy with protein. Although I do find offering it at different times of the day really helps. In regards to breakfast what helped me was to think outside the usual 'breakfast' foods. Chicken and avocado on toast for breakfast? Left over casserole for breakfast? Turkey wrap for breakfast? Meatballs and rissoles are easy for little ones to feed themselves. Home made patties with lean mince and shredded carrot/zucchini are fun. Meat on big bones (lamb cutlets, chicken legs) has novelty factor that little ones like - once DD (who isn't big on protein) fully cleaned up a lamb leg bone just because it was fun! (The photos of this 1 year old with the huge bone are hilarious!)

This is great, finger food high in protein, I also used nut butters (cashew, almond, peanut) and avocado on various types of bread/crackers, flaxseed oil in food.
I put coconut shredded or coconut milk in porridge which was yummy.
All the best.

#24 Tesseract

Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:40 PM

QUOTE (rosiebird @ 10/12/2012, 01:26 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
BLW is not the be all and end all of introducing solids. We did BLW and my DD breastfeeds as much as the OP's daughter but now we can't "force" her to eat because she won't accept any food that is spoonfed and she won't voluntarily eat any breakfast at all.


You can't really 'force' a spoon fed child to eat either. You may be able to encourage over-consumption or distracted eating, and you might be able to have more control over what is eaten. But a child who doesn't want to eat won't eat, regardless of the method. Until recently I found DD is very keen on a breastfeed upon waking, but then doesn't want breakfast until about 9 am. I've heard it common for kids to only want milk and cuddles first thing in the morning.

#25 premmie_29weeks

Posted 10 December 2012 - 12:44 PM

That's true , my two year old isn't interested in breakfast until closer to 8.30am his milk seems to me enough for the first couple of hours. Ônce he wants it though he's unstoppable original.gif




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