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How much should a 3 month old be eating?

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abelenkpe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-01-04 11:19 AM
Original message
How much should a 3 month old be eating?
Hello! My son is 3 1/2 months old and I am wondering how much should he be eating each day? How many ounces should he be receiving a day or at each feeding? I am concerned because he is small for his age (only in the fifth percentile - whatever that means), but perhaps that is to be expected because he was born six weeks early?

I have been doing a combination of breastfeeding and bottle feeding since he came home from the nicu. How can I measure how much he is receiving in breast milk? Or am I being too scientific? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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SarahB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-01-04 11:54 AM
Response to Original message
1. Plenty of wet diapers is the key.
Weight gain as well. I believe he should be gaining at least 4 oz. a week. Is he doing that?

Breastfeed on demand whenever possible which will increase not only supply, but the amount of caloric intake because the longer the baby nurses at each feeding, the fattier the milk itself becomes at that feeding.
If he has formula while you're working or something, again, plenty of wet diapers is the key. Babies vary is size at three months, so it's hard to say. My kids were big so they were 15 or 16 pounds at the point, but if yours was a preemie, he's likely smaller and may eat less than the average 3 month old.

The thing about breastfeeding is to relax about this stuff as much as possible. Many times women have no help because well meaning friends or mothers or mother in laws who never breastfed want to complicate matters by doing the old, "How do you you he's getting enough?" As long as he's gaining and has plenty of wet diapers, he's fine. Since breasts don't come with ounce markings, there's not much else you can do.

Best wishes in all your mothering endeavors. :)
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Killarney Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-01-04 01:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. Make sure he has 6-10 wet diapers per day.
What you could always do is bring him to the pedi once a week to get weighed. I know my pedi does that for patients in the beginning if they want.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-01-04 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
3. Develop a phone relationship with the nurse at his doctor's office
You should be able to call and "pick their brains" any time..

I had 2 preemies, and just used the "when they're full, they'll stop eating" method..

Mine did not have solids until they were almost 7 months old..

They are 31 and 26 now, so don't panic.. Babies are very tough and grow up in spite of parents :)

Do call the nurse and if there's a parents of preemies group near you, it helps to meet face to face with them and get the babies together..

One thing I found , is that between (soome) parents, there's a competitive nature to prove that "their" baby is faster at everything..

Preemies start out behind, and it takes them longer to catch up.. never "compare" your baby to a full termer..

I always just gave my stock answer to their boasts..

"Well, as long as........ has teeth, is potty trained, is walking, and can dress himself when he starts kindergarten, we'll consider him successful"..
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abelenkpe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-04 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. good response!
I do believe I'm gonna have to borrow that.

Connor's doctor want him to start solids next month. He will only be four months old. I hope he can handle it OK. It makes more sense to wait a bit, considering how early he was born. I'll talk to her about it at our next appointment.

Thanks for the reply!
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SarahB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-04 07:48 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. A good article on benefits of delaying solids.
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abelenkpe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-06-04 08:45 PM
Response to Reply #7
16. great article!
Thanks! :)
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 04:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. A lot of babies aren't ready at four months.
No matter how hard you try, they still have a tongue thrust and aren't ready for "solids". The Dr. Sears information is great.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 06:35 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. Allergies can develop easier in babies who go on solids too soon
and until their bodies are ready to "accept and use" the food, they just poop more and smellier :(
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LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-04-04 09:49 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. That's wwaaaaaaay to early
Four months *adjusted age* is earliest usually considered earliest for solids, six months is better. Really no reason to feed solids until the kid shows interest, LeftyKid ate almost no solids until he was thirteen months and he's always been big and ahead of milestones.
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lastliberalintexas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-05-04 12:58 PM
Response to Reply #6
14. Wow, he'd only be 2 and 1/2 months old
I'm sure you know this already, but preemies are measured by their full term age (also called adjusted age) rather than when they delivered. If your son started solids next month, he'd only be about 2 and 1/2 months old!

That said, if he is interested in table food, then he might be ready, even that early. My son is only 8 and 1/2 months old now, but he's been eating cereal and baby food since he was about 3 months old. And not by my choice- I actually wanted to wait, since there are some studies that show (too) early introduction of solids may increase the chance of food allergies.

But my son was constantly reaching for table foods, reaching for the table while we were eating, and *stared* rather mournfully at us as we shoveled forkfuls of food into our mouths. You could easily see it in his eyes- "Just what makes you so special? Why can't *I* have that food?!" I also noticed he started waking up earlier and earlier, until we were back to 3am feedings. I finally got tired of the accusing eyes and the sleepless nights (again) and with his doctor's ok, began giving him a little cereal each day.

So that was long winded. All I really meant to say is that your son is the best guide for when he is ready for solids. He's far smarter than any parent or doctor, so just listen to him. :)
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abelenkpe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Dec-06-04 08:44 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. Y'know
I really do want to wait longer. Based on the info in the article posted by SarahBelle earlier and now thinking about his adjusted age it does seem far too soon. He doesn't seem interested in what I eat. Of course, I seldom remember to eat since I have such a delightful distraction. Plus, I was coerced into switching pediatricians. The first doctor we had knew Connor since he was in the NICU. Sometimes I'm not sure the second doctor is as aware of the fact that he was premature. We were forced to switch doctors because the first doctor's billing office said she couldn't charge my insurance plan (which is better) and had to charge my husbands insurance plan because my husbands insurance was considered the primary insurance company because he is older than me. Is it just me or does that seem ridiculous? Why can't our baby have my insurance as his primary insurance if it is the best plan? Insurance makes no sense to me. My insurance paid anyway.

Anyway, Thank you so much for the information!

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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #6
18. No No No NO
Edited on Mon Jul-16-07 12:09 AM by mzteris
er - sorry - but - um - NO!

4 months? YOu've got be kidding. Are there still docs advocating that???? .

Kids don't NEED solids - of ANY KIND until - waaaaaaaaaay later. Certainly NO SOONER than 6 months.

Here's a link to some info: http://www.askdrsears.com/html/3/T032000.asp

Just what I could find in a brief search. I was appalled to see that there were a lot of people (Gerber for one. I wonder why...) saying 4 to 6 months...... I just don't think so.

I'm wondering what's the rush - is there a problem???


I'm sorry. I'm not yelling at you. I just can't BELIEVE your doc said that.


edit cause I realized I was responding to the OP and half of what I asked was answered. doh.
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nosillies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 06:31 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. My children, and many other children I know, started rice cereal and fruits and veggies at 4 months
There's nothing wrong with any of them, and no food allergies have developed.

Plenty of doctors recommend starting at four months based on the individual needs of the child. And soupy rice cereal and baby foods are quite different from solids.

Just because it's not right for some does not mean that others should be criticized for making this choice.

To the OP -- the best thing to do is simply pay attention to your gut instincts, the reactions of your babies and the advice of those around you who have actually been to medical school. The choice that makes you and your children happy is ALWAYS the best choice, no matter what the issue is!

Good luck!
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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 01:18 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. it *may* not harm some -
but it's taking an unecessary risk.

Sorry I came off so preachy. Didn't mean to. But 4 months old babies - much less one that technically isn't even THAT (a preemie) definitely does NOT need "food".

We do it for "us". We think it's cute. It's part of the push push push them to "grow up" and be ahead of everyone else.

Sorry. I really am in a crummy mood with a terrible headache.

I just think it's a terrible idea unless there is some really extenuating circumstance.

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nosillies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-16-07 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. Hope your headache gets better!
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dropkickpa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-23-07 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #6
22. That's odd
Edited on Mon Jul-23-07 06:06 PM by dropkickpa
Dropkid was solely breastfed until she was 6 months old( either via me or the bottle, she had a real fussy stomach and couldn't tolerate formula until about 9 months old). Once or twice I tried solids before then, but she just didn't want anything to do with it. She was eating finger-ish foods (diced cooked veggie pieces and such) by 9 months, which is a good thing since the stubborn brat stopped letting me feed her at that point :eyes: She was full term, born at 7lb 5oz and 19" long, but stayed in or below the 5th percentile until about 5 years old, when she moved to between the 5th and 10th. I am 5 feet tall and her biodad was short, so I was NOT surprised that she was/is short. Don't go by the percentile alone, go by the overall growth trend.

My nephew (the baby that ate Tokyo), OTOH, was a whopping 10lbs 4oz at birth (2 weeks early) and ate just about constantly, usually 7 8oz bottles and 1-3 4oz/day at 3 months, and he is now eating a lot of solids at 5 months in addtion to 4 8oz. bottles.

Every baby is different. Also, when the doctor is looking at his height/weight on the charts, is she using the adjusted charts for preemie babies? That will make a BIG difference.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:47 PM
Response to Reply #3
8. Your last sentence
Reminds me of being worried when my youngest wasn't getting his teeth. An older friend said "I've never heard of an adult that didn't get his teeth, have you?"
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SarahB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-04-04 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. I had late teethers too.
One of mine didn't have teeth until two days before his first birthday. Mine were walking before they had teeth in fact.
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Dec-01-04 06:30 PM
Response to Original message
4. My youngest was in the bottom 5 percent (size) until just
recently. I agree with others...feed him when he is hungry and don't obsess over the amounts. As long as he has wet diapers and is growing then he is fine. Check with your Doctor, of course
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abelenkpe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Dec-02-04 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. Thank you All
Your replies have done a lot to help me not stress so much!
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Ilsa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #5
10. You might consider a test weight if you're really worried,
You take the baby to a LC or dr's office and get a very pricise weight, using a scale within 2 grams, of the baby before the feeding, then after you've nursed. In the meantime, you can't change the diapers or add or remove clothing. Seeing the difference in ounces might make you feel better. Also, it will vary during the day, just like our consumption varies during the day and your supply varies during the day.
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IdaBriggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-14-07 05:27 PM
Response to Original message
17. Probably way to late for this --
Edited on Sat Jul-14-07 05:27 PM by IdaBriggs
but I was told two and a half ounces of formula per pound, but preemies are special. :)

ON EDIT: 10 lbs of baby = 25 ounces of formula per day.
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