Bottle Size for Breastfed Baby? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 08-04-2010, 03:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm returning to work and trying to figure out what bottles to use. I know that in general, babies need 1-1.5oz per of breastmilk per hour they're away. My son currently eats about every 2-4 hours (rarely up to 4). So, am I ever going to actually need to use an 8 oz bottle? Or, will 5 oz bottles do? Will he actually need larger size bottles when he's older or not?
I have some 8 oz bottles that were given to me, but I'll try to exchange them if I'm not going to need them.
Thanks!

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#2 of 11 Old 08-04-2010, 03:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Inquiringmind View Post
I'm returning to work and trying to figure out what bottles to use. I know that in general, babies need 1-1.5oz per of breastmilk per hour they're away. My son currently eats about every 2-4 hours (rarely up to 4). So, am I ever going to actually need to use an 8 oz bottle? Or, will 5 oz bottles do? Will he actually need larger size bottles when he's older or not?
I have some 8 oz bottles that were given to me, but I'll try to exchange them if I'm not going to need them.
Thanks!
I went back to work when DD was 9 weeks, she's 11 months now and I'm still pumping. We've never needed the 8oz bottles- we have just the 5. She's never seemed to want more than 5oz. at a given time. We've never used anything other than the slow-flow nipples, either.

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#3 of 11 Old 08-04-2010, 03:27 PM
 
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IMO, no, you never need 8oz bottles for a breastfed baby. One of the reasons I was so successful pumping and keeping up a large supple while working, I believe, is that I always kept his bottles 3.5/4oz, even up to 15 months when I stopped pumping. Formula needs increase as a baby grows, but breastmilk stays similar in quantity and changes in quality to make up for what the baby needs at that time. So I was also mindful that I wasn't constantly using freezer milk and that I was giving him fresh current milk most of the time.

I left 3 bottles a day home with him (each 3.5-4oz) and most days he didn't need the 3rd unless I was going to be a little later, so I'd roll it over into the next days. I was pumping more than this, so I always had some in the freezer and donated once a month to a local mom who adopted a preemie when I had well over my emergency supply. By giving less during the day they nurse so much more when you're together and your supply gets a boost. That being said, we nursed a lot during the night that first year to keep up my supply and that was a bit tiring. ;-) If you try to give a lot during the day then they aren't as hungry at night and your supply sinks.

Sorry if you know all this already and my long winded answer wasn't needed, but I really do believe some Moms have trouble pumping because they are giving too much during the day and mild reverse cycling makes things much easier.
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#4 of 11 Old 08-04-2010, 03:42 PM
 
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Most EBF never take more than a 5 oz bottle. The average is 9 - 15 oz a day (medela). My bigger eater always took 3 5 oz bottles with nursing before and after work. He dropped one bottle at 11 months. He nursed a ton at night. I pumped much more than him but he would only "tolerate" that amount from a bottle. I donated a lot with him.

My little eater always took 3 4 oz bottles (with sometimes 5 oz in the morning and smaller in the day). She nurses some at night. I pump a lot less with her, she often doesn't nurse as often, and I suspect she probably drinks more from a bottle at 12m than she nurses when I am home. Viva the freezer stash! I probably won't donate with her as I am going to start rotating in the freezer stash more.

Personally, I don't think I would give a bottle bigger than 5 oz. You are unlikely to produce that in a single nursing session. Better to give more bottles that are smaller. Some babies do better with 4 bottles during the day of a smaller amount. And most babies never drink more as they get older. Solids make up the difference. Until a year, we are really careful that solids don't interfere with bm consumption.

Keep this article on hand for inspiration: The New York Times has a very bm research article today.

Also, I like the redesigned medela nipple and it super convenient for pumping/feeding to use the same bottles. We did switch around 10 months to the faster flow and it made her easier to feed, according to nanny and father. I never give bottles so I can't say.
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#5 of 11 Old 08-04-2010, 04:42 PM
 
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I haven't ever used the 8 oz bottles for feeding. I use them for pumping on occasion, as my morning pumping session I am often able to get 7-8 oz of milk.

for feeding, we use the Dr. Brown's glass ones, which are really 3.5 oz, not even 4. and DS is 8 months old.

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#6 of 11 Old 08-04-2010, 06:30 PM
 
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I nursed my 3 kids but with one of them I got sick and lost my supply prematurely. Even being a big baby, say ages 12-18 months, she never needed a larger bottle. We only ever had the 4oz ones.

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#7 of 11 Old 08-04-2010, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the feedback! It looks like I need to go try to trade my 8oz bottles to make room for the one's I'll use!

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#8 of 11 Old 08-04-2010, 11:21 PM
 
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I pump at work 3 times a day for my little one (now 9 months old) and I never ever get more than 3 oz total per session. Usually more like 2, sometimes only 1. (This is combined, both breasts.) So the 3-4 bottles I leave for him are 2-3 oz bottles. I can't even fathom him having 5 oz at a sitting. The 4 oz bottles (really 5 all the way up to the top) are more than enough for us.
I am insanely jealous of you mamas who can pump 7oz at a shot! Wow!

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#9 of 11 Old 08-05-2010, 08:17 AM
 
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Well, that is from both breasts combined, in the morning when hormone levels are higher. And it depends on how much DS night nursed.

Though I get upset if I get less than 4 oz a session, as I only pump twice a day, and need 8-10 oz to keep up with what DS eats. (but I like pumping extra to build my freezer stash)

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#10 of 11 Old 08-05-2010, 11:18 AM
 
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My girl likes 5oz at a time, sometimes she doesn't eat it all, but we experimented with 3-5oz and 5oz works best for her. I think generally you can do ok with 5oz, I got 8oz bottles to make it easier to measure and store pumped milk, so you may want to keep them just for that. I guess I figured why not have the bigger bottle in case I want to put more in it for storage which I do all the time so I don't have lug as many bottle back and forth from work

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#11 of 11 Old 08-05-2010, 11:25 AM
 
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I use 9oz bottles for storing milk at work. Like a pp mentioned, it's easier to not have to lug as many bottles around. I have a ton of 9oz bottles, though, so I do fequently send her 4oz of milk in a 9 oz bottle

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