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3.0 How Much And How Often To Feed


This article is from the Solid Food for Infants FAQ, by David M. Poduska poduska@cis.ohio-state.edu with numerous contributions by others.

3.0 How Much And How Often To Feed

>I have just discovered this group and have enjoyed reading the posts
>I have a 5 month old son who has been exclusively breastfed, now we
>are trying to introduce rice cereal and hopefully some other foods.
>How much cereal should we be feeding him? He eats what ever we give
>him with great enthusiasm ( well actually most of it ends up on his
>hands and me!) How many times a day?
>Any help will be greatly appreciated.
Feed him as much as he will eat! My daughter just loved to eat in the
morning. By 7 months she usually polished off two bowls right when she got
up. My son was more an afternoon snacker. I would work up to 3- 4 times a
day. One thing ( I breastfed my kids too) I found helpful was to use
reconstituted evaporated milk to mix the ceral with. I really never liked
expressing my milk, didn't have nay formula aroundthe house, what am I
supposed to mix this stuff with. Since the evaporated milk has been heat
treated, it's easier on the digestive system than whole cows milk. Cheaper
than formula, too!

I got the idea from a book, Child of Mine, by Ellyn Satter. She's a
redistered dietician and socual worker who works at the University of
Wisconsin. ( And it's great book on child nutrition) [See section

From: sjm@eng.cam.ac.uk (Stephen Mounsey)

We went into parenting determined to do "the right thing" all the way along.
First off, demand feeding. Great in theory. "Your baby will stop feeding when
he's had enough" they tell you. Alasdair would have fed 24 hours a day if we'd
let him. He _didn't_ know when he'd had enough he just fed and fed and fed until
he was sick. So we (very reluctantly) imposed 3 hourly feeds on him and he coped
fine. We didn't rigidly enforce this regime, but it was the framework around
which we decided we had to work.

We wanted to keep him off solids until he was 6 months old (_especially_ because
the grandmother-from-hell wanted him to be weened at about 6 weeks). But we
started him on baby rice at 4 months because we really believe that it made him
happier than constant hunger while the milk supply filled up again. And he
enjoyed eating - it was never an ordeal for Alasdair from the first spoonful.
We certainly didn't want to give him formula milk (wisely as it turned out)
and we kept him off gluten, but I don't think he came to any harm eating baby
rice, and then fresh fruit and vegetables. By the time he went to nursery at
6.5 months he was a better eater than any of his compatriots in the baby room.

I can't imagine a happier or healthier baby than Alasdair so I don't think we
did anything too wrong. By all means be guided by current ideas about good
child-rearing, but don't let them be a millstone round your neck.


From: dedek@meaddata.com (Mike Dedek)

I would agree with those who advised giving him as much as he'll eat, with
the warning that (IMO) he should be getting 28-32 oz. of formula or b-milk per
day. If he's eating so much that he doesn't want that much formula, you might
cut back. I've read this as well as been advised this by our ped., and
it makes sense since the baby really doesn't _need_ solids to grow until
about 1 yr., but does need the nutrients (and liquid) in the milk. I think
of solids as a supplement - if Mikey (7 mos.) is sick or tired and doesn't
eat as much, we cut out solid meals before bottles. And we don't really
worry if he doesn't want his solids (rare!), but if he goes a couple of
bottles without eating we do get concerned.

As far as feeding the solids, we started with rice cereal and added veggies,
then fruits, a new food every 3-5 days. It's convienent and satisfactory to
Mikey to give him cereal, 3 foods, and a bottle at his 2nd and 4th or 5th
(brunch and dinner) feedings. We've thought about going to 3 solid meals,
but he's doing fine and gets 25-35 oz. formula/day, so we don't want to
risk cutting down on formula. Maybe when he starts getting teeth.

A "meal" is 2-4 tablespoons of cereal (mixed with formula), 2 veggies and 1
fruit (each food is an ice-cube size, about 2 tablespoons). He'll take
anywhere from 4-8 oz. of formula after the meal.

-Mike Dedek
dad to Mikey 5/24/93 and ??? 7/2/94!!!

[Since posting this, Mike's sig has been updated to:
-Mike Dedek
dad to Mikey 5/24/93 and Tessa 6/23/94!!! -- Ed]

From: poduska@cis.ohio-state.edu (David M. Poduska)

If a baby is eating dairy products, such as yogurt or cheese, they do
not need as much formula/breastmilk. Our pediatrician normally
recommends babies (6 MO) get anywhere from 10-32 oz of formula/breastmilk
per day, depending on how much other dairy products the baby is eating.


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