14 answers

5 Month Old Exclusively Breastfed

Hi Moms. I am exclusively breastfeeding my 5 month old baby. He is getting fed every 3 hours, 5 oz per feeding while I am at work and then I feed him from my breast for the other feedings. My question is, should I be feeding him less often, but more ounces? I am going to start solids around 6 monthes and know that will change then, but I want to make sure that I am not over or under feeding him. He seems content, but then again he is eating every three hours.. Please let me know if you have any advice or when you started uping the ounces and going to 4 hour feedings.

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I went to my local hospital. weighed b4 and after feeding to see how much baby was taking in. My daughter will eat 7 ounces in morning then 6 plus cereal rest of the day...good luck-

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That sounds about right to me. My son never took more than 5 oz of breast milk from a bottle, but when he started solids well, we dropped one of the early afternoon bottles and gave him lunch instead. I worked part-time and was gone all day 2 days a week. At 6 months, our schedule went something like this:
7am breastfeed
10am bottle and nap (until about 11:30)
noon lunch (we did a little breast milk in a cup with lunch starting at 6 months)
2:30pm bottle and nap
4:30pm up from nap and bottle
5:30pm "dinner"
7pm breastfeed and bedtime

At 5 months, we just did another bottle at lunchtime. They were all between 3-5 oz depending on my pumping success!

Hope that helps!

1 mom found this helpful

Sounds pretty normal to me - my son NEVER went more than about 3 hours between feedings until he started some solids too. If he's finishing his bottle and wants more, you can have your daycare offer more, but if he stops eating they should not force it. That teaches your baby to not listen to his own body signals that tell him when he's full. Sounds like you're doing great!


Still continue to follow your baby's cues. I also exclusively breastfed my twins, and we are still nursing. They still needed to nurse every three hours until around 10 months, and then we were able to start weaning. Every three hours was when my boys were hungry, and for about a month they even needed to nurse every two hours in the evening. I noticed that they missed breastfeeding with me while I was at work, and it's almost like they were trying to make up the time they missed during the day.

Each baby is different, so just go with what works for you. Discuss any changes with your pediatrician.

I would not worry about overfeeding your baby. If they are hungry, they will eat. If they are not, they won't. If he's eating, he needs it. The same goes for when you start solids. Keep in mind that until 12 months, breast milk IS his main source of food, calories and nutrients. I would not limit him in any way. As a matter of fact, I think many moms cut too much milk out when they start solids and actually start to unknowingly wean their babies. Just trust yourself. :) You're doing a great job and giving your son everything he needs with your milk. Solids are more for variety and "trying" when you start them.

Keep up the great work!


Every child is different and has different needs. For anyone who does not know you or your baby to say how much is too much or to little for your baby would be hard to do. There is no simple and fast rule to feeding a baby. If you are really concerned with his feeding schedule or is the amount enough or not enough, consult your babies physician. He will give you the best advice on your babies growth rate and if you are underfeeding or overfeeding. Most babies will stop eating when they are full but there is always the exception to every rule. Best advice anyone can give you is talk to your doctor.

God Bless,

Breast fed babies should be fed on demand. Let your baby lead the way with the nursing schedule. Sometimes baby wants to nurse for the cuddling and love sometimes for the full tummy. Nursing on demand allows your baby to know that his needs are being met as needed, not put off for another hour, also it will teach him to know when to stop eating when he is full.

For example, if he doesn't finish a full 4 oz of breast milk from the bottle, he is full. He shouldn't be forced to drink the rest just because it is in the bottle.

If you have more questions be sure to go to the La Leche League International website at http://www.llli.org/nb.html
The is the leading source for breast feeding moms.

Also, always know that breast is best!

Take care,

Don't worry! If you baby is gaining weight and seems happy and full, then I am sure what you are doing is fine! Everyone's baby is a little different and I always found that counting ounces was really pretty pointless. As long as your doctor says he is getting enough and meeting all the standards he needs to meet, just don't fret about it. If you need to adjust his feeding schedule to work better with your own at work or something, then by all means just try it! He'll let you know if it isn't working for him! Also, I froze and bottled breast milk too, and it helped a lot! Dad got to help with some feedings and my son never seemed to mind going back and forth from breast to bottle and gave up both all on his own when he was about 2. It sounds like you're doing great- don't worry! Congratulations and good luck!

Great job mama! I had the same concerns when my guy was little and I pumped for him while working for 1 year. (Nursed for almost 2, but cut out pumping after one year.) My son never took more than 5 oz in a bottle. I think it depends on the kid, frequency, even your milk. Follow your son's cues, breastmilk is NOT like formula and you don't need to go up in quantity in the same way. If you want reassurance, I found this link at Kellymom.com to be helpful.

Hi M..
My almost 6 month old son is also EBF and i work full time. I just started giving him oatmeal and introducing veggie jars. I like the schedule that the PP mentioned. That is pretty much what we are doing, except my son can't go 4 hours between a feeding. It's more like 2-3. Good luck and congrats on Bfing this far:)


you are doing fine/ you do not need to make any changes/ let him continue to eat every three hours and 5 oz.

Breastfeeding and Parenting Solutions

First of all I want to say WOW! you are an AMAZING mama! I exclusively breastfed at home and could NOT imagine having to pump every day like that!That takes great dedication and you should be VERY proud of yourself!!!!!! Ok so remember to not look at your breast milk like formula. Your child will most likely never go above 4 ounces so 5 is PLENTY! and 3 hours is great (most do 2-3 hours) so he is PERFECT! My daughter was the more frequent eater so she would take only 3 ounces every 2 hours when I was gone. GO by your baby! If he is happy and gaining weight then everything is PERFECT! If your child is ready for solids at 6 months make sure he has breast milk first and then the solids...at this point the solids are practice! When you give solids you are substituting a superior food for an inferior one so you want him still getting the breast milk and having the solids as practice! Good luck! And keep up the great work!!!!

I had the same concern when my daughter was younger. She never really got past the 4 ounces or so at a time until she was close to a year. She did cut down the liquid a bit once she was eating more regular foods. The doctor wasn't concerned, as long as she was growing which she is. My others went from 4 to 6 to 8 ounces by the time they were 7 months so every baby is different.
When you start to feed solids, you probably won't notice much of a difference until he is really eating the foods. The first foods are pretty much for teaching him to eat and texture.

By 5 months, my 1st daughter was at 4 hrs between feedings. My son is now 4 months and some feeds are 4 hrs, some are 3 hrs. I would never go longer than 4 hrs between for any baby BF or formula during the day.

I think some babies can go 4 hrs, some can't. And some it depends on the feed etc. I think a 3 hr schedule can be disruptive to sleep routines and getting proper naps at 5 months old (or even 4 months old).

More importantly than concerning with 3 or 4 hr schedule is watching your babies cues and understanding if they are hungry and feeding when hungry.

I would consider giving him more ounces just to see if he will them, but don't push it.

I went to my local hospital. weighed b4 and after feeding to see how much baby was taking in. My daughter will eat 7 ounces in morning then 6 plus cereal rest of the day...good luck-

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