How Many Ounces of Breastmilk Does 9 Month Old Need

Updated on February 18, 2010
M.W. asks from Bayville, NY
20 answers

Hi Moms,
I am exclusively breastfeeding and am would like to know what is the average range / ounces for a 9 month old. I know when he was a newborn the pediatrician said 35 ounces is good in a 24 hour period.. And it seemed like he got that much if not more at the time.
I know now I defianetely do not produce that much. I did a pumping test the other day and only got one ounce after 5 hours on one side and 3 ounces on the other. That low amount makes me nervous. But maybe it was the time of day?
I read online 16-20 ounces is sufficient for a 9 month old....but that does seem low. I am trying to pump after he nurses to up my supply and I take fennugreek. I really cant pump all day and give him bottles in replacement of nursing, to see exactly how much I am producing becuase he nurses to sleep.

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answers from New York on

Don't forget that the pump offers no indication of how much you're producing. The baby is much more efficient than the pump in getting the milk. Also, some people just aren't good pumpers (I was one of them!) A sterile mechanical device just doesn't compare to a snuggly, cuddly baby.

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answers from New York on

Is he a happy guy? Does he not fuss a lot when he's finished nursing, acting like he's still hungry?

Then he's getting enough.

The pump is no indication of what he's getting. I could never pump more than 1/2 an ounce yet my guy was well over 20 lbs at 9 months. He was getting plenty.

Good luck!



answers from Honolulu on

he amount that comes out when pumping, does not necessarily reflect the amount in your breasts.

Since you are exclusively breastfeeding... is the pumped amount what you are using to estimate how much milk you have in your breasts?

The thing with exclusively breastfeeding is: you go according to your baby. In other words, does he seem satisfied after nursing or does he seem to want more? Does he completely empty your breasts at each feeding? Are you nursing from both breasts per session or just one side? (i nursed using both at each session), does he have enough wet diapers? Is he gaining weight adequately? etc. These are indications to you, on whether or not you have enough milk supply in your breasts.

At this age as well, you should still feed on-demand. For the 1st year, because breatmilk/Formula is the Primary source of nutrition in a baby, not solids and not other liquids. Per our Pediatrician. Also, the quantity you produce, will reflect the amount your baby is nursing... and your body is supposed to adjust to a baby's growth/feedings/amounts/growth-spurts as well. It is supply and demand.

Also, 9 months is a growth-spurt time. So, if you are feeding on-demand... your milk should be keeping up with the increased amounts a baby feeds, at these times.

IF your baby is growing well, gaining weight well, and seems satisfied after each nursing... then you can assume you have enough milk, and he is getting enough. But, if baby is always hungry... then you may want to ask a Lactation Consultant how to gauge your output and his intake needs.

I exclusively breastfed as well... I never gave pumped milk. I hated pumping. But my kids, grew like weeds and gained weight well and consistently and did not seem to lack intake. My Pediatrician, said that this is a good indication that the baby IS getting enough breastmilk. I always fed on-demand... even through a baby's "cluster feeding" spurts... in which they can even need to nurse every hour and frequently. 24/7.

If you are at all concerned about your milk production, ask a Lactation Consultant... and if your Pediatrician in concerned that your baby is not getting enough breastmilk and/or his growth percentiles/weight gain.

Next, if you pump INSTEAD of nursing directly, this will affect your milk production and output... lessening it. Feed by directly nursing whenever possible... this will encourage your milk production best.

All the best,


answers from New York on

Go to la leche league website and you can find local la leche leaders who you can speak to or email for great advice and support. Time of day does effect supply - usually most supply in early morning hours and less as day goes on. The posts seem to be pretty accurate as well.



answers from New York on

Pumping is never a good indication of how much milk you are producing. How often does he nurse?? Does he still have plenty of wet/poopy diapers? How active is he? These are things you need to look at. Also, if he nurses to sleep and nurses during the night, that milk counts. Also, nursing him will up your supply much more quickly than pumping and feeding him a bottle. I would try offering him to nurse every 2-3 hrs. That will help. Good luck



answers from New York on

Hi M.,

Breastfeeding is was a blessing for me, it was the thing that saved me from worrying whether my son was getting enough. Don't try to measure how much you're making, the answer whether you're producing enough milk, and your baby is getting enough, is right in front of you: Is your son hitting his milestones? Does he have energy? Is his weight growing the way it should (the dr will tell you if it isn't)? Is he having a reasonable number of #1's and #2's? If yes to all those questions, he's doing just fine, i.e. you're producing enough for his needs, however much "enough" is.

The number of ounces a child should have in a day is only an estimate, an average. Every child is different, and every child has different needs (for instance, my son has always been a small eater - something you wouldn't think when you see how energetic he is. His body is just an extremely efficient machine). As long as your baby is thriving, your baby is getting enough, so don't let numbers spoil your calm and your fun with your baby.



answers from Albany on

I have a 9 mos old daughter who is on the 10th % for weight and is exclusively breastfeeding... I pump about the same and saw the decrease when the solids came (my husband also had a stroke and caused me to drop to 2oz totals). Don't give in... keep going! As long as baby is getting the solids and drinking til they pull away, you know you've got a content full baby! Remember even at the hospital and first few months, breast fed children are normally lighter then their bottle fed counterparts... how many babies out their do you think are being breast fed ALL the way to the 9 month mark (my guess hmmm about 10% of them? - laughing).

My husband warms the breast milk and bottle feeds her and there are times when he can't keep her awake to finish the whole feeding... Don't worry (I saw somewhere that said many times a breast pump will only allow the average pumper to get 1 - 2oz max out of each breast, any more and you're that much better)!

Keep up the good work Momma!



answers from Phoenix on

As long as your son seems satisfied after nursing and you are feeding him a balanced diet of cereal, fruits, veggies and meats, he should be just fine with whatever he's getting.
My daughter is 9.5 months, eats solids 4 times a day and recently went from 4 to 3 nursing sessions daily. I was a little concerned about my supply, since I only pump about 4 oz at a time and she was getting 6 oz. on the occasions we gave her a bottle. My daughter is always satisfied after nursing, never still hungry and I was having to kind-of force her to nurse in the mid-afternoon. At her 9 month check-up, her doctor confirmed that as long as she was satisfied, she was fine. She was still gaining weight and still getting excellent nutrition with her solids (we were doing 3 oz.+cereal in the am, 4 oz.+cereal in for lunch and 5 oz. for dinner). She told me to stop forcing that mid-afternoon nurse and just give her a snack or a jar with a sippy of water.



answers from El Paso on

Well I would first ask if he's been acting irritable after feeding like he's not getting enough? If so, then that would be one indication that he's still hungry. However, if he's not, then he may be getting by with what you're producing. Babies can always suck more out than we can pump anyway.

My 9 month old is now eating and drinking her fair share of food and I have to remind myself to give her bottles during the day 'cause she doesn't ask for them like before. She usually drinks about 24 oz a day. Some days more or less. But since we've added water and juice to her diet, milk isn't her primary form of diet anymore. HTH!


answers from New York on

Don't forget that the pump offers no indication of how much you're producing. The baby is much more efficient than the pump in getting the milk. Also, some people just aren't good pumpers (I was one of them!) A sterile mechanical device just doesn't compare to a snuggly, cuddly baby.


answers from New York on

M., the pump does not tell you what your baby is eating, pumping around the clock and measuring does not tell you what your baby eats in a day. Usually, you have better letdown when baby is at the breast, baby stimulates production in a way that the pump cannot mimic. If your baby is satisfied after breastfeeding and is not having an issue with weight loss, then I'm not sure that you need to be concerned.



answers from New York on

i wouldnt worry so much. babies nurse enough to fill their bellies. they ask for more when they are hungry. if your pediatrician isnt worried about your childs weight, then dont worry.


answers from New York on


I was producing very little milk myself, 3 oz on one side and 1 oz on the other. I did that and supplemented with just one bottle of formula per day and my daughter dropped down below the 10th percentile. As long as your son is maintaining his percentile in weight at each appointment, I wouldn't worry too much.

At 9 months, have you introduced him to solids? As they start eating solids their need for breastmilk goes down, especially at 9 months. I was giving my daughter formula at 9 months, about 3-4 bottles a day at 6 oz each.



answers from New York on

My six month old is drinking about 30 ounces of breastmilk a day, about 7 oz of baby food (various kinds, we do a lunch and a dinner) and 2-3 tablespoons of rice cereal. Also--he weighs almost 18 pounds. I imagine that he will continue on this track and as he gets bigger and hungrier he will eat more and more food and less and less breastmilk.
I work full time so I pump 5-6 times a day and nurse him probably 3-4 times(2 real feedings and 2 "light snakcs"). On the weekends he only nurses, no bottles. On the weekends he sneaks in an extra nursing and eats the same amount of baby food, so I have to assume that he is getting around the same amount.
If your baby is happy and full and gaining weight he is eating just fine. Pumping while you are home caring for baby is frustrating and difficult. On the weekends I only pump after the big morning feeding and again at 10pm now that he has given up all the nighttime feedings. My son sleeps from 8pm-5am.
Fennugreek works. I like the Yogi tea, I see results the day after drinking 3-4 cups a day.



answers from New York on

Try not to worry too much about measuring the quantity your baby is eating. Lots of women produce far more milk while nursing than they do while pumping, so how much you get while pumping is NOT an accurate measure of how much your baby gets when he feeds. Also if you replace feeding with pumping you may find your supply drops, as you get better stimulation while nursing. If he is growing well and thriving, sleeps well and has lots of energy, that's all you need to know! You don't need to measure the amount. Also, he will be moving onto solids at this age, and so milk becomes only part of his diet instead of everything.
I had one friend who could never get a drop of milk when she pumped, but she fully breast-fed all of her kids. So she produced plenty of milk when nursing, just not for the breast pump!



answers from New York on

One need not measure milk. Just see if he is growing. If he is putting on weight and sleeping and having wet diapers, then he is getting enough milk. Unless you are using a professional hospital quality pump, I wouldn't trust what you can pump out and measure.

That being said, you sleeping is the most important thing for producing more breastmilk. Stress also inhibits let down (which will effect pumping - but not nursing b/c you two know what you are doing together).

Why no food at 9 months? I haven't heard of that. Solid food is usually introduced at 4-6 months.



answers from New York on

I've read that the amount of milk expressed by a breastpump is not the actual amount that your baby is drinking. As a matter of fact, your baby is drinking more than what the breastpump can pump because of their developed suckling mechanism. Remember, your baby's ability to suck is stronger than 3 & 6 months old. If your baby is on target for his weight as per your pediatrician, you shouldn't worry. And my ped told me that by 6 months I should be introducing my baby (now 6 months) all kinds of foods (pured ofcourse) my baby will get the nutrients from these foods as well. So the breastmilk is sufficient and all the other foods you should already be introducing to your 9 month old. If you don't feel secure, ask you ped if this is normal.


answers from Indianapolis on

You pediatrician should be able to advise you best on how many ounces. If I recall correctly, at that age, it's about 24-36 ounces/day.

Here's a website for parents from the American Academy of Pediatrics (your pediatrician should be following their policies). I have it on the page for infants - you can navigate from there to see if you can find the information you need.



answers from Los Angeles on

My son is 9 months. He gets 6 oz of breastmilk four times a day, for 24 oz total. I nurse him in the morning before work, then pump 6 oz at work (I have to pump twice at work to get this amount), then nurse him when I get home and again before bed. I am assuming that I am producing about 6 oz when I nurse him, because I was producing a bit more than that when I had been pumping in the morning before work. As others have said, if your baby seems satisfied then it is probably enough. My son also eats solids 3 times a day. I think it is more difficult to get milk out with the pump than it is for your baby to get out. Finally, any time I feel like my supply is low I nurse my son more frequently for a couple of days and that helps to restore my supply.


answers from New York on

I can't get much if I pump but baby is an Olympic nurser! I have BIG boobs so I know they are good producers but pumping is aweful. If I did a pump test I would get very little but baby is happy, healthy, growing and strong so if your baby is too don't worry! A.



answers from New York on

please dont start giving him bottles because of this worry. if you no longer want to exclusively breastfeed because (fill in blank), thats fine, but dont do it for this fear of not producing enough.

you cannot go by what the pump gives you!!! the pump cannot give you an accurate reading because they cannot truly replicate your baby's feeding. the minute you introduce the bottle, you tell your body its making too much. so then your body makes a little less, and now the baby is still hungry, so you give him another bottle making this cycle go on and on.

at nine months of age, your baby will start to be more active and eat solid foods. as long as your baby seems satified, your fine. dont worry about the ounces or you will go crazy. every baby is different anyway so you cant really go by whats "normal".

some suggestions for you are too always make sure you nurse your baby before eating any solids. this way, he is not filling up with solids instead of the breastmilk. another thing you should really consider, instead of pumping instead of nursing, just pump right after he eats. nurse him and when he is done, put him in the highchair with a finger food of sorts and continue pumping. even if you dont get anything or much, you are telling your body to make a little more. you can also save these few ounces here and there for the future. pumping after nursing is the best way to boost milk.

please dont worry about these things, at 9 months your baby is thriving and will be able to communicate one way or another if there was a real problem. you know your child by now so you would see a real problem. having a happy baby is the best way to measure these things. just nurse before food, and pump after nursing, but other than that, relax, your baby will do great.

and btw, when they really start moving, its even more concerning. my daughter didnt gain an ounce for 3 months when she really started to be mobile. i was worried at first, but then i realized she was eating great, and moving every waking minute so of course she was using all her calories up. these worries never stop. good luck

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