Not a ‘snacker’ anymore

I’ve written several times about Baby’s snacky tendencies. From very early days he was a ‘little and often’ breast feeder. Always fairly unpredictable except that he’d take a lot before bed and first thing. After I moved to bottles and formula he was initially very similar. Big feed in the morning then an ounce here and an ounce there before a big feed at bed.

But we’ve now, at six months, cracked it. He now has three 8oz bottles and two 5oz bottles a day (routine here). He drinks what he wants from these in one go (usually all of it) and then doesn’t need more until his next regular feed.

So what did we do? Three things I think helped.

1) Getting the milk flow up. When we first started on bottles my boy struggled with all but the slowest flow bottles. These most mimicked my breast feeding flow which he was used to. All fine but boy, they were slow. Even with a size two MAM teat it was taking 40 minutes for him to drink an 8oz bottle. No wonder he lost interest in feeding in the daytime. He’s only recently been comfortable with a size three teat but using it has been a revelation. An 8oz feed now takes around ten minutes. A 5oz feed can be drunk in three if he is so inclined. He’s now taking in what he needs for a full feed and the snacking has vanished.

2) Not mis-reading tired cues. In the day time Baby gets tired after around two hours. But in the early mornings he gets sleepy after only being up an hour or so. Now I know this I just pop him into bed and he dozes off. But a while ago I used to interpret his crabbiness about an hour after waking as hunger. Even if he’d had lots of milk I’d be offering more. And because it was soothing and helped him relax he’d take some. And then began a vicious circle of him not being that hungry later, etc etc.

3) Not being too hasty to offer feeds. I certainly don’t advocate keeping a hungry baby from his milk. But I think in earlier days I offered Baby milk when actually he really wanted something else. Mainly he was tired (see point two). But he might also have wanted a change of scene or toy or a cuddle. Gradually over time I’ve come to hold back a bit just to see what he really needs. And more often than not milk isn’t it.

So there we have it. My experiences and reflections on easing out of a snacking situation. What are your experiences?


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