My darling son is 14 weeks old and he's been breastfeeding exclusively...I want to continue to breastfeed him but with his "every-three-hour" feedings, he seems to still act hungry BUT he seems to spit up SO MUCH OF HIS FEED! How do I know when to feed him less often?
If you've been feeding him every three hours already - I can say with much assurance that he will not eat less often until he starts solids (4-6 months is the average start of rice cereal, of course, just set a plan with your doctor). And even then, there is still food or drink every three hours.
But, there are a few things you can do if a baby is spitting up a lot. So, start the experimenting...
1. Burping. A pre-burp and a during burp added to the final burp can help. Bubbles make a tummy no fun for keeping food down. So, try doing more burping - and try different methods. The pat on the back seems the most common, but was always least effective. I am a fan of a firm rub from the lower back up. I also like putting them on their tummy on my lap and patting or doing the firm rub in that position (of course, if your baby is prone to a lot of spitting up, keeping them upright is helpful).
2. Diet. I know no one wants to hear it, but chocolate and caffeine can really effect your milk. So, if you try eliminating different foods and see how they do 6-12 hours later, you can sometimes draw correlations. Try a totally bland day of carbs to start and if you notice a difference in the amount of spit up, you'll know that your baby cares. I hope for your sake, that chocolate and spicy foods are 100% A OK!
3. Feed them less. So, you'll still need to feed them every three hours, but try feeding them one minute less than they normally eat. It makes sense that as they get older they get better and better at nursing. So, it should take less and less time. I found that eliminating just a few minutes significantly made a change in the amount of spit up.
That's a start--I hope it helps!
Painting: Baby John Being Nursed by Mary Cassatt