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Breastfeeding Tips and Information on Growth and Development including growth spurts, breastfeeding growth carts for boys and girls, how good baby syndrome can impede growth, and normal weight gain at 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 12-24 months and 24-36 months. Information courtesy of Lactation Connection {The Nursing Mother's Milk Supply} where you will find all your breastfeeding gear.

Growth Chart, Boys Birth - 36 Months

The Center for Disease Control offers growth charts that include breastfed babies! Previous charts were based only on formula fed boys.

Growth Chart, Girls Birth - 36 Months

The Center for Disease Control offers growth charts that include breastfed babies! Previous charts were based on only formula fed girls.
Good Baby Syndrome
Good baby syndrome is defined as when babies seldom cry which sounds like a dream, but it can be a disaster if the baby does not cry or fuss to be fed. It is imperative that newborns under 6 months get 20 minutes of swallowing 8 times per day. Do not let these babies fool you into thinking they are just efficient enough to feed in 5-10 minutes. The proof is always in the pudding. They should be gaining 5-7 oz per week. Also, these babies need to be guided to feed 10-12 times per day during typical growth spurt ages such as 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months. After 6 months, they should still be feeding 5 times per day and gaining 4-6 oz per week.

Growth Spurts

You can almost set your watch by a baby's growth spurt. The first one occurs anywhere from 10 days to 3 weeks of age. The following ones come at 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months. When babies go through growth spurts, their feeding times change from every two to three hours to every hour on the hour. You just finish feeding them and they go rooting around again and act like they are still hungry. During the 3 week growth spurt, you can definitely see that the baby is pooping 3+ times daily and having lots of wet diapers. What goes in, must come out, so we know the baby is getting enough. The 6 week growth spurt can be more troublesome because at that time their digestive system matures and they have fewer dirty diapers. Some babies only have one every 3-5 days. Don't dismay, you can still tell he/she has plenty of fluids by the fact that the baby is still having six to eight pale wet diapers daily. The three month and six month growth spurts are pretty typical. Growth spurts usually only last 5 days if you don't interfere with imposed schedules and supplements. Make sure to keep drinking to thirst and taking your prenatal vitamins. If you want a boost for your milk supply, supplements like Fenugreek taken in the appropriate dosage and potency can help.
Milk Intake and Weight Gain at 0-6 months
Newborns typically loose 8-10% of their birth weight in the first week and then gain 5-7 oz per week from 2 weeks until 6 months. To calculate how much breast milk to leave for your baby or to calculate your milk supply, take your baby's weigh, multiply by 2.5. That gives you the number of oz your baby requires per day. Then divide by the number of feedings per day, typically 8. When determining the baby's weight, round up to the quarter pound. For example, for a baby who is 8 lbs 4 oz, you would multiply 8.25 x 2.5 = 20.625. Divide that by 8 feedings and you get 2.57 oz per feeding. You would round up to 2 3/4 -3 oz to leave for your baby. If you are working, always leave an extra frozen bottle for growth spurts or spills.
Milk Intake and Weight Gain at 6-12 months
For babies age 6-12 months who are also are solids three times per day, milk intake is typically 24-32 oz and not determined by the calculation for younger infants. Typical weight gain is 3-5 oz per week.

Milk Intake and Weight Gain at 12-24 months

For babies 12 months who weigh 20 lbs or more, should take in 16-20 oz of milk; more if they are underweight. Normal weight gain during this period is 2 oz per week. A typical schedule would be nursing or feeding expressed milk 4 x daily, feeding solids 3 x daily with one or two healthy snacks in between. If you are weaning to cows milk, it should be whole milk unless advised by your pediatrician otherwise.

Milk Intake and Weight Gain at 24-36 months

For toddlers 2-3 years, typical milk intake is 3 servings per day. After 24 months, most pediatricians recommend switching to 2% milk if you have weaned from breast milk. Toddlers 24-36 months should gain approximately 1 oz per week and eat 3 meals per day with one healthy snack.

Typical Weight Gain for Breastfed Babies

0-3 weeks: regain birth weight

3 weeks - 6 months: 5-7 oz per week

6 - 12 months: 4-6 oz per week

12-24 months: 2 oz per week

24-36 months: 1 oz per week

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