Breastfeeding and Formula Choices


Are you worried that your child may be breastfeeding too much and not eating enough solids? Nervous that your child may not be getting the right amount of formula? Well, fear no more! We have partnered with Pediatric Nutritionist, Nicole Silber, RD, CSP, CLC for a hour long Q & A session dedicated to feeding our little ones. Get the full recap here.

Here are a couple of questions that were asked and answered relating to breastfeeding and formula.

My son is 16 months old and is still nursing. My question is how do I get him interested in any foods? We’ve cut back on our nursing sessions but he still refuses almost all foods. Every once in a while he will take a few bites of grilled chicken, tomatoes, potatoes.

There are some babies who love the boob and much prefer nursing over solids. I would make sure he is getting a supplement with iron – perhaps polyvisol with iron. Breast milk is not providing enough vitamin D and iron so he needs that from either food or supplements. While feeding on demand as an infant is great, I would begin moving him to a more structured schedule to get his appetite more normalized and ready for table foods. Until you begin to wean off more nursing he will not want to take solids. He doesn’t need large portions so a few bites can be enough but I would offer him solids 2-3x per day consistently. If you notice any gagging or major refusal you may want to ask your pediatrician if a feeding evaluation is necessary.

I have a 4 month old that has decided to not breast feed. He flat out refuses and just screams and screams and screams. We have had problems with weight gain so he is also topped up by goats formula and any extra breast milk I can express.  My question is if we move fully over to formula how much should he be getting in a day?  I don’t want to stop breastfeeding but I have battled for 4 months (low supply, tongue tie, poor latch) and I do not know how to get him to start feeding again.

Have you worked with a lactation consultant who can watch and assess a feed? If you do move to formula he should be taking anywhere from 30-36 ounces/day depending on his weight. I know it can be a hard decision to give up nursing, so I think it’s wonderful that you are still expressing a little, but remember not to over-stress yourself physically and emotionally and if you can no longer produce it doesn’t make you any less of an amazing mama.

Breast milk and formula has about the same calories per ounce so it would be the same. But, it is JUST a starting point. Some babies need a little more or a little less depending on how they are eating or gaining. If your baby is not gaining enough on formula ask your pediatrician about making the formula a bit more concentrated (you add a little extra formula powder and less water) but I do NOT recommend doing this without approval from your pediatrician as it can be dangerous if not done correctly.

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About Nicole Silber

Nicole Silber, RD, CSP, CLC is a registered dietitian, board certified specialist in pediatric nutrition and certified lactation counselor. Nicole has worked with hundreds of children and families with chronic medical conditions, food allergies, picky eating, oral-motor and processing disorders, infant nutrition, breastfeeding, gastrointestinal conditions, prematurity, underweight and obesity. She works in private practice in New York City and also serves as Pediatric Nutrition Expert for Beech-Nut baby foods. Prior to her current roles she was a clinical nutritionist at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia and New York University Fink Children’s Ambulatory Care Center.

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