Breastfeeding on demand – how can I keep up with the 5 meals a day pediatrician’s recommendation?

[ 12 ] 23/08/2014 |


Hi mummies,

I still breastfeed my 1 year old and I have a problem.

I breastfeed on demand, so it’s hard for me to follow the ‘5 meals a day’ schedule the pediatricians recommend for my baby, since she¬†comes to the breast several times during the day and night.

What kind of food schedule – routine do you follow?

Thank you all in advance for sharing your experience. Feeling a bit lost.


Anna M.


Category: Your Questions

Comments (12)

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  1. Agnes says:


    Still Breastfeeding my 16 months old son. At around 1 yr he was eating something like this: breastfeeding several times during the night. Woke up and offered him porridge for breakfast around 1 h after waking up. The amount he ate varied a lot.. Sometimes a few spoons only sometimes bit more. Yoghurt with fruit or similar approx 2 h later before nap. Breastfeed him to sleep..occasionally he fell asleep in the pram if we were out and about. Then lunch aprox 1 h after nap. At this time he only had like 80 ml max either home made or bought baby food. Nap again in the afternoon..breastfeeding to sleep. After nap I offered him more food same as lunch. A good day he could eat another 50-60 ml in the afternoon sometimes just a few spoons.. In that case I offered him avocado or fruit pure as well a bit later. The he had a portion of porridge in the evening. Then bath etc. and breastfeeding to sleep. Also he could have the breast whenever he asked for it during the day. :):)

    Today 16 months he is following the same schedule more or less but eating greater amounts and a bit less breastfeeding during the day..

    Hope this helps..

  2. Becky says:

    Both my exclusively breastfed girls barely ate at 3 small meals at 1 yr and preferred their milk. Both improved a lot around 18 months and are really good eaters today at age 4 and 2.

  3. Sarah says:

    My 15 month old son eats breakfast – small adult size bowl of porridge, half a banana and raisins, snack (sometimes), a small lunch – bread and cheese with yoghurt and a large tea – whatever we are having plus fruit, fruit puree, yoghurt, bread. Sometimes he has snack mid afternoon too – crisps, biscuit, breadsticks, rice cakes etc and breast feeds on demand throughout the day and night (but we are trying to discourage the night time feeds). He’s on the 25% percentile for weight so not fat!

  4. liza says:

    I try to give my boy 5 meals per day since he’s also breastfeeding many times per day, but the amount varies a lot and usually the portions he eats are small, and he still prefers his milk. He’s 13 months now.

  5. Josephine says:

    I breastfed my first child till 30months. I never stressed on her eating 5 meals a day but she was always curious about food and always wanted to try what we were eating so that pushed us into a healthier eating plan for all the family. Basically i stopped cooking for her at 8 months as i said she preferred our food but i always tried to give her breakfast; porridge with berries or half a mashed banana or weetabix, yogurt mid morning, then one or two veggies such as peas or sweetcorn which was fun for her to chase around the highchair tray as well as pincer grip pactice! And meat as well. Afternoon depends, she used to take a long nap so she didn’t eat much then she ate evening meal with us depending on what we were eating! Good luck! I also suggest Anabel Karmel cookbooks for kids they are full of healthy food ideas for toddlers and kids as well as meal plans!

  6. Melissa Bugeja says:

    I breastfed till 4 years of age my son and my daughter is still going at 3.5 We never really went with a meal plan. And especially at 1 year they are still not eating that much! My suggestion is once you have breastfed your child e.g around 10 am offer a fruit 30 mins later and obviously do so with any other meals if you feel the need to have at least 5 meals a day

  7. Natalie says:

    My baby’s schedule at around 1 year. Breastfeed upon waking (6.30am) Breakfast of small portion of cereal around half an hour later. Some toast and a banana around 9am. Breastfeed around 11 then nap. Lunch around half 12. Sandwich with ham (1 piece of bread) some cheese, tomatoes, cucumber, small potion of yogurt. Another breastfeed around 2.30pm Then another small snack- maybe breadsticks and a dip. I was always super careful with snack as if they eat too much they wont be hungry at dinner time, so wont eat much dinner and then will want to breastfeed in the night. Cut out this snack if necessary. Dinner would be some meat and vegetables or pasta. Pasta usually ensured a good night of sleep. Followed by a dessert. Maybe just some fruit, some custard or homemade cake.
    One thing I really want to say is that during this time babies are usually teething so sometimes they just want to breastfeed a lot. Some days babies will eat lots, some days they wont eat much at all.I may be wrong but I think research shows that babies had a decrease in appetite naturally at around this age. If your baby is losing weight, then worry. Otherwise try to stick to some kind of plan but dont worry too much if your baby doesnt eat much. Think of what your baby has eaten over a period of a few days rather than one day. Every 2 of 3 days I would cut out the afternoon snack and give a large portion of homemade pasta bolognese to be sure.
    I would be happy to meet up if you want some more tips, meal ideas or if you just want some moral support!xx

  8. I have just recently stopped breastfeeding after 10 consecutive years (4 kids). They were all breastfed on demand. The shortest amount of time was 2 years and 2 months, and the longest was 5 years. I don’t know where the paed came up with “5 meals a day” because I cannot find any recommendation anywhere about that. Breastfeeding should be on demand.

  9. Anna says:

    Thank you all for your replies. I was getting a bit worried as most of my friends do/did not breastfeed for more than 6 months, and what they do is give 1 bottle in the morning, 3 meals with solids, 1 bottle in the evening. This was also the ped. recommendation, to give my daughter 2 meals with milk and 3 with solids, which of course doesn’t make any sense in my case since I am breastfeeding and planning to continue breastfeeding on demand, and I cannot plan the meals in such a way. It is reassuring to see that most of you don’t seem to follow a fixed time-schedule when it comes to feedings and it doesn’t affect your kids. The kids of my friends (bottle-fed at 1 year) eat much bigger portions of solids than mine.

  10. Kristen says:

    my daughter is 2 years 4 months she still breastfeeds 4 to 5 times say but she still eats her meals plus snacks.

  11. Maribelle says:

    I breastfed my son till he was about 2 years of age and was also on demand bf. However I still used to give him bfast, fruit, lunch, yogurt and dinner in a day.

  12. Anya says:

    Yes. Till 19 months. I feed my daughter when she is hungry. But it is usually 3 times a day plus snacks. Follow no schedules myself either.

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