14 Months of Feeding a Baby in Data

If you missed the Baby in Data Series Overview, I strongly recommend you go back and read it — for no other reason than it will give you context for this post and the whole series of our baby’s feeding journey in data. This post fundamentally is the monthly data of baby feeding and diapers, along with the derivative trends.

One thing I neglected to mention in the opening overview about this dataset is that it starts at Day 6. In other words, it does not includes Days 1 – 5 of our baby’s life (she was born just before 3am, so her first calendar day was most of the day). So when you see data from Month 1, its first day is actually day 6 of our baby’s life. For the purposes of this dataset, we are assuming that this was the first day of her life.

Are there issues with this approach? … I would argue that if we were just analyzing the first 30 days or even 3 months of her life, missing those first 5 days could be meaningful. However, over a 420+ day period across 14 months, those first 5 days have very little bearing on the overall trends, averages, and totals you will see.

Why are those five days missing? … We actually do have the data for those days, but it is messy, erratic and hard to accurately pin down to a time or an amount at times. It was also before we had some sort of repeatable system for recording the data in a consistent way (much of this is down to the chaos of early days of parenting, less sleep, and our novice status as parents at the time). You will see in this, plus other posts, that it doesn’t really matter that it is missing.

Table 1: Monthly Breastfeeding, Pumped Milk & Formula

Some Highlights (pumping journey in data & breast milk vs. formula in data in depth):

  • The proportional changes over time between consuming breast milk vs. formula from just 40% pumped breast milk in month 1, to 80%+ pumped breast milk in months 3-7, to 90%+ from month 8 onwards.

  • As described in the overview, our baby was not an efficient eater on the boob, so the amount of time she spent on the breast dropped dramatically each month from almost 2.5hrs (146 mins) per day in month 1 to just 5 minutes per day in month 7 (at that low point, it was really comfort nursing).

  • The peak liquid eating period was month 6, when she had 28 L / 27,955 mls (945 oz), which averaged out to 902 mls (30.5 oz) per day (note: this was a 31-day month).

  • Over the last 3 months, you can see how dramatically her bottle feeds dropped per month, ending with a -86% month over month drop from months 13 to 14.

Table 2: Monthly Diapers

Some Highlights (diapers in data in depth):

  • This is quite a roller coaster of data trends with pooping (bowel movements), starting with 60 (2 per day) in month 1, followed by a general decline into a low of 24-25 (0.8 per day) in months 4 and 5, then a dramatic rise back to 60+ per month (2+ per day) from month 10 onwards.

  • As far as peeing goes, you may be wondering why this varied so much across different months. In general, peeing is almost a 1:1 to diaper changes as a whole because almost every diaper had pee. We will discuss this more in a future post, but part of this variation can be explained by the differences in approaches of childcare from our paid professionals vs. us as parents.

  • You will note that we included prune juice consumed in the early months of baby’s life, as our baby seemed to struggle at times to poop and/or poop comfortably.

    *I was going to include blowouts in here initially, but that becomes really subjective with the type of diaper being used, how and who did that particular diaper fastening, size of blowout; whether it was at home or elsewhere, etc. I think that will create a bias on the data that would be, at best, misleading in value.

Table 3: Monthly Bottle & Solid Feeding

Some Highlights (solid feeding in data in depth):

  • So as noted, bottle feeding peaked at month 6, and you can see that this is the first month that solid feeds started. At this point, our baby began to get ever more of her daily nutrients from solid foods.

  • We will talk about solids feeding in depth in a future post, but you can see that during months 8-12, she was averaging well over 1 new food per day, and in month 8, over 2 new foods per day.

    *If you are wondering why there is a single new food in month 1, long before real solid feeding truly began, we counted the ‘prune juice’ we gave her to drink for constipation as this “first food.”

Table 4: Monthly Averages vs. Benchmarks

Some Highlights (fun baby in data facts and stats):

  • We look at two different sources of benchmarks; (a) Bobbie (a newish American infant formula company that aims to model their baby formula on the more stringent standards of European formulas) and (b) Exclusive Pumping (a site devoted to educating and supporting pumping mothers through their breastfeeding journey).

  • In general, you can see trends well under the consumption per day of the Bobbie feeding ranges, which are meant for exclusively formula fed (EFF) babies.

  • Compared to the data from Exclusive Pumping, our baby is a little all over the place, where she is well under in the early months (likely due to more direct nursing/breast milk in her diet) only consuming a trackable total of 364 mls (12.3 oz) per day vs. 659 mls (22.3 oz) per day from the benchmark. However by month 5, when she was consuming 887 mls (30 oz) per day, she was ahead of the 819 mls (27.7 oz) per day benchmark. At month 4, at least 80% of her diet was breast milk.

*There is a general consensus that babies tend to consume less breast milk than formula (amount compared to amount), all else being equal like environment, mother’s diet, baby’s circumstances, etc. Your individual circumstance could, of course, differ wildly.

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