why does my newborn eat so much

We spend so much time fussing over whether baby is getting enough formula or breast milkbut can baby eat too much? Different cultures have different feelings about how much a baby should eat, how often they should eat and what they should look like, says Alanna Levine, MD, a pediatrician at Orangetown Pediatric Associates in Tappan, New York. Some parents consider a roly-poly baby a sign of a job well done. Other parents see a round baby and visualize an obese teen. So what s best for baby? Read on to learn how overfeeding happens, how common it is and what to do going forward. Can You Overfeed Baby? You can probably breathe a sigh of relief: Its almost impossible to overfeed baby, and most of the anxiety over babies food intake and appearance is pointless. If baby is gaining weight and growing and your pediatrician isnt concerned, you don t need to worry, Levine says. Different babies grow at different rates and eat different amounts at different times. Babies come with an incredibly sophisticated self-regulation system: When theyre hungry, they eat. When theyre full, they stop. (Sadly, weve lost this mechanism by the time we become parents. ) So when babies turns away from the bottle or breast and refuse to even consider another nip, they re telling you they re full. When baby keeps coming back for more, she s. (Never mind the fact that baby just finished a full six ounces! )
What Leads To Overfeeding? Overfeeding baby is very rare, but it can happen. Overfeeding is more common in bottle-fed babies, simply because its easier to see (and obsess over) how much milk went in during a feeding. It also takes less effort to drink from a bottle, so babies (who love to suck) may inadvertently get too much milk while feeding from a bottle. So how can you tell if baby is overfed? is not a good indicator of overfeeding. Spitting up could be a sign if youve pushed baby to take in extra foodfor example, if baby spits up after draining a bottle you kept placing in his after he turned away. But more often than not, spitting up is a typical infant reaction or reflux.


You can always take a trip to your pediatrician if you re concerned. The doctor will look at babys length, weight and development. As long as baby is thriving, he or shes probably doing just fine. If you find out you have been overfeeding baby, make a point of respecting baby s cues going forward. If baby turns away before the bottle is finished or before your usual nursing time is up, accept the fact that he or she may not be hungry now, Levine says. And don t focus on the numbers: It doesnt matter how many ounces baby finishes at a feed. What matters is that baby is healthy, happy and thriving. My baby is generally pretty easygoing. When she cries, it means something is wrongshe very rarely fusses for no reason. This has led my husband and me to overfeed her on the rare occasions that she is fussy. Heres what happens: Baby seems inconsolable. She screams and nothing makes her happy. Check diaper, do all her favorite rocking, bring her outside, nothing. Finally decide to give her a little more milk, even though she s already eaten, and she calms down right away while drinking. Next time she fusses, we give her a little gripe water. And then? Milk vomit explosion! All over one of us. I had to talk to [babys day care] director about how breast milk is different from formula and I wasn t going to send bigger bottles. Period. I send 8 ounces with him. He s there about seven hours and usually is fed shortly before my husband picks him up. I drop him off at day care at 11 a. m. and get home around 8:30 p. m. and he eats 9. 5 to 10 ounces while I m gone. If you notice that your newborn is spitting up a lot, you may think you are overfeeding your baby. However, only a qualified professional can determine if this is indeed the case. It is important to understand the signs your baby will give you when he or she is full. This article explains the signs that your baby (breastfed and bottle fed) is full and how you can avoid overfeeding your baby.


Can You Overfeed a Newborn? Overfeeding refers to giving a baby more milk than they need for adequate nutrition. It is practically impossible to overfeed a newborn. They dont eat based on emotion or external stressors. They eat when they are hungry and when they are full, they stop. When there is too much milk in your childs stomach, they may spit up and be fussy due to stomach discomfort. Your baby may not be able to properly digest the extra milk and this can lead to digestive issues such as loose stools and excessive spitting up. Overfeeding can also cause a colicky baby to become more agitated. The following are a few signs that you may be overfeeding your baby: Sometimes, overfeeding can mimic other conditions such as colic, reflux or lactose intolerance. The main difference is that that the baby will experience healthy growth throughout the process while a baby who has an underlying issue such as colic or reflux may exhibit poor growth. What Are the Signs that Your Newborn Has Had Enough? The key in answering "can you overfeed a newborn? " and to avoid this problem is to know the signs when your baby has had enough to eat. When you are breastfeeding it can be more difficult because you cant measure the exact amount of milk you baby is consuming at each feeding. There are, however, other ways to determine if your baby has had enough. You breasts feel soft after your baby is done nursing. If you baby falls asleep after nursing and stays asleep for an extended period of time. Your baby gains weight at a consistent and regular pace. Overall, your babys disposition should be relaxed and easy going after they have nursed. If they are full they may turn their face away from the breast. Watch for your babys clues and listen to your own body. The partnership between you and your baby is a remarkable thing! Trust your instincts and try to avoid placing your baby on a schedule too early. Newborns need to be fed on demand in order to establish a good milk supply. Watch a video to learn more tips to know if your breastfed baby has enough milk: Learning how much formula your baby needs will take a bit of trial and error.


Your baby may become fussy or cry when they are hungry. They may also bring their hands to their mouth or attempt to suckle your arm or anything else that is placed close to the mouth. Offer a small amount of formula to your baby to see if he or she is indeed hungry. You can offer a small amount at first and then prepare more if they are still hungry. If feeding properly, your baby will wet 5-6 diapers a day (disposable diapers), or 6-8 cloth diapers. The amount of food each baby needs will be based on a number of different factors including age. Most babies will stop eating when they are full. If you baby is gaining weight at an acceptable rate and seems to be healthy, you can be assured that they are receiving adequate nutrition. The following chart illustrates some general guidelines for formula fed babies. It is important to keep in mind that the amounts can vary and that you will need to decide what works best for your babys individual needs. Watch a video to learn more tips to know if your formula baby has enough milk as well as other formula feeding basics: You wont need to worry too much about overfeeding your baby because babies, even newborns, are pretty good at regulating the amount of food they need. However, if you notice that your baby seems to be gaining weight rapidly or there is a significant jump in where your baby lies on the growth chart for their height and age, overfeeding may be the culprit. Watch out for the signs of overfeeding and your baby being full as mentioned above to avoid overfeeding. The most important thing to consider is whether your baby is healthy. If your babys doctor determines that he or she is healthy, then you have nothing to worry about. You should address any concerns as soon as they come up, with your childs doctor. It is also worth noting that your baby may spit up or be fussy even if they are not being overfed. Video for more: Feeding Schedule for Newborns

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