What Guidelines Should I Follow When Feeding My Baby
A few simple guidelines you should follow when you are feeding your baby in the first year can include:
Worried Your Baby Is Overheating Here Are The Signs
Use your senses when evaluating whether your baby is overheating. Touch their skin and look for redness in their face as well as signs of discomfort or distress.
Keep in mind that some signs of overheating overlap with symptoms of fever or dehydration in your baby. Since young infants may not sweat much in general, your little one may be overheated from their environment without appearing to sweat.
To help you figure out whether baby is overheating, pay attention to whether your little one:
- feels hot .
- looks flushed or red
- is sweating or has damp hair
- acts fussy or restless
A standard temperature reading for babies is around 97.5°F . Your babys temperature can vary depending on:
- the time of the day
- what theyre wearing
- how you take their temperature
Unlike adults, babies have trouble regulating their body temperature. So, a reading of 100.4°F or above is considered a fever and is particularly concerning in babies under 3 months old.
Keep in mind that overheating and a fever are two different things, though both cause an increase in body temperature.
What Causes Overfeeding In Babies
Things that lead to overfeeding in babies include:
Sometimes parents may overfeed their baby and not be aware of it. It is, thus, vital to know about the signs of overfeeding the baby.
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Is It Possible To Overfeed An Infant At All
Possible? Yes. The odds of your baby actually overeating? Slim.
The vast majority of babies, whether bottle- or breast-fed, will not overeat, thanks to their innate ability to stop eating when theyre full.
However, its not impossible for a baby to get too much to eat. The question is, are you feeding your baby too much, or is your baby eating more food than she needs?
It could be one or the other, or a combination of both!
Im going to discuss overeating between breastfed and formula-fed babies separately, as well as when solids are introduced, because the factors involved are usually a little different. Then Ill go over some ways you can help stop overeating.
Sometimes when we feed babies, we have a desire for them to drink everything we offer. Other times, babies can overeat on their own, but its not usually because they dont know theyre full. Well get into the Why of that in a minute.
Baby Feeds Too Quickly
It takes time for our brain to register the sensation of satisfaction that occurs after eating a meal in both adults and babies. The faster a newborn feeds the greater the risk he may overfeed.
The nipple speed and babys sucking ability influence how quickly milk flows from through the nipple. Babies vary considerably in their strength and sucking ability. Just because a nipple is designed for babies of a specific age group doesnt guarantee that its a suitable speed for an individual baby.
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Indirect Linking Of Feeding With Sleep
This is quite common among infants and also tends to be a habit supported by parents as well. Babies might fall asleep on the mothers breast in the early months while feeding. But this can continue later in life, and cause a connection to form in the babys mind between the two. This can cause a baby to want milk when he actually wants to sleep. Later, if a baby finds himself awake at night, he wont be able to put himself back to sleep unless he is fed again. Such repetitive scenarios can confuse parents by knowing when the baby is really hungry.
Opting For Fortified Milk Over The Normal One
Fortified milk or high-energy milk is usually recommended by doctors for babies that are lacking in certain nutrients or have been born prematurely and need some important nutrients on priority. Such formulas contain a higher proportion of calories as well as numerous nutritional elements. While this is extremely beneficial for babies that are ill or weak, a normal baby tends to receive an abnormally high amount of nutrition in the same quantity of milk or formula, resulting in an overfeeding that can be quite difficult to recognise.
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What Are The Consequences If You Overfeed Your Baby
So, what happens if you do overfeed your baby?
In the short term, your baby may show signs of discomfort from a build up of wind and will cry frequently and intensely. They may also posset more than usual .
In the long run, your babys relationship with food may be affected . They wont recognise or understand feelings of hunger and fullness so wont master appetite regulation.
Unfortunately in my practice, I see children who are fussy eaters, who graze rather than eat meals and often its because they havent had the opportunity to truly understand their appetite and hunger/fullness cues.
Newborn Overheating Vs Fever
Its natural to think that your overheated baby may have a fever. To be sure, take your babys temperature and consult your healthcare provider if you have any concern. Additionally, the symptoms below indicate that your baby may have a fever:
- Difficulty sleeping
- No interest in playtime
- Lethargic or not as active as usual
Any baby under 3 months with a rectal temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, must be checked by a doctor. And any child with a fever over 104 degrees Fahrenheit needs to be evaluated. So, if you see those numbers, dont hesitate to give your pediatrician a call!
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Babies That Have Broken Sleep
Feeding and sleeping are closely linked. A babys sleeping pattern will influence his feeding pattern. Short naps usually mean short intervals between feeds.
Broken sleep means baby wakes before his sleep needs are met. If he wakes too soon, it wont be long before he becomes irritable due to tiredness. Baby’s tired cues, which involve fussing, crying and desire to suck, are commonly mistaken as hunger.
A major reason for babies to experience broken sleep is because they often learn to rely on negative sleep associations as a way to fall asleep. Because parents in general are unaware of the effects of sleep associations on their babys ability to sleep, some assume baby is waking because of hunger. And as a result, they overlook or ignore their baby’s satiety cues while trying to make him drink larger volumes. Others add cereal to their babys milk mistakenly believing more nutrients will make him sleep longer.
So How Do You Know When Your Baby Is Full What Are The Signs
Quite simply, your baby will tell you. Watch your babys responses before, during and after being fed, advises Andrea Firmani, an infant feeding coordinator at St. Pauls Hospital in Vancouver. A baby can push the bottle away or turn their head away from the chest or breast. They may fuss, begin to squirm, arch their back or decrease the frequency of sucking and swallowing with longer pauses between each. A satisfied baby will show signs of relaxation in their hands , closed eyes, lengthening of their arms and legs and an overall calmness.
Muldoon knows it is time to end a feed if Bertie starts to push his arms into her chest or squirm. But she also knows hes full and content when his eyes roll back and his tongue begins to flutter at her breast, which is a sign that the baby has fallen asleep.
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How Much Do Babies Eat
Newborn to 2 months: During their first month, babies need to eat 8-12 times each day. Thatâs about once every 2-3 hours. Some who are breastfeeding, though, can eat every 1.5 hours, and up to 15 times a day. If your baby isnât waking up on their own for a feeding during the first few weeks, you should get them up to eat on schedule.
If youâre breastfeeding, your little one will spend about 10 to 20 minutes on your breast. Some may nurse for longer, but make sure they are actually sucking and swallowing the whole time.
Giving formula? Plan on your baby drinking 1.5 to 3 ounces at each feeding.
After about a month, theyâll start eating at least 4 ounces at each feeding. As breastfed babies get the hang of nursing, theyâll get more milk from you, too. You may not notice, though, since theyâll do it in less time.
At 2 months, they may drink 4-5 ounces at each feeding, 3-4 hours apart.
At 4 months, they may need up to 6 ounces every time. The pediatrician may encourage you to start to introduce solid foods – or advise you to wait if you are still exclusively breastfeeding.
some babies drink as much as 8 ounces of breastmilk or formula even as they go longer between feedings.
You can watch for a few signs that they are full:
- They pull away from your breast or their bottle
- They fall asleep during a feeding
- They shake their head or keep their mouth closed
Are There Any Reasons Why I Should Not Breastfeed
Very occasionally, there are sound medical reasons for not breastfeeding. For example, if you have HIV or, in rare cases, you’re taking a medicine that could harm your baby, such as drugs for treating cancer.
If you’re not sure whether you should breastfeed your baby, speak to a midwife or health visitor for information and support.
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How To Prevent Overheating In The Summer
Its no surprise that high outdoor temperatures put babies and children at an elevated risk for becoming overheated. Here are some easy to-dos to keep your little one from overheating in the summer:
DONT go out during peak heat. The day is always at its hottest between around 10am and 2pm. Try to avoid extended outside time during those hours when the temperature is high. And spend time in the shade otherwise!
DO seek air conditioning. If you dont have air conditioning at home and youre experiencing extreme heat, find a nearby building that has AC, like the library or shopping mall. And if you do have AC, never put your baby to sleep next to the unit or theyll get too cold.
DONT cover the stroller. Draping your babys stroller with a muslin blanket may shield your bub from the sun, but it traps heat, increasing the temperature of the strollerand your baby. Instead, use a large canopy or mesh sun shield specially designed for strollers that provide shade and adequate airflow.
DO keep hydrated. Babies get all their hydration needs from either breastmilk or formula, so on steamy days, offer more of the same. But you should not give your baby water in the first 6 months of life. From 6 to 12 months, however, 4 to 8 ounces a day is okay.
Estimating The Requirements Of Milk On A Higher Side
If you were to check the packaging of formula, there are usually estimates and proportions mentioned on it, which determine a healthy quantity of intake for a child. However, these are usually defined on an average, while there can be babies who can receive healthy nutrition in a lesser quantity of milk. Parents usually follow this to the letter and work towards ensuring their baby has the complete amount of formula prepared for him, even though he might not need it. The usual cues of a baby that signify completion of feeding are ignored in the service of taking the amount mentioned on the package as a target to be completed. This is highly observed in the case of premature babies to a high degree.
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When Should A Baby Start Eating Solid Foods
While there is no strict rule and each child develops at a different pace, full-term babies typically hit the mealtime milestone at 4 to 6 months of age.
At 4 to 6 months old, children naturally become more aware and interested in their environment. As parents know all too well, this is also the stage when theyre orally fixated to the point that they will try to put everything in their mouth. This is a signal it may be a good time to start introducing solid foods.
Dr. Treegoob encourages parents to ask their pediatrician questions around their babys 4-month checkup. Your pediatrician can help you learn about how to introduce solid foods to your baby safely, as well as help you decide when to do it.
Constant Interruptions In Sleep
While the previous scenario might cause a baby to ask for food after his sleep is broken, a little one who usually has short sleep cycles than most would be even more dependent on feeding activities than anybody else. Once a child wakes up, he needs some stimulation to stay awake and might get cranky quite often. All of this results in crying and wailing, which could make a mother offer her breast or formula. The suckling automatically calms the child, leading parents to believe that the baby woke up because he was hungry, and further reinforce the connections of feeding with sleep.
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Overfeeding With Unnecessary Bottles
It is important for new parents to access breastfeeding support early on in the breastfeeding relationship, so they learn the difference between comfort nursing and breastfeeding. What I see happening often is parents unaware of the babys need to comfort nurse, and offering bottles after a breastfeeding session, thinking baby has not had enough milk or didnt get enough milk at the breast. Cue the unnecessary bottle, and infant suck reflex and you have a baby who has been fed twice when once was more than enough.
Misinterpretation Of Cues Indicating Hunger
The number one fallacy that most parents tend to fall for. Babies only know how to cry, no matter what they feel. But parents are usually geared to interpret that as a sign of being hungry. Further combined by the involuntary sucking activity, their opinion seems to be validated, which isnt the actual case. A child can usually engage in sucking activity and cry out purely because he is bored or tired. If a parent chooses to feed the child every time he cries, there is a high chance that the little one is going to be overfed.
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Signs That Your Baby May Be Full
Your baby may be full if they show any of the following signs:
Push away from your breast or bottle
Move their head away from your breast or bottle
Fuss at your breast or bottle when you offer it
Show a lack of interest when being fed
Start falling asleep
Extend and relax their arms, fingers and legs .
What Changes Should I Expect
As your infant grows, feeding will change. Babies will start drinking more milk during each feeding, so they won’t need to feed as often and will sleep longer at night.
Your baby’s appetite will increase during growth spurts. Continue to feed on demand and increase the number of feedings as needed.
Your infant also will become more alert as the weeks go by, cooing and smiling. So there will be more interaction between you and your baby during feedings.
The following are general guidelines, and your baby may be hungrier more or less often than this. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your baby’s signals of being hungry or full. A baby who is getting enough might slow down, stop, or turn away from the breast or bottle.
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Can You Overfeed Baby On Expressed Breast Milk Or Formula
Yes, here is why…
When a baby drinks from a bottle, the milk flows easily and continuously. During breastfeeding, on the other hand, your baby has to use 40 facial muscles to get the milk to flow, and your milk has times when it flows slower, so its not a constant fast flow like an artificial nipple. This will cause your baby to receive more milk than needed before they even realize that their tummy is full. Also, parents are likely to empty the bottle of milk, whereas if the baby was in control at the breast, they would stop when satiated.
For mothers who have to feed via the bottle, paced feeding is recommended to prevent overfeeding a baby.