Can You Overfeed A Newborn Formula

Hungry: Slow And Sluggish

Is it okay to breastfeed my newborn and give them formula at the same time?

When a baby has been going periods of time without taking in enough nutrients, they can start to become less active and more lethargic. This is because they don’t have their usual amount of energy that they would normally have from getting the proper amount of milk or formula.

This is more common in babies who are breastfed compared to the babies who are bottle-fed since there is no real way to gauge how much milk the baby is taking in. When a baby receives formula, it is visible right there in the bottle and pre-measured out.

If you are noticing increased lethargy we’d always recommend checking in with the professionals to make sure everything is ok as it could also mean dehydration which can get serious fast in small babies especially.

How To Bottle Feed Your Baby

Bottle feeding is a chance to feel close to your baby and get to know and bond with them. Babies will feel more secure if most feeds are given by you, your partner or their main caregiver.

Make sure you’re sitting comfortably with your baby close to you. Enjoy holding your baby, look into their eyes and talk to them as you feed them.

Hold your baby in a semi-upright position for bottle feeds. Support their head so they can breathe and swallow comfortably.

Brush the teat against your baby’s lips and when they open their mouth wide let them draw in the teat.

Always give your baby plenty of time to feed.

What Is The Definition Of Colic

Colic is the word used to describe a condition when a healthy baby cries for more than three hours per day, more than three days per week, for three or more weeks, and is hard to console or comfort.

With a colicky baby, the bouts of crying typically intensify and last as the day goes on, and can worsen in the evening, typically between 6 pm and midnight.

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They Don’t Want Formula Because They Aren’t Feeling Well

Plenty of adults donât feel like eating when theyâre sick, and some babies feel the same. Baby Center mentioned that if your baby is fussing at feedings, it could be because they have a cold, a sore throat, or an ear infection. If you see that your baby is feverish, congested, coughing, or just generally fussy, they may be feeling under the weather.

âPlease let your pediatrician know if your infant seems ill. It is a common reaction to have less appetite when coming down with an illness,â adds Garcia.

They Don’t Like Formula Because They’re Used To Breast Milk

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If you have recently switched from breast milk to formula, taste and smell may be the reasons your baby hates feeding.

âMotherâs milk is naturally warm and changes in flavor profile regularly based on Momâs diet,â says Charisma Garcia, M.D., board-certified pediatrician, Texas Childrenâs Health Plan The Center for Children and Women, in an interview with Romper. âIf your infant has already tried breast milk, he or she may refuse formula because they prefer motherâs milk. Even if your infant has not yet tried breast milk, he or she naturally may still crave it.â

If you think this is why your baby doesnât want their formula, Garcia recommends you make mealtime as much like breastfeeding as possible: incorporate skin-to-skin contact, warm the formula, and try to match the bottle nipple size to your own if possible.

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What Is Paced Bottle Feeding

Paced bottle feeding is a method of feeding that mimics chest- or breastfeeding. As the name suggests, it involves regulating the flow from the bottle to pace the feed and give your baby better control. This helps them learn to recognize feelings of fullness. If parents are bottle-feeding either formula or breastmilk, its important to use this approach, says Firmani. By moving away from the traditional cradle hold previously associated with bottle-feeding to a more upright position, your baby has a better ability to regulate how much and how quickly theyre drinking.

Sitting up in a chair with the baby up against your body allows them to control their sucking and gives parents a good vantage point for noticing when the sucking and swallowing is beginning to slow, explains Firmani. Muldoon watched the nurses in the NICU using the technique. I learned to take breaks by pulling the nipple out of Berties mouth or burping him throughout his bottle feeds.

Can You Overfeed A Baby With Breast Milk In A Bottle

If you fed expressed milk using a bottle, you may inadvertently overfeed your breastfed baby. A formula-fed baby and a combination-fed baby tend to be more malnourished and dehydrated since they get the most vitamins and minerals in that formula. Be always careful of which finished cues and signals your baby is giving you when they feed.

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You Are Changing 8 Or More Heavily Wet Diapers Per Day

The elimination habits of babies will change constantly over the first year of life. A good general guideline for determining if your child is getting enough milk is if your baby has four to five sopping wet diapers per day, according to Kelly Mom. This applies to all babies older than six weeks. If you’re changing upwards of eight fully soaked diapers a day it may be time to ask your pediatrician if that’s normal for your baby.

What Causes A Newborn To Eat Too Much

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There are plenty of reasons why a newborn can be overfed, these include:

  • Sleep deprivation: Lack of sleep disrupts the hormonal balance, which regulates appetite, resulting in increased appetite.
  • It is wrong to interpret a childs desire to suck as hunger: Children are at the stage of oral development. In addition to wanting to suck when they are hungry, they also like to suck when they are tired, bored, uncomfortable, frustrated, or simply because they like to suck.
  • Active sucking reflex: Babies have a limited ability to point or stop when consuming enough milk due to the sucking reflex, especially when feeding very quickly.
  • Feeding very quickly: It takes time for our brain to record that our stomach is full. Fast feeding increases the likelihood that a child will ingest more milk than the stomach can contain or more than their immature digestive system can adequately digest.
  • Association of feeding and sleep: A child who falls asleep regularly by sucking a bottle can learn that the way they fall asleep is with a bottle in their mouth. This means that a child may want a bottle not only when they are hungry, but also when they are tired.

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Signs You’re Overfeeding Your Baby When Supplementing

Trying to figure out how much your baby should eat in the first year can sometimes feel like rocket science. Babies often have erratic sleeping and eating behaviors, leaving you clueless as to how often both things should occur. Things can get even more complicated when you start supplementing with formula, and mothers who bottle and breastfeed often wonder if they’re overdoing it. Thankfully, there are signs you’re overfeeding your baby when supplementing that you can watch out for.

âContrary to popular belief, it is possible to overfeed babies,â pediatrician Sara DuMond M.D. tells Romper, adding, âbabies who are overfed are at risk for increased disturbances in sleep patterns, self-regulation/self-soothing patterns, and abnormal growth pattern.â Consistent overfeeding can lead to weight problems as well. “Once a babyâs stomach is stretched out, it is hard for the baby to feel satiated with less volume of milk,” pediatrician Dyan Hes M.D. tells Romper in an email.

They’re Refusing Formula Because They’re Not Hungry

If you have recently introduced solids into your babyâs diet, they may not want to feed as much as they did before. According to Baby Center, if your baby has started solids, they may just be too full to drink. So the fussiness you see could just be attributed to a full belly.

Apparently, thatâs a common thing for lots of parents and babies. âMost families are overfeeding in infancy, leading to issues with weight when solid foods are introduced,â Garcia explains. âThis is yet another reason that routine wellness exams for growth parameters are essential. Your doctor can identify if weight is increasing too rapidly and help discuss portion sizes.â

If this is the case, the article suggested trying to feed your baby again a little while later. Hopefully by then, they will have more of an appetite and fuss less when drinking. Matalka recommends keeping some notes to take to your next pediatrician appointment to learn more.

âRecording the volume of formula your baby is consuming in one feeding, along with the frequency of feeding, helps your pediatrician and dietitian estimate the amount of formula your baby is receiving within a 24-hour period,â says Matalka. âIf the volume your baby is consuming at one time is too high, this may be resolved by reducing the volume offered at one time and adding an extra feeding.â

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You Are Changing Several Runny Poop Diapers

Part of analyzing the health of your baby is checking out the appearance of their poops. As the Baby Center website explained, formula-fed babies have pasty, peanut butter-like poop. It can be yellow or greenish brown. If your formula-fed baby has frequent, runny poop, it could be a sign that they’re getting more milk than they need.

How A Baby’s Body Responds To Overfeeding


While the nutrients consumed as a result of overfeeding exceed the amount a baby needs for normal growth this wont automatically cause large weight gains.

Our bodies have thousands of homeostatic mechanisms that automatically act to maintain an internal state of balance or harmony. These compensate or minimize the effects of overfeeding in multiple ways. Two examples include:

  • When baby drinks too much
  • A babys stomach will expand as he eats and contract as food slowly empties into his intestinal tract. However, there are limits on how far it can stretch. If stretch receptors in the lining of babys stomach stretch beyond a normal range, he will regurgitate his stomach contents – ranging from small spit ups to large projectile vomits – during or shortly after the feed has ended

    If an overfed baby regurgitates large amounts of milk he may be spared from the effects of over-nutrition. If not, excess nutrients will pass into this intestinal tract where other homeostatic mechanisms take action.

  • When over-nutrition occurs
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    Hungry: The Cries Sound Different

    It is always best to try to learn the variations in your babys cries because it could help you understand what your baby needs and when they need it. Babies can have a different sound or pitch to their cry when they want different things.

    When a baby is hungry, their cry may be short and low pitched, and the sound may rise and fall. However, every baby is different and a hunger cry for one baby may be totally different for another.

    When a parent learns their babys different cries, there wont be as much guesswork when it comes to trying to soothe them. If you’re unsure if your baby is hungry or not, try feeding them and see if they try to feed if you are unable to find the reason behind their cry.

    Can A Newborn Eat Too Much

    Can you overfeed a newborn? In short, yes, you can. Overfeeding a newborn often causes discomfort to the child because they cant properly digest all breast milk or formula. When overeating, the child can also ingest air, which can produce gas, increase abdominal discomfort, and cause crying. A child can even spit more than usual and have a soft stool. Although the discomfort of crying is not colic, they can make crying more frequent and intense in a child who already has colic. You have to be vigilant for signs of overfeeding your baby. Children give clues during feeding that indicate how hungry they are.

    Pay attention to these tips to help determine when the baby received enough food:

    • A hungry child will hold the breast or bottle and continuously suck.
    • A child who fills up during breastfeeding will have longer breaks between sucking.
    • A full child will move away from the breast or bottle and will not want to suck.

    The amount of food each newborn needs will vary. Infants usually do not take more breast milk or formula than necessary for their bodies. In general, your child should look healthy and happy and have a good muscle tone, healthy skin, and good color. Overeating means that the baby consumes more milk than they need for growth and energy needs. Getting too much milk can overload a childs small stomach with more milk than it can comfortably contain, along with more nutrients that their intestinal tract can adequately digest.

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    Is It Possible To Overfeed A Baby

    Overfeeding a baby is almost impossible and the stress over babies food intake is pointless. If your baby is gaining weight and growing, you do not need to worry. Babies grow at different rates and eat different amounts at different times. Babies have a self-regulation system when they are hungry, they eat and they are full, they stop. Hence, when babies turn away from the bottle or breast and do not even consider another nip, it is a sign that they are full. If the baby keeps coming back for more, it is a sign they are hungry.

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    As a mother, it is important to listen to your childs cue, regardless of whether they are formula-fed or breastfed. Mothers tend to worry when the child does not finish their bottle of formula but rarely seem to worry about it when they are breastfed. We have a tendency to obsess over how much milk went into the bottle since it is easier to see. At one month, a baby will drink 3 to 4 ounces of formula per bottle every three to four hours and breastfeeding babies may feed about seven or eight times a day. This pattern lasts until 8 to 12 months old, at which point the baby will drink 7 to 8 ounces of formula per bottle or breastfeed 3 to 4 times a day.

    Can Formula Make My Baby Constipated

    Is it okay to breastfeed and formula-feed my baby?

    When using formula, always use the amount of powder recommended on the packaging.

    Do not add extra formula powder. Using too much can make your baby constipated and may cause dehydration.

    If your baby is under 8 weeks old and has not done a poo for 2 to 3 days, talk to your midwife, health visitor or GP, particularly if your baby is gaining weight slowly.

    Your baby should be gaining weight and have plenty of wet and dirty nappies.

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