Why Does My Baby Seem Hungrier Than Usual
As babies gain weight, they should begin to eat more at each feeding and go longer between feedings. Still, there may be times when your little one seems hungrier than usual.
Your baby may be going through a period of rapid growth . These can happen at any time, but in the early months growth spurts often occur at around:
- 7-14 days old
- 4 months
- 6 months
During these times and whenever your baby seems especially hungry, follow his or her hunger cues and continue to feed on demand, increasing the amount of formula you give as needed.
Pros And Cons For Bottle Feeding Expressed Milk
How Much Should A Newborn Eat
If you find yourself fretting over your newborn feeding schedule, youre not alone. Questions like how much should a newborn eat? and how often should I feed baby? are some of the most common concerns among new parents. After all, baby is growing by leaps and bounds. Theyll grow more in the first year than at any other point in their life, doubling in size by the time theyre 5 months old and tripling by the end of the first yearso its important to feed baby the fuel they need to power through each stage of development. Whether you opt for breast milk or formula, heres what you need to know to make sure baby is eating enough.
In this article:Newborn feeding FAQs
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Expressing For Time Away From Baby
In exclusively breastfed babies – babies who are fed breast milk only – milk intake increases quickly during the first few weeks of life. After that, it stays about the same between 1 and 6 months. Although it generally increases short-term during growth spurts.
How much milk a baby consumes changes as they get older and until one month or so by weight.
During the first week, most full-term babies take no more than 1 to 2 ounces at feedings. This is because newborns stomachs are so small.
After about 4 to 5 weeks, babies reach their peak feeding volume of about 3 to 4 ounces and peak daily milk intake of about 30 ounces per day .
After 6 months, your babys milk intake begins to decrease gradually as you introduce solid food.
Breastfed babies take in an average of 25oz per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months. Different babies take in different amounts of milk. A typical range of milk intake is 19oz to 30oz per day.
Use these steps to work out the amount of breast milk your baby will need:
Example: If a baby usually breastfeeds around 8 times per day, you can guess that baby might need around 3oz of expressed breast milk per feeding.
Example For A 10 Oz Baby
10 x 2.6 = 26
26/8 = 3.2 oz per feeding
Keep in mind that these calculations can be used for the first six months of a babys life. After the six month mark, babies are typically consuming some solids and water. Because of this, their demand for milk decreases, and in result, they consume an average of 26-36 oz per day.
If you think you are having trouble producing enough breast milk you may want to talk to a certified lactation consultant. A lactation consultant can work with you and determine if you indeed have low milk supply.
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Feeding Guide For The First Year
Tiffani Hays, M.S., R.D., L.N., Director of the Pediatric Clinical Nutrition Education & Practice
Making appropriate food choices for your baby during the first year of life is very important. More growth occurs during the first year than at any other time. Its important to feed your baby a variety of healthy foods at the proper time. Starting good eating habits at this early stage will help set healthy eating patterns for life.
How To Be Sure Your Baby Is Getting Enough Formula
Rather than strictly following a chart to decide how many ounces or millilitres a baby should eat at a given age or weight, experts advise feeding âon demandâ in response to the feeding cues listed above.
As long as your little one is gaining weight normally and producing enough wet nappies, you can be pretty certain he or she is getting enough formula.
From the first few days after being born itâs normal to see around six heavy nappies, soaked with pale or clear urine, every day.
Your baby will usually be weighed a few times in the first 10 days after birth, and then once a month after that â at monthly health and development reviews â until the age of 6 months.
During the health and development reviews your health visitor and/or doctor will use growth charts to keep track of your babyâs growth and weight gain.
These visits are also a great opportunity for you to ask questions or discuss any concerns you might have. But if youâre ever concerned about whether your baby is eating enough, you can always turn to your midwife or doctor between the scheduled visits.
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How Much Expressed Milk Is Your Baby Drinking
When your baby breastfeeds, they know when to start and stop, depending on whether or not they had enough during that feed. The chances of overfeeding the baby are also less when you breastfeed. However, this may not be the case when your baby is fed expressed breast milk by bottle. So how do you know if your baby is getting too much or too little?
Too little milk could result in malnutrition of the baby, and too much can lead to overfeeding . Your baby may refuse to drink from a bottle initially because the bottle nipple may feel and taste different when compared to the mother’s skin. Hold the baby in a comfortable position and rock it gently before trying the bottle again. If the baby still refuses, you can try feeding the baby with a spoon or a sipper. Most babies will adjust quickly to the bottle once they are comfortable with the caregiver.
Your baby may also drink more milk than needed when fed by a bottle. The steady and fast flow of milk from a bottle can be one of the main reasons for that. Learning to manage the pace of the feed is important. Here are a few points to keep in mind when feeding the baby expressed milk through a bottle .
While you can estimate the amount of milk your baby needs based on its intake, there are other signs that can tell you whether or not your baby is getting enough milk every day .
Nursing Pillow Or Comfortable Chair
It is important not just for your baby but for you as well to be as comfortable as possible when feeding your baby. Nursing pillows are designed to keep your baby in a better position for feeding while maintaining a good comfort level.
Comfortable chairs are sometimes overlooked, but they can make all the difference in the world, whether youre exclusively bottle-feeding or mixing breast and bottle. Some things to look at are: rocking function, supportive and padded armrests , footrest, stain-resistant fabric.
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What About Starting Solids
When a baby is still hungry after 32 ounces or nursing 8-10 times, it may be time to start solid foods. Typically, this occurs sometime between 4 to 6 months of age.
There are several other indicators that your baby is ready to start solid foods. First, note that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months. In addition, they advise that most babies are ready to start solid foods when they reach the following milestones:
- They can sit in a high chair or feeding chair and hold their head upright.
- They can open their mouths as food comes their way.
- They can move food from their mouth to their throat.
- They are approximately double their birth weight and over 13 pounds.
Itâs usually best to start with solids once or twice a day, and to finish each meal with nursing or a bottle. Some babies prefer a little formula first to take the edge off their hunger. Babies can have as much of the solids as they want. In reality, the number of calories they are getting from solids at this age is very minimal therefore it is still important to keep their schedule of milk feedings.
What Does Baby Need When They Are 3
Babies this age may start sleeping longer stretches at night, which means they will make up for the lost feedings during the day. Even though they won’t need as much sleep as they did when they were a newborn, they will still need lots of sleep, especially when they are 3 to 4 months old.
Plus, your baby is doing a lot of growing. By the end of this stageat about 5 to 6 months of ageyour baby has likely doubled their birth weight.
Because of this rapid growth, many pediatricians suggest using baby-led feeding, which means you feed your baby when they are hungry rather than sticking to a strict schedule. Using baby-led feeding is especially important because it allows you to respond to your baby’s growth spurts.
When babies are going through a growth spurt, they may start cluster feeding, or grouping several feedings close together. Cluster feeding is particularly evident in breastfed babies who begin nursing more frequently during growth spurts. This type of feeding causes their parent’s breast milk supply to increase to support their growing needs.
Once your baby reaches the end of this stage, their growth rate will slow down somewhat. In fact, it may take them another six months or longer to triple their birth weight. Stay on track with your well-visits during this time period as your baby’s doctor will monitor their growth to ensure they are growing as expected.
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A Quick Guide To Bottle
Feeding isnât just about nutrition â itâs a chance for social interaction and bonding. Sit comfortably and make eye contact. Enjoy these moments of closeness with your baby.
Just because youâre bottle-feeding, doesnât mean you and your baby have to miss out on plenty of skin-to-skin contact. Holding your little one close against your skin is not only good for bonding, it also has a calming effect and helps regulate your babyâs breathing and body temperature.
Hereâs a brief guide to bottle-feeding your baby:
Hold your baby upright in a comfortable, neutral position. Your infant shouldnât need to tilt or turn the head to reach the bottle
Hold the bottle almost horizontal to the ground, tilted just enough to fill the teat with the formula
Brush your babyâs lips with the teat, and your child will usually open his or her mouth wide and put out his or her tongue
Help your baby to draw the teat into his or her mouth
Pace the feed by pausing occasionally to see if your baby is still hungry
Othertypical Hunger Cues Include:
- Licking lips
- Putting his/her hand to mouth repeatedly
- Opening her mouth
- Sucking on everything around
Its necessary to understand, however, that each timeyour baby cries or sucks its not essentially as a result of he or she ishungry.
Babies suck not just for hunger but also comfort it ishard initially for parents to inform the distinction. Sometimes, your babysimply has to be cuddled or modified.
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Can A Baby Eat Too Much Formula
Healthy babies, when allowed to drink to their appetites without any prodding by parents, will grow at the rate that’s normal for them. If your little one’s weight is increasing at a steady clip and following a familiar curve, there’s no need to worry that she’s overeating. But if your baby’s bottle becomes the liquid equivalent of an all-you-can-eat buffet, there’s a chance she can easily get too much.
Here are signs to look for that may indicate your baby is taking in more formula than she needs:
- Frequent spit-ups. Overfeeding can lead to overflow in the form of excessive spit-up. Put too much in her little tummy, and it’s bound to come back up.
- Excessive weight gain. If your baby’s weight seems to be consistently moving upward faster than her height, check with the doctor. She may be picking up too many pounds too quickly because she’s taking in too much formula.
If your pediatrician tells you that your baby seems to be overeating, there are a few things you can do to slow down her formula intake :
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Feeding Schedule For Formula
Formula-fed newborns will need about two to three ounces of formula per feeding to start with. Newborns, fed from bottles are able to take in more during a feeding than a breastfed infants. This allows you to space out feedings by about three to four hours.
As your baby reaches her 1-month milestone, she will need at least four ounces per feeding to get the nourishment she requires. Your newbornâs feeding schedule will gradually become more predictable over time, and youâll need to adjust the amount of formula as she grows.
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What Do I Need If I’m Formula Feeding Away From Home
If you need to feed your baby away from home, take with you:
- a measured amount of formula powder in a small, clean and dry container
- a vacuum flask of hot water that’s just been boiled
- an empty sterilised feeding bottle with cap and retaining ring in place
The vacuum flask does not need to be sterilised, but should be clean, and only used for your baby. The boiling water should kill any bacteria present in the flask. If the flask is full and sealed, the water will stay above 70C for several hours.
Make up a fresh feed only when your baby needs it. The water must still be hot when you use it, to destroy any bacteria in the formula powder.
Remember to cool the bottle under cold running water before you feed it to your baby.
Alternatively, you could use a carton of ready-to-feed liquid formula when you’re away from home.