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Thread: Overfeeding 8 month old?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    29

    Default Overfeeding 8 month old?

    My 8 month old son is never full. He always wants more solids, more nursing, more EVERYTHING (yes, he was a high needs infant!). My MIL and daycare provider (and everyone) are always saying that you cannot overfeed a baby and they will tell you when they are full. Is this true?
    I feel that my son has eaten so much at times that he has made himself sick! We are feeding him (not baby led with solids), but he keeps opening his mouth and going "wild" for it.
    At daycare, they now supplement him an extra 3-4 ounces of formula over what I pump (which isn't that much, as I only pump about 8 ounces for an 8 hour workday). But still, sometimes I wonder whether he needs to be cut back-- at least on solids).
    He has always been fine with weight gain, growth, etc. He is not overweight at all, but with the introduction of solids, I am just worried that he might be overdoing it. The other day, he was vomiting and spitting up so much. he seemed happy but I just have this feeling he is eating too much... which is ironic, because I spent the first 7 months of his life obsessing that he might be underfed (as some a-hole pediatrician told me I had low milk supply when he was 4 weeks old. I never recovered and have been anxious about it ever since).
    How can I tell if he is being overfed?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,255

    Default Re: Overfeeding 8 month old?

    It is not true that you cannot overfeed a baby. A bottle fed baby and a spoon fed baby CAN be overfed. But this does not mean YOUR child is being overfed.

    Babies do not control bottles like they do breastfeeding, so it has long been recognized that a baby can be overfed with bottles.

    This is more my opinion, but I have introduced three kids to solids and found baby led (which I did with my third) made by far the most sense. I think a baby who is eating only or mostly pureed foods that are spooned into his mouth can also be overfed. Purees go down almost like liquid, requiring no chewing and very little tongue manipulation from baby. Baby does not even have to pick up the spoon! Magically this stuff appears and just slides down. A baby who might otherwise mouth or gnaw at a piece of soft fruit for 15 minutes and be perfectly happy, may keep swallowing and swallowing ounce after ounce of spoon fed purees for the entertainment value alone.

    I think it is important to remeber that solids are supposed to be just for experimentation and learning at this age. Baby's nutrition should still be coming entirely or nearly so from breastmilk. (or formula when breastmilk is not an option.) Purees are not teaching baby much about what is required when eating, generally.

    I suggest, follow your instincts. If you think your baby is getting too much solids, consider moving toward a more 'baby-led' approach. Read the book 'Baby Led Weaning' and see if you agree with the basic philosophy.

    If you would prefer your baby not get formula, talk to your caregivers about bottle feeding in a more 'baby led' way as well. It depends on how often your baby nurses the rest of the time whether 8 ounces is not enough for an 8 hour separation- but it could be enough-the rule of thumb is anywhere from 1 to 1.5 ounces per hour of separation.

    I would also suggest to make a point to nurse prior to (and after) offering solids. It is important to keep baby nursing at the breast as much as possible when introducing solids, because solids (especially purees) certainly can fill a baby up and lead to less nursing, which you don't want happening too early.

    bottle feeding the breastfed baby http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; July 23rd, 2013 at 05:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: Overfeeding 8 month old?

    Thanks, Meg. The 1-1.5 oz per hour of separation is really interesting to me. It makes me feel A LOT better about how much I am pumping at work. I keep feeling so inadequate and wondering what is wrong with me. Then I see stuff like this and I realize that I'm probably not that far off from what he would take from the breast.

    I am already moving towards having baby feed himself more. That is a great suggestion. AND, I have really increased frequency of BFing. He was doing every 3.5 hours, now I am back to every 1.5-2.5 hours.

    It is really difficult to tell a caretaker to give your baby less milk in a bottle, if the baby cries after the bottle is finished. (he usually forgets all about it after one minute). They say, "he wants more". He will stop drinking from the bottle when he is full. They look at me like i am a monster when I say, it is OK if he cries for a second after the bottle is gone. He loves to suck and loves milk! I've gotten to the point where I am embarrassed to tell my MIL to only give him 4 oz at a time, because she thinks I am asking her to starve him.

    Any thoughts on how to deal with this habit in our society of stuffing babies until they literally cannot fit another drop into their tummies??

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,788

    Default Re: Overfeeding 8 month old?

    Does your baby take a pacifier? Sometimes it can help to swap in the paci when the bottle is done, especially if baby just wants to suck. Also, telling your caregiver to offer the paci can make them feel like there is something they can do in order to deal with a fussy or crying baby- something other than stuffing him until he passes out, that is!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

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