How Much Formula Should A 3 Month Old Eat Chart Bottle Feeding: Is Baby Getting Too Much?

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Bottle Feeding: Is Baby Getting Too Much?

Recent studies have linked obesity in adults to overfeeding with infant formula. So, are you giving your baby too much milk?

When you bottle feed your baby, it’s easy to see how much your baby is getting. Manufacturers give instructions on how to prepare formula and how much milk the baby should consume. The guide states how much to feed a child of a certain age and weight. So, why are babies at greater risk of being overweight when they are bottle-fed?

The biggest cause of excessive weight gain is parents ignoring baby’s signals that he has had enough. Nursing mothers are taught to follow the child’s example. Nursing mothers are taught to offer breast milk when the baby wants it and to stop breastfeeding when she sees signs that the baby has had enough. Mothers who choose to bottle feed are rarely, if ever, given this advice. Rather, mothers feel obligated to follow the instructions printed on the side of the container. But the guidelines aren’t right for every child; every child is unique, different. Due to the blind acceptance of formula milk manufacturers, many mothers are tempted to make their baby finish the bottle.

Nicolas Stettler, a pediatric nutritionist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, studied data on a large number of bottle-fed infants. He found a link between rapid weight gain in the first four months and obesity at age seven. He speculates that this may be due to overfeeding. “For bottle-fed babies, the mother may run over her baby, urging him to finish the bottle,” she explains. “A mother must respond to her baby’s cues.” If babies are constantly overwhelmed, not feeling full, they may learn to ignore the “full signal” over time. Also, for most babies, drinking milk is not just about getting nutrition; it’s about convenience. As a result, some children often feed even when they are not hungry.

The mother needs to watch for signals that the baby is adequately fed. But what signals should a bottle-feeding mother look for? First, follow the advice given to nursing mothers. This means you have your baby do ten or 12 suckles, then remove the bottle, then another ten or 12 suckles, then another break, and so on. This stimulation is especially important for the newborn, less so after about four months. During these breaks, remove the nipple from the baby’s mouth, as you may accidentally push it against his palate. If your baby doesn’t open his mouth for a bottle after one of these breaks, he’s probably done. If the child drinks, watch his mouth. If your baby’s mouth relaxes or goes limp so that he is no longer actively sucking, he has stopped drinking. If your baby stops making eye contact, turns his head from side to side or tries to push the bottle; he has stopped drinking.

Formula-fed babies are known to gain weight differently than breast-fed babies. This difference is most noticeable after two or three months, when formula-fed babies gain weight on average slightly faster than breastfed babies. Breastfed babies usually gain weight more slowly after the first three months. In addition, at the age of one year, they are slightly thinner than formula-fed babies. Keep this in mind when comparing your child’s weight gain to a weight chart.

A baby’s weight gain can be uneven and it is not unusual for newborn babies to lose weight in the first few days. If you are concerned about your child’s weight, you should see your doctor immediately. As mentioned above, the most important thing is to follow your baby’s instructions about how much he needs; not someone else’s.

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