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AIBU to think you CAN be overfeeding a baby?

(35 Posts)
splodgeses Thu 25-Dec-14 18:19:24

My ds, average weight when born, is 5 months and wearing 9-12 and 12-18 month old clothes. I will admit he has been hopping up the length centiles as well as the weight ones, but I'm not surprised.

What I am surprised about is that he feeds soooooo much! I tried bf, but after almost 3 months of poorly boy with stomach pains, colic, constant vomiting, diarrhoea and endless feeding (which was observed by a bf consultant, who said he did seem to be feeding excessively) I gave up. I moved him onto leading formula, and he was drinking 8-10 4oz bottles a day, from the off. HV said to try a hungry version. I switched to the hungrier baby formula after 2 weeks. 7 weeks later and he is still on the hungrier formula, and drinking between 4/5 12oz bottles every day.

I have concerns that he is feeding too much, his weight gain slope is steeper than any centile and has gone over the 99.6. He was introduced to solids about 3 weeks ago as advised by HV but this hasn't slowed his milk consumption at all!

HV doesn't seem too vexed (although she was initially) and said that you can't overfeed a baby. But this evening, following his usual bedtime bottle (as well as this morning actually) he seemed to still be hungry. I don't think I could possibly up his bottles even further, but will feel like I am not giving him enough if I don't.

I will speak to HV again but she doesn't seem to be much use.

Has anyone else had such a demanding baby?

Jessicahyde85 Thu 25-Dec-14 18:23:16

I had a baby who was drinking 52 ounces of formula a day at 12 weeks, I was told by my hv that he needed to start being fed baby rice.... He is now a very happy healthy 4 year old his weight is perfect, his height is 75th centile.

Your baby knows what he wants, he wont be comfort eating etc..

nuts2you Thu 25-Dec-14 18:23:30

Disclaimer: I know next to nothing about FF. But yes, I have always heard that it's possible to overfeed a baby. It is fairly rare with breastfeeding, but even then it's possible. HV is incorrect.

Violetta999 Thu 25-Dec-14 18:25:37

They do have growth spurts and he could easily be on one. I agree done FF babies can be over fed sometimes. Do you have any tall/robust relatives? Are you both petit?

splodgeses Thu 25-Dec-14 18:39:38

I am very petite, but dp is very VERY tall, as are his brothers and sisters. The HV did say it could be growth spurts, but since being ff he has never had less than 32oz a day. More often than not it was more like 40oz to start with, and now he has 60. It has been steady progression despite introducing solids and he now has porridge and pureed fruit with his second bottle and a dinner (usually whatever we had the day before ie shepherds pie, chicken risotto) relatively blitzed with his second to last bottle.

I really am at my wits end. When I gave up bf, I felt dreadful, but the vomiting and diarrhoea stopped. I wonder if there was a mild allergy to something in my diet, and perhaps he fed so much to retain what he could and maybe that is why he still feeds so much. I know it probably sounds ridiculous, but I am quite scared that he will end up with digestive problems, or splitting his stomach!

notagainffffffffs Thu 25-Dec-14 18:45:16

Noo I dont think so - my dd was much the same, just a wee chunker ;)

naty1 Thu 25-Dec-14 20:28:52

What height centile is he on for the 99.6 weight?

anothernumberone Thu 25-Dec-14 20:34:32

Yes you can over feed formula. The levels of salt can be too high if you use too much. That is why early weaning can be recommended. Is it possible your lo has tt?. My dd was taking copious amounts of formula which she then vomited right back at us but it turned out she was tt. We found out when she was 6, a lot of use that was. That was also what caused a huge number of early bf problems.

Violetta999 Thu 25-Dec-14 23:21:54

What percentile for height is he?

I suspect he's got the big genes.

Purplepoodle Fri 26-Dec-14 07:02:52

Try online formula feeding calculator

slightlyconfused85 Fri 26-Dec-14 07:09:22

My dd was formula fed and very demanding. To be honest I wish I hadn't worried about it, she eats well now age2 but milk feeding feels like a distant memory. Just feed him, he is hungry. You may find you need to encourage him to drop bottles when the time comes rather than him doing it himself but don't worry.

JellyMould Fri 26-Dec-14 07:16:08

I'd be doing his food before a bottle to encourage him to fill up on food before milk, since it's likely to be lower calorie (assuming it's puréed fruit and veg mainly). Having said that, I couldn't leave a baby hungry, so would keep offering the milk.

HighFiveThenSquidAway Fri 26-Dec-14 07:22:56

My first had about that amount and is now a very tall and lean 3 year old. Food won't give enough calories, so yes their stomach will feel full due to the weight of food, but just leave baby hungry again.
likewise with hungry baby milk, it's just heavier so makes baby think he/she is fuller quicker, so will just feed more often.

BathshebaDarkstone Fri 26-Dec-14 07:24:38

Maybe he's just a big baby. fsmile

tobysmum77 Fri 26-Dec-14 07:30:51

I'm not sure what the 'online ff calculator' is. But the idea that all babies need the same amount of milk just is not true. I have 2 dds who were ff one ate seemingly hardly anything and the other one downed 8oz 5 times a day like the plug was being taken out of a bath. 'luckily' both of them were following the 25th line so I just got the hv laughing and saying 'you must have a big nappy bill' with dd2. So 12oz 4 times a day for a bigger baby to me doesn't sound that excessive. You also can't leave them hungry surely?

OP if it was me I'd go to the gp and see what they say.

splodgeses Fri 26-Dec-14 09:40:08

anothernumberone what is tt?

violette he was born just under the 25th and has sky rocketed to the 91st, but his weight is over the 99.6th

One of the things I get concerned about is that, although his diarrhoea stopped, his nappies have remained a darkish green.

Thanks tobysmum I thought the gp might just laugh me out of the surgery the same as with his hernia which later had to be operated on very quickly as it was so large his bowel got stuck Maybe it is worth taking him to see though

organiccarrotcake Fri 26-Dec-14 11:56:48

You can over feed a bottle fed baby (with EBM or formula). This is because babies can't stop the flow of milk, and self regulate, from a bottle the way they can with the breast.

Hungry baby formula should be banned. It's formula with thickeners which have damaging effects to the gut. It's effectively the old thing of putting rice powder in bottles, essentially introducing solid food too early.

It's possible that there's an underlying condition such as some form of silent reflux, which can make babies want to feed a lot as the milk soothes them. A decent GP - one which hasn't previously laughed you out of the surgery (which is offensive in the extreme, and probably malpractice given that they also missed a serious condition) would be worth chatting with.

In the meantime, if he tolerates it, you may find using an infant flow teat (the tiny hole ones) may help him to slow his milk intake. If he's really wanting the milk flow this may not work of course, but if he's just loving the time he's feeding (and there's no reason why bottle feeding can't be as pleasurable as breastfeeding for a baby, being more than just about the food) then this may mean he gets that part of what he likes.

That all said - does he look overweight? As in, properly overweight? You mention your partner being tall, and that your baby is hopping up length centiles too, so if he looks in proportion and doesn't look excessively overweight then he is probably absolutely fine, and just eating because he needs it.

Finally, you mention using a "leading" formula. They all contain the essential stuff by law, and anything else is just marketing. SMA is owned by Nestle, so if you follow the Nestle boycott you may wish to avoid that. Stage 2 and toddler milks have different milk protein balances to infant milk, to make them different enough to be able to be legally marketed, rather than being appropriate for babies over 6 months. Infant milk (stage 1) is really best to stick with between 6 months and a year (and toddler milks are sugar laden junk with no value at all). You can save a reasonable amount by buying cheaper stage 1 formulas rather than the self-professed leading brand, with absolutely no difference to your baby in terms of nutritional requirements. The only difference may be that some babies tolerate some brands better than others.

carrielou2007 Fri 26-Dec-14 13:56:57

The dark green pooh I know I used to get with my 3 (though all bf) was if they only got the first milk tge drink part rather than the more goody second part. Sorrycan't remember the right names or know if similar thing for ff?

carrielou2007 Fri 26-Dec-14 13:57:47

Goody? Foody! Another non-wordwink

OriginalGreenGiant Fri 26-Dec-14 14:15:31

Ds1 was like this. Born on the 50th centile for weight and height.

From 6 weeks or so his formula intake rocketed. He was having roughly double the amount he 'should' be having daily. His weight rocketed and he was above the 99.6th centile for weight by about 12 weeks and on the 91st for height. He was very chubby and had rolls of fat.

We weaned at 17 weeks and his milk consumption dropped by a quarter straight away. By 22 weeks he was having 3 meals a day, a normal milk intake and stopped putting on weight so quickly.

Now at age 6 he's on the 98th centile for both weight and height and perfectly in proportion but still eats more than any other child I know. He's clearly big/tall for his age but I think he just has a fast metabolism. He regularly eats the same size meals as me but there's not an ounce of excess fat on him.

splodgeses Fri 26-Dec-14 15:24:18

I was told by the bf consultant that the green poo is something to do with the sugary lactose, and have just realised that the only difference between Aptamil and the Aptamil Hungrier Babies is that the hingry version has a heck of a load more lactose in it!
I have just gone and bought the normal one and will see if the colour changes (bf consultant said that my let down was incredibly fast and maybe he was getting too much lactose, which may have caused the stomach pain, and may have contributed to his continuous feeding)
I can't believe I didn't notice this sooner!
I will be visiting the gp asaic in January.
Thanks to all replies, I think I started despairing when he wasn't satisfied with the 12oz. He is having 14oz bottles for now, but that may change with the return to normal formula.
Enjoy what is left of the holidays!!

CalleighDoodle Fri 26-Dec-14 15:45:58

You can most centainly over feed a formula fed baby.
Hungry baby food is no good.

But seems Im too late to this thread!

My ds was 10lb at birth and always 98th centiles. He was ebf until 22 wks no problems.

My dd was 8lb at birth as always 91st centile and was ebf until 24 weeks and would graze like you describe. Felt like she was constantly attached to boobs.

hehehahahoho Fri 26-Dec-14 16:01:00

I'm also too late for the thread. smile

I think you can over feed a breast fed baby. I certainly did. blush My DC1 fed really well immediately from birth. He latched on straight away and started feeding. He didn't feed for hours on end, he fed very quickly and enthusiastically. He actually made 'glugging' noises blush. He grew very fast and was way off the charts - he was quite fat too. The health visitors kept an eye on him because he was so big.
I just stopped feeding him as often and gave him water to drink. Retrospectively I should have done this earlier. His slowly grew into his weight and although he was a stocky toddler he was ok. He gradually slimmed down and is now a slim 6'3 adult.

Bulbasaur Fri 26-Dec-14 16:03:33

There was a time DD was going through almost a can of formula a day. We stuck rice in her cereal and that seemed to slow her down a bit. Just a few teaspoons like you would with a reflux baby. Not the doctor recommended solution, but she went longer without eating and it saved us some money on formula until we switched her to solids. She's not even a little chunky, just very active and needing to get into everything and move around.

organiccarrotcake Fri 26-Dec-14 16:19:54

Ap hungry baby uses a different cow's milk protein as its base compared to regular stage 1 (casein rather than whey). Whey is healthier. Lactose is a sugar which is in all mammal milk, but what I think may have happened with you is to do with your fast let down. Firstly your baby may have struggled to manage it, swallowing air in the process which will.cause colic, gas, pain and vomiting. Secondly, if you had a over supply (which can come with fast let down) your baby can get loads of lower fat "foremilk".This is wonderful stuff, but it travels through the gut faster than if the feed is balanced with fattier "hindmilk" because high fat content slows gut transit.

What happens then is that the lactose is insufficiently digested, before it gets further into the bowel, because there wasn't time. This remaining lactose can then feed bacteria which create excess gas, causing bloating, colic, explosive nappies, etc, from the gas build up.

It's often diagnosed as lactose intolerance, which is wrong. It's lactose overload in the lower bowel, caused by too fast gut transit. Incidentally, fast transit creates green poo, normal creates yellow/mustard, and too slow orange.

What do you think... does this make sense?

Ironically, if this is right you might find that if you relactate your supply will be lower and all may be well!

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