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Sucky baby

(22 Posts)
NK28a36fe8X12309084b05 Tue 11-Aug-09 11:50:09

Hi, I am new to this website.

I have a beautiful baby girl who is 7 weeks tomorrow. I express my milk (for various reasons which I won't go in to), and give her top-up formula. I give her as much milk as she will take in 40 minutes at each feed time and she is putting on weight really well and taking the recommended amounts. I try to regulate her feed times so she is not snacking all day or over-feeding and being sick all over me! When I know she can't be hungry (eg less than an hour after she last fed) I give her water but I am worried about the amount she drinks, today for example she has already had 100ml. She won't take a dummy instead. On the occassions I have caved in and given her milk she has vomited from over-feeding. Is it dangerous to give a baby too much water? Is she perhaps drinking this much because of the hot weather? I have also recently changed her teat from a newborn Tommee Tippee to a slow flow teat Medela teat (I had two infections and was on 4 different types of tablets and they dried my milk up almost completely, the Medela pump is now the only one that lets me express a decent amount of milk).

KTNoo Tue 11-Aug-09 14:08:24

Not sure if this helps but have you tried the dummy with the NUK teat - shaped much more like the nipple when breastfeeding and the only shape any of mine could keep in their mouth. Avent or similar orthodontic shape dummies just fell right out of the mouth. You can get NUK dummies or also a make called BiBi (better I thought) but not sure you can get them in UK.

Saved my sanity!

thisisyesterday Tue 11-Aug-09 14:17:34

she may just be hungry. babies are designed to take small amounts frequently, not lalrge amounts every few hours.
she knows better than you when she is hungry. if you are replacing feeds with waterthen you risk not giving her the nutrients she needs to grow.
the hot weather may well be making her thirsty, but breastmilk contains all she needs and she should not need water as well.

so, my advice would be to feed her on demand, for as long as she wants. if she is still hungry after a bottle then give her some more.

NK28a36fe8X12309084b05 Tue 11-Aug-09 15:15:58

Hi, thanks for your messages.

I will try the dummy suggested! smile

I am not replacing feeds with water and I don't believe she is hungry - as I mentioned I am talking about less than an hour after I have just fed her (all the milk she will take in 40 minutes or so), and on the occassions when I have given her more milk to check, she has vomited from over-feeding, which is not good for her.

Also as I said I give top-ups of formula aswell as breast milk.

I have tried demand feeding but it does not work for baby or for me, and was not recommended by my Health Visitor.

thisisyesterday Tue 11-Aug-09 17:56:06

ok, but it is normal for baby to feed that frequently. i know you are bottle feeding, but your baby is still just exhibiting normal baby behaviour.
my second child often fed every 45 minutes, more frequently in warm weather. your baby does know when she is hungry, and if you are giving water rather than milk then you are not giving her what she needs, does that make sense?
think to yourself what you would do if you were feeding directt from the breast... if she was hungry you'd feed. you would have no way of knowing what she'd had. you would have to trust her to tell you. this is the same... the mode of milk delivery may be differnet, but everything else is the same

i just wanted you to know that it's normal for her to maybe feel hungry only a short time after she has fed, and that it's ok to feed that often even if she brings some back and even if your HV thinks it's wrong.

sadly many HV's and other HCP's are sadly undertrained and misinformed about infant feeding.

thisisyesterday Tue 11-Aug-09 17:57:32

sorry, meant to put, you were worried about the amount of water she is having. i think i would be too tbh.
it indicates to me that she IS hungry- that's why she keeps asking for more, the water is sating her for a short while but not providing calories.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 11-Aug-09 18:00:21

DS used to feed every hour at that stage. I would just keep offering milk, even if she possets a little back up again.

Tee2072 Tue 11-Aug-09 18:04:20

Some days my 8 week old DS eats every 2.5 - 3 hours. Some days every hour. Some days every 1.5 hours etc.

If she is still hungry, she is still hungry. Babies spit up/posset. Its not harming her to do so.

Water is not what she needs. She needs EBM/formula.

sambo2 Tue 11-Aug-09 18:53:09

Hi NK28,

Congratulations on your little girl.

I totally understand where you are coming from - there are two schools of thought on feeding and I am in the routine camp. It appears that some of the other posters are in the feed on demand camp. You should not be made to feel bad for choosing a routine and trying to stretch your baby's feed times - by 8 weeks, it is completely reasonable, IMO, to want to avoid having a baby that eats little and often (especially if you are expressing for each feed - I had to as well and for those who didn't, it takes about 30 mins to express a full bottle, followed by 40-60 mins to give it to the baby...another good reason why you don't want to be demand feeding otherwise you would never get out!!).

I am not a doctor, but water can't be bad, especially in this heat. Also, if she is putting on the correct amount of weight each week, then you are feeding her enough milk. I would persevere with the dummy - buy lots of different types and keep offering it between feeds. Also, have you tried increasing the size of the teat?


WowOoo Tue 11-Aug-09 19:03:59

Agree with what thisisyesterday has said.
Good luck.

thisisyesterday Tue 11-Aug-09 20:12:32

sambo, as a matter of fact I have expressed, I did so for some time with ds1 so am aware of how time consuming it is!

routines are not great for little babies. forcing a small baby to take a lot in one feed and then wait a long time for the next is bad. it is one of the reasons that formula fed babies are more prone to obesity in later life.
babies tummies are tiny, they are supposed to eat little and often, and the fact that it is easier for you not to do that doesn't change that fact.

water IS bad if it is being given instead of a feed that the baby wants. if a baby is hungry it will cry for food. water may satisfy it for a short time but at what price??? a child may still be putting on weight, but it might not be putting on enough.
and as for the "correct weight" well what would that be then? i don't think there is some kind of magic amount a baby should put on each week.

sambo2 Tue 11-Aug-09 21:05:49

Well, in that case my baby, and those of most of friends, will be obese!!! Come on, no one is force feeding their baby by feeding them in a routine! It is very common to feed a new baby every 3 hours. Having a new baby is stressful, which is not helped when someone on a forum starts being critical - she has said that demand feeding doesn't work for her - that is her choice and therefore I feel it is important to support that. Feeding water is NOT damaging - dehydration is far worse, especially in this heat! I agree that if the baby was just being fed water then it would be of concern, but NK28 is aware of how much food she is getting, because the baby is being fed breast/formula from a bottle. As for 'normal' weight, I refer to a baby still following a percentile line and not obviously dropping weight i.e. steady growth.

We clearly don't agree!!

thisisyesterday Tue 11-Aug-09 21:13:07

yes sambo. formula fed babies are much, much more likely to be obese in later life. so if that is how you and your friends choose to feed your children then yes, they are more likely to be obese.
that is a fact.

babies do not always follow a centile line strictly. so that is no guide to what they "should" be weighing/gaining.

the fact that the baby is being fed breastmilk means that it should not need water. and if the baby is crying for food it is food that it needs, not water!

i am not deliberately trying to cause upset or be critical, but as much as women reserve the right to choose how/what to feed their children they should do so in an INFORMED manner. if you know all the risks of formula/water etc and still choose to do so that's up to you, but it isn't something you should do just cos you fancy it, without finding out about it first
giving water is not necessary. it could be damaging if you are feeding water when your hungry baby is asking for food.

if the OP still wants to give water that is her choice, but she asked for advice, and was worried about the amount of water the baby was taking. so she clearly wasn't that certain it was the right thing to do

it's very easy for you to sit there and say "water can't be bad" etc etc. how do you know? show me some evidence that it is necessary.
and i don';t mean anecdotal evidence.

thisisyesterday Tue 11-Aug-09 21:15:04

btw, the advice to feed babies 3 or 4 hourly came partly from the introduction of formula which was harmful given too much/too often. and also by advice from a few male doctors of ye olden days who decided it was necessary.

funnily enough, up until then babies had not only survived, but thrived being fed on demand. as nature intended

sambo2 Tue 11-Aug-09 21:27:06

Babies don't just cry because they are hungry! As the OP said, she has a sucky baby - the need to suck, not the need to be fed more food. Why would you feed a baby more food if they are being sick as the OP said? In fact, surely a demand fed baby would be more likely to be obese as they learn to snack rather than eat at regular intervals?!

Also, why is formula harmful? Do you have evidence of this? There are a huge number of women who can't breastfeed, and have to use formula - it is rather insensitive (and smug, IMO) to suggest that formula fed babies are being set up for obesity in later life. And how do you know that water IS bad? Do YOU have evidence?

georgimama Tue 11-Aug-09 21:48:17

The OP is expressing. That means her baby is getting breast milk (predominantly). Breast milk fed babies do not need water, they need breast milk.

Babies who are formula fed are more likely to be obese. If you don't believe it sambo, I suggest google.

cakefaced Tue 11-Aug-09 22:15:38

Formula fed babies need water. Breast fed babies, fed on demand, get food and water at the breast and do not need supplementation with water. The foremilk is watery, and my LO will sometimes suck for a short time to "drink" especially in this weather, which is different to a full blown "feed". LO is now 16 weeks.

LO started sucking her fingers at about 8 weeks which meant that she no longer needed to suck me to satisfy a "sucky" need, rather than being actually hungry. She would never take a dummy. She managed a fantastic expression of total revulsion and a look that said "that the f*ck is that???". I am slightly sad that her first taste other than milk was a rubber teat <sigh>.

I would suggest that the original poster seek advise from a local breast feeding counsellor, or baby cafe, or knowlegable HV (yours sounds sadly wrong). Common problem in HV's alas.

ABout the obesity: In Sept the NHS is releasing growth charts for breast fed babies, because formal fed babies are heavier. HVs were giving incorrect advise about moving from breast to bottle because breast fed babies were failing to gain weight according to the charts. In fact the charts were all based on babies from decades ago fed on highly calorific formula which led them to be overweight.

cakefaced Tue 11-Aug-09 22:24:00

Incidentally you can get the new growth charts on the Royal College of Paediatrics website:

They will be used for all babies born after 11th May 2009 in the UK.

thisisyesterday Wed 12-Aug-09 19:20:53

there is plenty of evidence out there that formula is harmful yes. you only need to google it!
or better still go to amazon and buy a cope of the politics of breastfeeding and the womanly art of breastfeeding.

it isn't insensitive to say that, it is a fact. formula of course has its place for those babies who are unable to have breastmilk.
and if you have made an informed decision to give your child formula then you won't be bothered by it surely?

thisisyesterday Wed 12-Aug-09 19:22:45

and no, babies don't only cry for food, of course not. but this baby is taking a lot of water. enough for the OP to be concerned that baby is taking too much.
that in itself is an indication that the baby wants to eat. if it can take water without being sick then it can take EBM without being sick, it jsu needs to be given in smaller quantities, more frequently.

thisisyesterday Wed 12-Aug-09 19:26:32

lots of info on formula here sambo, if you';re interested

thisisyesterday Wed 12-Aug-09 19:41:13

and here all well referenced

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