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How do you make a baby eat more in the day?

(11 Posts)
dcgc Wed 15-Jul-09 14:03:29

Hi, I'm pretty new to mumsnet and am also a first time mum. My son is now 15 weeks old (born at 8lbs 2oz)and is now a "sturdy" size! He eats well and up until just over a week ago slept really well too (put down at 7.00-7.30pm and generally going through until at least 3.00am/feed/back to sleep until 6.30am-7.00am. However, last week he started waking up between 2-4 times and would only go back down when fed (pretty much polishing off full bottles of between 180-210ml of formula). Initially I put it down to a growth spurt, but it has been going on now for about 8 nights. Last night he woke at 10.30pm for a feed (something he hasn't done since the first few weeks). My HV says I need to up his calories for the day, but since this all started he hasn't been finishing his bottles in the day, getting about 3/4 of the way through and then refusing to have any more. I feel I'm now getting into a reverse routine where he's getting most of his feeds at night and then snacking through the day and I don't know how to get out of it! Has anyone else experienced this? Is baby rice the answer to get him throught the night? How do you make a baby eat when they clearly have lost interest? Sorry to waffle on but the sleepless nights are becoming hard going after having been spoilt with only one "get up" a night for the last month. Thanks in advance.

lauralou123 Wed 15-Jul-09 14:37:07

I don't think you can 'make' him eat more as such. Is he finishing his night bottle because he is hungry or because it's in his mouth and he sucks it for comfort? Can you take it from him half way through?

If you think he might be ready for baby rice, then you could always give it a go. I know the current advice is six months but I don't know anyone who has waited until then, especially if he is a big baby.

nobodysfool Wed 15-Jul-09 14:41:18

sorry to throw a spanner in the works but i have a big baby (even though he was 4 weeks early) and i started him on solids at 6 months.
dcgc- have you tried the hungier baby formulas?They did the trick for my first baby who was the greediest little sod ever!
Oh, and welcome to Mumsnet.

littleboyblue Wed 15-Jul-09 14:43:56

I'd try either lowering the amount of milk in the bottles at night by an ounce at a time, so he still gets the comfort and filling, but not completely. Or you could do what I did with ds1 which was water the formula down. It is perfectly safe to do as long as there is less powder for amount of water and not the other way around which can cause probs. I had 7oz of water with 7 scoops of powder, nex feed was 7oz water, 6 scoops of pwder and so on until it wasn't worth waking for. Took 3 nights and he slept through.
He won't eat if he's not hungry, so the only way would be to gradually lower the ammount he has at night. I think.....

LuluMaman Wed 15-Jul-09 14:44:08

baby rice is not teh answer

feeding responsively, and not pushing a baby to drink more than they want is the key

feeding once or twice in teh night is normal at this age

in terms of calories and nutrition and what is safest to give a 15 week old, milk wins over baby rice every time

size is no indication at all of the maturity of the gut and the ability to digest anything other than milk

is 210ml 9 oz?

if he is draining 9 oz frequently, you could consider a switch to hungry baby formula

LuluMaman Wed 15-Jul-09 14:45:10

i woudl not do this for a 15 week old baby

night feeding is part and parcel and reducing the amount of calories by watering down teh milk and filling hte tummy with water is not a great idea

there is no magic wand, babies need feeding in the night

dcgc Wed 15-Jul-09 14:49:36

Thanks for the quick responses. I had heard from a couple of people that the hungry babies formula didn't work, but think I'll give it a try. Lauraloo123 I'm pretty sure he's drinking the night feeds through hunger as he sucks as though his life depends on it and only stops when he appears to have filled himslef up. We did try a dummy but gave it up a couple of weeks ago as it was becoming a nightmare when it fell out (doing around 8 get ups to put the damned thing back in again)! I know everyone says it gets better and that one day he'll sleep through, but I honestly can't see it happening! I'll be cartwheeling down the street if\when it does though!

lauralou123 Wed 15-Jul-09 15:28:58

He will get better, you know he will really!

I fully agree with Lulumama that night waking is just what some babies do, but a change in his sleeping patterns could indicate something else; be that teething pain or hunger or some thing else.

I think you will have to use your own judgement on what to do with him next, if anything. Obviously others disagree on the baby rice, and yes a larger baby doesn't mean a more developed gut, but does probably mean they need more calories. Personally I started weaning all three of mine at about 16 weeks (but i'm not saying you should)and I don't think a baby who isn't ready for food will take it happily so I do not see any problem in trying. Obviously just my opinion! smile

dcgc Wed 15-Jul-09 17:55:27

Thanks Lauralou, have been to the shops and purchased my hungry baby formula so fingers crossed it'll make a difference. Thanks again.

FabBakerGirlIsBack Wed 15-Jul-09 17:58:28

You can't make a baby eat more than they want and stuffing them full of food is more likely to leave them with tummy ache than the ability to sleep through the night.

15 weeks is still very young.

Mine woke for feeds until 6-7 months.

suwoo Wed 15-Jul-09 18:00:18

Ha, mine still had milk in the night until he was well over 2! 4 bottles on a bad night.

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