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Breastfed baby gaining too much weight?

(17 Posts)
SatelliteCity Thu 11-May-17 12:13:30

DD had some feeding issues right after birth including a small weight loss at one weighing so we were advised to give top-ups of pumped breastmilk. We did this and DD gained and rose from the 20th to the 50th centile by around 3 months. At that point we dropped the lunch time top up but kept the night time top up as it was part of her bed time routine. Also she would finish her bottle (4oz) and still be hungry and I'd breastfeed her to sleep, so I figured we weren't feeding her more than she actually wanted.

She kept gaining weight going up to the 65th centile by 4.5 months. She was just weighed again this morning and she's up to the 85th centile! She will be 6 months old next week.

I'm not sure what her length is right now, but I THINK it's somewhere around the 60th centile.

I know at the start she was probably too low, but she's now crossed a lot of centile lines and I'm worried she's gaining too much. But I'm also not sure what to do about that. I don't force-feed her, I just feed her when she seems hungry. This is usually every two hours or so in the day, and then at night she will wake once. I thought that breastfed babies were good at regulating their intake?

Unfortunately I couldn't take DD to the weighing clinic this morning so DH went and I don't think he explained her eating routine very well.

Basically, we started her on solids a few days ago. At the moment she doesn't like it much and won't take much at all. She is breastfed on demand during the day, then gets a 4oz bottle at night before breastfeeding to sleep. She usually falls asleep within minutes so isn't eating a huge amount. The bottle is usually breastmilk but sometimes formula if I haven't pumped enough. Maybe once a week, she gets a bottle of formula or expressed milk during the day as well because I have to leave and DH is looking after her.

Unfortunately I think DH left the health visitor with the impression that she got formula top ups more frequently during the day as the HV suggested replacing those formula top ups with water now that she was on solids.

But she's barely on solids - she won't eat enough to really count as food, to be honest. She'll eat like...half a teaspoon. Also the main time she gets a bottle is at bedtime, and it seems like a bad idea to start giving her water before sleeping since she'll just wake up hungry?

I'm assuming the HV suggested this because DD is overweight, but I have no idea how to address that. Her advice isn't something I can really act on.

What should I do? I don't want to starve DD, and I don't want to upset her by refusing to feed her when she seems hungry. But I don't want to hurt her health and cause her to grow up to be overweight by overfeeding her. sad

NameChange30 Thu 11-May-17 12:18:10

I'd stop giving her formula if I were you. It sounds as if she's getting plenty of breast milk (directly or expressed).

If you're running low on expressed milk, you could just give her less ebm in the evening bottle, and if she's still hungry she can have more when she breastfeeds to sleep.

NameChange30 Thu 11-May-17 12:19:39

I have also heard that breastfed babies regulate their intake so you don't have to worry about weight - but strictly speaking she's mix fed not exclusively breastfed.

I'm definitely not in the "formula is evil" camp, btw, it just seems unnecessary in this situation!

SatelliteCity Thu 11-May-17 12:23:19

I can do that for the evening bottle but when I have to be away from her in the day I'm not happy leaving her hungry? The evening bottles are breastmilk 4 days in 5 - I'm not sure having a little less once or twice a week will make much difference?

NameChange30 Thu 11-May-17 12:27:53

What I mean is you make sure you have enough EBM in reserve for when you have to leave her, and if that means giving less EBM in the bottle in the evening, and she just has a bit more from the breast before falling asleep, that would be ok wouldn't it?
(Hope that makes sense... I am so sleep deprived!)

You could also try reducing the evening bottle to 3oz for example and see if that has an impact, she might not miss the extra ounce and still sleep fine.

FourForYouGlenCoco Thu 11-May-17 12:36:23

I'm going to say actually, i wouldn't worry, it sounds as though she is 95% bf and not feeding excessively, so v unlikely that she's overfed. She's probably just finding her groove, and/or putting down some weight ready to get moving - is she looking likely to crawl soon? My DS chunked right up before he started crawling/cruising. He's a tank - was fed much the same as yours (almost exclusively bf with the odd bottle of formula here and there from a few weeks old - maybe 1-2 a week) and he was sitting just under the 91st centile at last weigh in! Born on the 50th and shot up through the centiles. It's just his natural size; no one's ever been worried. I wouldn't worry about your DD; she sounds just fine. I'm also slightly jealous - wish DS would only wake up 1x a night! You've hit the jackpot there grin

SatelliteCity Thu 11-May-17 12:38:02

No that does make sense, the problem is I work from home mostly (going back on site in a few weeks) so when I have to go it's not because something's come up, and while it's usually about once a week, it's not always a predictable day or length of time. So that makes it hard to plan.

I think I probably will start slowly reducing her evening top-ups by an ounce at a time. I'm just concerned that because she's always a bit hungry after them, she'll just drink more from me and it won't make a difference to her overall consumption/weight gain. But I suppose it's the main thing I can try that won't seem cruel.

SatelliteCity Thu 11-May-17 12:41:21

Thanks GlenCoCo. I'd be less worried if she was born closer to this weight, but because of the early feeding issues, it's hard to say where she would have started "naturally", iyswim?

I'm not sure about crawling, but possibly? She's just got to the point where she won't stay still without rolling in the last week or so (she COULD roll before then but generally didn't bother). When she's on her stomach she's stretching and wriggling in frustration, like she wants to get moving. I'm not sure how close she is to actually getting there though...

NameChange30 Thu 11-May-17 13:01:33

Maybe she's not hungry after her evening bottle, she just has a little breastfeed for comfort or because it's part of the routine? Anyway you'll soon find out if you try reducing the amount a bit.

I expect Four is right though and it's nothing to worry about too much smile

Emma2803 Thu 11-May-17 13:06:18

I personally wouldn't worry and wouldn't change a thing. She will reduce her milk feeds when she is ready. She is still so young and milk is her main diet. Once they start moving they burn a lot more calories, my son is 25 months and he has put on about 6lb max since he was 7 months, he started crawling at 9 and on feet for his birthday.
As long as they are having a nutritious diet (be that milk or food later) let them eat till they are satisfied, they will know when they have had enough.
You sound like you are doing a great job at recognising your babies cues. Honestly don't panic!!

DarkFloodRises Thu 11-May-17 15:31:39

It sounds like you're doing fine, try not to worry too much. I know the health visitors seem to expect all babies to follow the same percentile, but that wasn't my experience. My (EBF) DC1 moved between 25% and 75% at different points in his first year. He's now 11 and is a healthy weight (tall and slim for his age).

Whatsername17 Thu 11-May-17 18:26:42

I wouldn't worry or change anything. Babies do not 'over eat', whether bf or ff. A ff baby will turn their head from the bottle or spit milk out once they are done. You can't make them drink it anymore than you could force a baby onto your nipple. My bf baby chucked the weight on quickly, but it will all sort itself out when they crawl. The most important thing in terms of long term weight, health and nutrition is the foods you choose to wean them on.

ElleDubloo Thu 11-May-17 22:09:07

I wouldn't worry about it. My DD was on the 25th centile at birth (which was as expected as I have a small-ish frame) but went gradually up to the 95th (yes, 95th) centile over the first 6 months. Exclusively breastfed, fed on demand. After weaning she continued on the 95th centile and she is now a very tall and moderately slim toddler. She is extremely healthy, active, loves her food, etc. I have no concerns about her. Obviously she's just the size that's natural for her.

SatelliteCity Fri 12-May-17 13:01:34

Thanks for the reassurance everyone. I did give her 3oz instead of 4oz last night, and she went to sleep as normal, though she did wake up twice for milk instead of once as she normally does. That said, she's coming down with a cold, so I think that's likely to be the reason for the extra waking.

I think that I'll keep slowly reducing her night time top up and see if we can get rid of it, but when I did that to her lunch time top up a few months ago, her weight gain stayed consistent as she just drank more from me, so I suspect that will happen this time too. So it's really nice to hear stories of other babies who were breastfed or mostly breastfed who rose through the centiles like mine has and who are fine.

I will try not to worry too much.

MiniAlphaBravo Fri 12-May-17 15:43:33

She's 6 months and she's not 'overweight' she's 85th centile, not above the centiles. Please done start worrying about the weight of a 6 months old baby....

newbian Fri 12-May-17 15:47:05

My exclusively BF baby was born smallish (2.9 kg) and went up to 80-90th percentile in weight by 3 months and has stayed there ever since - 18 months now. She's tall and active and no doctors have ever made a fuss about her size. Be grateful for a healthy and well fed baby!

SheepyFun Fri 12-May-17 16:06:28

DD was born on the 9th centile. By the time she turned 1, she was on the 91st centile (weight only, definitely not for height) - she was mixed fed (though refusing solids if at all possible, that's another thread). HV wasn't worried at all - she only started crawling at 1, and her weight plateaued for three months. She's now a healthy weight, around the 50th centile (she's 4). So, in short, I wouldn't worry if I were you - you haven't moved as much through the centiles as DD did, and she's fine.

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