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How much formula at 8 weeks?

(21 Posts)
HarryHarry Tue 19-Jun-18 22:33:36

I'm a FTM with an 8 week old baby boy. For medical reasons, he is not allowed breast milk so we've been feeding him special formula since he got out of the NICU. Last week we were given the go-ahead to give him normal formula. He started off drinking about 125ml every 3 hours (a lot more than the recommended amount for his age according to the formula brand website). However, in the past few days he has started wanting even more. The problem is that he never shows any signs of hunger until he is offered a bottle, at which point he goes crazy and practically grabs it out of our hands in a panic, meaning that we never have any warning. (We have to feed him on a 3 hour schedule rather than on demand as otherwise he won't show us when he's hungry until it's too late and he's screaming his head off ). While drinking, he refuses to let himself be burped because he just can't wait to get back to drinking. Then as soon as the bottle is empty, he will scream for more. At first I was reluctant to give it to him because I was afraid of overfeeding him but yesterday the nurse told me he should be allowed to drink until he can't take any more. Well, I tried it and he drank 225ml and STILL wanted more! I feel like if I kept offering more he would carry on drinking forever as he just doesn't seem to know when to stop. Based on what I've read on MN and elsewhere, I really don't think he should be having so much but what can I do?! Does anyone else have any experience of this? If so, what did you do to resolve it? I should add that he's gaining weight at a steady pace and is now over 11 pounds.

kittymadness Tue 19-Jun-18 22:44:02

It's generally a good sign that your baby is drinking so well, he's putting on weight and he's a growing boy!

You say he doesn't ask for milk but then goes crazy when you give him some; is he otherwise happy? Any excessive crying or sluggishness? If not, the fact you're feeding him every 3 hours and he's not asking for milk but nailing it when you feed him would indicate that he's well fed and not crying for it because you're getting the milk to him just before he asks for it! Or you may just be lucky and have a quiet, relaxed baby!

Either way, he's feeding and putting on weight and that's great; babies don't pay attention to how much the general guidelines say they should have; my LO was a dinky little thing but guzzled milk like there was no tomorrow, and she's a happy, healthy little chunk now! smile

If you're concerned speak to your HV or take him to the doctors, but it sounds like you're doing great xx

BloodyWorried Tue 19-Jun-18 22:45:36

Firstly congratulations!

225ml as in 8 fluid ounces? My first born wasn’t dissimilar - we went to hungry baby milk at 9/10 weeks because he wasn’t satisfied and had 9oz bottles every two hours, but he would be screaming for it. Was there a reason behind the SCBU? Perhaps input from them may be best - they happily take calls and will answer individual enquiries; especially if your ds is settled inbetween feeds.

Mumtolovelyboyandgirl Tue 19-Jun-18 22:46:36

Congratulations! Try not to worry about what it says on the formula website and trust the nurse’s advice and your instincts. Is he bringing up all the milk when he takes a lot? Does he cry afterwards with gas that you can’t shift easily by burping him? If not then he’s probably just hungry. Best of luck getting through the feeds every 3hrs... it can be tough x.

mindutopia Wed 20-Jun-18 10:29:55

I would just follow his lead. It’s possible he hasn’t been having enough and is just really hungry. If you feed on demand, you’ll likely see it even out eventually. Unless he’s being sick after feeds (like projectile vomiting it all up), he’s not having too much.

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 20-Jun-18 15:49:27

Formula doesn’t go on age OP, it goes on weight. Babies who are ff should have 2.5 floz (74 ml) of formula per pound of weight in 25 hours. So if he’s 11 pounds he should be having around 813 ml (27.5 floz) of formula a day. Is he getting that? If he’s taking a lot less or a lot more, I’d talk to the nurses again smile

How is he on his centile chart? Is he following a centile steadily?

JiltedJohnsJulie Wed 20-Jun-18 15:50:44

*24 hours

HarryHarry Thu 21-Jun-18 01:44:15

Thanks for your replies. To answer your questions - he is mostly happy, he only really cries just before and after feeding and it seems to be caused by hunger rather than discomfort. When he allows himself to be burped he burps well and rarely brings anything back up. He is currently having 200ml every 3-4 hours so up to 1600ml per day!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 21-Jun-18 16:11:08

That is a lot more than the recommended amount for his weight. I would speak to the nurses age. The 2.5 floz per pound in weight might not apply if he’s had a rocky start smile

bbqseason Thu 21-Jun-18 16:51:12

Have a google of "paced bottle feeding", it may help.

HarryHarry Fri 22-Jun-18 14:32:56

The paediatrician said yesterday that the baby wasn't fed properly in the hospital so probably feels like he needs to catch up. He also said that we can't measure how much milk a breastfed baby drinks - it could be well over 200ml or the equivalent in calories per session - but they are allowed to have as much as they want so formula fed babies should too.

I Googled paced bottle feeding just now and funnily enough it's what I was already doing instinctively to slow the baby down smile

bbqseason Fri 22-Jun-18 16:10:43

I think the difference between breastfeeding and bottle feeding is that the baby takes exactly what it needs when bf, but with formula he could end up guzzling milk and drink a bit much due to the fact that it's easier to drink from a bottle etc. But with paced bottle feeding you can manage that, so great you are doing that already!

Lukeandlorelai4Ever Fri 22-Jun-18 16:18:14

I wouldn't worry, my dd was drinking a 4 oz bottle every two hours apart from during the night when it was every three hours at 8 weeks.

At 12 weeks she drinking a 5oz every 2-2 and a half hours but goes 7/8 hours over night without a feed.
If he's hungry , feed him!

JiltedJohnsJulie Fri 22-Jun-18 17:43:25

Also babies can catch up if they are born small or go down if they are big. If he was born small, he may go up a centile or two and then plateau out . If he just keeps on going up through the centiles and not plateauing, then I’d talk to the HCPs again [smike]

thingymaboob Sun 24-Jun-18 01:46:02

Have you tried the hungry baby formula,?

HarryHarry Sun 24-Jun-18 18:37:08

I don't think we have that where I am.

TangelasVine Sun 24-Jun-18 18:43:58

Hungry baby just sits heavier on their stomachs. I'd ask your doctor before giving anything like that because he's been poorly and he might need to feed more rather than suppress appetite.
DS was poorly and prem and once he got the idea after we were home he drank loads. I wonder if it's catch up from their time in hospital.

FartnissEverbeans Mon 25-Jun-18 19:13:07

I don't get this paced bottle feeding thing. It started to appear on forums a few months back and now it's everywhere. Just feed him the way you're feeding him - if he's not choking or gagging then he's fine.

If he's been in NICU maybe he needs the extra calories! He sounds like he's doing great. I just increased the amount I offered every time DS drained a bottle. Worked out well and he's been following the 50th centile since he was born.

FartnissEverbeans Mon 25-Jun-18 19:16:04

Just watched a paced feeding video and it seems more like a technique to stop baby developing a preference for bottle over breast? It seems irrelevant for a botte fed baby.

spottyhankerchiefs Tue 26-Jun-18 17:53:57

Fartniss it can be useful to prevent a bf baby developing preference for bottle over breast, but generally it helps the baby to pace how much they are drinking so they are more in control and less likely to just drink lots just because it is easy to.

FartnissEverbeans Tue 26-Jun-18 18:45:47

And is this known to be a problem in bottle fed babies? Because I've never noticed it (DS is weaned now). The only time he didn't seem in control was when the tear size was too big.

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