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Formula Feeding - Over-feeding?

(8 Posts)
TurtleAnn Fri 05-Jun-09 20:39:39

Does anyone have experience of over-feeding formula?

I am using Cow & Gate 1, 100% formula feeding my 7-week old.
Yesterday a nurse told me if I carry on formula feeding my baby his arms and legs will get so fat he wont be able to move them and his head will grow so heavy he wont be able to lift it off the ground. I feel this was slightly OTT... (I over-feed by about 60mls p/d).

C&G recommend 120ml*6 p/d until 2 months then 180ml*5 p/d.
Does anyone split the feeds to increase the number in a day? e.g. 90ml*8 (roughly)
If so, have you any evidence to suggest this is not detrimental to the development of their digestive tracts, afterall there must be a reason why C&G state the number of feeds per day and then decrease it specifically at 2-months.

Does anyone have any advice about increasing feeds during growth spurts?
By how much an how long for, Is it safe to do so for say over 1-week?

My baby feeds quickly from his bottle, usually downing formula in 15 minutes (now feeding is fixed - see blog). Breast-fed babies often feed for much longer, producing much more saliva to aid digestion and reduce problems like colic/ wind.
Does anyone else give a dummy/ pacifier for a brief period (say 10 mins before/ after) to increase saliva production in order to aid digestion?

How have you managed the increase in formula intake at 2 months? e.g. on 2-month birthday just increased dose or increased by say 30ml at a few feeds over a week (guessing that babies tummy didn't say 'oh I am 2-months old now I will expand by 60mls').

Do you use a pacifier to calm baby when s/he requests food and it is not time, e.g. feeding would mean over-feeding? and does this work?

Sorry for being so technical/ specific but the only advice my HV could give me was how to sterilise a bottle and how to mix powdered formula. Well, after 3 weeks of formula feeding, I pretty much have sterilising down now and I don't use powder. And the nurse was a little bit wierd, full of opinion, with no facts or specifics. (Nurse told me Gina Ford was naff and I shouldn't follow it at all, instead I should sort myself out a 3/4 hr routine and just stop over-feeding by baby, because babies need routines - I didn't want to point out the GF was a routine, and venture to ask if she had ever actually read GF!).

rubyslippers Fri 05-Jun-09 20:42:56


feed your baby what he needs - you don't need to get obsessed about what he is having daily - look at his weekly intake

if he finishes each bottle then an 1 oz extra

if he doesn't then don't

you don't sound like you are over feeding if you baby is drinking it all, not being sick etc

i don't believe in feeding every 3 -4 hours

my ds would happily drink 3 - 5 oz every 2 - 3 hours at this age (when i stopped breastfeeding)

watch your babies cues for food ...

MrsMattie Fri 05-Jun-09 20:45:36

I think your HV is very, very wrong for giving you this advice.

I demand fed both of my babies on formula after briefly bf-ing. DS was already an enormous baby (10lbs 2 oz at birth, always on the 98th centile and still is aged 4 yrs). Neither were ever overweight.

What is the alternative? A 'feed every 4 hours' routine? Wrong at this age, in my opinion. Your baby is tiny and will let you know when he/she is hungry. My DD is 7 mths now and has set her own pattern of feeding every 3 hours-ish (a 9 oz bottle). But in the first few months, if she cried her 'hunger cry', I fed her. Same with my boy.

I really despair at HVs who give this sort of advice. You are the mum and know your baby best!

Re: pacifiers. I gave both my babies dummies because they had strong sucking reflexes and I felt that they needed to suck for longer than just a feed. DS went off his at 4 mths. DD is 7 mths and just starting to spit hers out most of the time (only needs it to go to sleep, now). Do what works for you and your babies.

LadyAga Fri 05-Jun-09 20:57:57

Feed your baby what he needs. I can't remember exactly how much my son was drinking but it was way over the recommended amount.

Babies feed differently to adults, they will only eat when they are hungry. I too had your concerns and would try to restrict his food, fortunatley I quickly realised how silly this was and gave him what he wanted.

By giving him the amount he actually required at each feed he then regulated himself to feeding every three hours.

Yes he will be more hungry and require more milk when he is going through a growth spurt and these may not happen at the times the HV's say they will. He will grow at his own pace.

No I didn't use a pacifier, I fed him because he was hungry and if you think your baby is hungry then you should feed him. Put a few extra ooz of milk in the bottle and feed him until he is full, not until the bottle is empty then you will know how much to give him for each feed.

LadyAga Fri 05-Jun-09 20:58:39

sorry if I came across a bit bossy there

TurtleAnn Fri 05-Jun-09 21:45:18

Thanks, and I don't think you came across badly.

If you think you are bossy you should meet my health visitor... there are 2 new Mum's on my street and we have agreed that we will only go to the weekly HV weigh-in's together because we can't take the weekly criticism given to us by our HV and feel we need to go in two's.

Thanks, I feel like I am on the right track. I am more of a Gina Ford than a Baby Whisperer, definately not an 'on demand', although I don't think there is anything wrong with any approach. I just need a little reassurance once in a while to combat the weekly ear bashing from the NHS.

GothAnneGeddes Sat 06-Jun-09 03:33:55


HV are meant to advise. I would complain or write a letter as she should not be making you feel like this. Seriously take it further.

OP - That is a horrible thing for her to say.

I find the guidelines on the side of the milk cartons is v unhelpful.
This might be helpful:

As previous poster said, let your baby be the guide, if they drain the bottle, increase it by an ounce. By seven weeks, dd was drinking 6-7oz a time. Sometimes she guzzles the bottle, other times she leaves a bit. It is natural for babies to increase the amount they take, after all they are growing all the time.

Dummies can be a lovely source of comfort for a baby, non nutritive sucking is a comfort and babies will often suck their fingers anyway. Try him with a dummy. If he's still hungry, he will spit it out straight away and you'll know to feed him.

doulalc Fri 19-Jun-09 02:18:14

I am so sorry to read about your rocky start and some of the advice you received early on. As the others have said, follow his cues....he will let you know when he will take a bit more, or when he has had enough.

If it helps to have some numbers to go by....a rough guide, because somedays it may be more, other days less, is about 2-2.5 ounces of formula in a 24 hour period for each pound in weight...obviously this will not continue when your child weighs a great deal!!

Biggest clues that you might be over feeding.....he spits out milk at the end of the feed or you find you are trying to get him to "just finish this last ounce" when he keeps pushing the bottle out of his mouth and milk is running down his chin.

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