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Can you overfeed a baby?

(18 Posts)
FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 18-Nov-10 10:07:15

I've always thought babies were pretty good at self regulating their food intake, but I'm starting to worry my 9mo eats too much.

We started weaning her at 5.5mo and she took to it very quickly. We sort of did blw, but I now spoon feed her most of her meals, because she seems to prefer it. Not purees though, just normal food, and she does get finger foods as well.

But I worry a bit because she eats so much more than the other babies her age. She will eat a whole tommee tippee baby bowl full of spag bol or similar. And if I do eggs and toast, she will eat two eggs. Does this seem excessive? She does have an off switch - after a while she will not want any more, but it takes a lot to reach it.

I haven't had her weighed very recently, but she has been on a high percentile for weight. But then she is tall too.

I mentioned it too the hv once and she laughed and said I should never deny her food if she wants it. Fair enough, that's my gut instinct too. But I am slightly concerned.

A typical day for her would be:
Porridge with apple or banana for breakfast
Whole bowl of pasta with tomato and veggies and fruit for lunch
Whole bowl of spag bol/fish pie/casserole type thing for dinner, followed by yoghurt.
Snacks are fruit, oat or rice cakes, occasionally cheese.

Should I be worried, or just happy my baby is eating so well?

RJandA Thu 18-Nov-10 10:14:47

This sounds pretty similar to what my 8.5 month DD would eat, she's a blw baby (mostly!)

I have no idea if it's the "right" amount or not, for now I'm just going with it. She also has 3 bfs a day.

How much milk/formula does your DD have?

lukewarmcupoftea Thu 18-Nov-10 10:23:34

Sounds like she's having fairly healthy food. Personally, I wouldn't worry about the quantity so long as the quality and variety was good (and she's also still having a reasonable amount of milk). If she's not overweight for her height then don't worry about it, and enjoy it being one thing that is relatively easy for you!

Also, don't worry if her appetite does drops off when she gets to a year old or so - their growth rates slow right down and they don't need so much. DD2 was a monster eater, used to eat way more than DD1 at the age you're talking about, and similar amounts - but since about 1.2 really only has one very good meal a day plus bits and bobs. Sounds like you are being led by her as to what she needs, which is perfect.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 18-Nov-10 10:24:04

She has 4 bfs in a day. Sometimes very brief ones though, because I feed her before naps/bed and she falls asleep. So she may not be getting much milk I suppose. Difficult to tell!

I'm glad to hear your DD eats a similar amount though.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 18-Nov-10 10:25:47

That's reassuring that she might slow down. I was thinking that at this rate she would be eating more than her dad by her second birthday!

BornToFolk Thu 18-Nov-10 10:34:04

DS ate loads as a baby. Honestly, until he was 1 year, he didn't refuse a single thing that I gave to him. People used to ask what his favourite food was and I had no idea as he ate anything and everything! He was very chubby, about the 98th centile. I was worried but the HV said that as long as he is not eating rubbish, just to go with his appetite.

Once he got to 1 year, he got more discerning and his likes and dislikes became more apparent. He also ate less overall, didn't always finish what was on his plate etc. His appetite has definitely slowed down, though he does go through phases of eating loads, then not being so hungry.

Don't worry - it sounds as though she has a good, balanced diet and she obviously needs it at the moment.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 18-Nov-10 10:55:01

One other thing, she definitely favours fattier foods - so she loves cheese sauce on pasta, or cream cheese on anything, and she doesn't really eat much fruit, just bananas and satsumas at the moment, and apple in her porridge. Again, I wasn't worried at all at first because I know fat is good for babies, but it's the sheer quantities she gets through.

Gah, I'm overthinking this aren't I?

RJandA Thu 18-Nov-10 10:58:54

Some other things I have just thought of:

With spoon feeding, it's often quite quick. Feeling full is a hormonal thing, I think it takes about 20 minutes from being full to really feeling full. I test this myself quite regularly - I am terrible for wolfing my tea down and always feel like I want seconds (I am greedy though), but often if I wait 10 or 20 minutes then I don't want it any more. I'm not saying that spoon feeding is bad m'kay, just that if you're worried then taking your time over your baby's meal might help her to realise when she's full.

Also babies (and adults) often mistake thirst for hunger, so make sure you're offering water with meals.

I have got so used to DD eating loads that occasionally she might have a day when she eats less, and I start to think panic! why isn't she eating? should i shove it in on a spoon, or coat it in yoghurt to make it more appealing, just to make sure she eats "enough"? I have to take a breath and remember that she knows what hunger is and how to fix it, so if she doesn't want food then it's likely that she's just not hungry, in which case it's harmful to force it.

Basically my point is that if you're taking your time, offering water and not tricking your DD into eating then you shouldn't worry. In my expert opinion of course hmm

RJandA Thu 18-Nov-10 11:04:40

Ha! Well you might be overthinking it a bit, but better than underthinking it, right?

Why not try some other fruit if you're worried? Fruit makes pretty good finger food, slices of ripe pear, mango, avacado (yum yum), sharon fruit (I know, I had never tried one before either but actually very nice), kiwi fruit, halved grapes (think they can give some babies a sore bottom though so not too much), raspberries, blueberries etc etc etc. Why not pick up something new from the fruit aisle every time you're in the supermarket?

Also veggies make great finger foods, sticks of steamed carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and any roast veg always go down well in this house.

But overall, fat is GOOD for babies so sounds like you are doing fine.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 18-Nov-10 11:09:30

Yes, I have to admit I have been guilty in the past of tricking her - like offering her a fromage frais which she will always eat after she has eaten a smaller than normal dinner. I don't do it anymore though.

It's so hard to relax about eating though - especially since for us it made a massive difference to her sleep and overall happiness. She was so much more content once she started eating, and she started sleeping through and settling easily.

Will try feeding her a bit slower though, that's a good idea.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 18-Nov-10 11:11:11

I have tried loads of different fruit, she just isn't that keen. She like vegatables though, so I'm not too worried. I'm the same, I barely eat any fruit. I would far rather have broccoli. We're both weird!

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 18-Nov-10 11:11:44

vegetables, obviously.

RJandA Thu 18-Nov-10 11:14:57

Not weird at all - I would always rather have a cheese board than a pudding. Yum, cheese. <Drifts off into daydream......>

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Thu 18-Nov-10 11:17:23

Yes, me too. One advantage to having a baby - I now always have cheese and crackers in the house. Not so good for losing baby weight though...

lukewarmcupoftea Fri 19-Nov-10 13:40:04

Not wierd - broccoli, sprouts and cabbage for me any day over fruit. My dds are the same, freaks people out when they come over for lunch and they're asking for seconds and thirds of cabbage!

Unrulysun Sat 20-Nov-10 11:27:40

RandJ thanks for overthinking is better than underthinking! I overanalyse everything and berate myself for it. Am going to adopt this as new mantra (along with 'babies are weird' which someone once said to me - on here I think - and which I use to justify things once I've trawled MN LLL and Kelly mom!) grin

Showaddywaddy Sat 20-Nov-10 11:33:02

I wouldn't worry too much but as others have said, offer water with meals to help with thirst (which feels like hunger) and try and bf before you offer solids as milk should still be a key part of the diet at this stage. If full with solids they sometimes don't take enough milk.

But if your baby is happy and healthy I think you know that everything's fine really.

DD bfed a lot and ate a lot at that age. She was on the top of the charts too.

BonniePrinceBilly Sat 20-Nov-10 11:45:03

My DS1 would eat twice that amount as a baby, and as a toddler he ate more than I did! he still eats lots at 6, but is the skinniest of all my boys. His brother who eats nothing is far chunkier, though i don;t know how!

Wouldnt worry about it.

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