This post was inspired by a family friend. Recently, my cousin called me to see if I had any spare formula. Since I received multiple samples in the mail, and I nurse, I was like, “Sure, why?” She told me her wife’s daughter’s baby keep running out of formula.
The nurse in me couldn’t help herself, and began investigating asking a zillion questions…”Don’t she get WIC?” “How much is she feeding the baby?” “Does he throw up a lot?” She informed me the baby does get WIC, the baby eats all the time, as much as two 8 ounce bottles back to back, and he does throw up a lot. Immediately, I told her, “OMG, she is soooooooo overfeeding that baby!”
Well according to my cousin, the mom, my great aunt, and my cousin’s wife, I was CRAZY! The baby eats it, so he must be hungry. I, the nurse, certified NCAST feeding nurse, maternal-child nurse know nothing, and they know everything! Just an update, this baby is currently over 20 POUNDS, 4 MONTHS OLD! (I rest my case).
I do want to point out that overfeeding is more common in bottle-fed babies because the milk is free-flowing and it takes less effort. Also, even when baby is finished eating, a parent has the ability to offer more formula even if it’s not needed or wanted. Here is where a parent needs to pay attention to baby cues for hunger and satiation.
So here are so clues to know if your baby is GENUINELY HUNGRY
- Opening closing mouth
- Sucking on fingers or clothes
- Smacking mouth or licking lips
- Throwing up a lot after feedings- while some babies have reflux, sometimes babies throw up a lot due to overfeeding
- Refusing bottle- some babies will turn their head away from the bottle or push it out
- Wasting Bottle- while the baby may take the bottle, usually they won’t drink it all, they end up wasting more than they eat
- Relaxed body- when a baby is full their body will be totally relaxed with arms and legs extended.