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10 Signs You Are Overfeeding Your Baby

The baby's health is of utmost concern to the mother. As mothers, we always tend to worry that our child is being fed less and this most of the time becomes such an obsession that we end up overfeeding out little ones. It can be overwhelming, especially for first time mothers, to be able to figure out how much one should be feeding their kids during the first year of their lives.

Sleeping and eating habits of your child can leave you confused as to what would be the appropriate amount of feeding. If you are supplementing with a bottle, then the confusion extends further. With bottle-feeding, overfeeding the little one is quite common. Hence, it is necessary to look out for signs to check if you are actually overfeeding your infant.

Finding the perfect ounces of formula milk can be a tough task and it might differ from babies to babies. It is important to know that although they are quite small, they still have a bodily self-regulation system that helps them identify the sense of hunger. So, sometimes you might observe that your child is keen to reach out to the bottle of milk while at other times he or she would keep turning away even after you have tried to offer it to him or her in plenty of ways.

The following are some of the signs that tell you that you are overfeeding your child.


Gaining Weight

Many parents seem to be quite proud when their little ones tend to look chubby compared to babies of similar age. However, have you ever wondered if this could actually point to your baby being obese? Unlike in adults, as babies are constantly growing, they need a certain amount of average weight increase as they reach each month's milestone.

However, when being overfed, they are taking in more calories than required. They are unable to burn these extra calories and hence eventually have rapid weight gain. On the contrary, in cases where the baby tends to spit up due to overeating, he or she might end up losing weight.

Hence, making the sign of gaining weight quite challenging in terms of linking it with overfeeding babies. Therefore, solely relying on the weight gain aspect as a measure of whether you are overfeeding him or her is not advised. However, your doctor might guide you with this aspect when you meet him or her at the regular checkups.


2. Sloppy, Foul-smelling Motions

The appearance of the baby's poop might also serve as an indication as to whether your baby is being overfed. It is believed that formula-fed babies would have peanut butter kind of pasty looking poop. It can either be greenish brown or yellow in colour.

However, if your baby is having runny motions too often that are foul smelling then it might indicate that he or she is being overfed.


3. Excessive Gas

When the baby's gut is overwhelmed due to overfeeding, it can lead to excess gas production. The discomfort occurs due to overfeeding as the baby is unable to digest the additional amount of formula fed to him or her. Excess gas production leads to colic and an unending series of cries.


4. Milk Regurgitation

The cause of reflux could vary and hence this seems to be quite a tricky sign to understand. However, if spitting is accompanied by your baby having turned away from the bottle more than a couple of times while you were trying to feed him or her, then it is most likely a sign of overfeeding the little one. Spitting up just after a heavy feeding session possibly indicates that your baby is being overfed.


5. Baby Turns Away Before The Bottle Is Finished

Babies, although small, can show signs of being full. Babies usually turn away from the bottle when they feel full. As parents, it is important to respect and note their activities when they begin to show signs of being full and do not show further interest in continuing to have the bottle milk.


6. Nappies Are Always Wet

The ideal rule that applies to check if your baby is being fed properly is having at least four to five wet diapers daily. Although this rule changes as your baby grows and his or her bladder retention ability increases. Nevertheless, having at least four wet diapers on a daily basis is enough to determine that your baby is getting enough milk (and water).

This applies to babies who are older than six weeks. However, if you happen to regularly see more than eight wet diapers daily then you might need to check with your doctor if that is actually normal or not (because most of the time it might hint at the baby being overfed).


7. Excessive Belching

We all know that infants need to be burped after they are fed. If you notice that your baby is burping more than usual along with other signs of being overfull, then it is highly possible that your baby is actually being overfed. If your baby is belching even before you pat their back, then it is likely that they are being fed more than required.

Excessive belching happens when excessive air is being swallowed. When the baby eats more than they actually do, then they are also gulping down more air than they otherwise are used to. This results in extreme belching episodes. Sometimes, a not so well-positioned bottle might also be the cause of extra air intake.


8. Disturbed Sleep

As adults, having a lot of liquids prior to sleeping can give us a tough time from having a relaxed, uninterrupted sleep. The same applies to babies as well. When overfull, your baby might feel uncomfortable as he or she would be awakened by the thought of having to pee every now and then. This gives them a hard time falling asleep. So next time you see that your baby has started to have poor sleeping habits then it is most likely the overfeeding that is to be blamed.


9. Baby Is Fussy

It is natural for adults to feel extremely bloated after we have eaten a lot, the same applies to the little ones as well. The stomach is actually uncomfortable and might also ache when overfull. When there is too much milk in their tummy, babies feel discomfort and are extra fussy. Reflux adds to this and makes the baby more uncomfortable. Colicky babies are most affected when overfed because it agitates their stomach further.


10. Stomach Discomfort

Stomach problems are quite common in babies who are overfed (just like in adults). The possible stomach problems that your little one faces when overfed are stomach cramps, diarrhoea, bloating and intestinal spasms. Such discomfort can be the cause of severe pains as well. Babies tend to cry their lungs out when they face such tummy problems.

Also, they might make actions quite similar to what they do when trying to poop when they actually aren't. This is because the baby is confused as to what is causing them the discomfort. Your baby's doctor is the best person to advise you in such a situation and in case they need some extra treatment/care to get rid of such symptoms. It is quite natural for some babies to be born with tummies that can get easily upset.

Read more about: breastfeeding baby
Story first published: Monday, November 26, 2018, 18:01 [IST]