Don’t Ignore These Signs of Overfeeding Breastfed Baby

As mothers, we want to ensure that our breastfed babies get ample breast milk. However, some mothers forget one crucial thing - our babies have small stomachs. So, while breastfeeding is good, it must also be done in moderation.

Overfeeding your baby can lead to various problems and is uncomfortable for your baby since they will struggle to digest all of the extra food. If you want to avoid this, read on to learn more about the signs of overfeeding baby that are commonly missed.

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Signs of Overfeeding a Breastfed Baby

When feeding your little one, you should also worry if they're getting too much milk. Look out for these signs of overfeeding breastfed baby:

  1. Frequent Spitting Up: Spitting up more than usual can indicate your baby is overfed. While spitting up is common, excessive spitting can be a clear sign of overfeeding.
  2. Gassiness and Fussiness: An overfed baby might be more gassy and fussy than usual. This is due to the excess air swallowed during feeding or the inability to digest the surplus milk properly.
  3. Loose Stools: Notice if your baby has more frequent, watery stools. This can be another sign of overfeeding, as their digestive system struggles to handle the excess.
  4. Vomiting:Vomiting, as opposed to spitting up, is a more forceful expulsion of milk and can indicate overfeeding.
  5. Rapid Weight Gain: While weight gain is good, an increase that is too rapid can be concerning. Consult with your pediatrician if you notice an unusually fast weight gain.
  6. Coughing or Choking: Frequent coughing or choking during feeding can be a sign that the baby is struggling to handle an overabundant milk supply.
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What Causes an Overfeeding?

Babies have small stomachs, and even a small amount of milk can fill them up quickly. Not all cries indicate hunger, and learning to identify other reasons for fussiness can prevent unnecessary feeding.

Overfeeding can result from various factors, including well-meaning intentions and misinterpretations of a baby's cues. Sometimes, mothers may think their baby is still hungry when they are seeking comfort or dealing with other discomforts, like teething or a wet diaper. Babies also suck for comfort, not just for hunger. This can lead to overfeeding if every cry or discomfort is addressed with breastfeeding.

Another cause can be a fast milk flow. If the milk let-down is strong, babies may gulp down more milk than needed in a short period. This quick intake can lead to overfeeding before the baby realizes they are full.

eufy wearable breast pump

How Much Breast Milk Should a Baby Consume Per Day?

A newborn typically consumes about 1.5-3 ounces of breast milk per feeding, which usually amounts to 8-12 feedings in 24 hours. As the baby grows, the amount of milk per feeding increases while the frequency of feedings decreases. By six months, most babies consume around 6-8 ounces per feeding, and the number of feedings reduces to 4-6 times a day.

Each baby is different, and the amount can vary. Pay attention to your baby's cues and growth patterns rather than sticking strictly to averages. The goal is a healthy, growing baby, and individual needs can differ.

How to Avoid Overfeeding Baby?

Overfeeding is not good for your baby and can lead to serious issues to their health. To prevent signs of overfeeding breastfed baby, follow these guidelines:

  • Recognize Hunger Cues: Learn the signs of true hunger, such as sucking on fists, lip-smacking, and rooting. Crying is often a late hunger cue.
  • Feed on Demand: Allow your baby to dictate the feeding schedule. Feeding on demand helps you understand their natural hunger patterns.
  • Observe Feeding Patterns: Note your baby's feeding times and amounts. This helps identify any unusual increases or decreases in feeding needs.
  • Burp Frequently: Regularly burping your baby during and after feedings can reduce discomfort and prevent overeating.
  • Understand Comfort Nursing: Babies often nurse for comfort. Recognize when your baby seeks comfort rather than food.

Additionally, using a breast pump can effectively prevent overfeeding by gathering the remaining milk and managing milk flow. The eufy wearable breast pump, with its warming features, not only makes breast pumping more comfortable but also helps ensure that excess milk is collected, reducing the risk of overfeeding.

Conclusion

Watch out for signs of overfeeding breastfed baby to prevent any health risks that may arise from such a practice. Remember that moderation is key to proper baby care. While babies need lots of food to grow fast, they, too, need time to process all of the food and milk you are giving them. If you are unsure how much food your baby should consume, consult an infant dietician.

FAQs

How to know if a breastfed baby is full?

A full baby often appears relaxed and content after feeding. They may turn away from the breast, close their mouth, or lose interest in sucking. Some babies fall asleep at the breast when they are full. Pay attention to these cues to avoid overfeeding. If your baby is gaining weight steadily and seems satisfied, they are likely getting enough milk.

Should I offer a second breast if the baby is asleep?

Offering a second breast when your baby is asleep might not be necessary. If your baby falls asleep after feeding from one breast and seems content, they may have had enough. Allow your baby to wake up naturally before offering the other breast. Forcing a feeding can contribute to overfeeding and discomfort. Trust your baby's cues to guide you.

What are the long-term effects of overfeeding a breastfed baby?

Overfeeding can lead to several long-term effects, such as an increased risk of obesity and related health issues later in life. An overfed baby may also experience digestive problems, like frequent gas and bloating. Additionally, overfeeding can disrupt natural hunger and satiety cues, affecting the baby's eating habits as they grow older. Monitoring and responding appropriately to your baby's hunger cues can help mitigate these risks.

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