Can you overfeed a baby? When you offer milk to a baby in a breast or artificial bottle, it is very easy to overfeed, especially when talking about babies only a few days or months old.
Because the milk comes out without effort, it normally falls directly into the mouth in a jet with a high flow rate. So it does not have time to identify the signs of satiety.
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Can you overfeed a baby
We have unrealistic expectations of the amount of food a baby should take, and we tend (in general) to fill the bottles exaggeratedly, but much more than they need and want them to finish (the old “there can’t be anything left on the plate” thing, but in baby version).
And why do they take it if they are full?
The stomach is elastic and can expand much more than its initial capacity.
Just because he takes it doesn’t mean he needs it (or at least not always). as we are capable of stuffing ourselves senselessly on feast days. The result is usually a binge: discomfort, gas, heaviness, and unpleasantness.
Scientific evidence tells us that babies, faced with a bottle “on offer” (of which they cannot manage the flow or intensity), have higher than normal levels of stress hormones. It stresses them out that they cannot control the situation.
How do I know if I am satiated? What are these signs?
Some of them may be as follows, but you are the person who knows your baby best, so you are the best person to identify them:
- if he is turning his face away from the bottle
- if he is distracted
- if he starts to cry
- if he stretches out his limbs and waves them around
- if they suck more and more slowly.
- if he falls asleep
What else can I do to prevent this?
Apart from watching out for the above signs, there are other things you can do.
First, remember that feeding your baby is on demand; forget about schedules. Whether breastfeeding or formula feeding, If we wait 3 hours to feed him (as was recommended until not so long ago), he may be very hungry, eat with anxiety, and fill up with gas. We learn to watch for their signals and react quickly to them as we get to know our baby.
One thing that helps a lot is to keep your baby close to you. Certain movements of the face and body are typical reactions to the onset of hunger. If we overdo it, he may end up crying, and everything will get quite complicated, and we will have to calm him down before eating (which can take a long, long time).
It is also highly recommended that you look into the Kassing method. A much more respectful and physiological way of feeding your baby with a bottle, in which your baby is more involved, the milk does not sprout out, and there are pauses (like those that occur naturally with breastfeeding), among many other things.
Other options aside from the bottle
The truth is that milk can be offered in more ways than a bottle; in many of them, babies are much more involved in managing their intake. What happens is that the bottle is number one because it is what we have seen all our lives. The different options will be more or less appropriate depending on our situation and the age and developmental level of the baby: cup, spoon, finger syringe, bottle, syringe, and sippy cup.
It also concerns whether we are supplementing provisionally because we want to achieve exclusive breastfeeding or choosing artificial breastfeeding.
Overfeeding has consequences.
We generally tend to do that with babies and children; we want them to eat a lot to become strong and beautiful.
And yes, we want that, but with meaning. We also want them to have a healthy relationship with food, to know how to regulate themselves, to establish their sense of satiety, and to be able to respond to it. Unfortunately, we know how many problems and disorders related to eating can arise in adult and not-so-adult life, and the foundations of good eating behavior are established here in the first months or years of life.
Forcing the capacity of a baby’s stomach can lead to digestive discomfort: gas, pain, regurgitation, and a feeling of “stuffiness.” We have such a distorted view of what is healthy that we often see a full baby as positive, thinking that this way, they will “sleep more.” The truth is that this can be counterproductive and have health consequences.
So, as in everything else, it is important to respect the hunger of each child, which can vary greatly between different children and even within the same child. There will be seasons in which they will eat more or less; there will be times when they will eat more or less; there will be shots, and others when they will be longer. And this can depend on a thousand factors:
- If they have a growth spurt.
- If they are sick.
- If they are just thirsty and not hungry.