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Overfeeding a Baby

Topic Overview

Overfeeding a baby often causes the baby discomfort because he or she can't digest all of the breast milk or formula properly. When fed too much, a baby may also swallow air, which can produce gas, increase discomfort in the belly, and lead to crying. An overfed baby also may spit up more than usual and have loose stools. Although crying from discomfort is not colic, it can make crying more frequent and more intense in an already colicky baby.

Babies give cues during feeding that indicate how hungry they are. Pay attention to these cues to help determine when your baby has had enough to eat.

  • A baby who is hungry will latch on to the breast or bottle and suck continuously.
  • A baby who is getting full during a feeding will take longer pauses between sucking.
  • A baby who is full will turn away from the breast or bottle and not want to suck.

The amount of food each baby needs varies. Young babies usually do not take more breast milk or formula than they need. In general, your baby should seem healthy and happy and have good muscle tone, healthy skin, and good color.

Credits

Current as of: August 21, 2019

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: John Pope MD - Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine

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