What should I do if my baby still seems hungry after a feeding? Formula Feeding


newborn getting bottle fed
At the end of a feeding, it's common to wonder whether your baby is still hungry and should eat more or has had his fill. Find out what experts recommend and how other moms make sure their baby is eating the right amount.

Your Baby May Need More

"If your baby seems hungry after a feeding, I suggest making sure the baby was fed their entire bottle and then giving them an extra half ounce. If they take the whole thing quickly and don't spit up after, it might be a sign that you need to increase the amount given during each feed." -- Skyler Gardner, RN, BSN, Boston Children's Hospital, Boston, MA

Babies Are Unpredictable

"It is possible that your baby will want one more ounce now, and then at the next feeding want less. Feeding can by cyclical. Watch and honor your baby's signs; if he turns his head away, honor it and do not force bottle in his mouth, as you are creating trust. On the other hand, after a few moments of pause if he is still reaching for the bottle, give him some more." -- Heidi Miller, pediatric speech pathologist and feeding specialist, Heidi Miller Speech LLC, Florham Park, NJ

Look for Hunger Cues

"A baby will search for the nipple as an instinct, so if you hold him on your shoulder and he continues to 'peck' your shoulder or lean down to your breast, he's likely still hungry. Babies will also cry for more, or if you touch or tap his lips lightly, they will continue to show you a sucking reflex."

Use Process of Elimination

"Change his diaper, cuddle him, and play with him. If he still appears to be hungry, offer another bottle. Make sure the second bottle has less than the first so as not to overfeed. Babies go through growth spurts all the time and will often require more than you think is necessary."

Give It a Few Minutes

"Sometimes trapped gas bubbles will make a baby fussy after a bottle. If burping or soothing her doesn't work, offer another ounce. Also, look for baby's natural hunger signs such as rooting or sucking on her hands and fingers."

The advice on CafeMom aims to educate, inform, and provide a range of solutions to the issues moms care about. It is not a substitute for consultation with a medical professional or treatment for a specific condition. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem without consulting a qualified professional. Please contact your health-care provider with questions and concerns.