How can I avoid overfeeding my baby? Formula Feeding

iStock.com/gilaxia


iStock.com/gilaxia

Even if you're doing your best to stick to the formula recommendations for your baby's age, you may still be concerned about potentially overfeeding your little one, causing tummy discomfort and other problems. Here, experts and moms share their words of wisdom for ensuring your baby gets the ideal amount out of the bottle.

If They Push Away, They're Done

"Your doctor can give you general guidelines as to how much formula an infant needs as they grow. Newborns tend to start at two ounces of formula and increase gradually. Never force an infant to finish a bottle. If they start pushing out the bottle with their tongue or spit up, they are likely full." -- Lisa Liu, MD, physician at Loyola Center for Health at Gottlieb, assistant professor of family medicine at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, Melrose Park, Illinois

Don't Feel the Need to Finish the Bottle

"Every baby should be fed when they show signs of hunger or on demand. Early signs of hunger include opening eyes/looking around, rooting (turning towards a breast or other body part looking for food), making an 'O' shape with the mouth, sticking the tongue out, putting hands toward the mouth, stretching even if eyes are still closed. Most babies will set up their own routine as caretakers follow their cues. It is normal for babies to have a portion of the day when they cluster feed (feed...

"Every baby should be fed when they show signs of hunger or on demand. Early signs of hunger include opening eyes/looking around, rooting (turning towards a breast or other body part looking for food), making an 'O' shape with the mouth, sticking the tongue out, putting hands toward the mouth, stretching even if eyes are still closed. Most babies will set up their own routine as caretakers follow their cues. It is normal for babies to have a portion of the day when they cluster feed (feed multiple times close together). Burp them half way through a feed, and then, let them stop the feed when they feel full. You should not feel like they need to finish every bottle." -- Maria Lombardi, DO, pediatrician at Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital, a member of the Westchester Medical Center Health Network, Valhalla, New York 

Watch for Your Baby's Cues

"I've found that babies slow down or turn their head to the side when they're full. They'll stop and restart more frequently. Every baby is different. Just pay attention to your baby. I never allowed my babies to fall asleep while eating. It encourages them to eat only when hungry. Also, burp them often."

Stick With Recommendations

"Give your baby the appropriate amount of formula based on their age and not more than that."

Go Slow

"Get a slow-flow bottle nipple! Also, feed a few ounces, then burp, feed a few more, and burp."

You May Have to Wake Baby for Feedings at First

"I was more concerned with underfeeding. My eldest fell asleep while feeding at first and didn't get enough nutrients, so he lost a ton of weight and was at risk for hospitalization."

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.