my daughter is 4 weeks old and is eating 4oz every 3 hours. but at around 2 hours she starts fussing and wants to eat. how much should i be feeding her. i am scared to overfeed her. she is eating formula.
The rule of thumb I used for my first baby when she was under 6 months old and not supplementing with any baby foods yet was to give her 2 to 2.5 oz of formula for every pound of weight. So, if your baby is 10 lbs, that would be 20 to 25 oz of formula a day. I think as my daughter grew, and I got her on a good feeding and sleeping schedule, I pretty much capped her out at 32 oz per day. At 4 weeks old, though, I think feeding her every 3 hours is perfectly fine. Slowly try to get longer time period between the feedings at night, and this will also help get her sleeping through the night. With both my babies, I would make their night time bottle a little bigger so they would stay content a little longer. (Maybe see if your daughter will take a 5 oz bottle at the feeding where you hope to have her go down for her night time sleep). If they woke up in the middle of the night, I'd give them a smaller bottle, and I kept making the middle of the night bottle(s) a little smaller and smaller until eventually, their bodies got used to not having the bottles, and they didn't need a bottle at all. (so in your case, maybe start making the middle of the night bottles only 3 oz, then 2 oz, and eventually you won't have any). I made the last bottle before bed and the first bottle in the morning the biggest. I guess my theory is that the big bottle at night gets them through their 10 - 12 hours of sleep, and the big bottle in the morning catches them up so that i could get to the total oz I wanted them to have in the day. Both of my babies started sleeping through the night by 6-7 weeks old by using this method of weaning the middle of the night bottles.
As far as overfeeding, I think I made that mistake with my son. He did the same thing as your daughter...he would fuss, no actually, scream after two hours and I would feed him to get him to settle down. I think he had colic which feeding him only made worse. He gained a lot of weight and got super chubby, and now I actually have trouble getting him to eat properly at 12 months old (not sure if it is related to the over feeding him initially or not). Anyway, my recommendation would be to try not to give in after two hours. Try laying her over your lap on her tummy and pat her back to see if it is a stomach ache. Most likely, it is. Maybe it will calm her down so that you can make it to 3 hours and eventually 4 hours. Try a pacifier, if you aren't against it. My son wouldn't take one, so I can't say if it will help or not, but my daughter took a pacifier, and I never had this problem with her, so maybe there is something to that. The pacifier might give her the comfort she is looking for. Go for a walk if it is a nice day and distract her, maybe a car ride...anything you can do to keep her content until the 3 hours has passed and it is time to feed her. Even if you push it back 15 minutes at a time until you get her to 4 hours, I would strongly recommend it. 4 hours should be your ultimate goal...I fed my daughter her formula every 4 hours all the way until a year old (4 bottles a day at that point). Even after that, I gave her milk somewhat on the same schedule. Now that she is two, she only gets milk at mealtimes, and water/ diluted juice between meals.
Oh another note, my doctor told me that at any given feeding, a baby can handle up to 1/2 their body weight in oz. So for example...a 12 lb baby can handle 6 oz in a feeding, etc. I'm sure at some point this doesn't hold true...I never gave my babies more than 7-8 oz in a feeding, and those were their big night time bottles. The middle of the day bottles were anywhere from 4-6 oz depending on how much my goal for total amount of formula was at that stage in their life. Here is kind of a guideline I followed:
1-4 mo -- 26-32 oz
5-6 mo -- 20-26 oz (start decreasing with introduction of solids)
7-12 mo -- 16-20 oz
my kids were always at the upper end of the ranges because they have big appetites. I actually over-fed my son in the 1-4 month range...I gave in and fed him every two hours, and gave him like 40-42 oz of formula. In hindsight, I think I was just making him have stomach aches which caused more colic and screaming. Feeding him only calmed him down because he thought that was what he wanted because his stomach hurt and he thought it was hunger...it wasn't! Don't make the same mistake I did...just find other ways to pacify her.
I hope this helps, and that it made some semblance of sense!
I was going through some older post's just gathering some helpful information to pass on to my daughter who lives with us with our 10 week granddaughter.
I just wanted to let you know that your post was very informative, especially the weening of the overnight bottles.I have 4 children ranging in ages 32 to 13 and you would think I would remember how I handled the feedings. Must be "oldtimers" setting in even at the age of 48, Lol!
I just told my daughter that it sounds as if we should be giving my granddaughter 6oz now instead of the 4oz we have been. She is 13lbs 11oz right now and always seems to want more.
I dont even know if you will see this, but just wanted to let you know how informative reading it was.
Take care, Belle10
I'm glad my post helped you. I hope it made sense and hope that it helped crzybeautiful25 as well. Yes, I agree with you that you should try increasing your granddaughter's formula intake. If she seems hungry, definitely feed her more. Try making the bottles for 6 oz, and if she doesn't drink it all, don't push it. She'll stop when she's full. Also, regarding the weaning of the overnight feedings, a lot of people recommend putting rice cereal in the last bottle before bed. I didn't do that for my daughter right away because the doctor had told me to wait until she was 16 weeks to start her on any cereal intake, but my mom, my aunt, and my mother in law swear by doing it at 6 weeks old. If you are still having trouble with her sleeping through the night in a few weeks, maybe try putting one or two tablespoons of rice cereal into that last bottle of the day, and see if it helps. It might do the trick, along with my other recommendations.
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