1-Month Old Eating Too Much?

Updated on January 22, 2008
J.T. asks from Grand Rapids, MI
25 answers

I have a 4 week old that is eating so much it is unbelievable. He is eating 4-5 ounces every 3-4 hours; sometimes it is only 2 hours. He gained almost a full 3 pounds in the first 3 weeks that we were home (came home at 7lb 4oz and after 3 weeks was 9lb 1oz). My daughter was a preemie and started out on neosure formula (higher calorie and other nutrients) and when she started gaining 2lbs a month our peditrician said that she was gaining too much and cut her back to regular formula. Since we are on the regular formula this time, we can't switch to the lower calorie. Should I start adding a bit of water during those times that he wants to eat after only 2 hours or just keep letting him down the formula?

Has anyone else had a child that ate this much? What did your peditrician tell you? (we see ours in about 2 weeks)

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J.L.

answers from Jackson on

My son was a big baby and he too ate a lot. Babies will eat as much as you let them. Yes they can over eat, my Dr. told me to give him a few ounces of water between feedings. I cut back to 6ozs and the funny thing is he never wanted more, but could he 8ozs if I let him. Unhealthy over weight kids start when they are babies. They learn their eating habits, they aren't born with them.

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K.

answers from Madison on

My son gained a pound a week for the first couple months (started at 8lbs.) He eventually slowed down and is completely normal. 90% for length and 55% for weight. Like others have said, at this age they eat when they're hungry and stop when they've had enough.

C.V.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi J.,
At this age feed him as much as he wants. Don't limit his food. Think about how much he will grow in the first year. He needs all the food he wants. Good luck.
Chris

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T.L.

answers from Lansing on

Your newborn isn't eating too much. I had a large baby, and a lot of people commented on his size. My husband is a big guy, so of course I wasn't going to have a little baby. Do not add water! Water has no nutrients for babies. My doctor told me that babies are not designed to over eat. Just keep giving your baby formula.

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T.T.

answers from Denver on

He's not eating too much at all. And if your Dr. says that he is, don't listen. Feed your child when he's hungry. My son ate constantly, too. My Dr. told me I could give him pediasure in between to try and tide him over, but I just let him eat when he was hungry. He's a healthy 4 year old now, with good eating habits and isn't overweight. My son at 4-6 six weeks would sometimes drink 8-10 oz every 4 hours or so! So just keep letting him eat. As long as he seems happy, it's just fine.

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K.

answers from Madison on

My son gained a pound a week for the first couple months (started at 8lbs.) He eventually slowed down and is completely normal. 90% for length and 55% for weight. Like others have said, at this age they eat when they're hungry and stop when they've had enough.

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T.N.

answers from Saginaw on

My 18 month old son started eating baby cereal off a spoon at 2 months old cause he seemed to want to eat all the time plus he had reflux. I feel every child is different and let me ask this what child actually fits on those stupid percentile charts. No child is the same and alls they are doin is comparing to other childern the same age. Let me tell you he still has his days of eating. Thanksgiving he ate a whole tuppareware plastic plate of turkey and stuff right down to the last piece of roll. He only weighs 28 pounds at age 18 months and he was a 7 pounder at birth. Just like they say... a child wont starve themselfs if u offer something they don't like. Its true i tell you. I say let the child eat ...

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S.F.

answers from Waterloo on

Well, according to our Dr. babies will not over eat, they don't know how. I'd say to continue to feed him when he is hungry. He might just be having a growth spurt and then it will taper off. Just be sure you are not feeding him when maybe all he wants to do is suck on something (pacifier). My friend was doing that because her daughter would not take a pacifier. When I suggested to kind with the "ball" on the end, her daughter took it and did very well after that.

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K.F.

answers from Appleton on

My son was born big (8lbs, 14oz, 22in.) and ate big. The doctors were surprised at his 2 week appointment that he was 9lb 11oz already. I had to stop breastfeeding after 2-3 months because I couldn't keep up with him. By 9 months he was eating 3 meals a day and every bottle was 9+ oz. I wouldn't be worried at all. A healthy, chubby baby is better than a scrawny one that won't eat. Once he started crawling and walking the weight melted off of him and although he is still a good eater, he doesn't eat as much anymore. I also started rice cereal to fill him up a bit more around 3 months. Our doctor is great and thought this wasn't too early. He just suggested feeding it to him right from a spoon (never in a bottle!). Well, feel comforted that your not alone and have fun with your new little one. Remember to do what you think/know is right for your baby and know that other parents, including doctors, don't know everything! Happy Christmas!

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L.H.

answers from Des Moines on

Put baby cereal in with the formula. We did this with all 3 of our boys. It fills and the child still gets all the formula it needs. Just a little to start. You may have to make the nipple hole alittle bigger.

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S.B.

answers from Phoenix on

My daughter gained weight fast like that as well. It is not too much I wouldn't think. It is good actually in case he gets sick. 3-4 oz. every 2-4 hours is normal. You shouldn't put more water in because the water ratio in formula is just enough for babies and before 6 months more water than the ratio with formula can actually make them sick. So I would be careful. My daughter at her 6 week appt. was right around 10 lbs. Your baby is healthy and fine. I am sure he is just going through a growth spurt.

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L.N.

answers from Benton Harbor on

Good for him and good for you. Sounds like he is getting a full feeding at every feeding and is on his way to a healthy schedule. I wouldn't supplement with water, it's just not necessary. He will adjust his intake according to his needs and growth spurts, just follow his cues. Some babies are bigger eaters than others. My babies start out very big and stretch out into tall thin toddlers and I'll bet yours will, too!
~L.

B.A.

answers from Saginaw on

My daughter is now 3 months old. I just went through this. She was drinking 4 oz every 2 hours too! SHe has finally just slowed down. She was 11lbs at 2 weeks and 15lbs at 2 months. I was concerned also and had asked my pediatrician at her 2 month apt. He said let her eat. She is too young to hold back the food and she will be fine. He said at six months, if he is concerned then, he will start holding back at that point, but for now its ok and to let her eat. For some reason and I haven't changed anything. She hit 3 months old and she now will wait at least 3 hours between feedings sometimes more. I don't know why all of a sudden. I am just blaming it on a big growing spurt. She is a little chunk though, she weighed the same weight as her cousin at her two month and his four month. And she is just shy a hair in length from him. My 1st daugher was a big baby too. She grew out of her baby fat at a year old.

L.M.

answers from Green Bay on

My son came home at 9lbs 6oz. He was eating up to 8oz every 3-4 hours in the first month or so. By 6 weeks I started supplementing his formula with baby cereal once a day, which seemed to be more satisfying for him and he cut back to about 8oz every 5-6 hours.

He gained a lot of weight the first year, then evened off on his eating, thinned out, and sprouted up. He's now almost 21, and about 140 pounds dripping wet (he's about 5'11").

The pediatrician was against the cereal, I chose instead to listen to my mother.

On a side note, we adopted two girls at aged 4 and 9 from Russian that had been very malnourished. They both have problems with food - control issues - and while our youngest seems to have gotten the problem under control, our oldest has not and has gained a lot more weight than she should. We've talked to other parents in similar situations and heard the same thing - depriving children of food at young ages can be detrimental to them later in life, especially when it comes to their eating habits.

Good luck!

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B.W.

answers from Grand Rapids on

You can call your ped. you don't have to wait the 2 weeks.
I think he is just fine. Have you tried a paci, maybe he just wants to suck?

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L.H.

answers from Green Bay on

I have had two children. They are now 10 and 7. I nursed with both of them, but eventually went to formula. I was worried when I saw my oldest go from 4 oz of breastmilk, to 8oz formula. I asked our nutritionist about it. There is only half the amount of nutrients in formula as there is in breastmilk, so the babies will drink more of the formula to get what their bodies need. I don't like to use formula. The same thing happened with boy 2. I then found out about goats milk. Infant formula is designed between human milk, and cows milk. We started seeing a new nutritionist and he suggested that we try powdered goats milk, or regular goats milk if we can find it in the dairy section. Since we did that, he had gone back to the smaller amts to drink, and has been gaining perfectly. Mind you, my boys were large babies, due to me being over 6', but it even orked with my neice when she was having overeating problems, so we put her on the goats milk and she trimmed up, and looks much healthier!

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S.W.

answers from Sioux City on

My babies usually ate 4-6 oz every 2-3 hours until I put them on baby food/cereal. Feed him when he wants. Only he knows when he's hungry. Unlike adults and older children, he will stop eating when he's full. When babies need the food for growing, they will eat and eat and eat. When they are not in a growth spurt you will be worried why they are not eating. I wouldn't worry too much about his weight until he's mobile. He'll lose so much of the "baby fat" once he starts running.

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N.L.

answers from Omaha on

We had the same problem. I fed Ella when she was hungry even if that was every 2 hours. As she got older I would try to play more with her to distract her if I could. She mainly had a span of 3 hours where should we just want more and more. She grew out of it and now at the age of one is 22lbs 13oz and 31.5 inches tall. I am all about letting the child direct the schedule until they are a few months old then I began to redirect it if needed. You could try to increase the finding by 15-30mins each time and see if that helps. You feed him at noon and at 2 he seems hungry try to wait 15mins then the next feeding try to wait 30mins. Good luck!

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J.O.

answers from Boise on

Almost every single one of mine ate that much in the beginning, and my Dr would have concerns to, but I fed them when they were hungary, and as they got older they would just cut back on thier own, you could try a binky, he may just need to suck, a lot of newborns do, I wouldn't water down the fromula yet they do need every once of nutrients that formula has, and watering it down will probably not help in giving him the "full" sensation he is looking for, in the end it may cause him to actually eat more. I wouldn't worry about it know, let him eat when he is hungary and as he gets older if he hasn't cut back on his own (around 4-6 months) then try holding off for 15 minutes with each feeding.

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T.P.

answers from Provo on

Hi J.,
I wouldn't worry. I decided to formula feed from the start. In the hospital they would bring a 3 oz Enfamil bottle. He drank it & still acted hungry. The nurse wouldn't give me another bottle because she said babies should only be drinking 1oz of the bottle but obviously mine needed more. His birth weight was 7 lbs 6 oz & at his 2 month appointment he was over 15 lbs & 97%. Now, he's 9 month old & weighs almost 23 lbs & that only put him in the 76%. My first baby was so fussy all the time. He would cry & cry but I didn't know what was wrong. I didn't feed him nearly as much as I do this last baby & I think my first one was hungry! I would never make the same mistake & if this one acts hungry, I feed him until he's done!!
Good luck!
T.
P.S. I've heard you should never water down formula until they are close to a year old & ready to switch over to regular milk.

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S.P.

answers from Great Falls on

My kids always drank at least 8 ounces every two and half to three hours. I would talk with the doc and make sure it's okay to cut back. Good luck and Happy Holidays.

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J.L.

answers from Jackson on

My son was a big baby and he too ate a lot. Babies will eat as much as you let them. Yes they can over eat, my Dr. told me to give him a few ounces of water between feedings. I cut back to 6ozs and the funny thing is he never wanted more, but could he 8ozs if I let him. Unhealthy over weight kids start when they are babies. They learn their eating habits, they aren't born with them.

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V.D.

answers from St. Cloud on

IMO, that is not too much. Babies usually know how much their little bodies need. Is he fussy? If not, I wouldn't worry about the dr.'s chart.

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M.M.

answers from Kalamazoo on

My son gained that much and so did my neice. But, their weight gain was proportionate to their height. My son is 9 months and weighs almost 23lbs and is 29 1/2inches long. He is consistently in the 90th percentile for height and weight. My neice is off the charts, but again her height and weight are proportionate. I would not add water unless adviced by the pediatrician. I thought my son was eating too much also, but it turns out he is just a big baby. =) Hope this helps.

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A.F.

answers from Madison on

My daughter was 9.4 when she was born and ate 4 to 5 ounces maybe even more ever 2 to 3 hours. She was 11 pounds by her two week apt. and 15 pound by her 2 month apt. She is just a big baby, our doctor has asured us that she is very health in the 98% weight and length. It sounds like you have gone from an itty bitty to a chunker but at this age one isn't better than the other. If he is hungry feed him. He has growing to do and he'll even all out eventualy.

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V.K.

answers from Saginaw on

In my experience, your son is just fine. My first was tall and thin, and didn't eat nearly as much as my new "little" guy. The newest (now 8 months) is going to be my line backer I think, LOL. I had purchased 4 oz bottles for him and it was a complete waste of money - within 2-3 weeks we were well beyond the 4 oz bottle. I had concerns about how much he ate also and our doctor's words were, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it." He said that babies regulate themselves and are not indulgent, meaning they won't eat just to eat, like adults do. This was a whole new experience for me because this guy has rolls in his rolls! Well, of couse it's not quite that bad, but the kid is just 8 months and wieghs 23 pounds! (He is off the charts for his height also, so it's not all pudge.) My 3 year old is only 34 pounds! Dr says that the weight he has is perfectly normal and will come off as he starts crawling and walking. I have already noticed his face thinning out. So you may be like us and have one thin baby and another roly-poly. That worst part about it is powdering all those rolls after a bath. The bath takes 5 minutes, it's another half-hour to powder & dress, LOL.

Oh, and I wouldn't add water to the formula. They used to give babies water and they found that it sometimes threw off the balance of electrolytes in their bodies. That's why they don't do it anymore. They found they just didn't need it. (At least that's what the Dr told us.) Good luck to you, and don't worry about it. I'm sure they'll tell you he's fine!

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B.S.

answers from Grand Rapids on

When I had my son 14 years ago he was a big baby weighing 9lbs 1oz and after two weeks of every hour feedings the Dr told us to sneak a little of the rice cereal in his bottle and if he still seemed to over eat add a little of applesause to the mix just a tsp for taste and the natural sugars would cause him to fill up and sleep longer, after a week on this he started eating every 4 hours and 8 oz at that. and he was a husky boy now he is tall and skinny and he really likes fruit still. I did not do this with my other 2 and can't get them to eat fruits, and they have both gained alot of weight now. I would recommend trying this, it won't hurt them and they are still getting there vitamins. and if you feel the baby is still eating too much give water with a 1/2 oz of juice to flavor and keep the vitamins and sodium they need. never give baby too much water it depletes the sodium from there body and is dangerous. I know first hand of this because my sister did this to her child and he has seziures ever since.
Good Luck and Congrats on the baby.

C.V.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi J.,
At this age feed him as much as he wants. Don't limit his food. Think about how much he will grow in the first year. He needs all the food he wants. Good luck.
Chris

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