April 24, 2007,
M.C. asks from Everett, WA on April 21, 2007
My Infant Son Is Always Hungry
My son just turned 3 weeks old and we are battling him being hungry all the time. He eats every 2-3 hours and when he eats it will be between 4-6 ozs. Right after we feed him he still acts like he is starving. There was someone that told me that there is a formula that has cereal mixed in with it. Has anybody ever heard of this?
Also I have heard that mixing cereal in a bottle might help babies sleep. Has anybody had any success with this? I just dont know what to do...Does anybody have any other suggestions of something that i can do to curb his appitite so he wont be so hungry and maybe I can get some sleep too.
B.O. answers from Portland on April 24, 2007
This sounds perfectly normal for a 3 week old. His metabolism is high. The first two months of life babies gain an ounce a day, they are growing so fast they need all the nutrients they can get. Please don't give him cereal, you'll make it worse by plugging up his his digestive system with bulk he can't get any nutrients from. Why are you "battling" him being hungry? Just feed him more, that's what babies this age are supposed to do..eat, eat, eat! Also, you should just try to nap when he does, get on his sleep schedule. But I know it's hard with a three year old:)
A.C. answers from Eugene on April 24, 2007
I put cereal in my sons bottle, but not until he was like 4 or 5 months old. I think right now hes still to young to have any cereal, but I could be wrong. I would suggest talking to his peditrician and asking him, because he may even be able to suggest another formula that will help.
J.L. answers from Portland on April 23, 2007
Are you nursing him? I found my son to be a 'barracuda' feeder as described in the 'What to Expect..' book. He ate like there was no tomorrow and every 3 hrs as well. THIS IS NORMAL behaviour. Your other kids might have been different, but to me, the behaviour you are describing is all I know. I would feed my son 4-6 oz. burp him, then feed him another 4-6 oz. Try that. If you find him throwing up, feed him just a little less w/a burp in between.
Please don't give him rice cereal yet. Feeding an infant rice too soon has been linked to early allergies. Yes, the 13lb mark is when my son slept through the night as well. At the rate your son is feeding, you should expect it pretty quick. I found that when I switched to formula, he started sleeping even sounder. He self-weened himself at just 6 mos. I was so brokenhearted!
He may just start teething at around 6 months too. A good cue that he may be ready for a bit of rice cereal then.
In short, don't worry, be encouraged. There is no set way for every child. Sounds like you have a strong personality on your hands as well...! Feed him and feed him and feed him. It will pass and become more normal.
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M.P. answers from Portland on April 23, 2007
I firmly believe that Jillian is right. I would add that at 3 weeks the two of you are still new to each other and nursing. It takes time to get in sync. I believe in feeding babies when they're hungry. Their bodies know more than anyone else.
I sympathize with you. Life is a challenge when one doesn't get enough sleep. If this were happening to me I'd sleep any time the baby and the toddler slept. Your body needs to get built back up too. I'd let housework go. Rest instead. This will only last for a little time. Enjoy your baby. Focus on your baby and you together. Be sure to include the 3 yo when possible. The two of you will work out a routine. 3 weeks is so young and a precious time in your life.
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D.D. answers from Portland on April 23, 2007
The formula you're thinking of is called Enfamil AR.
If this is a new-found hunger, he's probably going through a growth spurt and it will calm down soon, and then he'll start sleeping all the time!
The feeding cereal to a baby before they're ready does not really help them sleep longer. They generally start sleeping through the night when they hit about 13 pounds. I don't know why that's the magic number, but my daughter has got 1 more pound to go! (Can't wait!) Of course, it really depends on your consistency and commitment to letting him sleep all through the night too. If you are getting up to feed him in the nighttime and playing with him and/or not putting him right back into bed, he's going to have problems sleeping at night!
Hopefully this has been at least a little helpful!
D.S. answers from Portland on April 24, 2007
My son was the same way we started him on a little rice cereal at 1 month old and it helped so much. I also started to give him some formula and that seemed to help to. Ask you doc but remember that people have done the rice cereal at a young age for YEARS thats how all of our partents did it and we are just fine. So do what you think is best for you child. No baby is the same.
V.D. answers from Seattle on April 23, 2007
cereal in the bottle actually does not help, i tried it. has he always been doing this or is it recent? if its recent, maybe its a growth spurt. Are you breastfeeding? babies digest breastmilk a lot faster then formula. All in all though, for his age, this is pretty normal. I know your exsausted, but just be patient, it won't last forever.
T.P. answers from Seattle on April 24, 2007
Don't give him rice. Not yet. He is way too young. His body is not ready for it, all that will happen is he'll get a tummy ache. It's normal for your son to eat every 2-3hours and up to 4-6oz. but maybe he's still crying because he has gas or maybe he just has a tummy ache. My son was very colichy (I'm not sure of that spelling) Gas drops helped alot and they're all natural so it won't hurt him. You should wait until at least 4months for Rice because his body is still developing and it's not ready for man made food... if your giving hom formula, have you tried Enfamil Gentlease? My son has been drinking that for many months and it seems like if I get him something different, even for just one can, he gets cranky like it gives him a tummy ache.
S.O. answers from Portland on April 24, 2007
Always make sure to clear anything new you are going to give your baby with your pediatrition.
My daughter is 7 1/2 months old, and we had the same problem. She wasn't hungry though, she needed to suck, but she wouldn't take a pacifier. I thought she was hungry all the time too, but if I would have kept feeding her, she would have been too full all the time, thrown up a lot, and still would've wanted to suck.
K.B. answers from Seattle on April 24, 2007
Are you breast feeding? If so, my daughter was like that too and I started pumping and giving her a bottle just to make sure I was producing enough to satisfy her. She was a quick eater and wasn't taking enough time to eat to fill up.
I would definitely talk to his pediatrician first. I think 3 weeks is too young for anyhing but breast milk or formula. Once your Dr. ok's adding cereal (probably when he's 4-6mos) then you can put a few teaspoons in his breastmilk. I found out that only the rice cereal can be put in a bottle and can fit through the nipple holes. Mixed does not.