C.S. asks from Cannon Falls, MN on October 19, 2008
Switching to Medium Flow Nipples
Hello! I have a 3 month old son who is bottle fed. He is 14 lbs. 5 oz. and from what I've read, he should be eating about 2.5 oz. of formula for every lb. he weighs each day. The problem that I have been having, is that he seems to fall asleep with the bottle before he has had enough to eat.He was only eating @ 25 oz. per day when he should have been eating over 35 oz. We are using the playtex drop ins system with the slow flow nipples. He has always been a very oral baby and usually falls asleep while sucking. He has also, recently, started sleeping through the night which has caused him to eat even less. Okay, so here's my main issue. I recently switched to the medium flow nipples thinking that he could eat more while not having to suck as hard so that he wouldn't be falling asleep so soon after starting. Well, so far so good! This past weekend I have gotten him on a schedule of 6 oz. every 3 hours and he has been eating 35 oz. each day. The problem is that he has recently also come down with a mild case of diarrhea. I am not sure if this is because he is eating more now, or if its because he is eating faster now...? He also recently has had his dose of zantac increased (he has been taking zantac for reflux since age 6 weeks.) Please if anyone has any suggestions or advice I would greatly appreciate it! I just hate to go back to the slow flow nipples and have him not eating enough, but he can't be having diarrhea either. Also, as a side note, he is very hard to wake once he falls asleep (while eating) and then, once he gets the bottle again, he's right back out! I am just very worried and frustrated. I just want him to eat! Thanks!
M.K. answers from Sheboygan on October 20, 2008
Is there a chance your son might be starting some early signs of teething? Some babies get teeth around 4 months, and even though most books will say diarrhea doesn't go with teething, I can promise you most moms will say it does. Our daughter went through some diarrhea around 4 to 4 1/2 months, and sure enough right at 5 months, her first 2 teeth broke through. EVERY time she had diarrhea (it was a very distinct consistency), she would end up with new teeth a couple weeks later. Just a thought. I doubt the medium flow is the cause. I would think that increased reflux/spitting up would be more likely if it was too fast, but since he's on meds, it should be fine.
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K.S. answers from Minneapolis on October 20, 2008
Zantac and any of the acid blockers can cause diahhrea, or the opposite...constipation. I would talk to your doctor about this. They reduce the acid in the stomach, so naturally this can affect things on the other end. Sometimes it adjusts, sometimes not. Interestingly, drowsiness is another side effect!
I feel your concern about eating...even though my son was a good eater I still worried nonstop. My best advice is to try to relax and let him set the pace of what he wants to eat. It will vary from day to day, feeding to feeding. If he falls asleep at one feeding, chances are he'll eat more the next time. I found the norms never did fit my son and although they were a helpful guide, created a lot of stress in me. As long as the doctor is fine with his weight and his growth, don't worry! Babies vary SO much, even within families. Yours sounds like he is adjusting to leaving the newborn stages behind just great! Sleeping through most of the night is heavenly and enjoy it! Hugs...your worry shows how good a mommy you are.
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C.S. answers from Minneapolis on October 20, 2008
I understand your concern, I have issues with my little girl getting enough to eat as well, we breast and bottle fed her and I always had issues with her falling asleep. As I understand it as long as your baby is gaining weight and doing well then it is nothing to worry about. The average child may eat 35oz a day but your little one might eat a little less. My pediatrician reminded me over and over again how different children are in their eating habits and now our little girl is 19 months old and still a picky and slow eater but doing just fine. I know it is stressful because he is your first but you are doing everything right, just be patient and keep trying, he may pick up on his eating or he may not but either way, he will keep growing and he will be fine! Good luck and hang in there!
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C.T. answers from Milwaukee on October 20, 2008
I think 35 ounces a day is a little much. My daughter never took more than 28 ounces. When she was 3 months she was sleeping through the night and was taking 6 ounces every 4 hours. Our doctor said they should have between 20-30 ounces a day as long as it doesn't go below 20. There was a times when she would only take 5 ounces every 4 hours, but then she got back up to 6. Babies know when they are full and when they are hungry. He will let you know. She was also on reflux medicine from birth to 15 months, but never got diarrhea. She would get diarrhea from teething, and also from antibiotics when she had an ear infection. Hope this helps.
R.B. answers from Duluth on October 20, 2008
I don't really have advice I guess...but I have a baby boy that was born June 17, 2008 and he currently weighs 16 pounds 9 ounces. At three months we switched to medium flow nipples and he ate faster with them, he had diarreah for about a week. Do you feed him cereal? My doctor said that when he starts eating 8 or 9 ounces at a feeding to go ahead and give him cereal. My baby was eating 8 ounces at three months so we started to give him cereal. That helped a lot with the diarreah and he just seemed like a happier baby altogether. Good luck! You can write back if you want to compare more baby notes!!
J.R. answers from Davenport on October 20, 2008
If he has reflux, i would not switch to the faster nipples, my little girl had reflux too,and we didn't switch till she was 8 months, and then only to stage 2, and she never went higher than that on bottle nipples cause we gave up bottles and went to sippies only at 12 months. Also, she never ate more than 5 oz at a meal, even at 12 months...their little stomachs are only the same size as their fists, remember! And getting them too full can cause the reflux to worsen. The faster nipples can actually cause them to get too much too fast and aggravate the reflux, gas, and cause diahreah, too. Especially if he is starting to sleep through the night, I wouldn't mess with anything - that is a sign that everything is going good if he is full enough to sleep through.
Also, if he was content and falling asleep, he was not still hungry, and 14 pounds is a great weight (my daughter only weighed about 11 pounds at that time). He is eating, and he is content with it. If the Dr. hasn't said he is underweight or asked you to add calories, I would just stick with the slower flow, the baby was happy, right? Not fussing for more, or finishing the bottle and crying for another...??
My girl is now 22 months, and still only weighs 21 pounds, and she is fine and healthy, and the Dr. has never even mentioned her weight, and she has always been on the smaller side. We alwasy just let her eat till she stopped - babies aren't liek adults, they know when they are full. I don't think you should try to force him to live up to some "Standard" of how much he should be eating. Just feed him when he is hungry and stop when he is full.
I know it is hard as a first time mom, and we want to make sure we live by every book or rule we hear, but we have to trust nature and our babies, too!
Do what makes you and the baby happy, and try not to obsess over the numbers/statistics/books!
C.R. answers from Minneapolis on October 20, 2008
C., all babies are different. If your baby was hungry, he would let you know. The fact that he's sleeping through the night means he's getting plenty to eat. I say throw the books out and listen to your baby instead. They do find ways to tell you when something is wrong. If your baby is happy, healthy and gaining weight, then chances are that his needs are being met. Trying to get him to eat more will just result in over-feeding him and could cause him to develop a habit of over-eating.
The diarrhea is most likely from the Zantac and not the faster nipple. If it doesn't ease up after a few days, then I'd call your doctor about it.
C.M. answers from Minneapolis on October 20, 2008
The actual formula is 2 - 2 1/2 ounces per pound of weight which would be 28-35 ounces. He is close enough to the 28 and if he is gaining and happy I am sure he is ok. If your doctor is not concerned I think you can relax and enjoy your baby.