Infant Eating Too Often?

Updated on May 04, 2008
T.J. asks from Seattle, WA
11 answers

My friend asked me a question and I have no advice for her, I've never had this particular problem!

Thanks to everyone who has replied so far. My friend finally joined mamasource and rewrote the question right above mine, jennifer s.! Feel free to answer hers directly and show her how great this website is that I've been talking about for so long!

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answers from Bellingham on

He's probably little from being so early and so will need to eat more often in order to have enough nutrition. Eventually he will eat less as he grows. Just tell her to hang in there!

She might benefit from getting in touch with the local La Leche League too. They might have some practical advice.

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answers from Seattle on

My second baby did this for the first few weeks after he ws born. It got to the point where I couldnt even pump enough to get my milk supply up. I ended up having to put him on formula. My advice is try and stretch the time inbetween feedings during the day. Even if this means she needs to listen to a fussy baby. That may incline him to eat more once she has waited a bit longer. If he is able to make it at night then there is a good possiblity he can make it a bit longer in the day without absolutely needing to eat. I dont know any of the numbers but if she is very gungho on breast feeding she can get in touch with a Lacation consultant and they can come out and help her. Wish her luck and congrats on your new edition from DEC!!!

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answers from Portland on

that is technically every hour and a half which is normal. but if it is anycloser you might try a pacifier or your finger. he probably needs to just suck. I have not had any small babies but i have always let them nurse anytime they want during the day and they have all slept through the night by two weeks old. so i would say being little and sleeping 3-4 hours at night is pretty good.



answers from Seattle on

Please pass this on to your friend. My second son was 7 weeks early and did the same thing until he was about 8 months old. We figured out that because he was a preemie, he needed to only nurse for a short time at the beginning, but as he got stronger, he began to nurse for longer periods of time- he just wasn't strong enough to nurse longer than fifteen minutes at a time. Also, we discovered that he wanted and needed to be near me for warmth. I put him face into me in a chest carrier where he could hear my heartbeat and also started dressing him very warmly. This made a big difference as I could now put him down for 45 minutes at a time to play with my other son who is only 13 months older. It was a very difficult time for us, but you will make it through! Keep your chin up!



answers from Medford on

Hey there...
Okay so my advice is... dont worry about the baby eating too often. My son at a few weeks old was eating 4 ounces every 2 hours. His pedi. kept telling me hes eating too much for his age. But i figured if hes eating that much hes obviously that hungry. And now at 2 years old hes a very tall and skinny little boy. Hes not over weight at all! so dont worry let about the baby eating a lot.



answers from Seattle on

She should also keep in mind that for the first year or so you have to go by the baby's adjusted age, meaning when they were supposed to get here. So for a roughly 1 month old this isn't uncommon and he could just be in a growth spurt.



answers from Medford on

Some babies just don't get enough nurishment from breast milk. Others just have a different appitite and start eating earlier. I would advise her to talk to her doctor about it. I had this issue with one of my sons. My doctor had me a small amounts of rice cereal to a bottle of fomula. That seemed to fill him right up. Good luck!



answers from Seattle on


I just wanted to point out that an 8 week old baby that is 5 weeks premature is really only developmentally 3 weeks old. Also, premature infants require more calories than full-term babies. It is extremely difficult to feed a baby every hour emotionally, physically and mentally especially if this feeding is complicated by a difficult birth, surgical birth and especially baby blues or postpartum depression. It sounds like your friend needs some help! Some things that can be done for her:

*Offer to put together a team of people or even go over yourself for a time period (ex.6-12 hours) and take care of the baby in between feedings so that she can get some sleep.
*Encourage her that IT WILL PASS. It is VERY difficult to take care of children, especially infants that have a lot of needs, but it will get better and she will be happy to have stuck it out.
*Offer to help out with housework, errands and chores so that all she has to do is just focus on her baby.
*Hire a postpartum doula (a professional who does the above listed things)
*Check up with her often about depression. The chances of getting PPD are greatly increased from lack of sleep and difficult birth experiences.

If your friend is able to relax and just take care of her baby, or even just feed the baby and spend some time with her/him when she feels up to it she may find the strength to be able to get through this time.

I hope all goes well here. Please let us know how this works out!

D. Rylander, Birth Doula
A Blessed Birth Doula Services



answers from Portland on

Breastfeeding is a supply and demand relationship. If there is less milk demanded (because formula is given to the baby), the body will gradually make less milk. That preemie boy is so so lucky to get human milk! His mother is making special milk compositionally perfect for his prematurity level. He has catching up to do and I would lovingly suggest to her that she not limit his feedings during the day until 3 months AFTER his due date. Breastfeeding will protect him from illness as well as thwart off preemie maladies such as sensory issues, digestion issues and other problems. All hospitals have mom and baby groups. These groups serve as breastfeeding support groups as well for those first 6 months of nursing when demand is high and support and friendship are essential. Before she knows it, that baby will be on to solids and will have been given a golden start.



answers from Anchorage on

Is your friend nursing or formula feeding? Could she be anemic? I was. I have just in the last couple of years found out why both of our boys could not get enough to eat but they both weighed 20 pounds at 4 months old. When your anemic your milk doesn't produce/have the hormone that triggers the "full" feeling or trigger. They had plenty of food and I was eating great! I was literally feeding them ALL THE TIME!!!!!



answers from Portland on

If an infant seems hungry, he/she usually is. Some babies like the comfort of the breast more and just want to be attached more often. It would be great for her to call a La Leche League (LLL) Leader (free advice!) or a lactation consultant to make sure the baby is getting a good latch. Sometimes if they can nurse more efficiently, then they don't need to nurse as often. If her milk supply is fine, she should get some help tapering off the supplemental formula. A great book to read (or check out from the library) is The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book of Answers by Jack Newman. New moms always have lots of breastfeeding questions (I did) and it's so worth it to call LLL. They'll either give you great tips or tell you that you're doing everything just fine. Good luck!

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