My 4 Month Old Is Starving!

Updated on November 06, 2008
L.R. asks from Orange, CA
9 answers

I have a 4 month old girl (DOB 6/27/08) and she was eating every 3 hours. Now in the last 2 weeks it is like every 2 hours. Also when I take her bottle out to burb her (she is a spitter) she crys - a lot. So basically she is eating 30-36 ounces per day of mixed breast milk and formula. When should I start her on cereal? She is a supported sitter and has good head control. She has more then doubled her birth weight (7lbs 15oz at birth - now 16lbs).

And if I start cereal, when should I do it? What schedule? I have a 4 year old, but for the life of me I can not remember!

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So What Happened?

Oh - I should have mentioned. This is during the day only. She sleeps 7:30pm - 7am. No feedings at night since she was 11 weeks old. Also she is already drinking Enfamil AR to help with the spit up, so that has added Rice Starch.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I agree with the others .... sounds like it may be time for some cereal. I would feed it to her in the evenings, after an evening bottle. That way, she may sleep better/longer in the night because she is satisfied. Also, I didn't have any breast milk to spare and had issues with consistency with the formula and cereal, so I used watered juice to mix the cereal. Also, play with the consistency .... even on her first feeding, I could not feed my daughter the cereal consistency the box gave - she needed it thicker so she could feel it and move it a little, rather than it being nearly liquid. See what she likes best and go from there.
Good luck!

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answers from Los Angeles on


First, let me say...breath!! It's okay. :)

At four months old, I fed my son on demand and it was usually when he was going through a growth spurt that he increased his feedings on his own. So, you're little one is doing exactly what she needs.

We didn't start cereal until my son was about 5-6 months old...and, I talked to my doctor first before starting. And, we started with small amounts in the morning after waking...just mixed a tablespoon with some formula and let him eat as much as he wanted. Gradually, over a few weeks time, we worked up to lunch and then dinner too, but again I would call your pedi to verify that your little one is displaying all the key signs that she's ready.

Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

<grinning> My son was drinking apx 19-21 oz PER FEEDING when he was a week old. And that pretty much continued for as long as he nursed. Some months it increased, some it decreased, but it hovered at 20oz average. (We used the lactation consultants through the Hosp he was born at with their super-sensitive scale...and were part of a nursing study...which is how we know this eye-rolling detail.)

MY GAWD was formula expensive when I lost my milk @ 9mo, and he was already on partial solids by then.

My point is; babies eat until they're full, or the breast runs out. Your little one's probably either hitting a growth spurt or is trying to tell you she's still hungry, or has gas. If long burpings aren't working (try 20 minutes)'s most likely one or both of the first 2.

It is the RARE, SUPER SUPER RARE, exception of a baby that needs to be put on a diet. In fact, studies show that infants, children, and adolescents who are NOT put on diets or restricted in their eating AT ALL (as long as it's healthy), are the ones who tend to have NO WEIGHT ISSUES WHATSOEVER throughout their lives.

Not that I'm saying you're not feeding your daughter more because you're afraid your baby will be fat, merely a cultural thing. I fall into it in my own mind with my son all the time & I've had to write papers on this, and sooooo many of the mom's i know IRL struggle with it, that I thought it might be pertinant to bring up. If it's not pertinant, no worries! Obviously my own bias. I've struggled through and let him graze, munch, pick, or gorge as he's felt like (umm...minus at halloween ;) and as a case study, he's about 6inches taller then normal for his age(Nordic, thats the genes), but he's actually a little underweight. When BOTH sides of his family struggle with being overweight.

Hmmmm....things to think about.

Good Luck!



answers from Los Angeles on

People will tell you many different things, but what we did with my daughter is put rice cereal in her bottle to make it a bit thicker. You may have to increase the size of the hole in the nipple but it was wonderful. You could really tell that she was satisfied after we started doing that. We didn't do it every bottle but you will find a happy medium. You caould also try feeding the rice cereal to her as well she may like it. Stick with rice cereal because it is very easy for them to digest instead of wheat or oat based cereal.
Good Luck. Just remember that your pediatricain may say not to give her cereal but I speak from experince and my child is healthy and fine. My sister also did this and her little one healthy as well.



answers from Honolulu on

It may not mean she is starving necessarily.

Sometimes, babies act like that (crying after feeding) because they have gas. Burping is good, but it does not always get the air out of them. It can also be stuck in their stomach.

If she is feeding every 2 hours, it usually means they are having a growth spurt...they get hungrier at these periods of growth and need more intake. It's normal.

Also, why don't you try to give her more intake?
You mentioned, she is now feeding every 2 hours... and takes in 30-36 ounces per day. Okay. So that means, she is only having about 3 ounces per feeding session. So, why don't you simply increase the amount that is in her bottle? She can probably drink more.

My son at that age was drinking 6 ounces. He had a voracious appetite, I was breastfeeding him... but as time went on, he needed more.

You need to consult with your Pediatrician though. Don't just do something "guessing."

Good luck,



answers from San Diego on

Talk to your pediatrician regarding her nutritional needs for her weight and age. They can calculate her needs according to her weight, and as she gets bigger don't be surprised if she drinks up to around 40 oz/day.



answers from Los Angeles on

I would call the pediatrician before starting any cereal or food. At my ped visit today, the docutor informed me that the old rule was to start solids at 4-6 months. But now they do not recommend anything including cereal until the baby is at least 6 months old. Granted what we do with babies today was unheard of when we were babies :)

My little guy cryed at 3 months like your is now. I increased his feedings by 1 once and he still cried for a mintue or so afterwards, but then calmed down by himself. I didn't want to give him too much b/c I know he would take all I offered and for his age and weight any more would be off the charts. After 2 weeks he got over it... and has been gaining weight wonderfully.



answers from San Diego on

Hi Leah, all 3 of my babies were on rice cereal and 6 weeks, I have a 4 month old little girl in my daycare and her mom has her on a good formula, rice cereal and fruits and vegetables, and she is doing fantastic, she eats aolt, she is alread staring to army grow, she holds her own bottles, grips amd plays will alot of different toys, I say put her on cereal now. J. L.



answers from San Diego on

Hi Leah,

You may want to call your Pedi and ask what he recommends regarding the cereal, every Pedi does this different. With both of my kids we started cereal at 4 months.

With the bottle, have you increased the nipple size at all? If not, try doing that. It's possible she's just not getting enough out or fast enough and she's getting frustrated. But I think 30-36oz a day is good at this time too.

Good luck!


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