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Determining Whether a Formula-Fed Baby is Getting Enough to Eat

It’s normal for parents to wonder whether their infant is feeding enough, particularly if they’re first-time parents with no past childrearing experience. If you’ve decided to bottle feed your baby, then you’ll be dealing with a different feeding schedule and requirements than a breastfeeding mother. The below basic information will help you determine whether your newborn is getting enough to eat. Be sure to talk to your pediatrician if you need more information on bottle feeding guidelines or require help determining whether your baby is feeding enough.

Correct Ways of Judging

• Weight Gain: A healthy baby that is being fed properly steadily gains weight, hence weight gain is usually considered the most reliable sign that a baby is getting enough to eat. Talk to your pediatrician to know what to expect in terms of proper weight gain for your baby so you can evaluate whether your infant is growing properly.
• Feeding Amount & Frequency: As with breastfeeding, you should follow your baby’s queue to determine how often and how much to feed it, since every baby will have different feeding requirements and a single baby’s feeding needs will change from day to day. Within 1-2 months, your baby will have settled into a recognizable feeding pattern. In general, it is recommended that you offer your baby the bottle every 2-3 hours to begin with, whereby your child will probably drink 30-90ml per feeding. Never force your child to drink more than it seems to want to, and newborn infants should never go more than 4 hours without feeding. Your baby should eat more at each feeding the older it gets and the interval between each feeding will grow longer with time.
• Proper Sucking: To determine whether your baby is feeding properly from the bottle, listen carefully to the sounds it makes when it sucks. If your baby is making loud sucking noises, it might be taking in too much air, in which case you will need to hold your baby at a 45-degree angle and tilt the bottle to ensure that the nipple and neck are filled with formula at all times. Never prop your baby’s bottle and leave your child unattended, even if for a moment, since propping the bottle might not give your baby enough time to swallow and can cause your baby to choke.
• Soiled Diapers: Your baby should wet its Fine Baby® diapers 4-6 times a day and have regular bowel movements. Formula-fed babies tend to develop constipation, so monitor your baby’s stool to make sure that this isn’t the case. Good stool should be dark and sticky the first couple of days before becoming yellow, tan, brown or green in color, and with the same consistency as peanut butter. If your baby’s stool is hard or streaked with blood, contact your pediatrician.
• Baby’s Satisfaction: If your baby is getting enough to eat, it should seem satisfied, alert and active after feedings. A healthy skin tone is also a good indicator of whether your child is feeding enough. If your baby fusses or cries after its bottle is emptied, it might not have had enough milk.

Incorrect Ways of Judging

• Baby’s Sleeping Patterns: Your baby sleeping soundly through the night does not necessarily mean that it is full and feeding properly. In fact, you should be wary if your baby seems too sleepy and has to be roused for feedings. If this is the case, talk to your pediatrician to check whether your infant’s sleepiness is a sign of underlying problems.
• Spitting Up: Infants usually spit up after or during burping , but spitting up should not be taken as a sign that your child is feeding sufficiently. Spitting up can indicate that your infant is overfeeding (which isn’t healthy), and vomiting after every feeding can mean that your baby is suffering from an allergic reaction, a digestive problem, or another underlying problem that should be investigated. Talk to your pediatrician to determine your baby’s situation.