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For a baby, breast milk is extremely healthy, and of extreme importance for his/her nourishment. That’s why almost all mothers worry if the baby is getting enough milk or not.
Unfortunately, according to experts, many mothers could end up overfeeding their babies, which must be avoided at all costs. That’s because it can take a toll on your baby’s health. If you’re feeling anxious about this, take a deep breath and relax, because you can find out if your infant is getting the right amount of milk.
So, can you tell if you’re overfeeding your little one? We got in touch with an expert, Dr. Archana Wadkar, lactation counselor and consultant lactation expert, Motherhood Hospital, Pune, to share with us the signs and symptoms of overfeeding a baby.
If you notice your baby turns away from the bottle during feeding, and subsequently spits, it’s a sign that your baby is full. “It is normal for babies to spit up. But this can happen frequently, when the baby is overfed,” Dr Wadkar says.
This is also one of the common symptoms, when a baby is overfed. He/she may throw up more often, thus leading to health problems in the long run.
Overfeeding can lead to bloating, cramps and even diarrhoea. This happens especially if the baby is drinking from the bottle and goes overboard. He/she can get gas and feel bloated, says Dr Wadkar.
If you notice all these signs in your little one, you probably need to be careful about the quantity that you are feeding the baby.
This is also a sign of overfeeding the baby.
If your baby keeps burping all the time, you are overfeeding him/her.
Overfeeding the little one can lead to sleep disturbances. If your baby has poor sleep habits and is waking often, it may be time to look at how much they have been eating.
Flatulence and foul smelling stools can also be a sign of overfeeding the baby, says Dr Wadkar.
Overfeeding a baby is rare, but it can happen. Moreover, chronic overfeeding can lead to complications for the baby.
Weight is not an indicator of overfeeding, but it is an outcome for sure. “Overfeeding can cause abnormal weight gain and double the chances of sleep apnoea, high blood pressure, and heart disease in later life. Your baby may also encounter bone or joint problems, shortness of breath, liver and gallbladder issues. Being overweight leads to poor self-esteem, says Dr Wadkar.
Overfeeding can cause your baby to feel gassy and sick. In fact, if the baby has an acidity problem, overfeeding can worsen the condition.
Dr Wadkar says, “Overfed babies tend to vomit after every feed. Chronic vomiting can invite a host of problems in the long run.”.
Avoiding overfeeding is not an impossible task. There are few simple ways, which can indicate that the baby is full and does not need more milk. Pay attention to how your baby responds during or after meals.
A baby who is full may:
“You need to pay attention to the cues given by your little one. If your baby pushes away the food, he/she is full. Do not force your baby to eat more, ” says Dr Wadkar.
Babies achieve satisfaction within a few minutes of nursing and can sleep easily when their stomachs are full, says Dr Wadkar.
If the baby does so, he/she is not hungry.
Then the baby is done, and you need not overfeed him/her.
If your baby is closing his/her mouth, when offered more food; it means he/she is full.
If the baby cries after the feed, he/he is signaling that their stomach is full.
This means the baby is at ease and no longer hungry.
Dr Wadkar says, “If your baby is easily distracted after a feed, starts playing, or shows no further interest in feeding, the baby is full.”
This indicates that the baby is not hungry anymore, and you need to stop right away.