Q: I have a 2 week old and I feed her formula. They told me that she should only be eating 2-3 ozs at every feeding, but she never is full. So I have been feeding her 4 ozs and she gets full on that. Is that bad? Am I over-feeding her?
A: It sounds like you're very tuned into your little one! Although each infant has her own unique needs, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) says that infants typically eat every 3 or 4 hours during their first few weeks and should consume about 2.5 ounces for every pound she weighs (about 20 ounces per day for an 8 pound baby). It's important to not set a firm feeding schedule for your infant from the get go since eating patterns are still developing. Rest assured that over time you and your infant will settle into a routine. It's also important to recognize that sometimes your baby will be hungrier than others (such as when he or she is going through a growth spurt).
As a general rule, it's a good idea to let your baby decide how much she has at each feeding. As long as she grows at an appropriate rate (you'll know when you take your baby to her pediatric appointments whether she is growing well according to pediatric growth charts), you don't need to be overly concerned about overfeeding. But one way to determine if your baby is getting enough but not too much is to learn to read the signs. Closing her mouth, turning away from the bottle, biting the nipple or playing with the bottle or falling asleep are all signs your infant may have had enough. If you do find your baby is finishing a 4 ounce bottle in less than 15 minutes, there's no harm in replacing the nipple you're using with one with smaller holes to slow down the feeding.
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