Is my baby gaining too much weight?

Q: My son just turned 6-weeks-old. I used to breastfeed him every 3-4 hours and supplement with 2 oz of formula after. He has gained 4 lbs. since birth. The lactation consultant said I should stop the formula because he is gaining too much weight. I tried cutting down on the formula (only giving him 2 oz x 4 in the evening). However, he can no longer fall asleep on his own since then and he wakes up every 20 minutes screaming for milk. What should I do? What is a better approach this?

A: Here are some general guidelines on nutrition. From day 4 or so of life until 3 months of age, babies gain about 2/3 to 1 oz of weight a day. So, most babies will have gained 3 pounds from birth at their 2 month well check-up. Clearly, you are ahead of that. Also, most breastfed babies eat about every 2-3 hours, not every 3-4 hours. You may consider increasing the frequency of nursing sessions and discontinuing the supplements because his growth is fine. His weight gain will then be more appropriate. I do not think his frequent wakenings are because he needs to eat, so you may be overfeeding him. Since this question needs a very involved answer, I suggest you talk to your baby's pediatrician.

Answered by Dr. Ari Brown

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