Whether you are breastfeeding, bottlefeeding or combination feeding, your baby may go through periods where they increase their milk intake or seem to be hungrier. Here is some advice if you think you have a hungry baby.
It may seem like you are constantly feeding at all hours of the day and night, but be reassured that things will settle after the first few weeks and that by feeding your baby on demand you are helping to establish a great milk supply for a happy, healthy baby. Don’t worry about your supply of milk, because as the demand from your baby increases so too will the supply from your body. Allow your baby to feed long enough on one breast before switching to the other to make sure your baby gets the hind milk (the hind milk is high in fat and very satisfying, your baby needs both fore and hind milk).
However, if your baby suddenly wants to feed more often, it is likely that they are going through a growth spurt, it normally only lasts a few days but can last up to a week, feed on demand as always and your body will react by increasing its production of milk to match your baby’s appetite. Most of all, remember you need to rest and have a healthy breastfeeding diet too.
If your baby suddenly wants to feed more often, it is likely that they are going through a growth spurt
Bottlefed babies should be fed on demand like a breastfed baby. The information on the side of the pack of your formula milk is a general guide to help you to calculate an average amount for your baby’s age. But remember that it is just a guide, some babies take more, and some take less. You may find that your baby takes in more at different times of the day, or likes to take small volumes frequently rather than large volumes less often – every baby is different.
Keeping a record of the amount your baby feeds will help you calculate how much they have consumed in total over 24hours (recommended volume is 150-200mls formula per 1kg body weight, but please note that some may take more and some less). If your baby suddenly wants to feed more often, it is likely that they are going through a growth spurt, it normally only lasts a few days but can last up to a week. Read more about our bottle-feeding guide.
If your baby is content, there is no need to change their formula milk. However, if your baby is showing signs of hunger, we would advise the following:
- Measure the quantity of formula that your baby consumes over a 24h period (Recommended volume is 150-200mls formula per 1kg)
- Increase the frequency and volume where necessary (your baby may be going through a growth spurt)
- If your baby still appears hungry, consult your healthcare professional
Solids are not recommended before 17 weeks as the early introduction of solids before this time is associated with an increased risk of developing an allergy.
If you’d like any further information call our Careline.
Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides many benefits. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a varied, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breast milk, and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. The social and financial implications of using an infant formula should be considered. Improper use of an infant formula or inappropriate foods or feeding methods may present a health hazard. If you use an infant formula, you should follow manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully – failure to follow the instructions may make your baby ill. Always consult your doctor, midwife or health visitor for advice about feeding your baby.