Can a newborn be overfed?

Our baby boy is 15 days old. He weighs nine-and-a-half pounds. He cries angrily for food, biting on his hands, every two to two-and-a-half hours. He usually eats three ounces of formula each time. We worry about over-feeding him, and would like to know how much is too much for a baby his age?

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Sue Gilbert

Sue Gilbert works as a consulting nutritionist. For many years she worked with Earth's Best Organic Baby Food, integrating nutrition and... Read more

Please, do not worry about overfeeding a baby. Babies are wondrously equipped with an inborn ability to answer their bodies hunger and satiety cues. When they are hungry, they need to eat, and they cry to let you know. If you don't feed them when hungry, they cannot develop the sense of trust that their needs will be taken care of. Let your baby decide how much and how often he needs to eat. As he gets older, you can begin to regulate the when, and you will try to always regulate the what, but never try to regulate the how much.

Young babies need to eat often because their tummies are so tiny they cannot hold too much at once. Therefore, expect to have to feed him every couple of hours.

Enjoy that new little one, and enjoy him relishing the formula you are providing for him.

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