Mixing formula strong?

My son has always been on the small side. His birth weight was 5 pounds, 11.5 oz. At 7 months he is about 15.5 pounds. He is a big "spitter" and his doctor has diagnosed reflux. We are worried that he is not gaining sufficiently because of the huge volumes he regurgitates.

For the past month, he has been refusing his third bottle of the day at day care and eating only about half of his last bottle, so he's getting only between 18 and 25 ounces of formula a day. Is it harmful to mix his concentrated formula on the strong side to get a few more calories and nutrients into him?

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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

To begin with you need to decide if your son's small size is due to his inability to keep food down, or if it is just his nature. Look back at how your husband grew as a baby and how you grew, as well as looking at how big a person you both are now. It should give you some insight to his growth patterns. It may be your son's size is a combination of both nature and reflux.

It is very important to not concentrate his formula. It can make him very sick. Always follow specific instructions when mixing formula. Speak to your pediatrician about alternatives. It may be he will suggest a formula for newborns that contains more calories per ounce.

Help your baby with the reflux problem by making sure he eats smaller amounts more frequently and remains upright afterward. Thicken his formula with a teaspoon of rice cereal per ounce (this will add calories and will thicken the formula, and thicker liquids tend to slow reflux), and provide a calm atmosphere for eating. Only in the case of reflux is it recommended to add cereal to formula.

Thank you for writing.

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