Can babies overeat?

I have found a lot of information about babies who are not gaining enough weight, but my daughter has the opposite problem. She is just under 3 months old and weighs 18 pounds. I am breast-feeding, and she is eating every two hours. My doctor suggested not feeding her right away. However, she cries uncontrollably, whether I wait a few minutes or an hour, until I finally feed her. This doesn’t seem to be helping. Do you have any suggestions?

I have always believed that a breast-fed baby cannot overeat. Generally, a mother makes as much milk as her baby needs. Most breast-fed babies will eat every 1½ to three hours for the first two months, then every three to four hours until starting solid foods. Some babies prefer to nurse for comfort and may not get as much nourishment at those “in-between” feedings since it takes one to 1½ hours to replenish your milk supply.

A bottle-fed baby can overeat. Typically, a baby will take up to 32 ounces a day between 2 and 4 months of age. Eating more than that may indicate that the baby is using the bottle for comfort. That type of eating is not healthy.

In either case, it is wise to help your baby learn to calm herself either by sucking her thumb or by cuddling with a blanket. She can start to grasp more things and play with things and chew on them.

Although your baby is bigger than average now, you cannot be sure that will continue. As she starts to get more active and eat other foods, she will find a new place on her growth chart. Continue to follow her growth closely with your doctor.

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