Tips for babies gaining too much
Is a pediatric gastroenterologist at the Children’s Center for Digestive Health Care / GI Care for Kids, whose books on nutrition for parents led him to start Nutrition4Kids with his co-founders.
Distinguishing between a healthy, fat-cheeked baby from the baby who has too much fat can be tricky. It's even harder with breast fed babies because these babies often gain more weight at first and then slim down. It's another challenge to slow down rapid weight gain, while still promoting optimal growth.
If a baby's gaining too much weight or frequently spitting up, it could be a sign that he is being overfed. Keep track of feeding amounts and how often he spits up. Bring this information with you when you visit your pediatrician or primary care provider.
It's often difficult to decrease the amount at a given feeding. If your baby is consuming more than 32 ounces of formula per day, offer a water bottle between feedings. You should offer it if he begins to fuss and it has been less than 2 1/2 hours since the last feeding. If he won't take plain water, add 1 teaspoon of 100% juice. If you've added cereal to the bottle to help control your baby's <<reflux>>, you can try to slowly reduce the cereal.
You should never dilute formula, because your baby needs all of those important nutrients for growth.
When To Start Solids
Try to delay starting solids until around 6 months of age, since they add calories and weight.
When you do begin, try vegetables first instead of cereal, since they are filling with fewer calories. When introducing cereal, start with 1 to 2 teaspoons and 1-2 tablespoons of formula, breast milk, or water.
Only give cereal and fruits once daily. If your baby is constipated, then give the "p" fruits twice a day–pears, peaches, plums, prunes, etc.
Follow vegetables and cereal with fruits and meats to provide a careful balance of all the necessary nutrients.
Avoid juice and give the baby water (or, later, vegetable puffs) if he's hungry between meals.
If your baby is eating well but often wants extra servings, try giving him a little formula or water 15 to 20 minutes before his meal so he won't be as hungry.
Be careful not to overfeed your baby. Remember his stomach is about the size of his fist. Most importantly, recognize that you can work with your pediatrician or a pediatric nutritionist to help you determine the best strategy.
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