Can you overfeed a bottle fed baby?

Can you overfeed a bottle fed baby?

Can you overfeed a bottle fed baby – Yes, it is possible to sometimes overfeed a formula-fed  baby by an over-enthusiastic or anxious parent.

Unlike in breastfeeding where baby controls the amount and time, bottle is controlled by parents or caregivers. It is quite tempting to give a bottle to a crying baby even if the baby has been fed only some time ago.

Babies love to suck and it is very easy for them to ingest more than they want or need from a bottle. In India especially, baby’s weight is unfortunately linked to baby’s health. So, every parent wants a chubby, roly-poly baby and they get stressed if baby is lean or does not seem to be having as much milk as they think s/he should have. 

It is important to remember that there is a big range of normal and babies come in all sizes which depends on many factors. If you are worried about your baby’s weight, use our weight and height growth chart tracker to find if your baby is growing well.


Can you overfeed a bottle-fed baby?


How to know if baby is getting overfed ?

Most often if you see that your baby vomits after a feed, it could mean that baby has taken more than needed. A little spitting up is normal but vomiting is stronger.

See difference between spitting up and vomiting.

Signs that you are perhaps overfeeding your baby?

  • Vomiting by baby after every feed could signify that you are perhaps overfeeding the baby.
  • More than eight heavily soiled nappies in a day
  • Frequent bad-smelling poopy diapers
  • Too much gas/ flatulence

Should you follow the instructions given on Formula pack blindly ?

Instructions on formula pack are guidelines to help you but every baby is different and if you baby wants to feed more than recommended amount at a longer gap, so be it. Similarly if baby wants to feed less but more frequently that is alright too. Baby’s doctor will let you know if something is amiss. As long as baby is gaining weight and growing well, there is usually nothing to worry about.

How to avoid overfeeding ?

Think about it how you like to eat food when you are hungry and do not want when you are not. Babies are tuned to their bodies and they will let you know when they hungry or not.

If your baby turns away from the bottle, stop. Do not pack in too much formula in a bottle. If your baby finishes the given amount and still seems hungry, add a little more. You will soon have a rough idea how much formula is enough for your baby and how frequently s/he needs to feed.

Resist the temptation to give a bottle every time baby cries. If the baby has been fed recently, check if there is some other problem like a wet diaper or s/he may be too hot or cold.

Sometimes baby might just crave for your company. Hold the baby and do your favourite things to make her happy.


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