Eat, sleep, poop, repeat. This is life with a newborn. Pretty much the only time you see them awake is when they’re eating and even then they may not stay awake for the whole thing. Since eating is really the only thing they can do, it tends to be the thing that they really like to do. Some babies will turn into ravenous piranhas the moment you step into the room because they can smell it, the milk. I have seen my guy wake up from a dead sleep just because I walked within 5 feet of him. It’s insane. That being said, some babies love the milk a little too much and are overeating. While you can’t over feed a breast fed baby, drinking too much milk in one sitting can stretch out their stomachs too much which can lead to overeating in the future when they get to solids. You always want to make sure that they’re getting enough, but not to that extent. So if you have a big eater, there are a few things that you can do to help make sure they aren’t overindulging.
This post is primarily geared towards exclusive pumpers. Babies that directly nurse will stop eating when they are full since nursing takes more work than drinking from a bottle. If you are nursing and feel that your baby is nursing too long then you may want to make sure that they are actually eating and not just using you as a pacifier for comfort. This is common with young babies. If that is the case, then pull him off once you notice that he is no longer swallowing. Just make sure that you’ve allowed him enough time. A good rule of thumb is 15-20 minutes per side.
This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you buy something through one of my links I’ll receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. I will never suggest a product or service that I don’t use and love myself because that’s just wrong. If you like reading legal mumbo-jumbo then you can check out my disclosure policy HERE.

Using a Slower Flow Nipple

The first thing to determine is how your baby is acting during and after eating. Does seem like he is drinking really fast? Does it look like he is having trouble keeping up with the flow? Is he spilling a large amount of milk out of the corner of his mouth? If so then you should look at getting a smaller flow nipple for the bottle. We use the Tommee Tippee brand for J and we still have him on the size 0 extra slow flow nipple even though he is almost 8 months old. (Update: at 10 months we began using size 1 nipples at daycare. I still used the 0 at home though.) There is no reason to ever increase nipple sizes unless your baby is having issues with the slower flow. If you were nursing you would not be able to increase the flow of your nipple. The same principle applies. There are several other brands such as Dr. Brown’s that have a preemie nipple that can be used. Depending on your baby, he may not immediately like being switched to a slower nipple. Babies want their milk to flow easily. Slowing down the flow is the opposite. Try it a few times and see if he will adjust.

Pace Feeding

If you try the slower flow and your baby becomes frustrated at the speed of it, or if your baby is throwing up large amounts of milk after feeding, then you can try pace feeding. You’ll want to sit him up so that you’re able to hold the bottle in his mouth parallel to the floor. Let him suck for 30 seconds, then tilt the bottle down so he isn’t getting any or very much for 30 seconds, and repeat. This process will take a little more time, but it forces him to slow down to allow his stomach the time to let his head know that he is full. Whether you’re pace feeding or using a slower flow nipple, it should take your baby between 3 and 5 minutes to finish each ounce. If you’ve tried these things and your baby is still throwing up after feedings, then you could have a reflux or an allergy issue. Make an appointment with your pediatrician to discuss your options. If you’ve tried these things and your baby isn’t throwing up and still eating the same amount of milk, then that is probably how much he needs. As long as it isn’t excessive for his age (like 8oz bottles for a 3 week old), then he’s fine. Like I said, you can’t overfeed a breast fed baby. Have you tried these suggestions? How did they work for you? Leave me a comment below. Until next time! Related Posts: