Overfed babies do not fully digest food, mother's milk or formula before their next feeding begins. Moms who pay more attention to the amount their babies consume than to the behaviours of their children are at risk of overfeeding. Likewise, moms who regularly add cereal to formula and who give babies juice in addition to formula and breast milk are at risk of overfeeding their babies.
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The contents of your baby's diaper can reveal that overfeeding has occurred. If bowel movements are in excess of twice per day and your baby is 1 month old or older, overfeeding may be taking place. Likewise, green, explosive, watery and consistently foul-smelling bowel movements are also potential signs of overfeeding.
Grumpy babies who are steadily gaining weight may be overfed and suffering from gas and constipation. If your baby continues to eat and gain weight but still has trouble going to sleep and getting comfortable, overfeeding is a likely cause.
Many overfed babies are misdiagnosed as having lactose intolerance or colic. Since overfed babies tend to spit up their food, reflux is another common misdiagnosis for overfed babies.
The simplest form of treatment is to focus on your baby rather than on the food he consumes. If your baby turns away from food after eating or spits up, stop feeding your baby and allow the food he has already consumed to digest. Also avoid giving excess food to a baby. Cereal and puréed fruits and vegetables may be introduced between 4 and 6 months of age, but these feedings should not exceed breast milk or formula. If exclusively nursing an overfed child, try giving your baby only one breast per feeding.
When treating overfed children, it's important to ensure that the children do not become underfed. To make sure your child is receiving an adequate amount of food, look for the baby to wet around six diapers each day and verify that your child is gaining weight and developing properly at regularly scheduled health checks with a licensed paediatrician.
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