Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Baby

Font Size

Overfeeding a Baby - Topic Overview

Overfeeding a baby often causes the baby discomfort because he or she can't digest all of the breast milk or formula properly. When fed too much, a baby may also swallow air, which can produce gas, increase discomfort in the belly, and lead to crying. An overfed baby also may spit up more than usual and have loose stools. Although crying from discomfort is not colic, it can make crying more frequent and more intense in an already colicky baby.

Babies give cues during feeding that indicate how hungry they are. Pay attention to these cues to help determine when your baby has had enough to eat.

  • A baby who is hungry will latch on to the breast or bottle and suck continuously.
  • A baby who is getting full during a feeding will take longer pauses between sucking.
  • A baby who is full will turn away from the breast or bottle and not want to suck.

The amount of food each baby needs varies. Young babies usually do not take more breast milk or formula than they need. In general, your baby should seem healthy and happy and have good muscle tone, healthy skin, and good color.

The following table gives the number of ounces that a baby needs to take with each feeding according to his or her weight. Remember that this is only an average and that every baby is different. Call your doctor if you have any concerns.

Average feeding amounts by baby's weight
Weight in pounds Ounces per feeding

6 to 8 pounds (2.5 to 3.5 kg)

2 to 3 ounces (60 to 90 mL)

8 to 10 pounds (3.5 to 4.5 kg)

3 to 4 ounces (90 to 120 mL)

10 to 12 pounds (4.5 to 5 kg)

4 to 6 ounces (120 to 180 mL)

12 to 16 pounds (5 to 7 kg)

6 to 8 ounces (180 to 240 mL)

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: February 25, 2013
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

mother on phone holding baby
When you should call 911.
Mother with baby
Unexpected ways your life will change.
 
baby acne
What’s normal – and what’s not.
baby asleep on moms shoulder
Help your baby get the sleep he needs.
 

mother holding baby at night
ARTICLE
mother with sick child
QUIZ
 
baby with pacifier
VIDEO
Track Your Babys Vaccines
TOOL
 
Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
Slideshow
Woman holding feet up to camera
Article
 
Father kissing newborn baby
Article
baby gear slideshow
Slideshow