Is My Baby Getting Enough Formula, Or Too Much?

Signs that your baby may be getting too little formula are:

  • Slower-than-normal weight gain
  • Diminished urine output
  • A loose, wrinkly appearance to baby’s skin
  • Persistent crying or fussiness

If your baby is showing signs of being underfed, increase the amount of milk offered. Feed more volume and or at more frequent intervals. Burp as needed.

Signs that your baby is being fed too much at each feeding are:

  • A lot of spitting up or vomiting immediately after the feeding, more than considered normal
  • Colicky abdominal pain (baby draws his legs up onto a tense abdomen) immediately after feeding
  • Excessive weight gain

If these signs of overfeeding occur, offer smaller-volume feedings more frequently, burp baby once or twice during the feeding, and occasionally offer a bottle of water instead of formula.

Choosing Nipples

Nipples can be made of rubber, latex and silicone substitues and come in a variety of contours all claiming to imitate the natural action and shape of the mother’s breast. None actually do!

Latex nipples are softer and more flexible, but they don’t last as long and some babies are allergic to them. Silicone nipples are firmer and hold their shape longer.

Nipples are also available in a range of sizes and flow speeds. You may have to try a few sizes to find the one that works best for your child.

Watch to make sure your baby isn’t having a hard time getting milk or isn’t getting so much that he’s choking or spitting up. Don’t alter a small nipple to increase its flow and, of course, discuss any feeding concerns with your baby’s doctor.

Because you can’t know beforehand which type or size nipple your child will prefer, it’s best to play it safe and buy one of several types. Once you’ve determined your child’s preference, you can purchase enough to last for months.

Orthodontic- type nipples

  • Insert farther back into baby’smore natural milking action of the tongue, but inconveniently require a “which way to turn the nipple” decision. Be sure baby sucks on the widened base of this nipple, not just the mouth, allowing a tip.

Expandable rubbin nipples

  • Designed to elongate during sucking but only if baby opens his mouth wide enough and sucks hard enough to draw the nipple farther in. Most, however, only suck on the protruded part. This nipple should be avoided for the breastfeeding baby, who may learn lazy latch-on habits from it.

Standard bulb-type nipples

  • The easiest, with a wide base that best allows baby to form a tighter seal.

For the full-time bottle feeding baby, simply experiment with various types of nipples to see which one works best for your baby. If baby is both breastfeeding and bottle feeding, use a nipple with a wide base.

To lessen the rubbery taste of an artificial nipple and to sterilize them, boil for five minutes before first use. To avoid the possibility of a baby choking on a nipple, carefully follow the manufacturer’s caution advice on the package.

When To Replace Nipples

Formula should drip steadily out of a nipple. If it pours out in a stream, the hole is too big and the nipple should be replaced. Check nipples periodically for signs of wear, such as discoloration or thinning, and replace worn ones, which could break and become a choking hazard.

If the nipple becomes cracked or torn, discard it. Some nipples come with a variety of hole sizes to fit the type of liquid and the age of the baby. The nipple hole should be large enough for the formula to drip at an approximate rate of one drop per second when you hold a full, unshaken bottle upside down. Larger nipples and nipple holes are available for older babies.

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