Beware of "Overfeeding" by Feeding Your Infant as Soon as He Cries

Inexperienced in feeding their infant, many novice mothers think they are hungry and feed them immediately, whenever they cry. However, this kind of feeding, regardless of time and intake, can easily put your infant in a dangerous situation of "overfeeding".

The Report on Nutrition Development of Children Aged 0-6 Years in China points out that the early childhood, especially from the foetal period to 2 years of age (the first 1,000 days of life), is the most critical period to determine their nutrition and health conditions in their whole lives. In addition, many parenting articles also heavily popularize that poor nutrition during this period is likely to cause the irreversible growth and cognitive developmental delays in infants and toddlers. Therefore, many mothers would rather let their infants eat a little more, to keep them well growing.

"Getting Fat" Is Not the Only Result of Overfeeding

In fact, eating more is as harmful as eating less. Infants who are overfed will intake more energy and other nutrients than they need for growth and development, and become "chubby" finally. According to the relevant data, in 2010, the prevalence of obesity and overweight among children under 5 years old in urban and rural areas in China was 8.5% and 6.5% respectively. It is important to know that obesity in infants and young children has the risk to be kept to their adulthood. Without special attention and moderate intervention, such people are at increased risk of developing adult diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, high triglycerides, and metabolic syndrome during their adolescence.

In addition, obesity will lead to delayed motor development, and such infants will spend more time in turning over, crawling and walking than normal infants of the same period. Obesity can even have varying degrees of adverse effects on the infant’s respiratory system (higher rates of asthma), bone development, psychology, and intelligence.

"Child’s Action Signals" for Overfeeding

Although many novice mothers are unaware of overfeeding, infants are already sending signals to their mothers with their "actions", the most visual one being that they are gaining weight too fast. Novice mothers can determine if their children is overfed by using the standard child weight formula: For infants aged 1 to 6 months, weight (kg) = birth weight (or 3kg) + months of age × 0.6 (kg); for infants aged 7 to 12 months, weight (kg) = birth weight (or 3kg) + months of age × 0.5 (kg); For children aged 2-10 years old, weight (kg) = age × 2 + 7 (or 8) (kg). If the infant weighs more than 10% to 19% of the standard weight, he/she is overweight; more than 20% of the standard weight, he/she is obese; less than 15% of the standard weight, he/she is malnourished.

Therefore, regardless of the weight of your infant, as long as it is within 10% of the standard weight, the weight of your infant is in a reasonable range, mothers should not worry too much about their infants not reaching the weight limit.

In addition, mothers can also make judgment from the stool and body condition of your child. Within one year of age, infants defecate about 1 to 4 times a day, breastfed infants may defecate slightly more frequent, and after one year of age, about 1 to 2 times a day. Overfeeding will lead to an increase in the frequency of defecations, especially when the frequency of defecations suddenly increases, with thin stools or watery stools, and stool color is changed from yellow to green with foam, your infant is indigestive due to overfeeding, if your infant is in good health.

In addition, before 6 months of age, infants will have the physiological reaction of spitting up, and as they grow older, they will gradually stop it. However, if your infant starts to spit up frequently again after 6 months of age, or has frequent symptoms of indigestion such as burping, abdominal distension and abdominal pain, it is likely that he/she has eaten too much. Therefore, mothers should always pay special attention to such details reflected from the infant’s body.

Correction of Overfeeding

When infants cry, mothers should discriminate first to rule out illness or discomfort before breastfeeding with patience, and usually do not eat too much tonic food to avoid that infant intakes over-nourished milk. If the infant is formula-fed, be sure to follow the brewing ratio on the formula package strictly to avoid over-thickening the milk.

In addition, it is better for infants to intake supplementary foods after 6 months of age, step by step. When infants are indigestive with abdominal distension and diarrhea due to overfeeding, they may also have problems with intestinal flora imbalance, please take probiotics appropriately to improve it. Ofmom as a well-known brand of probiotic preparations has 150 million live bacteria in each preparation, which can colonize and reproduce rapidly in the intestinal tract after taking, to correct the disorder of flora and protect the intestinal health of infants.

In a word, mothers do not overfeed your infant. Infants eating too much and well is not only useless but harmful. Only a balanced and moderate feeding can make your child grow up healthy.