Newborn not eating enough

Marci - posted on 09/03/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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My newborn is only eating between 1 and 2 ounces of formula each feeding (between 2 1/2-3 hour intervals) and the doctor said he should be eating between 2 and 4. He falls asleep about 5-10 minutes after I start feeding him and he won't wake up. I tried stripping him to his diaper, tickling his feet and wiggling the bottle in his mouth but nothing works to wake him up or to get him to eat more. The baby nurse is coming in a couple days to re-weigh him (he went from 7lb 4oz to 6lb 12 oz in 4 days) and I am worried that my newborn is not eating enough and about him losing more weight. Any help would be immensely appreciated!

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Amy - posted on 09/05/2009

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I would not worry too much about your newborn not eating a lot. maybe try to sneak in a few more feedings. instead of 2 1/2 to 3 hrs try to 1.5 to but if he is not hungry do not force it. At 7 to 10 days he will hit a growth spurt and will seem like he is eating every 30 mins. lol. He should be gaining weight by now. The 10% range is normally right after they are born. When you go in for your well baby check like 2 days after you have been out of the hospital they like for them to gain weight but its nothing to worry yourself to much about. remember you need to stay calm and not to overstress b/c that can affect the production of your milk and your baby as well and may be why he is not eating as much. or it could be what he is getting is enough for him and 4 oz is a little much for a new baby. 2 is more realistic. If you need to get a 2nd opinion. It doesn't hurt and it is not saying you do not trust your ped. You are the mom and you know what is best for you baby. Also if your little man is losing weight ask your ped about pyloric stenosis.... this is when the opening of your babies stomach is hardened and so therefore not all the milk is getting into his stomach. it is nothing to alarm yourself with and some babies can get it within the first 3 weeks after they are born. so ask your ped about that and it can be found in an ultrasound. i hope this helps and keep us posted.

Shirley - posted on 09/03/2009

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he's probably fine but there are some questions you could ask if your newborn not eating continues and becomes a problem. my daughter was like that but she has an ASD. that is a heart defect. this doesn't mean that your son has it too. some things to look out for are dark blue feet and hands. tiring easily, low to no weight gain for an extended time. she wasn't diagnosed until she was 6 months old. she had fallen off the growth chart by then. they were able to fix her heart with non-invasive surgery. she went home the next day. they had to wait until she was 2 to do it. just something to ask your pediatrician about.

Priscilla - posted on 09/03/2009

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My pediatrician said that as long as the baby doesn't lose 10% or more of their body weight, it's within the normal range of what they expect the baby to lose. Also, babies eat when they're hungry so try not to worry about your newborn baby not eating as much as you think he should. Both of my sons ate the same amount you're describing when they were born. In fact, I breastfed, so my sons were only getting colostrum at first.....no actual milk. So, I think you're baby will be fine. The best measure is how many wet diapers your baby has per day. I beleive that 8-10 indicates that the baby is getting enough. That's the advice my lactation nurse gave me and it's also posted on the Le Leche League website. Good luck!

Roxanne - posted on 09/06/2009

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I would have problems with my daughter falling asleep and not feeding when she was a newborn. My husband played the harmonica in a very loud and annoying way and this got her to wake up. She was sleepy though because she was quite jaundiced.

Tawni - posted on 09/03/2009

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Hi Marci! Newborns usually do lose a little bit of weight in the beginning. I would try keeping track of how much he eats in an entire day! Anywhere from 16-32 ounces (give or take a little) is completely normal. My 4 month old son rages anywhere from 21-29 ounces! Hope this was helpful :]

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[deleted account]

Quoting Marci:

Newborn not eating enough

My newborn is only eating between 1 and 2 ounces of formula each feeding (between 2 1/2-3 hour intervals) and the doctor said he should be eating between 2 and 4. He falls asleep about 5-10 minutes after I start feeding him and he won't wake up. I tried stripping him to his diaper, tickling his feet and wiggling the bottle in his mouth but nothing works to wake him up or to get him to eat more. The baby nurse is coming in a couple days to re-weigh him (he went from 7lb 4oz to 6lb 12 oz in 4 days) and I am worried that my newborn is not eating enough and about him losing more weight. Any help would be immensely appreciated!



Congrats on your son.  (Im in Australia so things may differ a little) It is very normal for all newborns to loose weight in the first week from birth...they allow about 10%...my son lost 30grams over this and was seen by a peaditrican.  Found out later he was severly jaundice.  Every newborn are different too...as long as your son is pooing and having good wet nappies i see no real problem.  Keep the regualar feeds up to him and i wouldnt give him feeds every 1.5hrs as he will start to snack and wont sleep well and when he gets bigger he will demand those feeds.  I had a son in june and he wasnt ready for feeds it took him over a week and a half before he was strong enough to feed well. Babies dont really have a routine at this age.  Keep the regular visits with your nurse and im sure they will reassure you that you are doing everything right for your son.  You said that you have to wake your son for feeds...maybe wait until he is really wanting his feed this way he will feed well...and always burp him at intervals so he doesnt get an upset tummy....good luck and i hope he improves 

[deleted account]

I think if your 5 day old newborn is eating every 1.5-3 hours, then 1 or 2 ounces is fine. His stomach is the size of his fist for God's sake! I think your doc. is a little wrong in saying your newborn is 'not eating enough.' Every newborn I have ever known loses some weight in the beginning. At his next visit, he should be rising and following 'his curve.' I wouldn't worry too much right now about your newborn not eating a lot. Please give an update when you can! Good Luck and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Lorraine - posted on 09/03/2009

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hiya, i found that when kayne was born he too lost weight, i brest fed himfo about 6wks, he was still healthy even thought he lost ba little weight, i think the best thing you could do is try tickling is collar bone or even try giving him a bottle in between feeds, good luk im sure he'll be fine x

[deleted account]

Quoting Marci:

Newborn not eating enough

My newborn is only eating between 1 and 2 ounces of formula each feeding (between 2 1/2-3 hour intervals) and the doctor said he should be eating between 2 and 4. He falls asleep about 5-10 minutes after I start feeding him and he won't wake up. I tried stripping him to his diaper, tickling his feet and wiggling the bottle in his mouth but nothing works to wake him up or to get him to eat more. The baby nurse is coming in a couple days to re-weigh him (he went from 7lb 4oz to 6lb 12 oz in 4 days) and I am worried that my newborn is not eating enough and about him losing more weight. Any help would be immensely appreciated!



Congrats on your son.  (Im in Australia so things may differ a little) It is very normal for all newborns to loose weight in the first week from birth...they allow about 10%...my son lost 30grams over this and was seen by a peaditrican.  Found out later he was severly jaundice.  Every newborn are different too...as long as your son is pooing and having good wet nappies i see no real problem.  Keep the regualar feeds up to him and i wouldnt give him feeds every 1.5hrs as he will start to snack and wont sleep well and when he gets bigger he will demand those feeds.  I had a son in june and he wasnt ready for feeds it took him over a week and a half before he was strong enough to feed well. Babies dont really have a routine at this age.  Keep the regular visits with your nurse and im sure they will reassure you that you are doing everything right for your son.  You said that you have to wake your son for feeds...maybe wait until he is really wanting his feed this way he will feed well...and always burp him at intervals so he doesnt get an upset tummy....good luck and i hope he improves 

[deleted account]

I think if your 5 day old newborn is eating every 1.5-3 hours, then 1 or 2 ounces is fine. His stomach is the size of his fist for God's sake! I think your doc. is a little wrong in saying your newborn is 'not eating enough.' Every newborn I have ever known loses some weight in the beginning. At his next visit, he should be rising and following 'his curve.' I wouldn't worry too much right now about your newborn not eating a lot. Please give an update when you can! Good Luck and CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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