7 week old who doesn't get full

Melissa - posted on 02/06/2010 ( 107 moms have responded )

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Hi!
My son is 7 weeks old and is eating 4-6oz every 1 1/2 hours. He never seems content, even after finishing a bottle. I am breastfeeding, but now supplementing with formula since I can't keep up with his feedings.
I was wondering if anyone else has encountered this, and if so, any suggestions on what I can do, or even...is this normal? Everything I've been reading, it is too early to introduce cereal, but I don't know what else to do.
Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

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Angela - posted on 02/10/2010

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All babies are not the same, which means some do need to start cereal sooner than others (many doctors agree). If formula/breast milk isn't filling him up, then no amount of increasing milk production is going to make the baby fuller, and he can't eat 24/7. Also, if he's awake every 90 minutes to eat, then not only are YOU awake that often, but he's not getting the rest he needs at this age (babies sleep alot at this age, because they are growing so fast - and this gives their body the energy they need).
My 1st son wanted to eat all the time too, and supplemental feedings with formula wasn't holding him over either, so my pediatrician started him on cereal at 8 wks old (very thin mixture at first, then over the next 10-14 days, increase the thickness, but always check with your pediatrician to - unfortunately, some do not believe in anything until baby is 1 yr. old, but these are few & far between now)! He started sleeping through the night, immediately & stayed that way! He was THE BEST baby too. It was rare that he cried, was always happy and very alert when awake - and he grew up to be a very intelligent young man (now 18 yr. old with a full ride to the college of his choice). No food allergies either. My 1st son had colic, so was started on cereal at 6wks old by his pediatrician (not the same Dr. either - and they were 8 yrs apart). He too slept through the night immediately (with a 5am feeding). So it's a matter of opinion (your's & your doctor's), how you were brought up, but more importantly, what your baby needs. I know of MANY babies who were started on cereal at young ages, and it didn't hurt them in the least. If they're hungry & aren't filling up on formula or breast milk & you know they're getting enough, then feed them! It's not tapeworm, like my mother used to say that I had and they had - lol (no, that was a joke)!
RN & mother of 2

[deleted account]

It's not too early to introduce cereal to your son. My daughter was three weeks old when I had to add cereal to her formula. The cover over her stomach wasn't fully developed and so when I would feed her just formula, not ten seconds after she was done, it would come right back up. The Doc told me that she needs a more thicker formula to stay down. I did add a little bit of cereal and it worked. She also slept better for me, and by four to five weeks old, she was sleeping through the night.
Good luck.

Kate CP - posted on 02/06/2010

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It's normal. He's going through a growth spurt and should slow down again in a few days to a week. DON'T GIVE HIM CEREAL.

Mommy - posted on 02/13/2010

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First of all...he may not be actually hungry. Make sure he's burping enough and also ask your Dr. if he may have Acid reflux. My daughter-in-law was having a similar scenario and it turned out to be a slight caseof that. Also you can try using a wedge under the sheet of her bed. Being elevated really helped with that. Good luck.

[deleted account]

In regard to proof and the concept of "they did such-and-such 30 years ago etc." Yes, there are multiple studies on the effects of introducing foods at early ages and their outcomes. As to what people did 30 years ago, about 60 years ago people could make homemade baby formula from a recipe on the back of the Karo Corn Syrup bottle. All those people turned out 'fine' too. The same argument could be made that throughout history, women drank alcohol regularly during pregnancy and yet the human race survived. Our understanding has changed on how certain items affect pregnancy and growing children. We have learned new things.

However, none of this has any bearing on the real issue.

The real issue here is guilt. No one, no parent, no mother wants to hear anyone say they may have done the wrong thing for their child. Suggest that, even something so mild as to say that early food introduction may cause allergies is enough to get spines stiffened and attitudes popping. It's really rather silly when you think about it.

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April - posted on 02/13/2010

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I got permission from my ped. to put 1/2 a tsp of cereal in my son's bottle at 9 weeks. My son never seemed satisfied either. That small amounto f cereal seemed to help a lot. You may talk to your ped. and see what he/she says. Good luck!

April

Magnolia TX

www.freedom4moms.com

Kate CP - posted on 02/13/2010

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I'm closing this thread because the OP has stated that her question was answered. Thank you ladies for your time and input!



Kate Capehart

CoM Moderator

Lucretia - posted on 02/13/2010

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Another thing, I finally gave mine a light mixture of cereal before nap and bed time at 12 weeks old. Totalling 1 serving per day. If yours responds well and doesn't show signs of digestive upset, you can gradually increase it. I believe I used rice cereal. For now, stick with breast milk and formula. Good luck!

Lucretia - posted on 02/13/2010

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My son, who is now 14 years old, when he was an infant, breast fed every hour for 1/2 hour. So I was feeding him literally half the time. I too had to supplement with formula because I simply could not eat enough calories to make enough milk to feed him. So, he had about 3/4 breast milk and 1/4 formula. He was never obese but always off the growth charts. The good news is that if you continue breast feeding you will lose all of your baby weight. For every pound my son gained, I lost a pound. He is now 14 years old, 6 feet 2 inches tall and wears size 16 shoes, and though he's still a big eater, he's the right weight for his height. Eating often during the day many help him sleep well at night and grow to his fullest potential. Mine slept 4 hours solid at that age, then 6 hours at 8 weeks, then 8 hours at 12 weeks, so if you feed him what he knows he needs, you'll at least be a well rested mama. Don't worry. It may not be "normal" as you put it, but it is healthy. To this day when my son gets hungry he gets grumpy. He has never been a picky eater and if I leave apples, carrots and peanut butter out next to cookies or cake, he will go for the healthy stuff first. Its hard now, but you will be blessed with a very healthy, happy child.

Darlene - posted on 02/13/2010

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If he's a larger baby over 9 lbs, Cereal might be the only answer. My son at 2 weeks drank 2 8oz of formula in 2 hours and at that time dr did not want you to start solid until they were 6 months. talk to the dr, also maybe you brest milk is not enough to hold him. also as they are growing increase the amount, there might be days he'll eat less depends on the growth sperts.

Tina - posted on 02/13/2010

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I am a mother of three and I gave each of them cereal at about the age your son is. We have not had any problems with food allergies. My mother told me that each of my three siblings and I were fed cereal at an early age because her doctors told her to listen to her babies when they tell you they are hungry! Not one of us has food allergies. It is important to listen to your doctor, but it is so much more important to listen to your baby when he is telling you he is hungry.
Good luck!

Kaye - posted on 02/13/2010

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i had the same problem with my son n was told tht it might be a growth spurt or tht he might just be thirsty and it was ok to give him a little bit of cold boild water in a bottle which i found helpped cut down the feeds alot too

Darla - posted on 02/13/2010

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This really sounds pretty normal to me. All 3 of my boys were strictly breast fed until 7 months. For the first 3 1/2 to 4 months of their lives, they ate about every 45 min to an hour. Not really sure how much as far as oz go for breastmilk as there is no real way to measure it. What you get when you pump is far different than what the baby gets when they nurse. Just hang in there.....give it a few more weeks. I certainly would NOT recommend solids at this point. Allergens and the like are so prevalent with babies and you don't want to add that to the mix!
Good luck!

Linda - posted on 02/13/2010

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Hi
My niece had that problem.Her son is 7 months old and her doctor told her to put about a tablespoon of cereal in his bottle of formula and it helped him.

[deleted account]

Dawn, I'm sorry but did you actually suggest that a mother keep secrets from her doctor? That's rather...interesting. I think I'll change my advice from 'ask your doctor' to "grind up walnuts to a fine powder and mix it with chocolate milk then stick it in a bottle". If anyone objects, I'll just point out that I heard someone's granny did it back in the old days and they turned out just fine.

Lara - posted on 02/13/2010

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Dawn's right. My Mom as said that when I was little they told her to put us on Cereal in the first week. I have no health problems (other then loving food).

DAWNAMARIE - posted on 02/13/2010

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WELL I DID PUT MY KID'S ON CEREAL EARLY BEFORE THERE TIME BUT I DIDN'T TELL THE DOCTOR ABOUT IT.SOMETIMES THE MILK DON'T FILL THEM UP THAT GOOD AT ALL. IF YOU DECIDE TO PUT YOUR SON ON CEREAL START WITH THE RICE CEREAL AND JUST A LITTLE BIT AT A TIME AND ALSO MAKE SURE YOU GET THE RIGHT NIPPLE FOR THE CEREAL TO COME OUT OF.AGAIN JUST DON'T TELL THE DOCTOR YOU HAVE HIM ON CEREAL. SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO THINK WHAT'S BEST FOR OUR KID'S AS WELL.SOMETIMES THE DOCTOR DON'T HAVE THE ANSWER FOR US ALL THE TIME.BUT ASK GRANDMA CAUSE SHE HAVE THE BEST REMEDY FROM BACK IN HER DAYS LOL.

Leah - posted on 02/13/2010

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I had this problem with my son, in the end i put him on a hungrier baby formula the one i used was sma white ( i think) its the one with a blue lid also he might have not been getting enough milk from the breast maybe try expressing some and see if that makes any difference and try the sma formula blue lid. But dont give him any cereal or solids he wont be able to digest it properly.

Lara - posted on 02/13/2010

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I know this is against what Dr's say, but if you're already giving a bottle, try getting a faster nipple adding a little cereal to the bottle. Just enough so that it's still really liquid, but it will help to fill him up. It worked for me. My 4 yr old has no allergies and is healthy as can be. She never goes to the Dr except for well child visits, even as a baby. So NO cereal will not lead to allergies.

Jan - posted on 02/13/2010

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Don't give him cereal he's too young, no supplementing, breast feeding is supply and demand. Try to stretch him out a little between feeds so he begins to get a better feed each time and is more satisfied.

Terri - posted on 02/13/2010

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hi melissa
I had the same problem with my second child in the end i put her on 100% formula it took a cople of days to settle but she then went to 3hourly feed which i could cope with, have you tried talking to your health visitor?
hope this helps

Sharon - posted on 02/13/2010

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my son was also like this and i changed his formula to aptimil for extra hungry babys it took a few days for him to get used to it but he is triving now hes 16 months now and a 2 stone in weight he was a 10lb baby and luv his grub

Penny - posted on 02/12/2010

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I am a mother of 4 grandmother of 18. I have had a lot of experience with babies. Your baby is going through a growth spurt which will not last very long. Feed him more often if necessary and preferably only breast milk. This is a natural thing all babies do about now to build up your milk supply. Supplementing with formula will not help as your milk supply will not be increasing. Don't start him on cereal. It has way too much roughage in it and will damage the lining of his stomach and he could develop irritable bowel syndrome later on as well as allergies. Make sure he empties one breast before offering the other. The back milk in a breast is much thicker and provides more food whereas the fore milk is more liquid and quenches their thirst. Also make sure you are eating plenty of healthy foods some protein each meal. So that your milk is rich and nourishing. Something I learned from my daughters. Lol. All the best with your feeding.

Paulette - posted on 02/12/2010

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no it not too early to introduce him to cereal just once in morning and once at nite.

Cath - posted on 02/12/2010

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my son was exactly the same...screaming between feeds of 1/1.5 hours....always wanting food and never seeming content. On a hunch, a nurse suggested to try saomething not always recommended....we took him off the breast at 4 months and put him on soy (goat is another option if available)...by the 2nd feed he was a different kid. We have since found that he had allergies to 95% of what I was eating and his tummy and bowl were red raw...so we gave him a break from all food for 1 month and slowly started to introduce new foods....he is now 1 but still has trouble with food and can only eat some foods for a couple of days at a time as his body seems to "build up" an allergy to it.We are also under the assistance of a naturepath. Hope this is of help....4 months of no sleep and a screaming kid was enough for me....dont know how you managed 7....please contact me if you need anymore ideas..
Cath

Rebecca - posted on 02/12/2010

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And don't give in thinking your baby need cereal this soon! Wait until 4 to 5 months of age for any type of solid foods!!!

Anita - posted on 02/12/2010

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Hi there, I was in the same boat with my first born. He finally went on to real sloppy baby cereal at 6 weeks - just a couple of spoons a day. This seemed to solve his hunger needs. Good luck

Rebecca - posted on 02/12/2010

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After nursing 5 babies, I can tell you I have encountered this same thing. The BEST thing to do is to get rid of supplementing with formula! Nurse him as much as he wants to (which may be a lot for a little while) so that your milk supply keeps up with his growing needs. The more you supplement, the less milk you make & then it may become more tough for you to keep nursing as much as you like. It's all very normal, so just let him nurse more often. This "spurt" will pass & things will get to a more normal (and less frequent) feeding schedule.

Ania - posted on 02/12/2010

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You know what on a side note, the above post is also a point... i also fed mine like crazy and i had way too much milk so i pumped a little and then started feeding him because the first few oz had almost no fat because i had so much milk...the fatty stuff is thicker and comes at the end of a feeding. make sure that he empties on breast completely so you know he is getting the hind milk. here is a great article on that
http://www.gotbreastpump.com/Fore_and_Hi...
hoe it helps

Ania - posted on 02/12/2010

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Nothing you can do, you cant give him anything else. The reason has nothing to do with allergies, it has to do with a babies ability to digest food. Some parents start early and its ok but sometimes it doesn't end well. its not worth the risk. If their little organs cant process the food you can have a very sick baby on your hands and studies show that the bodies fighting response may actually cause diabetes. wait till its safe to give cerials. The eating thing is good and it will pass. its good because im guessing you have a pretty big baby who is growing that little tummy of his. mine was the same, but at 3 months he was sleeping though the night. It will pass really soon and right when you relax he will go though another always hungry growth spurt. =)

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles...

Cheri' - posted on 02/12/2010

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I disagree with not giving cereal! the only thing that will happen is his stools will tighten, which is a lot easier to clean then the runny ones from breast feeding, and he may get little pimples but they will go away. I gave my son a half a scoop of single grain DHA cereal in his 4 oz bottl, and more as the bottle got bigger, since he was about a month old because he would chug his bottle even with the smallest nipple, give himself a belly ache and spit up a lot. Ever since I put it in there he has never got a belly ache after that. Cereal has no nutritional value. They will not develop allergies! my son is 5 months old and has eaten every fruit and veggie and he has not had an allergy. as a mother just follow your instinct... its usually right! I also agree that he is probably going through a growth spurt! My son would cluster feed at night almost every hour. I had to switch to formula because i was an able to produce enough milk even though my boobs grew to bigger than a G, yes a G and i was a little 5' 107lbs girl! lol I think supplementing is fine for some people if it works for you than great! Do what you want to do not what other moms think is best for your child.

Crystal - posted on 02/12/2010

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No Cereal. The feedings are normal. If you are planning to continue breast feeding you may want to pump to keep up your milk supply when you give a formula bottle. It does sometimes seem non-ending. Don't get discouraged, it is worth it. I hope you are getting more than 11/2 hours at night. You may want to pump after you feed to empty out your breast or pump for the formula feed (will keep milk up). At night letting him eat some of the heavy milk from your breast may help (last side eaten or pumped) to keep him more full. It does get easier. Breast feeding is best but not for everyone. I hope you continue trying the breast as long as you can. If you find you can't and need to use formula don't beat yourself up or let anyone else. Enjoy your little one, they grow up way to fast.

Kim - posted on 02/12/2010

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When i first bought Michael home he done nothing but scream for 6wks and i went from a 12B to a 36DD i was huge and he would empty me every time i feed him he would be fine for about 10 minutes then start screaming again one night he screamed for 5 hours and no one new what was wrong even the doctors where stumped then i found out that i had been starving him because there was not enough fat content in my breast milk i tried every formula on the shelf and he ended up on Infasoy milk the first time i gave it to him he slept for 2hrs before that he only cat naped maybe you should give that a go it wont hurt your baby.Good Luck

[deleted account]

as you child pediatrician if you can give him cereal on his milk because he have a good appetite all the time.

Shahla - posted on 02/12/2010

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Totally normal in my experience. I recommend breastfeeding on demand as much as you are able. I learned to feed my little one while lying down/sleeping when he was waking up that frequently. He became much more independent after 12 weeks.
Shahla

Lorie - posted on 02/12/2010

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I used to have difficulty keeping up with my supply until a friend advised me to drink more water. Drink before, during, and after. Try to stay away from caffiene, and if you have to, limit your coffee drinking to 2 cups each day, and drink 2 more cups of water to compensate. Also, make sure you're eating good small meals throughout the day. I agree with the others, do not introduce cereal until the right time. Too early can produce a lot of problems. It's better to be a little sleep deprived for a couple more months than have your child have a few years of problems. That's what keeps my sanity. Also, be calm as you feed your baby; otherwise stress tends to constrict the milk flow. Best wishes.

Sheryl - posted on 02/12/2010

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If you are switching breasts every 10 min or so like the books say, stop. Try nursing on one side until he 'falls off' on his own, or gets frustrated. This way he will get the fat rich hindmilk. Only then hen offer the second breast. That said, he is probably going through a growth spurt and is nursing frequently to increase your supply. Hang in there, he will slow down again soon.

Sam - posted on 02/12/2010

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he maybe thirsty, try with water and keep trying, as he may reject it as he is used to you giving in and giving him milk. Or try buying hungrier baby milk. Or mash up with his milk a farley rusk inbetween his feeds.
I put both my girls on solids at 12weeks as one wasnt into milk but was very content after i started feeding her yogert and fruit puree. the other i breastfeed and gave solids as i was feeding every 1-2 hours aswell. MY email is samsscissors@hotmail.co.uk if you want to contact me. ITS ALL about trail and error EVERY baby is different hun xxxx

Melissa - posted on 02/12/2010

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Thank you everyone for your advice. It is interesting to see that we seem to be torn on the issue. But I am happy to say that we have made it through the "growth spurt" and Boden is much more happy and eating "normal" again. I certainly feel more prepared for the next time this happens. Thanks again mama's!

User - posted on 02/12/2010

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i was always told you know what is best for your child i have two boys and my frist son was like that he could eat and never be full.so at 8 to 9 weeks i started putting cereal in the bottle just a table spoon it made a big differents.i hope that helps

Erica - posted on 02/12/2010

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This is definitely a growth spurt ...PLEASE WHAT EVER YOU DO, DON'T STOP BREAST FEEDING thinking that it will never end..it will just be patient and remember to have a great support circle of friends that are/were breastfeeding or the phone # to a really great lactation consultant//join your area's La Leche League..they are really great at offering a support system and giving out wonderful tips to help you through this time...it is simply the best thing in the world to breast feed in my opinion (not knocking bottle fed babies-I supplemented with both of my children) I just think with the right encouragement anyone can do it !!!

Mimi - posted on 02/12/2010

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One more thing~ the one I gave the baby oatmeal to is now 22 and he has no food issues whatsoever!

Mimi - posted on 02/12/2010

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Hi! I had a 10 pound newborn and he did the same thing. I put a bit of oatmeal in his bottle and that seemed to quiet him. Out of 6 children that I raised, I did this for 2 of them early on so they (and I) could rest.
Only the old time doctors will recommend this.
I would also recommend Gripe Water if the baby has an upset tummy. AMAZING STUFF! You can get it at the health food store.
Blessings

Tabitha - posted on 02/12/2010

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I have given my son cereal since he came home. and even the doctors said it was okay. he throws up if he doesnt have cereal in his bottle its not thick enough and he has no food allergys what so ever. it all depends on the baby. but if you are breastfeeding. you can mix the cereal with your breast milk and give it to him by spoon or in a bottle like once or twice a day.

Michelle - posted on 02/12/2010

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is he spitting up a lot? My first one thought I was a passifier and would eat even when she was full and then start again. We were both unhappy until we got that figured out. If not he may just be needing to bring in more milk because he is about to grow.

[deleted account]

EVERY child is different. EVERY mother's thinking is different. You'll find the same with doctors. I couldn't breast feed, because I was on all sorts of meds after I gave birth each time. All three preferred different formulas, in different solutions. So I've got the experience of ready to feed Enfamil, concentrated Similac and powdered Carnation Good Start.
At first just try to bump up the feedings to 8oz but only for the feeding when the baby seems to most bothered. If that's not enough, in most cases 1/4 tsp of plain "rice" cereal might just do the trick. Since rice is the least likely to cause any sort of allergic reaction. With mine, my oldest always seemed to hungriest for her 8pm feeding. For my middle one he it seemed to be at noon, this one was odd because he didn't nap, once he was awake, that was it. With my youngest it was ALL the time. (I had to fill the bottle to the rim ended up being about 10 oz he didn't like anything thick so no cereal for him) For the most part doctors are only against the cereal at such a young age because of obesity.
People seem to forget how mothers dealt with these problems before all these suppliments and restrictions were put on new parents. I'm a product of caro syrup and carnation evaporated milk with liquid iron suppliments. there was always a blender and meat grinder in the house...because once a baby sat up, they were eating table food. it's just the way it was back than. The only thing I was allergic to growing up was penicillin and tomatoes (but i ate them anyway and dealt with the hives because that was my choice...and I've out grown that allergy)
It's no wonder there are all these allergies and problems babies have.
But, you'll figure it out and you'll do right for YOUR baby. It's all about communication, when you respond to the baby's sounds in the way the baby wants, you'll get a reaction and notice the difference...either you'll have a happy baby or a cranky baby...but you'll see the difference. Just have patience. Good luck and have fun learning with your baby.

Jenn - posted on 02/12/2010

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If you are worried about the amout of breastmilk you produce try to pump and give it to him in a bottle. also if he wants to nurse just for comfort then let him. At that age it is ok even if it is time consuming for you. Do not use formula unless he starts to drop alot of weight, its not good for your milk production.

Rachele - posted on 02/12/2010

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Well Jane a car seat is quite a bit different now isnt it I ve never heard of a child dying from baby cereal and any doctor will tell u the child tolerates it can swallow it and opens his mouth for it it just fine if he couldnt handle it he would let it run from his mouth if u try it and the child has stomach or bowel trouble u stop it honestly you cant post anything on here without some know it all ,thinks she's super mom, criticizing u cant we all just admit different things work for different children and that none of us has all the answers

Courtney - posted on 02/12/2010

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Everything we mom's read say it's to early for cereal. my youngest was the same and i put a little cereal in his bottles and it kept him full and content. Then slowly do more. Try the bottle before bedtime put a little cereal in his bottle see what happens.

Lisa - posted on 02/12/2010

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I breastfed twins, and when one went through a growth spurt, it was the same thing, eating every 1 1/2 - 2 hours, while her sister stayed every 3 hours. I had to drink TONS of water and if I didn't I could really tell it affected my milk supply. Also, the twin that fed more often seemed discontent between feedings and I figured out she was getting gas cramps from the milk in my diet.
As long as your son is peeing, pooping, and gaining weight normally, hang in there with the breastfeeding, he'll be okay and so will you. (My girls are now 5 and doing well.)

Lori - posted on 02/12/2010

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Hello, my oldest daughter came home from the hospital drinking about 8 ozs of milk every 6 hrs. The good news was she slept throughout the night. The dr. told me she was needing more or she would have been throwing it back up. She never did. She is a healthy and happy 18 year old now and doesn't have a weight problem. As far as the cereal, it is too early and can cause allergies later down the road. He'll slow down, no worries. I know it's easy to worry when they are so small and really can't communicate with us in a good way. Trust your mommy instincts.

Nina - posted on 02/12/2010

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Hi Melissa, you cannot always go by the book. my daughter was the same way,I started her on cerreal at six weeks...problem solved!!!

Tina - posted on 02/12/2010

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My son seemed to want to constantly nurse but I will always treasure those days. It is such a special time - even though at times you may feel exhausted. He is definitely your priority right now. Do not give him cereal. I suggest you get in touch with your local La Leche League. This is a group of mothers that have or are breastfeeding and they can give you a wealth of advice.

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