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Two weeks ago, my wife gave birth to our 3.7 kg, 55 cm son. His weight dropped to 3.4 kg after the first day, because we did not feed him enough from breastfeeding. Fortunately, he gained back his birth weight on the 5th day with formula and we kept feeding him with the formula. We stopped breastfeeding on the 10th day. Around the 10th day, he weighed about 3.9 kg, and his weight steadily increased to 4.1 kg yesterday, the 14th day.

Things have gone well until yesterday. Our son has been crying way too frequently and sometimes the crying lasts 2-3 hours. In the end, we had to settle him by feeding him, and we are scared that we fed him too much. We usually feed him about 600-700 ml a day. But since he was crying so much and was short on sleep (10-12 hours), we have fed him about 750 ml of formula in the last 24 hours. After the exhausting night with little sleep (I believe the formula we gave was enough), his weight had dropped from 4.1 kg to 3.8 this morning, just slightly above his birth weight.

So now I am really worried about him. Any suggestion to my concern is greatly appreciated!

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    Feeding him too much and dropping weight are not reconcilable. Can you elaborate on the problem you think you are having and provide more info (e.g. what did he weigh a week ago?) – anongoodnurse Oct 23 '15 at 16:37
  • @anongoodnurse our son weighed 3.7kg at birth, but dropped to 3.4kg after first day because we did not feed him enough from breastfeeding. Fortunately, he gained back his birth weight on the 5th day with formula, and we kept feeding him with the formula. A week ago, around the 10th day, he weighed about 3.9kg, and steadily increased to 4.1kg yesterday before crying. After the exhausting night with little sleep (I believe the formula we gave was enough), his weight dropped to 3.8kg this morning. I will keep monitor his weight and update any change. Thank you for your comment. – gTang Oct 23 '15 at 16:49
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    Children almost always drop in weight their first few days. It's entirely normal to lose up to 10% of their bodyweight, as long as they regain it by the first week to ten days or so (I don't recall exactly when). The second weight drop is more concerning, though. Hopefully you're talking to your doctor about this? – Joe Oct 23 '15 at 17:42
  • The crying might not be food/drink-related. Maybe he's coming down with a fever, an infection etc. A single day of crying and weight gain/loss information doesn't provide enough information to conclude much. You say he drank 700ml and lost 300 grams, so the weight loss could be explained by assuming that the 300 grams he lost is a deficit in liquids (e.g, he peed and pood (?) more than he drank). I'd monitor his temperature, makes sure he takes on liquids and consult a doctor quickly if the weight loss continues or if he stops drinking altogether. Dehydration is very dangerous with newborns. – Pascal Sep 17 at 16:41
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Breastfeeding is always way better for the baby, health wise, so if possible I would start by switching back to breastfeeding, but of course there are sometimes reasons why this is not doable. The other thing to try is switching to a lactose free formula. Lots of babies are lactose intolerant. They grow out of this quickly as their bodies start producing lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose - lactose is the sugar found in cow's milk). A soy based formula works well. One of our children was lactose intolerant (and still is at 17), and would throw up at every feeding, although we were only giving him one bottle a day and the other feedings were breastfeeding. The thing was that his digestive system had become so messed up by the lactose, that he could no longer hold anything down. When we switched him to lactose free, within two days, the problems cleared up. Also, we always fed our children as much as they would take, and none of them have had any problems from that, that we can tell. But also be ready to take him to a doctor. It is entirely possible that the problem is unrelated to his eating, and the eating is just a pacifier that is helping him calm down.

  • I think most people know breastfeeding is best, but as you say, it's not always an option. No use guilting the person or crying over spilt milk (groan). I find the rest of your answer very helpful. +1 from me. – anongoodnurse Oct 23 '15 at 16:34
  • Thanks for your answer Agapwlesu. I will definitely give it a shot at the lactose free formula – gTang Oct 23 '15 at 16:41
  • I should clarify, when I said that we fed our babies as much as they would eat, that does not mean that we fed them whenever they asked for it, or just whenever they cried. We kept them on a fairly strict feeding schedule - every three hours. But at each feeding, we'd give them a bottle that was full enough they usually left a little in it. – user16557 Oct 23 '15 at 17:45
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    @AgapwIesu Even for formula-fed infants there is not much sense in enforcing a scheduled feeding. Feed your child when it signals hunger. – Stephie Oct 23 '15 at 19:56
  • @Stephie - I disagree. All our kids quickly got used to the schedule, our first even started sleeping through the night within 5 days after her birth. We never had all the crazy sleepless nights that we hear other parents talking about. Kids can easily get into a rythm that is more restful for them and for mom and dad. And it makes all other interaction more positive - when you are spending time with them, from the get go it's on good terms, not because the kid is crying to be fed. – user16557 Oct 26 '15 at 12:10
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A bit late, but I thought I could add a few points.

The weight drop is completely normal, and has nothing to do with how much you feed. Generally speaking, all newborns lose weight after birth. After about 2 weeks, they gain the weight back. See this article for more details.

As for formula, try to get samples of various formulas. While I never had an issue, my mom said she tried nearly all the formulas until she found one that made me not upset (I refused the boob and preferred formula when I was an infant).

Also, I recently had an extremely colicky son. Sometimes there is nothing you can do to "fix" the crying, but simply hold and rock them (exercise ball is a must, infants love the bouncing). Imagine your digestive system is really starting to work for the first time, it must feel very strange!

Sadly, some babies just cry (a lot in my case). It will not last forever, and soon the 20+ hours of nearly constant daily crying will be a memory that you will cherish.

  • Sure, I have added both a non-scientific (easy read) and scientific (peer-reviewed) article discussing birth weight. – Shinobii Sep 18 at 16:05
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If newborn child is crying, he/she is:

  • pissed in trousers (use diapers!!!)
  • or want to eat
  • or feeling hot
  • or feeling cold

Bet a 100 dollars that you wear him too much (overcare), and not feeding him when he wants.

And try to change formula.

PS. It may be such thing as abdominal pain. In Russia we call this "колики" (koliki), don't know how to translate this correctly. No one knows reason for this. It has a rule of three threes: starts on third week from birth, may continue up to age of three months, and may continue for three hours per day. Using formula (instead of breastfeeding) worsens it.

If you know Russian (or can translate using Google Translate) check this site - http://www.komarovskiy.net/navigator/koliki.html - of the best child doctor in the world (he's from Ukraine).

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    There are other reasons for a child to cry - being tired, or needing stimulation or interaction. It may be unthinkable to some, but sometimes parents leave their kids unattended long enough the kid starts crying just for the need to have some interaction with other people. Their social and emotional needs are very real and they have no means to initiate, if they are in need, other than crying. – user16557 Oct 26 '15 at 12:14
  • @AgapwIesu don't forget, it's about two-weeks old baby, they don't need stimulation or interaction. – vladon Oct 26 '15 at 12:16
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    I disagree. A child needs interaction/stimulation from birth. At first, it is mostly in the form of just being held and being fed or sucking on a pacifier. Though such stimulation is not needed all the time, as some parents are prone to do. So maybe we are agreeing anyway, but even by 2 weeks, there are games one can play with a child - like letting them grab your finger and then using that to extend their arm a little and bring it back to them. Or massaging and rubbing their arms, legs and back - that really helps a baby relax. – user16557 Oct 26 '15 at 12:27
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    The English term is most likely colic. – Acire Oct 26 '15 at 12:51
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    I voted this down because it feels like the poster is making a lot of assumptions that he OP didn't mention - "Bet a 100 dollars that you wear him too much (overcare), and not feeding him when he wants." This makes the answer less helpful to the OP. – user7678 Oct 27 '15 at 17:52

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