Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

How can I get my 11 week old more interested in his daytime feeds?

My son Sean, who is almost 12 weeks old, has become uninterested in some daytime feeds. He was taking 5-6ozs at 7am, 11am, 5/6pm and 11pm. But suddenly in his tenth week he began to take only 3.5ozs at the above times and refused any more. I would burp him, change him and let him have a good kick before offering the second half. He would refuse it (screaming) whereas he always used to finish the last 3ozs. So his milk intake dropped from 35-37ozs to 28-30oz which is below the recommended amount for his weight (14lbs 3ozs). I’ve resorted to doing split feeds during those feeds above, so I now feed him 6/7.30am, 9.30/11am, 5/6pm just so he gets enough to drink and doesn’t begin to lose weight. He takes 3.5ozs at the 2.15pm feed and another 3.5ozs at 11.15pm. But this means I am sterilizing like mad and always feeding! What has happened and what should I do?
During the day he follows the routine as regards naps and sleeping. He settles well at 7pm, sleeps through to 11pm but still wakes around 3-4am taking about 3ozs then.
At present Sean naps at 8.45-9.15am, 10.45-11am, 12.00-2.00pm, 3.15-4.00pm.

A baby who loses interest in his 7am feed as Sean did, is showing that he is ready to go without his middle-of-the-night feed. Begin to try to settle him at 3-4am with cooled boiled water so he goes a little longer in the night. When he next wakes give him a feed. Some babies will be content to settle with about 2ozs and then wake nearer 7am very hungry. Others will want a bigger feed at around 5/6am, and then be settled back to sleep until 7/7.30am, at which time you wake them for a top up to keep them on track for the next feed at 10.45/11am. Keep all feeds you give before 7am as quiet and quick as you can, only changing if necessary so Sean learns to stretch himself through the night.
In order to get through the night Sean needs to have good feed at 10pm. Wake him at 10pm and make sure he is well awake before feeding him. This can take up to 20 minutes at this time of night. Once he has had 3ozs let him kick quietly. Don’t over stimulate him at this time but keep him awake until 11.15pm. Change him, lower the lights and offer him the second part of his feed, then settle him to sleep. Taking 5-6 ozs at this time should help Sean be able to go longer in the night. Once his middle-of-the-night feed has been dropped and he is regularly sleeping to 7am you can begin to shorten the time he is awake at 10/11pm. Cut down the time by 5 minutes every three nights, providing he still takes a good feed and continues to sleep through to 7am.
Once the above is in place you should notice that Sean is much hungrier at 7am, will take a full feed and then able to wait until 11am. Sometimes a baby is just not hungry for a feed and can be allowed to wait another 15 minutes before offering it, if you notice that he is beginning to cut back again. It is a phase some babies seem to go through at this age, and often the reason is because they are not yet very active. Give Sean plenty of time on the floor and try not to let him spend too long in his chair. Encourage him to kick and practise rolling him from side to side. Play simple singing games such as “row, row, the boat ” and “Humpty Dumpty” on your knees. Also make sure he has a spell of time out in the fresh air every day.