What Happens If Baby Drinks Too Much Milk?

What happens if my baby drinks too much milk is a normal question any concerned parents would ask to be sure that her baby isn’t at risk of coming down with an illness.

As you may know, when a baby is said to drink too much milk it simply means that a baby is being overfed and there are some effects because too much of everything has some consequences

If you are overfeeding your baby, you should be concerned about what happens when your baby drinks too much milk.

There are some medical complications that associates with overfeeding a baby, such as tummy issues, spitting up more often, or even extra unpleasant gassiness by your baby.

In this article, how much milk should a baby drink, and what happens if baby drinks too much milk? Read On…

How Much Milk Should a 1-Year-Old Drink?

The Dietary Guidelines advised not to replace breast milk or formula with cow’s milk or plant-based milk beverages for babies under 12 months.

Instead, cow’s milk should be introduced after that age (12 months) because of the significant nutritional benefits they offer. Milk is enriched with beneficial ingredients such as protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D that aid in the growth of a baby.

According to the Dietary Guidelines, children age 12 to 24 months should drink 14-16 ounces (up to 2 cups) of whole milk each day.

Since some babies won’t like cow’s milk at first. You can try some tricks to increase their acceptance.  Try offering him/her a mixture of milk with breast milk or formula, then gradually increasing the ratio until you’ve fully transitioned to straight cow’s milk.

If your baby is allergic or intolerant to cow’s milk, the Dietary Guidelines suggest using fortified, unsweetened soy milk instead.

Other plant-based milk beverages like the ones derived from almond, coconut, hemp, oat, and rice—are not recommended for toddlers, as they lack enough protein as cow and soy milk and may not be fortified with vitamin D and calcium.

When introducing milk to your baby at the start of 12 months, the Dietary Guidelines advise offering the milk in an open-up.

According to the AAFP (American Academy of Family Physicians), toddlers over 12 months of age should be given water and milk.

Fruit juice or any other kind of juice should be limited to no more than 4 ounces each day, if at all.  While chocolate milk and other beverages that have added flavors, sugars, or caffeine should also be avoided.

Some medical experts suggest offering children who are 1 year and older low fat or nonfat milk if there is a history of obesity or heart disease.

However, the American Academy of Family Physicians generally recommends whole milk for these children instead, since reports have shown that the early introduction of low-fat milk may increase the risk of developing obesity.

Related Post: Best Formula To Keep Baby Fuller Longer

How Much Milk Should a 2-Year-Old Drink?

According to the Dietary Guidelines, babies between 24 and 36 months, should transition to low fat or nonfat milk and can drink 2 to 2.5 cups (up to 20 ounces) each day.

While this is the case, it may be a good idea to start limiting milk consumption particularly if your baby is an insatiable milk drinker so it doesn’t interfere with the baby’s healthy eating habits.

Some 2-year-old babies, particularly those that are selective in what they eat, may choose milk to the exclusion of other nutrient-dense foods.

Limiting your baby from consuming too much milk while introducing a varied, healthy diet can help your baby develop healthy eating habits.

However, the American Academy of Family Physicians notes that if your baby is consuming a nutritious diet with good development, and does not have a family history of obesity, it’s ok for them to drink up to the recommended daily amount of milk.

Related Post: How To Mix Formula With Breast Milk

What Happens If Baby Drinks Too Much Milk?

What Formula Taste Closest To Breast Milk While milk is enriched with a nutritious beverage for babies, drinking too much can be unhealthy. Below are the risks that can result from too much consumption of milk by the baby.

1. A Puffy-Looking Tummy

The evidence of overfeeding or a bad feeding plan in an adult is usually a bloated stomach that tends to look a little bit puffed out. According to Hello Motherhood, this is the same in babies.

Babies have similar reactions because they share the same gene pool with the adult population, they are just miniature adults, so the same effect of poor feeding plan in adults reflects in babies too.

Bloating of the tummy sometimes causes some discomfort and even pain, there is this feeling of being overstuffed, and you know babies can’t talk so it leaves them with no option than to become restless and wallow in pains.

According to Tummy Calm, the bloating and swelling in the abdomen can come from gases trapped inside the stomach without a way of being eliminated.

The sad reality is that the gas stocked in your baby’s stomach can form gas pockets and the after-effects? Bloating of your baby’s tummy and I am sure you don’t want that for your little one.

2. Slow Growth Rate

Once your baby starts gaining extra ounces of fats his or her growth rate may start slowing down.

According to Romper overfeeding may result in a slow growth rate, though the growth rate or the fluctuation in the size of a baby shouldn’t be a criterion for assessing overfeeding.

It is also advised to look for other physical signs and symptoms as that will help you decipher if your baby’s decrease, or increase, in ounces and possibly if it has to do with overeating.

When you notice a fluctuation in the body index of your baby, you should consult your baby doctor as soon as possible.

3. Pulling Of Legs Up Towards the Abdomen 

Overeating causes discomfort and pain and in babies which causes a general sense of discomfort for the baby. Babies tend to pull their legs up to the abdomen, and sometimes they may even go as far as to their chest Romper says.

Don’t be surprised because this is a result of babies being flexible. The action is reflex and it is an attempt to ease their pain.

If your baby is displaying this sign, then look out for any other signs that suggest overfeeding to be double sure that the causative factor is drinking too much milk.

If you have deciphered that it is due to overfeeding then try paying attention to your baby’s cues to tell when they are hungry or not to avoid overfeeding.

A baby’s cry tends to sound short, high-pitched, and will rise and fall when they’re hungry. If you can master how your baby’s cries sound, it will be so much easier to know when he or she is hungry if something else is needed, says Enfamil.

4. Too Many Diaper Changes

According to Hello Motherhood, an average baby should only have about four to five soaking wet diapers within 24 hours.

If your baby is using more than eight diapers in a day, then something is fishy and you need to start questioning why. It could be a pointer that your baby is drinking too much milk and is overeating.

Remember the popular cliché of garbage in garbage out, the more fluids in, the more fluids out – just like with every other human being.

But do not limit your suspicion of overfeeding to this. There are thousand and one other factors that can cause this so it is pertinent that you look for other physical signs that are on this list to be double sure.

Related Post: How To Prevent Diaper Blowout

5. Too Much Hiccup

Often when people think of hiccuping, they always associate it with an adult consuming a little too much mommy juice, but for babies, that’s just not the case.

When a baby is feeding, they tend to take in a lot of air when they are gulping down their delicious and nutritious milk.

As you should know, babies who drink too fast usually tend to overeat and this could lead to the baby developing hiccups more often than other babies.

As reported by Tummy Calm, hiccups can happen when the diaphragm becomes irritated. This is a dome-shaped muscle at the lower part of our chest.

Usually, hiccups only last a few couples of minutes, but there are rare cases, where it has shown to last for days. That is just crazy.

6. Belching Without a Pat On The Back

Talking about belching what comes to mind is that it is another nice and sometimes unpleasant way of expelling the gases that we have built up in a body.

When gases are allowed to stock up in your baby’s system, they can turn into these unpleasant gas pockets that can cause your baby’s abdomen to get bloated.

One of the characteristic signs of drinking too much milk by your baby is large belches and most times you may not even have to pat them on the back to hear the rumbles.

Just with any belching baby, there may be some of that spit-up that will make the parent get all of their clothes as well.

At least when burping baby, it should help relieve some of those uncomfortable feelings from being full of gas.

Related Post: 13 Best Ways To Burp A Baby

7. Spitting Up More Than Normal

Spitting up can be an indication that your baby is drinking too much milk, but this characteristic sign can be misleading.

This is because babies tend to spit up all over themselves sometimes as a result of having reflux, which happens when the milk your baby just drank comes back up.

According to Babycenter, it has been reported that about 40% of babies have reflux. Therefore, knowing when the spit-up comes from that and from when the baby is overfed can get tricky at times.

During the feeding session, if you notice your baby pushing the bottle away a bit and then proceeds to spit up, The Bump suggests that this can be a sign that the baby is overfed.

But if the baby is spitting up a lot during and after feedings, when it comes to the baby consuming too much milk, then look for any other signs to see is if your baby is overfed.

8. The Ounces Keep Going Up

Babies tend to grow at a steady pace, and sometimes you may feel like each time you weigh your baby, they go up quite a few ounces.

Well, this can be normal most times, but it is also an indication that your baby is overfed and drinking too much milk, says Hello Motherhood.

Babies just like everyone else is the same when it comes to overeating – the more they eat, the more they gain.

If a baby takes in much more calories than his/her little body is burning, the baby is likely to pack on more ounces, which can lead to more pounds, says Kidspot.

As a concerned parent, this is one of the things you have to keep in mind to ensure that your baby is within the normal height and ounces percentile after every checkup.

Other than how your baby is developing; this is the only other real way to know if your baby is getting too big for his/her age bracket.

9. Stinky Diapers   

Paying attention to the nature of your baby’s diaper should be your duty as a mum and it will help you know if your baby has been drinking too much milk also.

When you notice frequent extra stinky, foul-smelling, and runny bowel movements then it should be dawning on you that your little one might have been drinking too much milk says kidspot.

10. Fussy Baby

Usually, babies can get angry and fussy sometimes; this is unavoidable. However, there are underlying reasons why they get like this.

You’ve checked if there is a diaper blowout, see if they want a bottle, try to put them down for a nap, but nothing you’ve done has seemed to help with the situation.

If you’ve experienced this before, and you have not been able to find the cause, there is the real chance that your baby is supersaturated with their milk intake in their tiny bellies and has been overfed, says Romper.

Babies that eat or drink too much milk, usually feel some kind of discomfort just like we adults, too.

This alone is capable of sending anyone into a fussy mood, especially a baby who lacks a proper way of communicating what is wrong with them and what is hurting.

11. Passing out Too Much Gas

It is normal for adults, children, and babies, to pass gas anywhere from 14 to 23 times a day, says Tummy Calm. That is a lot of methane from every person in this world going up in the air!

Well, as you may know, when we expel a gas/toot, we release five different chemicals into the atmosphere: nitrogen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, methane, and oxygen as reported by Oddee.

And this can be the case when a baby is being overfed or has consumed too much milk which is normally caused by swallowed air and the normal breakdown of undigested foods.

When a baby feeds, especially when they are feed fast, or even cry uncontrollably, they tend to swallow air which can cause gas.

And when this happens, you need to expel them to avoid bloating. Of course, all babies pass gas. But it can get a bit overboard and wild when the baby is being overfed or has consumed too much milk.

If you notice that your baby has been a bit gassier than usual, do not hesitate to talk to your baby’s doctor.

Read Also: How To Use Vaseline To Treat Constipation in Babies

12. Baby Refuses To Eat

If you have ever forced your baby to finish the formula in their bottle because it’s only a little bit and you don’t want to waste any leftover formula since formulas can be expensive, well you are going about this the wrong way.

Naturally, babies usually let you know when they are full and done eating by simply turning their heads away from the bottle, according to New Kids-Center.

Do not force your baby to feed, because that is one sure way to lead to overfeeding, and possibly your baby may experience frequent soaking wet diapers, foul-smelling bowel movements, being extremely fussy, or possibly belching and passing up gas.

Usually, breastfed babies always turn their heads away when they feel full. However, overfeeding and breastfeeding don’t usually coincide. It is usually bottle-fed babies that tend to take in too much milk.

13. Sleepless Night

There are times when you feed your baby just his or her last bottle in the middle of the night, and you are hoping that he/she will have a sound so you can have a nice rest after a long hard day.

Unfortunately, your baby doesn’t seem to want to either go to sleep or stay asleep and this can be frustrating.

If you’ve experienced this kind of situation, then there is the possibility that your baby may be drinking too much milk throughout the day, according to New Kids-Center.

Babies may experience poor sleep habits due to some stomach discomfort from being overfed such as bloating, stomach cramping, or just being gassy.

Even when we eat too much before going to bed, there is a chance we wouldn’t be feeling our best either.

According to Daily Mail, a study was carried out on 600 infants indicating that if a baby was being fed too much in their first few weeks of life and there are chances that the baby would have bad sleeping habits.

Therefore, this signifies that if a baby was fed more than 11 times per day, by the time that baby is three months old; the chances of getting the baby to sleep well are greatly diminished.

14. Belly Aches and Tender Tummies

We all know belly aches are no fun, especially for babies who don’t know how to soothe their tender tummies.

No parents would want to experience this because of the helpless feeling it brings especially when their child is hurting in any way.

Stomachaches are bound to happen at some stage in any child’s life. This is can also be a result of the baby is drinking too much milk.

Along with a bellyache, you should check for any other signs to be sure if baby is over-fed such as if your baby is crying more than usual, a puffed out and bloated little tummy, excessive wet diapers.

15. Baby Cries More Than Usual

This one is something to be expected when a baby drinks too much milk and doesn’t feel well; this can make the baby cry more often.

And since babies cannot speak yet, crying is their only means to communicate to their parents when things they need something or if aren’t feeling well.

When babies drink too much milk, they are bound to cry repeatedly, according to Strong 4 Life.

This is one of the main reasons since babies become fussy, irritable, their stomachs may hurt, may become gassy and bloated. Overall, the baby is feeling unwell and this is completely understandable.

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How to Decrease Milk Consumption

Cold Formula

As long as the baby feeding well and doesn’t have any issue with constipation or excess weight gain, it’s recommended for them to drink milk 20 ounces maximum.

However, if you are worried that your baby is consuming too much milk, there are practical things that you can do to reduce your baby’s milk consumption.

  • Reduce milk intake gradually: One effective way to reduce your baby’s milk intake is to simply not fill their cup. Instead of filling 8 ounces in the cup, rather pour in 5 or 6 ounces. Alternatively, you can offer water too.
  • Model healthy behaviors: Your child watches and learns from your behaviors. If you eat a healthy diet and limit your milk consumption (and don’t overdo less healthy drinks like juice or sodas), your child will be more likely to do the same.
  • Serve baby a variety of healthy meals and snacks: Offering your baby other nutritious meal options can encourage your baby to eat more of their calories rather than drinking them.
  • Switch to lower fat milk: Introducing low fat or nonfat milk can help reduce your baby’s fat and calorie intake even if your baby continues to drink a bit more milk than is usual.
  • Talk to your health care provider about food aversions: Ask for extra medical help if your baby does not like eating foods with texture and prefers to drink all of their calories, as your baby might have a food aversion.

Final Word

We hope this article has given indebt knowledge to answer the question of what happens if baby drinks too much milk, remember that you do not limit your confirmation to just one sign but a combination of these will be a good pointer to the fact that your baby is drinking too much milk.