Q&A: My 12-week-old is constantly hungry

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article

Hannah Leathem replies:

Weight gain patterns differ from baby to baby, and it is more important to keep your eye on the growth curve on his graph than to be worried about his specific weight. Boys tend to gain weight in their first 6 months, but then lose a little when they start crawling and walking.

Ask your clinic sister or paediatrician to plot his weight on a growth chart, and see which curve he follows. Some babies also gain weight a little faster than their length grows, and this too is normal. You do not have to worry about his weight at all.

Your breastfeeding routine question might be one you should pose to a breastfeeding specialist, but I am inclined to prefer demand feeding. I know it makes life easier to have a set routine, but I believe it causes unnecessary stress for your baby. Babies sometimes go through growth spurts, which makes it impossible to stick to the 3-hourly routines.

My advice would be to take at least a week, and set aside all other priorities, concentrating instead on feeding your baby on demand. Your milk production will increase and you will soon get into a new routine.

Breastmilk is wonderful for babies, so do try to feed him exclusively from the breast for as long as possible. Your baby’s digestive system is not ready for solid food before the age of 4 months. If he is gaining weight satisfactorily, and still niggles after feeds, it might be a good idea to talk to your paediatrician, as there might be another cause for this behaviour. Check with the paediatrician before you supplement his breastmilk with formula.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Show Comments ()
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.