Do Formula Fed Babies Gain More Weight?

Do Formula Fed Babies Gain More Weight?

Do Formula Fed Babies Gain More Weight?

Every baby grows at their own rate.  But is it possible that a formula fed baby gains more weight than breastfed babies?


Infant formula is designed to be as similar as breast milk as possible.  This sets expectations high, but many formulas are very close when it comes to something that is made in a factory. 


What to Know About Growth Charts 

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that doctors use the growth charts from the World Health Organization (WHO).  The growth charts for ages 0-2 years are different than those used for ages 2-19 years old.  The standards established for infants are based on the norm for growth or breastfed babies.  It also shows how children are supposed to grow under optimal conditions during frequent intervals. 


It is important to understand that growth charts are a guideline.  It gives pediatricians a tool to measure steady growth over time.  There is no pass/fail, but rather a way to understand how infants grow and where they should be compared to other children their age.  Slight changes can show growth spurts, but sudden, more extreme changes can indicate a medical concern.



How Formula Fed Babies Compare on Growth Charts 

Pediatricians are not looking so much how formula-fed babies weigh compared to breastfed babies.  They look rather at the steady growth on a curve over the course of the chart's timeline.  Some babies will be under the 25th percentile for the first two years and maintain a healthy curve while other babies maintain their size in the 75th percentile. 


Overall, formula-fed babies may start slow in terms of weight gain, but add ounces faster as they get older.  There are some theories about the difference between the two types of babies.  Breastfed babies are usually eating until satisfied, but some parents supplement breast milk with formula because their little one is still hungry after nursing.  For this reason, formula-fed babies may eat a little more.  At the same time, infant formula takes longer to digest in your baby's tummy and has a different affect on the body's metabolism. 



Formula-fed babies may weigh more as they get closer to their first birthdays, but that is no reason for alarm.  The fact is that all children, regardless of their source of infant nutrition, have closed the gap according to the growth chart by the time they turn two years old.


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