Baby Feeding Chart: How Much And When To Feed Infants The First Year
All babies develop at different rates, but these guidelines suggest what to feed your infant and when to feed it.
Wondering if you’re feeding your baby enough breast milk, formula, or solid food? We broke down some suggested recommendationsbut keep in mind that all infants require different amounts depending on body weight, appetite, and age. Ask your pediatrician if you’re unsure, then check out our baby feeding guidelines by age.
Formula Feeding Amounts By Age
Formula fed infants typically need 2 1/2 ounces or 74 ml of formula for each pound of weight, on average. Some babies have larger appetites than others, though. I have worked with a lot of families, personally, and some babies take small bottles and consume around 24 oz a day total while others consume over 30 oz. The most important thing to remember is that your baby should stay on his or her own growth curve.
In the newborn days, its important to feed your baby on-demand whenever he or she shows signs of hunger. As your baby grows older, you can consider putting your baby on a schedule.
While some parents and babies thrive on schedules, some people prefer to allow the daily routine to be flexible. Keep in mind that the more your baby eats during the day, the sooner your baby will sleep through the night.
Here is a formula-feeding chart to tell you the average frequency and bottle sizes of formula by age, but keep in mind that some babies eat a variable amount at different times of the day. You should use this chart simply as a guide while also adapting your daily routine to fit your unique baby.
If you ever have any concerns about your baby and your babys feeding habits, please be sure to seek out a healthcare provider and/or lactation consultant.
Why You Should Wait
Giving your baby water before six months isnt recommended for the following reasons.
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How Many Ounces Do Formula
The American Academy of Pediatrics explains that after the first few days, your formula-fed newborn will drink around 2 to 3 ounces of formula with every feeding.
Theyll need to eat about every three to four hours. This is compared to a breastfed baby, who will usually eat every two to three hours.
How Much Breast Milk Should A Newborn Eat
Wondering how much a newborn should eat? As pediatricians, we say to feed on demand, says Jennifer Trachtenberg, MD, a pediatrician in New York City and an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at The Mount Sinai School of Medicine. And luckily, when all goes right, breastfeeding is an ingenious, self-sufficient system. When baby suckles, it stimulates your breasts to produce just the right amount of milk to meet your childs nutritional needs. When baby needs more they suckle more, causing your body to crank up production. Genius. Of course, thats presuming that babyand your breasts cooperate.
Its hard to clock how much a newborn eats when youre breastfeeding. Use these guidelines to make sure baby is eating enough.
How many ounces should a newborn eat at a time? From the time your milk comes in a few days after birth, baby will likely take in 2 to 3 ounces at each feeding, working their way up to 4 ounces by the end of the first month. To gauge roughly how much milk baby needs, try this quick, easy calculation: Multiply babys weight by two and a half. For example, an eight-pound baby should be eating about 20 ounces a day.
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How Much Breast Milk Does A Baby Need
Learn how much breast milk a baby actually drinks, and how to initiate, build, and maintain a strong milk supply.
Congratulations on making the decision to breastfeed your newborn, Mama! We know youll have a lot of questions as you become adjusted to life with a little one, and were here to help you ease into it all. After your baby is born, your pregnancy hormones will dissipate. This allows your milk-making hormones to officially kick into high gear. Beginning breastfeeding within the first hour or so following your newborns birth helps provide valuable colostrum from the moment your baby first latches on to feed. Colostrum, a thick, immune-building and antibody-rich early breast milk, is immediately available during and sometimes even shortly before the first phase of a mothers lactation journey: The Initiation Phase.
How Much Should My Formula
Theres no single number that works for everyone. The amount your formula-fed baby eats will depend on his weight, age and appetite .
As a rule of thumb, infants under 6 months who havent yet started solids will take in 2 to 2 1/2 ounces of formula per pound of body weight within a 24-hour period.
Your baby will need to eat more frequently in the beginning, but his feedings will become more spaced out as he gets older and his stomach gets bigger.
Heres a general idea of how much formula your bottle-fed baby will take:
During the first few weeks: 1 to 3 ounces of formula every three to four hours . Wake your baby for a feeding if he sleeps longer than five hours.
At least 4 ounces every four hours.
24 to 36 ounces spread out over four or five feedings a day.
Still, keep in mind that every baby is different, so pay attention to your little ones cues.
If your baby is still showing hunger signs after finishing a bottle, offer more. If he seems fidgety or distracted before the bottles empty, hes probably had enough, so dont force him to finish it.
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How Much Should My Breastfed Baby Eat
Breastfed babies should eat as often and as long as they want, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics . Most newborns nurse every two to three hours, counting from the beginning of each nursing session. That adds up to around eight to 12 feedings a day.
But you should let your baby guide you instead of the clock, so offer your breast whenever he shows signs of hunger. If your baby seems very sleepy, you should wake him to make sure he gets at least eight feedings within 24 hours.
As for how much he should drink during each nursing session? Again, theres no right or wrong answer. But you can generally expect your newborn to nurse for 20 to 30 minutes per feeding.
Its time to end the session when your baby lets go of the nipple, or when his sucking pattern slows down to four sucks per swallow.
Another thing to keep in mind: Its totally normal for your little one to occasionally want to nurse nonstop. Called cluster feeds, these bursts of hunger tend to coincide with growth spurts. It can feel like all youre doing is nursing, but just follow your babys lead and know itll probably only last for a day or two.
Tips For Starting Solids
- Use a baby spoon and bowl to feed your baby. Do not put the cereal in a bottle. Your baby should learn to eat his or her food, not drink it.
- Only take out a small amount of the baby food at a time. You can leave it at room temperature or warm it slightly. You can then refrigerate the open jar and use it in the next two days.
- You can make your own baby food if you would like. Steam vegetables or fruit and then blend them. You can make the texture thinner if needed by adding a little bit of breast milk or formula.
- Use caution with the microwave as it can heat food unevenly. Always mix food well and check the temperature before feeding your baby.
- There is no need to add any extra salt or sugar to your babys food. This is discouraged.
- Wait until your baby is 1 year of age before feeding him or her honey. There is a type of bacteria in honey that can be very dangerous and cause paralysis in babies.
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Feeding Guide For The First Year
Tiffani Hays, M.S., R.D., L.N., Director of the Pediatric Clinical Nutrition Education & Practice
Making appropriate food choices for your baby during the first year of life is very important. More growth occurs during the first year than at any other time. Its important to feed your baby a variety of healthy foods at the proper time. Starting good eating habits at this early stage will help set healthy eating patterns for life.
How Much Milk Do Older Babies Need
An older baby can have up to 32 ounces of formula per day. In addition, he can have as much in the way of solids or water as he wants to supplement this. The mealtime formula is usually given at the end of the meals, to top off the solids in a comfortable and easy way. Even though the solids are now playing a larger role, the breast milk or formula still provides the core of the nutritional needs.
Thirst is an extremely strong drive. As long as a babyâs own regulating mechanism isnât tricked by getting too much juice or water, healthy babies will take enough formula or breast milk to meet their nutritional needs. This is one good reason not to put juice or water in the bottle.
The AAP and most pediatricians do not recommend feeding your baby any juice at all before the age of 12 months. After one year, kids still donât need juice, but any juice should be limited to less than 6 ounces a day using only 100% fruit or vegetable juice.
Water is only recommended for those babies over 6 months and in small amounts. A good rule of thumb is to limit the daily ounces of water to the age of a baby in months . Water can be served in an open or sippy cup.
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How Much Should Your Baby Eat
Whether youre breastfeeding, formula feeding, or combining the two, working out how much your baby should be eating at any given time is an ever-evolving challenge.
Thankfully, babies are pretty good at keeping you informed when it comes to feeding. Theyll let you know when their tummys rumbling, theyll take their fill of boob and/or bottle, and theyll stop when theyve had quite enough, thank you.
Letting your baby take the lead is a simple and natural way of approaching feeding but its also helpful to know how much they need in general as they grow and develop.
Here, we summarize the key feeding stages, share some common hunger cues, and explain how much food breast and formula-fed babies need.
Breastfeeding Nutrition: Tips For A Healthy Diet
Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to give babies the nutrition they need, but you need the right food and drinks, too! Here are some tips to ensure you have the right amount of nutrients for optimal breastfeeding nutrition so you and your baby can stay healthy.
*This article contains affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you anything, but if you click on the link and buy something, we’ll earn a small commission to help our writing team create more great articles.*
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When Should You Start Feeding Your Newborn Baby
Newborns especially are most alert an hour or two after birth, which is why its important to start breastfeeding as soon as possible. If you miss that very active stage, your baby may be sleepier later, which makes it harder to practice latching on for that first initial feeding.
If your babys not showing signs of wanting to latch, you should continue to offer your baby the breast every two to three hours. It can take a lot of practice, so its important to be patient as your baby is figuring out the best way to latch.
Write down the feeding times and number of wet and dirty diapers your baby has had while youre in the hospital. Your nurse and doctor will be able to help you determine if your baby needs some additional encouragement to nurse or supplement.
Birth To The First Month
The first month is difficult for mom and baby because you are both trying to adjust to this new life. Your newborn will be feeding what seems like all the time, and it can be hard to catch a break.
You should establish on-demand feeding with your baby if you are breastfeeding because it will help maintain your supply and keep your baby in control of the intake. It is possible your baby will simply want a snack or a drink, instead of a meal.
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Is Baby Drinking Too Much Or Too Little Expressed Milk
Keep in mind that the amount of milk that baby takes at a particular feeding will vary, just as the amount of food and drink that an adult takes throughout the day will vary. Baby will probably not drink the same amount of milk at each feeding. Watch babys cues instead of simply encouraging baby to finish the bottle.
If your baby is taking substantially more than the average amounts, consider the possibility that baby is being given too much milk while you are away. Things that can contribute to overfeeding include:
If baby is taking significantly less expressed milk than the average, it could be that baby is reverse-cycling, where baby takes just enough milk to take the edge off his hunger, then waits for mom to return to get the bulk of his calories. Baby will typically nurse more often and/or longer than usual once mom returns. Some mothers encourage reverse cycling so they wont need to pump as much milk. Reverse cycling is common for breastfed babies, especially those just starting out with the bottle.
If your baby is reverse cycling, here are a few tips:
What About Starting Solids
When a baby is still hungry after 32 ounces or nursing 8-10 times, it may be time to start solid foods. Typically, this occurs sometime between 4 to 6 months of age.
There are several other indicators that your baby is ready to start solid foods. First, note that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding as the sole source of nutrition for your baby for about 6 months. In addition, they advise that most babies are ready to start solid foods when they reach the following milestones:
- They can sit in a high chair or feeding chair and hold their head upright.
- They can open their mouths as food comes their way.
- They can move food from their mouth to their throat.
- They are approximately double their birth weight and over 13 pounds.
Itâs usually best to start with solids once or twice a day, and to finish each meal with nursing or a bottle. Some babies prefer a little formula first to take the edge off their hunger. Babies can have as much of the solids as they want. In reality, the number of calories they are getting from solids at this age is very minimal therefore it is still important to keep their schedule of milk feedings.
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