How Often Should I Feed My Baby
In the first week, your baby may want to feed very often. It could be every hour in the first few days.
Feed your baby as often as they want and for as long as they want. They’ll begin to have fewer, but longer feeds after a few days.
As a very rough guide, your baby should feed at least 8 to 12 times, or more, every 24 hours during the first few weeks.
It’s fine to feed your baby whenever they are hungry, when your breasts feel full or if you just want to have a cuddle.
It’s not possible to overfeed a breastfed baby.
When your baby is hungry they may:
- get restless
- suck their fist or fingers
- make murmuring sounds
- turn their head and open their mouth
It’s best to try and feed your baby during these early feeding cues as a crying baby is difficult to feed.
How Long Should I Breastfeed My Baby
That’s a personal choice. Experts recommend that babies be breastfed exclusively for the first 6 months. Then, breastfeeding can continue until 12 months if it’s working for you and your baby.
Breastfeeding has many benefits for mom and baby both. Studies show that breastfeeding can lessen a baby’s chances of diarrhea, ear infections, and bacterial meningitis, or make symptoms less severe. Breastfeeding also may protect children from sudden infant death syndrome , diabetes, obesity, and asthma.
For moms, breastfeeding burns calories and helps shrink the uterus. In fact, breastfeeding moms might return to their prepregnancy shape and weight quicker. Breastfeeding also helps lower a woman’s risk of diseases like:
- breast cancer
Topics Covered For Formula Feeding
If your baby is healthy, skip the What to Do section. Go directly to the topic number that relates to your question for advice:
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So What Should You Do With This Information
I get frequent questions as to how many ounces should be in a babys bottle at given ages.
Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits all answer. As you can see from the first chart, there is a huge variation in what breastfed babies will eat in a given day your baby might be one that only needs 20 oz per day or one who needs a lot more.
My goal with this post was to be able to give mothers a ballpark as to what is normal for breastfed babies to eat in a given day, and if you want, you can use this as a starting point that you can tweak based on your babys needs.
Ultimately, though, I would let your baby be your guide. If he finishes his bottle and still seems hungry and isnt soothed by a pacifier or any of your other tricks, then I would go ahead and feed him more. If hes on the other end of the spectrum and just doesnt like to eat much, I wouldnt push it unless there is an issue with weight gain .
Note: If youre a data geek like me and interested in more survey data, I wrote an e-book about exclusive pumping and milk supply that makes extensive use of it you can check out here.
How Much Milk Will I Need For One Feed
Babies differ so much and while young babies can only take around a few millilitres at a time, older babies will of course take more. Your babys appetite may be bigger at different times of day, and from day to day, just like yours.
If you still want a rule of thumb, leave around 90-120ml for a feed for a baby over a month old. Less for a younger baby. Try that until you get to know your babys habits. Some babies will take very little while they are separated and catch up when they’re reunited with their mum. Remember taking milk from a bottle is a skill your baby has to learn.
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How Can I Tell When My Baby Is Hungry
Signs that babies are hungry include:
- moving their heads from side to side
- opening their mouths
- placing their hands, fingers, and fists to their mouths
- puckering their lips as if to suck
- nuzzling again their mothers breasts
- showing the rooting reflex
Babies should be fed before they get upset and cry. Crying is a late sign of hunger. But every time your baby cries is not because of hunger. Sometimes babies just need to be cuddled or changed. Or they could be sick, tired, too hot or too cold, in pain, or have colic.
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Getting Enough Milk
If youre worried about your babys appetite and whether they are getting enough milk, their nappies are quite a good indicator to give you a steer. Youre going to become very familiar, and potentially a little obsessed, with the contents of your babys nappy!
In addition to your babys weight gain, the number of wet and dirty nappies will show you whether your little one is eating enough. In the beginning, you’ll probably be changing at least six wet and four dirty nappies every day . When changing your babys nappies, check to ensure your little ones urine is clear or pale and it will probably feel a little weighty . As a newborn, your little ones poos will probably be very dark and sticky, but after the first week they should start passing yellowish brown poos. Welcome to the joys of parenthood!
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Feeding Schedule For Formula
Formula-fed newborns will need about two to three ounces of formula per feeding to start with. Newborns, fed from bottles are able to take in more during a feeding than a breastfed infants. This allows you to space out feedings by about three to four hours.
As your baby reaches her 1-month milestone, she will need at least four ounces per feeding to get the nourishment she requires. Your newbornâs feeding schedule will gradually become more predictable over time, and youâll need to adjust the amount of formula as she grows.
Help And Support For Breastfeeding
- Find out more about positioning and attachment, including how to get comfortable and make sure your baby is properly attached.
- If you are having difficulties with breastfeeding, take a look at breastfeeding problems.
- Ask a midwife or health visitor for help. They can also tell you about other breastfeeding support available near you.
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How To Know If Your Baby Is Getting Enough To Eat
Regardless of how your baby is fed, they will appear satiated after eating if they have gotten the proper amount of food. If they are not getting enough, their mood will be your first sign that they are still hungry.
Another way to tell if your baby is satisfied is to track the number of wet diapers they have in a 24-hour period. Infants greater than 1 week old should have at least six wet diapers per day and the urine should be pale yellow.
Paying attention to your baby’s weight gain also can help you determine if they have been fed enough. The average weight gain for newborns is about 4 to 7 ounces per week. If your baby is gaining less, they may not be getting enough to eat. Your pediatrician can help you determine if your child’s weight gain and growth are on track or something to be concerned about.
If you think that your baby may not be eating enough or they are not producing enough wet diapers, contact your pediatrician right away. They can determine if there is an underlying issue and help you figure out a healthy feeding plan for your baby.
Building Up Your Milk Supply
Around 2 to 4 days after birth you may notice that your breasts become fuller. This is often referred to as your milk “coming in”.
Your milk will vary according to your baby’s needs. Each time your baby feeds, your body knows to make more milk for the next feed. The amount of milk you make will increase or decrease depending on how often your baby feeds.
Feed your baby as often as they want and for as long as they want. This is called responsive feeding. In other words, responding to your baby’s needs. It’s also known as on-demand or baby-led feeding.
In the beginning, it can feel like you’re doing nothing but feeding. But gradually you and your baby will get into a pattern and the amount of milk you produce will settle down.
It’s important to breastfeed at night because this is when you produce more hormones to build up your milk supply.
In the early weeks, before you and your baby have become comfortable with breastfeeding, “topping up” with formula milk or giving your baby a dummy can lower your milk supply.
Speak to a midwife or health visitor if you are worried about breastfeeding or you think your baby is not getting enough milk.
They might suggest giving your baby some expressed breast milk along with breastfeeding.
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From 1 To 3 Months Old
After 1 month old, a baby’s tummy is bigger so they’ll be able to eat more each time, typically about 4 oz per feeding. They’ll also eat slightly less often, approximately every 3 hours for a total of 7 feedings a day. This means they should be drinking about 28oz of milk a day.
At that age the feedings should still occur on demand. They’ll likely have started to be more vocal to express their desire to eat so you’ll know when they’re hungry. Only after 3 months old you can consider putting them on an eating schedule. That being said it’s likely the schedule will establish itself naturally between you and your baby without any planning necessary!
Unblock Nursing Tea is recommended to prevent clogged ducts and engorged breasts
Again if you breastfeed you’ll likely encounter issues where you either don’t have enough breast milk for your little one or you develop painful engorgement or blocked ducts. Not to worry: those issues are perfectly normal and experienced by the vast majority of nursing mums!
Unblock Nursing Tea is recommended to prevent clogged ducts and engorged breasts
Ask Our Breastfeeding Experts
The amount of breast milk you need to express, and how often you express, will depend on the situation.
For example, you may need to express more for your newborn baby if they are unable to breastfeed. The amount you express for an older baby will depend on the number of times they breastfeed each day.
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What Does Baby Need When They Are 0
When you bring your baby home from the hospital, their primary needs are to be fed when hungry, have their diapers changed consistently, have their umbilical cord cared for, be put to sleep on their back, and, most importantly, to be cuddled and nurtured by their parent or parents. According to Dr. Danielle Roberts, a pediatrician in Zanesville, Ohio, this time period in a baby’s life can feel a little rough as everyone adapts, but it goes by quickly.
Daily Milk Intake Over Time
As we can see on the chart, a baby’s daily milk consumption will continuously increase until it peaks at around 9 months old. After that, as they’re progressively introduced to solids, milk will progressively become a snack as opposed to their main source of nutrition.
For a breastfeeding mother, it’s very taxing to adapt to such fast changing needs. Not only does your body need to produce an ever increasing amount of milk during the first 9 months of your newborn, it also needs to change when it produces it as your little one learns how to sleep through the night.
This is why most breastfeeding mothers experience breastfeeding issues that can typically be classified in 2 categories. 1) They either don’t produce enough milk or milk that’s not nutritious enough for their baby. 2) They have enough milk but the constant changes they need to adapt to leads to engorged breasts and blocked ducts. If you face the first issue we highly recommend Milk Boost Tea: it’s packed with herbs that can help you not only increase your milk supply but also with the nutritional quality of your milk. As for the second issue, if you have engorged breasts or blocked ducts, you need to try Unblock Nursing Tea: it will help relieve the engorgement and avoid that the issues worsen into mastitis, a painful infection of the breast.
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Breastfeeding Information And Support
It may seem like breastfeeding is natural and it should “come naturally.” However, it can take a lot of work, especially in the beginning. . Here are some places to find support while breastfeeding:
- Your pediatricians office inquire about the availability of a lactation consultant
- Your local WIC office has peer-to-peer counselors for lactation support
- La Leche League International can help solve breastfeeding problems with online advice as well as local support groups
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.
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Other Ways Of Estimating Milk Intake
There are various ways of estimating the amount of milk intake related to the weight of the baby and the age of the baby, based upon formula intakeresearch has shown that after the early weeks these methods overestimate the amount of milk that baby actually needs. These are the estimates that we used for breastfed babies for years, with the caveat that most breastfed babies dont take as much expressed milk as estimated by these methods. Current research tells us that breastmilk intake is quite constant after the first month and does not appreciably increase with age or weight, so the current findings are validating what moms and lactation counselors have observed all along.