How Often Should I Feed My Newborn

Despite What You Might Think Crying Isnt Necessarily A Sign Of Hunger

Re: How often should I feed my newborn baby?

Also, when babies cry it doesnt necessarily mean theyre hungry. Sometimes they are, certainly, but a lot of times they just need to be cuddled, changed or put to bed. Or they might be overstimulated, bored, scared, startled, or too hot or too cold. The more you get to know your baby and learn the cues of what he or she is trying to communicate, the more youll be able to figure out if hunger is causing the crying or if its something else.

How Often Should I Feed My Baby

Newborns and young babies should be fed whenever they seem hungry. This is called on-demand feeding.

After the first few days of life, most healthy, formula-fed newborns feed about every 2 to 3 hours. As they get bigger and their tummies can hold more milk, they usually eat about every 3 to 4 hours. As babies get older, theyll settle into a more predictable feeding routine and go longer stretches at night without needing a bottle.

Talk to you doctor if you have concerns about feeding your baby, especially if your baby is very small, is not gaining weight, or was born early .

How Long Is A Newborn Supposed To Feed

Duration. In general, breastfeeding sessions take 25 to 45 minutes during the newborn period. Because newborn babies are often sleepy, they may have a hard time swallowing this lengthy course of time. If it stops suckling, you should feed the first side, and if the hand has long ago dropped, your baby looks sleepy.

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Should I Put My Baby On A Feeding Schedule

While scheduling feedings may seem like a good idea for your newborn, you might want to hold off doing so, at least for the first few months. Not feeding your newborn because youre watching the clock could reduce your milk production and may even lead to engorgement.

Postponing feedings to follow a schedule may also upset your newborn and result in crying, which is a late sign of hunger.

How Will I Know If My Formula

How often should I breastfeed my baby?

Its perfectly natural to worry about whether youre feeding your baby enough, but once you get into a rhythm and become familiar with their feeding habits , you will get the hang of it. Here are a few common signs that your baby might be hungry:

  • If your little one is getting fidgety or restless, its probably time to give them a feed.

  • If they open their cute little mouth and turn their head towards you.

  • If they start to suck their fingers, or sometimes even their whole fist.

  • If your baby starts to cry, then this could be a sign they are hungry.

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When Should I Alternate Breasts

Alternate breasts and try to give each one the same amount of nursing time throughout the day. This helps to keep up your milk supply in both breasts and prevents painful engorgement .

You may switch breasts in the middle of each feeding and then alternate which breast you offer first for each feeding. Can’t remember where your baby last nursed? It can help to attach a reminder like a safety pin or small ribbon to your bra strap so you’ll know which breast your baby last nursed on. Then, start with that breast at the next feeding. Or, keep a notebook handy or use a breastfeeding app to keep track of how your baby feeds.

Your baby may like switching breasts at each feeding or prefer to nurse just on one side. If so, then offer the other breast at the next feeding. Do whatever works best and is the most comfortable for you and your baby.

The Best Way To Feed Your Baby

Whether breastfeeding or formula-feeding, the ultimate way to provide your baby with the milk they need is responsive feeding. Responsive feeding means youre feeding your baby by responding to their hunger and fullness cues instead of relying on a clock to dictate when its time for a feeding.

Responsive feeding gives your baby a greater chance of growing optimally. It also builds trust and helps develop a healthy bond between you and your baby.

Formula-fed infants are at risk of being overfed. Overfeeding happens because of improper formula mixing, bottle propping, or force-feeding. Responsive feeding reduces these risks. If your baby is breastfed, you wont have to be worried about overfeeding. Nursing infants cant overeat.

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When Is Breast Milk Supply Regulated

For breastfeeding mamas, milk supply during the early weeks can feel like a roller coaster. But, by 5 weeks of breastfeeding, your milk supply should begin to regulate more. First, the good news: That means you may not feel as much engorgement and will not experience as much leaking. However, it’s common for supply to dip, too. The best ways to keep your supply going strong is to continue to feed your baby when they are hungry, keep yourself hydrated and avoid diving right into strenuous exercise when cleared by your doctor.

Newborn Feeding Schedule For Formula

How often should I feed my newborn baby?

It is a little easier to create a feeding schedule for formula-fed babies, because you can easily track exactly how much formula your baby drinks. That being said, follow your babys cues. If your baby is turning away from the bottle, he might not be hungry.

Check out this chart to see what a feeding schedule could look like for a formula-fed baby:

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Why Is Responsive Feeding So Important

A newborn baby’s stomach is only the size of a walnut, so they need to feed little and often. Your baby can have a good feed and be hungry again quite quickly. This is why “responsive feeding” also called “baby-led” or “on-demand” feeding is so important.

The idea is that you respond to your baby’s cues. Breastfeeding is not only about your baby getting enough milk. Your baby feeds for comfort and reassurance, too.

Babies go through different patterns of feeding as they grow. Letting them feed when they need to will ensure they’re content and getting the milk they need, when they need it, and will also stimulate your milk supply.

Responsive feeding is also to do with your needs. You may want to offer a breastfeed if your breasts are uncomfortably full, or if you need to fit in a feed around other commitments, or if you just want to sit down and enjoy spending some time with your baby.

How To Tell If Your Baby Is Hungry Or Full:

Though we anticipate teaching our children everything they know, we sometimes fail to realize that we can also learn from them. One thing that babies can teach adults is how to listen to their bodies. As adults, its easy for us to override our bodies cues for hunger and fullness . Babies have an impressive ability to regulate their hunger and fullness cues.

Your baby is a long way from saying more and all done, however, they still communicate with you by showing signs of hunger and fullness. Both breastfed and formula-fed babies show signs of hunger and fullness, though research suggests that breastfed infants may show more cues.

Some signs your baby is hungry in their first few months are:

  • Bringing hands to mouth
  • Turning head to look for a nipple
  • Tightening hands, arms, and body

Some signs your baby is full in their first few months are:

  • Turning head away from breast or bottle
  • Closing or sealing lips
  • Relaxed hands, arms, and body

If your baby was born prematurely, they might show hunger and fullness cues differently from full-term babies. Talk with your babys pediatrician about feeding your premature baby.

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Should I Wake My Newborn To Feed

When you have taken a longer time to sleep, you need to wake your baby up. For babies up to four, get them used to eating every three to four hours until they show some weight gain, which usually happens within their first few weeks. The time allowed for your baby to sleep for extended periods will be considered appropriate after that.

How About If Im Feeding Formula

Bottle Feeding: Am I Feeding My Baby Too Much or Too Little?

Ounce for ounce, formula has the same average calories as breast milk, so the total amount that breastfed vs. formula-fed babies should eat in a day is basically the same: about 2½ times the babys weight in pounds. A newborns feeding schedule for formula, however, might be a little different.

Since babies tend to digest formula more slowly, they can go longer between feedings. Your baby will likely get hungry every 3-4 hours, eating about 2 ounces per feeding as a newborn and progressing to 4 ounces by the end of the first month. Expect to add about an ounce per month until he/she is eating 6-7 ounces of formula at a time, which usually happens at 6 months of age. In general, 32 ounces of formula a day is the most your baby will ever need.

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Can I Give My Baby Water At Night Instead Of Milk

If you are breast-feeding, try nursing from just one side at night, to decrease the amount of milk your baby gets from nighttime feedings. If you are bottle-feeding, consider giving your baby a bottle of water instead of formula at night. All babies wake up at night.

How Much Formula Should I Give My Baby

Within the first few weeks, make two- to three-ounce bottles every two to three hours for your newborn. Increase this amount after adjusting to their eating patterns. Look for the following cues to know when to start increasing your little ones formula intake:

  • Finishing a full bottle at each feeding
  • Showing signs of hunger after each feeding


Newborns drink about 1.5 to 3 ounces of formula every two to three hours. Increase the amount as your baby grows.

Two-Month-Old Babies

Two-month-old babies drink about 4 to 6 ounces of formula every three to four hours. Increase the amount when your baby is able to consume more formula at each feeding.

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How Do I Know When To Feed My Baby

When your baby is hungry they may give you little signals, known as early feeding cues . They might:

get restless

suck their fist or fingers

make murmuring sounds

turn their head and open their mouth .

Looking out for and responding to these cues is important. It can help prevent your baby from becoming upset and frustrated, which will make it more difficult to feed them . Here’s what you might see…

How Much Should I Feed My Baby

How often should I feed my baby? Tips for Infant Feeding? – Dr.Deanne Misquita

There are general guidelines, but no hard and fast rules, for how much your baby should have at each feeding. It depends on their own habits and rate of growth, plus a few other things, such as their age and how often they feed.


Babies usually drink more each time as they grow and their stomachs can hold more. If you breastfeed, your baby may drink a little less each time but feed more often than babies who get formula.

Most babies add about 1 ounce to what they drink per feeding with each month of age. This levels off when theyre about 6 months old, when they usually drink 7 to 8 ounces per feeding. Heres about much your baby should drink at each feeding when they are:

  • Newborn to 2 months.In the first days after your baby is born, they may want only a half ounce of milk or formula at each feeding. This will quickly increase to 1 or 2 ounces. By the time theyre 2 weeks old, they should drink about 2 or 3 ounces per feeding.
  • 2-4 months.At this age, your baby should drink about 4 to 5 ounces per feeding.
  • 4-6 months. At 4 months, your baby should drink about 4 to 6 ounces per feeding. By the time your baby is 6 months old, theyll probably drink up to 8 ounces each time you feed them.

Not sure if your baby is getting enough to eat? You can probably relax. If your child has four to six wet diapers a day, has regular bowel movements, and is gaining weight, chances are that theyre doing just fine. If you have any concerns, give your pediatrician a call.

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How Much Should A Five

The American Academy of Pediatrics and La Leche League recommend the following feeding schedules and amounts for 5-week-olds.

Breast milk: 2 to 3 ounces every 2 to 3 hours

Formula: 4 to 5 ounces every 4 hours

The American Academy of Pediatrics also recommends that parents should follow the responsive feeding method, also known as feeding on demand, which looks to the infant’s hunger cues for when to feed. The schedules below are just examplesbe sure to follow your baby’s hunger signals to know when your little one is ready for the next feeding. As babies get older, their hunger cues and feeding times start to become a little more predictable.

How To Get On A Feeding Schedule

Schedules are the holy grail of every parent. Your child will naturally start to fall into a feeding pattern as their tummy grows and they can take in more breast milk or formula at one sitting. This may begin to happen between 2 and 4 months of age.

For now, though, focus on learning your babys hunger cues, such as:

  • rooting around your chest, looking for a nipple.
  • putting their fist in their mouth
  • smacking or licking their lips
  • fussing that can escalate quickly

Once your baby is a few months old, you may be able to introduce a sleep/feed schedule that works for you.

Lets say, for example, your 4-month-old wakes every 5 hours for a feeding. That means if you feed at 9 p.m., your baby wakes around 2 a.m. But if you wake and feed the baby at 11 p.m., just before you go to bed, they may not rouse until 4 a.m., giving you a decent chunk of nighttime winks.

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Can Newborn Go 4 Hours Between Feedings

It is likely that older newborns will have a more predictable schedule as they nurse fewer often and tend to nurse at shorter intervals. The average time between feedings is 23 hours for some, and between 90-60 minutes for others. A newborn is not allowed to go longer than four hours without feeding, although they should take their first steps a short time later.

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