Feeding Schedule For Breastfed Newborns
From the moment your baby is born, she begins to grow at a surprisingly quick pace. To fuel her development and keep her well fed, be prepared to nurse about every two to three hours.
By the time sheâs a week old, your little one may begin to nap for longer periods, giving you more time between feedings. If sheâs sleeping, you can maintain your babyâs feeding schedule by waking her up gently when itâs time to feed.
Tips to keep in in mind if youâre breastfeeding:
The length of time between feedings is measured from when your baby begins nursing, not when she stops.
Ensure your little one latches on properly. This can be difficult when youâre starting out, especially for first-time moms, but over time your baby may begin to latch comfortably. Speaking to a lactation consultant could be helpful.
As your baby grows she may nurse at a faster rate.
Alternate between breasts during each feeding.
Look for signs that your baby is full. She may turn away from the breast, nurse at a slower rate, or lose interest. Once she seems full, end the feeding
Your babyâs healthcare provider may recommend adding vitamin D oral supplements to your babyâs diet. Follow the provider’s instructions to ensure your baby gets the proper dosage.
Heres A Guide To How Much Milk Or Formula Your Baby Should Be Drinking By Age:
|10-12 feeds per day every 2-3 hours or on demand
|6-8 feeds per day every 3 hours
|4-6 feeds per day
How much milk a baby needs depends on their age, and the amount that a baby eats varies from one little one to the next. So, dont worry if these rough guidelines are different to your own feeding schedule.
The older your baby gets, the more predictable their feeding routine will be. You’ll soon get into the swing of things!
How Often Should I Breastfeed
Keep in mind the size of your newborns stomach. Its small! Therefore, your baby may need to eat on demand, better known as demand feeding.
Demand feeding means that you breastfeed your newborn whenever they appear hungry. The first few days after birth, its OK and beneficial to feed your baby on demand.
In the beginning, feedings may take place as often as every one and a half hours to establish your milk supply. Its completely normal for your newborn to nurse eight to 12 times per day, especially within the first few weeks or even throughout the entire first month.
Breast milk is easier to digest, which is why breastfed babies tend to have more feedings in a day than formula-fed babies. So if you feel like youre nursing all day, then youre probably doing something right! As tiring as it may be, this is a good thing because it increases your milk production.
After the first month, feedings will decrease to seven to nine per day. And each month after that, the number of nursing sessions per day will continue to decrease.
Remember, a newborn should go no longer than four hours without nursing in a 24 hour period, even at night.
Expert tip: Apply Mustela’s Nursing Comfort Balm in-between feedings to relieve any pain you may experience. This soothing nipple cream will ease discomfort and moisturize sensitized nipples.
Recommended Reading: What Size For Newborn Diapers
First Weeks And Months
Some babies need additional vitamin D.
Babies who are fed breast milk exclusively or who receive both breast milk and infant formula need extra vitamin D, starting shortly after birth. They can get this through over-the-counter vitamin D drops. Babies receiving only infant formula do not need vitamin D drops. Infant formula is fortified with vitamin D.
- Over the first few weeks and months, the time between feedings will get longerabout every 3 to 4 hours for most infant formula-fed babies. This means you may need to wake your baby to feed. You can try patting, stroking, undressing, or changing the diaper to help wake your baby to feed.
- Some feeding sessions may be long, and other feedings short. That is okay. Babies will generally take what they need at each feeding and stop eating when they are full.
What Guidelines Should I Follow When Feeding My Baby
A few simple guidelines you should follow when you are feeding your baby in the first year can include:
You May Like: What Happens At 2 Week Check Up For Newborn
How Often Should A Newborn Eat If Youre Breastfeeding
- First 24 hours: Feed on demand or at least every 2-3 hours. Remember: Your baby may only drink ½ ounce of colostrum in total in the first 24 hours. But even though your baby drinks only a little, it can take up to 45 minutes per nursing session, especially if your baby is sleepy.
- First month: Feed on demand or at least every 2-3 hours during the day and 3-4 hours during the night. This works out to be about 8-12 times per day. Keep in mind that babies go through cluster feeding sessions and growth spurts where they might be nursing every 10-45 minutes!
These guidelines just discuss how oftena newborn should eat. To learn more about how much a newborn should eat, check out this post.
How Much To Formula Feed
Here are the amounts of formula your baby needs:
- first day: 5 to 15 mL at each feeding
- second day: 15 to 30 mL at each feeding
- third day: 30 to 60 mL at each feeding
- fourth day: follow your baby’s weight:
- 8 pounds: 2 ounces at each feeding
- 9 pounds: 2 ¼ ounces at each feeding
- 10 pounds: 2 ½ ounces at each feeding
As your baby grows, continue to increase the amount of formula based on his appetite and hunger cues.
Also Check: What Shots Do Newborn Babies Get
What Type Of Formula Can I Offer
Healthy babies born at full term, which is 37 weeks or more of pregnancy, can be fed any type of store- bought formula: ready-to-feed, liquid concentrate or powdered. If you use powdered formula, prepare it carefully. For more information, see HealthLinkBC File #69b Feeding Your Baby Formula: Safely Making and Storing Formula.
Some babies have a higher risk of getting sick from powdered infant formula and should be fed ready-to-feed or liquid concentrate formula. These babies include those who:
- Were born premature, before 37 weeks of pregnancy, and are under 2 months of age
- Weighed less than 2500 grams at birth and are under 2 months of age
- Have a weakened immune system, meaning they are more likely to get sick if exposed to germs
If you are not sure what type of formula to feed your baby, discuss with your health care provider.
How To Choose Formula
Talk with your baby’s health care provider about what formula is best for your baby. Although there are many types of formula, most babies do well with one that is cow-milk based.
Unless your baby’s health care provider advises against it, choose a formula that is iron-fortified. This is important to prevent iron deficiency, which can slow development.
Once made up, all formula must be refrigerated. Formula should be thrown out after 24 hours if it has not been used.
The different types of formula are:
- powder. This is the least expensive. It does not need to be refrigerated until it is mixed with water. If you are going to be away from home, you may choose a brand that comes in individual packets. This option is more convenient, although more costly.
- concentrated liquid. This needs to have water added to it. It is more expensive than powder. It also must be refrigerated once the container is opened.
- ready-to-use formula. This is the most convenient and the most costly. It can be handy for the times when mixing might be difficult.
You May Like: How To Fix A Newborn Sleep Schedule
Baby Feeding Chart At A Glance
As you watch for those delightful baby milestones â from first smiles and giggles to sitting and crawling â it can be hard to keep track of everything related to your babyâs feeding schedule. Fortunately, you donât have to. We’ve assembled all the necessary details in the chart below, including feeding frequency and portion information.
Plus, Lumi by Pampersâ¢ helps you stay on top of your babyâs needs so you can focus on her development and not the clock.
Feeding Your Baby Formula: Before You Start
Human milk is the only food your baby needs for the first 6 months of life. After 6 months continue to offer human milk, along with solid foods, until your child is two years of age or older.
Parents may give their baby infant formula for a variety of reasons. Store-bought infant formula made from cows milk is recommended for most formula fed babies. Offer infant formula until your baby is 9 to 12 months of age.
Soy-based infant formulas are only recommended for babies with a medical condition called galactosemia or for babies who do not drink dairy for religious or cultural reasons.
Do not feed home-made infant formula, cows milk or other animal milk to your baby. They are not safe and do not give your baby the complete nutrition they need to grow and develop.
If you have questions or concerns about feeding your baby, contact your health care provider, a public health nurse or a lactation consultant. You can also call HealthLink BC at 8-1-1 to speak with a registered nurse or registered dietitian.
Read Also: How Do You Help Newborn With Constipation
Getting Formula Or Milk To Flow When Bottle
To test the flow of the formula or breastmilk, hold the bottle upside down when its filled with liquid at room temperature. The liquid should drip steadily but not pour out.
If you have to shake the bottle vigorously to see the drip, the flow is too slow. Your baby might go to sleep before drinking what they need.
A little leakage at the corners of your babys mouth while feeding is nothing to worry about. This will stop as your baby gets older.
If you have trouble finding the perfect teat, go for a faster teat rather than a slow one. Its normal to try a few different teats before you find one that suits you and your baby.
How To Formula Feed
- After preparing a bottle and testing its temperature, you are ready to give your baby a bottle.
- Feed every two to four hours. Start with one ounce at each feeding. Gradually increase this amount as your baby’s appetite grows.
- Make sure your baby’s tongue is under the nipple and the baby has more than the tip of the nipple in her mouth.
- Tip the bottle far enough for the formula to fill the nipple and the neck of the bottle.
- Burp your baby after one ounce, or halfway through the feeding for older babies. How often your baby needs to burp depends on how much air she has swallowed and how fast she drinks. Learn more about burping.
- Expect your baby’s appetite to vary from feeding to feeding. Some days your baby may drink a little more formula, other days less.
- Don’t try to coax your baby to finish a bottle. Follow your baby’s appetite.
- Throw out any formula that remains after a feeding. Don’t try to save it for the next feeding.
- Never prop a bottle or leave your baby alone to feed. This is dangerous and can cause choking, ear infections and tooth decay.
Recommended Reading: What A Newborn Really Needs
Guide For Formula Feeding
- When breast milk is not available, standard infant formula is an appropriate alternative for most healthy full term infants, but there are some differences between brands. Do not hesitate to ask your health care provider for a recommendation if you are unsure which formula to use.
- Bottle-feeding should be interactive, with the caregiver holding both the bottle and the infant. Propping a bottle has been linked to an increased risk of ear infections and tooth decay.
- Formula feeding should be in response to the infants needs and not based on a predetermined schedule. Look for cues of hunger and fullness to determine both when to feed and how much. The number of wet diapers per day and your childs growth will reflect if he or she is getting enough formula. The chart below demonstrates common intakes for infants at various stages. However, ask your health care provider if you have any questions about how much formula your infant is taking.
- The amount of formula an infant takes will decrease as the baby increases intake of solid foods, but formula remains a significant source of calories, protein, calcium and vitamin D for the first year of life.
- Ask your health care provider before switching an infant less than 1 year of age from formula to cows milk or a cows milk alternative.
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.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Get My Newborn To Sleep
Sterilise All Equipment For Bottle
You must sterilise all bottle-feeding equipment until your baby is 12 months old. This is very important.Always remember:
- Steam can cause severe skin burns, so be careful when boiling or steaming equipment.
- Place all equipment out of reach of children.
- Avoid unnecessary handling of sterilised equipment and do not touch the inner surfaces of bottles or teats.
First, wash all the equipment in warm, soapy water. Use a clean bottlebrush to thoroughly remove all traces of milk, then rinse, then sterilise. You can use different sterilising methods, such as boiling, chemicals, steam or microwave steam.