Wondering how often to feed a newborn or how much a newborn should eat? You’re not alone! Feeding concerns are some of the most common worries new parents have and they’re important to address. After all, babies need the proper amount of fuel to support all the stages of development they go through in the first year!
Whether you’re breastfeeding, formula feeding or giving your baby a combination of milk types, check out the guidelines below to make sure she is eating enough at each different age.
Newborn Feeding Guide by Age
Generally speaking, babies should be fed whenever they seem hungry – and some babies will get hungry more often than others. But this can be trickier than it sounds. After all, babies can’t use words to let you know they’re hungry.
Eventually, you’ll learn your baby’s unique hunger signals. However, the following feeding guide by age will help you feel confident about the amount of milk your baby is getting at each age.
Most newborns eat every 2 to 3 hours (or 8 to 12 times in a given 24-hour period). Exactly how many ounces should a newborn eat? After the first day or two of life, babies will usually drink 1 to 2 ounces at each feeding. By 2 weeks of age, this amount increases to 2 to 3 ounces per feeding. If you are exclusively nursing, it can be difficult to know exactly how many ounces your baby is consuming, but as long as you’re responding quickly to his hunger cues and he’s soiling enough diapers and growing, he’s likely getting what he needs.
· Two Months
At about 2 months of age, babies usually take 4 to 5 ounces per feeding every 3 to 4 hours.
· Four Months
At 4 months of age, babies usually take 4 to 6 ounces per feeding.
· Six Months
At 6 months of age, babies may be taking up to 8 ounces every 4 to 5 hours.
Most babies will increase the amount of pumped breast milk or formula they drink by an average of 1 ounce each month before leveling off at around 7 or 8 ounces per feeding around 6 months of age, right around the time solids are introduced.
Signs Your Baby is Eating Enough
Pay attention to the following two signs that your baby is getting enough milk:
1. Diapers – Diapers are a really good indicator of whether your baby is eating enough. In the first few days after birth, a baby should have 2 to 3 wet diapers each day. After the first 4 to 5 days, a baby should have at least 5 to 6 wet diapers a day. Stool frequency, however, is more variable since it will depend on whether your baby is breastfed or formula-fed.
2. Growth – Your pediatrician will be closely monitoring your baby’s weight and placing it on a growth chart. If your baby stays within a healthy growth percentile range, then he is most likely getting the right amount of milk.
Follow these guidelines for feeding your baby, pay attention to the telltale signs that he’s eating enough, and relax – you’ve got this! Don’t forget that you can always call your pediatrician with any questions or concerns you may have, too.
If you haven’t already, be sure to try our LATCH™ bottles, which are designed with an anti-colic valve at the bottom of the bottle to prevent air from passing through the milk or formula. As a result, your baby will experience a much more comfortable feeding experience with less gas and fussiness – a winning combination for all.