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How Much Should My Newborn Eat?

0-2 Months, Feeding

When I had my daughter, one of my biggest struggles was understanding if she was eating enough.

She always seemed to be so hungry and… in my case… looking for the breast so frequently.

On top of that…

I was receiving a lot of well-meant comments and suggestions… such as:

She’s not getting enough…

You have a low milk supply…

or

I should supplement and give a bottle…

All this only increased my anxiety and concerns. 😟 If I only knew then… what I know now. 🤷🏻‍♀️

In this post, I’d love to provide you with a good understanding and guideline of how much your Little Baby’s stomach can hold and a typical feeding pattern… hopefully avoiding extra stress for you 💕

How much can their little stomach hold?

At birth, their little stomach can only hold just a few drops of “Colostrum” (the first form of breast milk).

This tiny amount is exactly what your baby needs but… gets digested very quickly causing lots of frequent feedings!

This is all normal!🥰

Also, feedings do not follow a firm schedule… they may happen 30 mins apart, 1 hour apart or even 3 hours apart!

From birth to 2-3 weeks of age… your newborn should eat between 8 to 12 times a day (even more when exclusively breastfed).

This means that, even a bottle fed baby, should eat at least every 3 hours!

The best way to properly feed your baby is by following their Feeding Cues and their hunger signs.

Day by day, their stomach will stretch a little bit and… by the end of the first week of age… they should be able to eat between 1.5-2 oz (45-60 ml) per feeding.

By the first month of age, each feeding should be between 2.5-5 oz (80-150 ml).

You may have noticed quite a range between these amounts.

This is because it depends on baby’s weight and frequency of feedings.

Let me give you an example:

A 10 lbs – 4 weeks old baby
may have
8 feedings of around 3 oz each
or
10 feedings of around 2.5 oz each…

The same total amount in the 24 hours but distributed differently through each feed. 😊

Estimated total daily amount by weight

A good estimate of how much your baby should eat in 24 hrs is given by the following formula:

2.5 oz per pound (165 ml per kilogram)

In our example the 10lbs baby should need around 25 oz in 24 hours

2.5 (oz) * 10 (lbs) = 25 (oz)

Max daily intake

The daily intake will reach its peak at around 4-5 weeks of age, at approx. 25-32 oz (740-950 ml).

Each baby is different and one may eat more than another!

The daily total will slowly start to decrease around 6 months, with the introduction of solid foods.

When to increase the daily amount of formula or expressed breast milk

A breastfed baby eats according to their needs and… they are normally pretty good on letting us know when they are full… 🥰

For bottle fed babies, it is recommended to slowly increase the amount and let baby lead the feed…

  • Try to interrupt the feeding multiple times
  • Allow your baby to burp
  • Use nipple sizes according to their age and
  • If possible… use the paced feeding technique

This last one is a “method of bottle feeding that allows the infant to be more in control of the feeding pace…”

To learn more about this, tap the following link for a quick video from Region Of Peel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKSSi5pi57I)

The most important thing is to try to have your baby drinking the bottle in 15-20 minutes allowing their brain to receive the signal that their belly is full!

We don’t want our babies to starve but… we also don’t want to overfeed them 😉

How do I know if my baby ate enough?

For a bottle fed baby it is easier to know how much baby is eating just by tracking each feed and amount drank.

For breastfed babies always remember; the more goes in… the more goes out! 😅

Keeping track of your baby’s diaper changes will provide you with a good understanding of your baby’s well-being.

Your Parentlove app will help you be sure your baby is on track!

Just open your Glance Tab (“Last 24 hours” view) for a live summary of you baby’s count 😊

Weight checks will also confirm their growth trend.

Is my baby thriving?

During the first 6 months, your baby should gain an average of .75-1 oz (20-29 gr) per day.

With your ParentLove app, you can log each baby’s vital in Doctor Visits-Wellness and visualize their Growth Chart and trends.

If you weight your baby at home, you can also add it as a manual entry to keep their growth chart up to date! (Growth Chart > History > + sign)

I hope this helps you better understand your baby’s feeding needs. 🙏

Lots of Love & Happy Parenting! 💕
Dony


 

About Donatella

Dony is a mom of 2, who found her true passion supporting breastfeeding moms and new parents, in their journey into parenthood.

In addition to her personal experience, she has dedicated years studying the prenatal and postnatal period… and is constantly learning to better support new parents! 💕

She has supported hundreds of nursing mothers, taught classes and attended many births as a doula.

Dony has been trained and certified as a:

  • Certified Lactation Counselor
  • Newborn Care Specialist Educator
  • Birth Doula CD(DONA)
  • Gentle Birth Childbirth Educator

Together with her husband, they created the ParentLove app to help parents caring for their newborns.

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