How Much Will a Newborn Eat?
Parents of newborns may feel like they are constantly feeding their babies, but small stomachs make frequent feedings a must in the first weeks of life.
How much and how often your baby eats will partially depend on his size, age and personal appetite, but you can keep general guidelines in mind to help you through the early weeks.
Breastfeed your newborn baby as often as he is hungry, which should be at least 8 to 12 times a day during the first month, according to The Nemours Foundation. Newborn babies often breastfeed every 1 ½ to 3 hours for up to 20 minutes on each breast, and these frequent feeding sessions help stimulate milk production.
Look for your baby to breastfeed less frequently, about seven to nine times a day, by one or two months of age. He will also finish his meals more quickly after the first few weeks.
Feed your bottle-fed newborn on demand. Expect your baby to eat every two to three hours. Offer one to two ounces of formula per feeding for the first week after birth, and begin increasing the amount offered to two to four ounces the second week.
Your baby will gradually eat more at each feeding and go longer between feedings. As a general rule, multiply your baby’s weight in pounds by 2.5 to find out how many ounces of formula he should have in a 24-hour period, according to BabyCenter.
For instance, an 8-pound baby should drink about 20 ounces of formula per day.
Hungry babies may move their heads from side to side, open their mouths, stick out their tongues, bring their hands and fists to their mouths, pucker their lips or turn their heads when their cheeks are touched.
Feed your baby when you notice these signs. Stop feeding your baby when he loses interest in the bottle or breast or turns his head away.
Talk to your baby’s doctor if you have any questions or concerns about feeding your newborn.
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