For the first few weeks, feeding your baby can be a difficult job. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all guide to child nutrition for new parents. Your baby's optimal newborn feeding amount can vary depending on his or her weight, appetite and age. It also depends on whether you're nursing or using formula milk.
If you're uncertain about how much to feed your baby, talk to your doctor or a lactation consultant and use these general guidelines as a starting point.
How much should newborn babies eat the day they’re born?
You may be worried about wanting to feed your baby as soon as possible. However, it's likely that your baby is just as exhausted as you after giving birth. The first 24 hours can be a challenging time for your baby as they learn to feed and stay awake enough to do so. If your baby isn't interested in feeding every two hours on the dot, don't be concerned.
You might be surprised to discover how little your baby is consuming on their first day of life. This is totally natural, so don't be concerned. Bear in mind that your baby is only drinking colostrum before your milk arrives (around postpartum day three).
Colostrum is a concentrated superfood that is high in calories and nutrients, which is why it is sufficient even in small doses for the first few days. Consider the importance of consistency over quantity. For the first 24 hours of life, a stable infant can drink about 1/2 ounce of colostrum on average. Of course, each baby is different!
When should you start feeding your newborn baby?
Newborns are at their most alert an hour or two after birth, which is why breastfeeding should begin as soon as possible. If you skip that active stage, your baby can become sleepier later, making it more difficult to practice latching on for that first feed.
You can continue to give your baby the breast every two to three hours if they’re not showing signs of wanting to latch. It will take some time for your baby to figure out the right way to latch, so be patient while they learn.
When you're in hospital, keep track of your baby's feeding times and the amount of wet and dirty diapers he or she has had. Your nurse and doctor will be able to tell you whether your baby needs more motivation to nurse or whether you should supplement.
Feeding by weight
Your baby can eat 2.5 ounces for every pound they weigh, on average. If your baby weighs 10 pounds, he or she can consume 25 ounces a day.
How many ounces do formula-fed babies need each day?
Your formula-fed baby will drink about 2 to 3 ounces (60 to 90 milliliters) of formula per feed after the first few days, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
They'll have to eat every three to four hours or so. When compared to a breastfed baby, who eats every two to three hours, this is a significant difference. Your baby should be eating about 4 ounces every four hours by the time they’re a month old.
How much do breastfed babies need to eat?
You won't be counting your baby's ounces for feedings if you're solely breastfeeding. Instead, you'll be feeding your baby on demand, or whenever they're hungry. Babies can feed every two to three hours during the first few months of life, although this can vary. The feeding routine begins when your baby begins to breastfeed.
In the first few weeks, if your baby starts eating at 2 pm and nurses for 40 minutes, they will be able to eat again at 4pm - hello human milk shop! Your baby can nurse more or less frequently at times. If your baby is sick, they may want to nurse more. Nursing is a calming tool as well as an immune booster. If they're going through a growth spurt and need more calories, they may want to consume more.
When your baby is finished, they can push away from you or stop latching on their own until they are ready again. If you're exclusively breastfeeding, practice self-care to maintain your milk supply and pay attention to your baby's signals on how much to feed them.
Rather than sticking to a rigid schedule, it's better to feed your baby when they're hungry. Consult your doctor to ensure that your child is growing and developing normally.