If you’re trying to figure out how much a newborn eats, you’re not alone. Newborns can take between 1/2 and 1 ounce of formula at each feeding, and they grow to take two or three ounces every three or four hours by the time they’re a month old. But as they get older, their feeding frequency increases to four or five times a day.
Breast milk and formula should provide nearly all of your baby’s calories at this early age. According to Natalie Muth, a pediatrician and co-author of the book “The Picky Eater Project”, a pediatrician and R.D.N., you should give Baby no more than 32 ounces of formula in a day. However, your baby may not finish the bottle every time.
While you’re unsure of what your newborn needs, try to feed him frequently, at least four to six times daily. Newborns will generally only drink half an ounce each time they feed, but they should consume more than that. A baby’s cries will signal he’s hungry. So keep your eyes peeled for cues and give your newborn a snack every few hours or so.
The first two weeks of a newborn’s life are filled with confusion and questions. In the meantime, try to be patient and trust your baby’s instincts. Feeding your baby when he wants to is the best way to avoid any confusion or unnecessary anxiety. Keep in mind that a newborn’s stomach will grow and change quickly. A newborn’s growth is rapid and your baby will be eating more food than you can possibly imagine.
If you’re breastfeeding, follow the guidelines in your baby’s feeding chart. Breastfed babies will take approximately 2 to 3 ounces per feeding, but they can start out at four ounces. Formula will digest slower, so a baby will drink fewer ounces at each feeding. Regardless of how often you feed your baby, he will likely need fewer ounces in one feeding than a formula baby.
Feeding your newborn frequently is vital for his nutritional needs. Your baby may want to eat once every two or three hours, while other babies might need to eat more frequently. It’s important to feed your baby as often as you can and follow its cues. You can often tell if your baby is getting enough by seeing whether he wets his diapers after every three to four hours.
Newborns have a strong thirst drive and will often drink enough breast milk or formula before becoming dehydrated. Juice, on the other hand, may fool their regulating mechanism. Consequently, most pediatricians don’t recommend giving juice to newborns before 12 months. Older babies can start drinking juice, but it should be limited to six ounces a day and should be fruit or vegetable juice.
Breastfeeding mothers will often feed their babies on demand, not measuring the number of ounces per feeding. Breastfeeding mothers should strive to establish an on-demand feeding schedule, so they can keep their supply up and their baby in control. Typically, newborns will feed at least three times a day, but some babies will feed multiple times a day or even more! The first month of feedings is the most confusing, but important time.