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How much should a newborn eat? How do you know when the baby is full? How often should you feed the baby? Parents with newborn children often struggle with getting right the dynamics of feeding the latest addition to their family. Here is all you need to know about feeding your baby correctly.

How Do I Know My Baby Is Hungry?

Crying is often mistaken as a baby’s first response to hunger. However, while crying can be a sign that the baby should be fed, remember too that there may be other underlying causes such as discomfort, overstimulation and the need to be held.

Other signs that your baby needs to be fed include

  • Rotation of the head from side to side
  • Puckering of the mouth in a sucking motion
  • Sucking on thumbs or other fingers
  • Bringing their hands in balled fists close to their mouths
  • Snuggling mother’s breasts
  • Moving the head towards the direction of a caress

Being aware of each of these signs will be key to learning how to read your baby and identify feeding times.

How Much Should a Newborn Eat?

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Newborns are voracious little eaters. So, how much should a newborn baby eat? Expect to feed them at least eight times within a 24-hour period. Anticipate a feeding session that lasts as much as 30 minutes. This is normal as the newborn is getting into a new routine of life. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages first-time parents to let their children feed as often as needed.

How Much Should My Formula-Fed Baby Eat?

All babies are different. For this reason, even their feeding habits and appetites will be different. It’s key to keep this in mind when considering the information presented below. These numbers are just a guideline. Let your own baby guide you on when they are full or hungry.

So, if you were wondering how much a newborn baby should eat per feeding here are some numbers for you! Newborn babies less than 6 months old will take on average, 2 to 2 ½ ounces of formula per pound of body weight. This is within any given 24-hour time frame. You might notice that at the onset, the baby seems very hungry, but as they grow bigger the pace at which they eat their feeding schedule will decrease.

Here are recommendations for the formula:

Initial weeks of feeding: 1 to 3 ounces of formula spaced out over a feeding schedule that’s three to four hours apart.

By month one: increase formula to 4 ounces every four hours.

By month six: increase the formula to 36 ounces spaced out into five feedings per day.

How Much Breast Milk or Formula Should I Give My Baby After Starting Solids?

Not every woman can breastfeed every day and hence the importance of the need to introduce formula. Babies should drink from the breast or take formula until they turn one year. As more solid food is introduced into your baby’s diet, the quantities required for milk and or formula will subsequently reduce.

How Do I Know if My Baby Isn’t Getting Enough To Eat?

While babies are known to be fussy, at times the underlying cause of their fussiness is not getting enough to eat. In addition, breastfed newborns should experience at least 5 bowel movements per day and have their diapers changed 8 to 12 times. Formula-fed newborns should have 4 bowel movements and have their diapers changed at least 6 times per day.

Another tell-tale sign that your baby isn’t getting enough to eat is if there is no weight gain, or too little weight gain. An average newborn baby should put on 4 to 7 ounces each week. The best person to discuss your baby’s feeding concerns with is the baby’s pediatrician.

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Author Joy of Life

Joy of Life is a compassionate surrogacy agency committed to creating life, fostering joy and nurturing dreams. We are experts in our field, with team members boasting extensive experience in the clinical, psychological and legal aspects of surrogacy. But more than that, we are a family — a community bound by the shared purpose of helping others realize the joy of parenthood.

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