Like every new mother, you’re now probably wondering ‘how much should a newborn eat?’ and ‘how many ounces does a newborn drink?.’ Your body has been designed to give your baby all the nutrients theyneed, but we all need a little practical guidance and reassurance when it comes to learning how much milk a newborn should drink.
Whether you opt for breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or a combination of the two, here you’ll find all the essential information you need to know about getting the right newborn feeding amount for healthy growth and development of your infant.
Signs that your baby is hungry
Mothers have wonderful instincts, but we’re not all mind readers at the beginning! You’ll gradually become very familiar with your baby’s unique gestures and signs of hunger. In the meantime, here are a few of the most common signs your baby is telling you they’re hungry:
Moving head towards your breast or bottle
Putting hands to mouth
Puckering, smacking, or licking lips
If your baby shows any of these signs, he or she may be trying to tell you that it’s time to eat. Ideally, your baby should be feeding on demand, when he or she is hungry. If you are breastfeeding, this is a healthy way to help maintain your milk supply, as your body will naturally respond to your baby’s needs and continue to produce the right amount of milk. Bottle feeding on demand can be also beneficial for the infant as they are able to self-regulate their feeding needs.
How much breast milk should a newborn eat?
So how much do newborns eat? The wonderful thing about babies is that every one is unique, and because of that, no baby will ever feed by the book. Don’t panic if the following guidelines don’t match your own feeding schedule exactly, but do get in touch with your doctor or your child’s pediatrician if you have any concerns.
In general, newborns drink every two to three hours for a total of eight to 12 times every 24 hours. How many ounces does a newborn drink? At first, you will only produce small amounts of breast milk called colostrum, a yellowish, thick milk. This milk is the perfect source of nutrients that your newborn needs with many immunologic properties.1
How many ounces does a newborn eat? Babies only ingest about one to two ounces per feeding, an amount that will increase to about two to three ounces at two weeks of age. So don’t worry if it seems that you aren’t producing much milk in these first few days after birth! The feeding sessions will also change in terms of duration, starting between 10 to 30 minutes and gradually increasing as your newborn grows.
How much breast milk to bottle feed a newborn
If you decide to bottle feed your breast milk from time to time, feed your newborn for the same duration as with breastfeeding. Should you choose to do so, pumping is a wonderful option to feed your baby breast milk, while giving your nipples a break and providing you with more control of timing and schedule.
It’s also important to consider a bottle that helps helps to make bottle feeding more natural for your baby and you, such as the Philips Natural Baby Bottle. Its ultra-soft, breast-shaped nipple encourages a natural latch and mimics the feel of a breast, making the switch between breast and bottle as smooth as possible for you and your baby.
How do you know when your baby is no longer hungry? Whether you choose breast or bottle, look out for these signs that may indicate your newborn is full:
Turns head away from your breast or bottle
Hands are open and relaxed
If your baby shows any signs of being full, ensure that you stop breastfeeding or bottle feeding, even if the bottle is not empty.2
The right choice for you and your baby
Remember that every baby is different and there is no other bond that is quite like yours. Choose the feeding option that best works for you and your newborn, whether that be breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or a combination of both.
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