Whether you are feeding your baby formula or breast milk, the question of how much should a newborn eat is a tough one to answer. Some babies will drink more than others, and the amount they need will vary depending on your baby’s weight. However, if you want to be sure you’re doing it right, you should consult a healthcare provider.
For instance, if your baby is eight weeks old and weighs 10 pounds, you should expect him to need about 25 ounces of liquid in a 24-hour period. If he is a nursing baby, he may be able to suck away two or three ounces per feeding. If he’s a formula-fed baby, his stomach can hold up to 2 1/2 to 5 ounces of milk at a time.
It’s not uncommon for parents to find themselves scratching their heads as to which bottle they should feed their baby. While the AAP recommends waking a newborn up to eat after four to five hours of sleep, it’s a good idea to let the baby decide for himself when it’s time to eat. During the first few months, most babies will eat every three to four hours. During the second and third months, they’ll eat longer intervals.
The amount of food newborn needs will vary from day to day, but a good rule of thumb is that half of your baby’s calories should come from food. This should be supplemented with formula as necessary, to ensure your little one gets enough calories to keep his or her body functioning. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that you give your child 2.5 ounces of formula for each pound of body weight each day.
The AAP also recommends that you introduce solid food in a gradual manner. A growing infant’s palate is adventurous, and it’s a good idea to watch out for possible food allergies. While your baby may not be ready for solid foods until he or she reaches 12 months, it’s a good idea to get him or her started on the right foot. Aside from introducing the right foods, you can help ensure your little one is getting the most out of each meal by introducing a few healthy options at each meal.
A baby’s appetite will fluctuate as they grow, but they’re still likely to need about three to five bottles per day with a total of six to eight wet diapers. For example, a breastfed baby might have five wet diapers in the first two days and three in the next. By the end of the first month, a breastfed baby might have two or three wet diapers in the morning and three in the afternoon.
The AAP’s recommendations for a proper feeding routine aren’t as specific as some of the other charts you’ll find out there. For example, a baby who is fed by breast isn’t going to be as aware of how much milk he or she is drinking as a formula-fed baby. A breastfed baby might take two ounces of milk at a time in the early days, and in the latter stages, they’ll be taking up to four ounces at a time.