How Much Should a Newborn Eat?
The most important task you have as a new mother is to make sure your baby gets enough food, and it can be daunting for the first few weeks. Whether you have decided to breastfeed your baby or use formula, it’s important to keep your baby on a feeding schedule.
How much should a newborn eat?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a breastfed baby should eat as often and as long as they want. Most newborns nurse every 2 to 3 hours, which ends up being around 8 to 12 feedings a day. For breastfed babies, you should let your baby be your guide, so offer a meal whenever your baby shows signs of hunger. If your baby seems very sleepy, you should still wake them to make sure he gets at least eight feedings in 24 hours.
Formula feeding is a little more complicated. However, there isn’t a single number that works for everyone. The amount you feed your baby will be dependent on its weight, age, and appetite, but a good rule of thumb is that a baby will drink 2 to 2 ½ ounces of formula per pound of body weight within 24 hours. With a ten-pound baby, that ends up being 20 to 24 ounces per day.
If you are doing a combination of formula and breastmilk, it’s important to listen to your baby’s hunger and fullness cues. Instead of measuring how much food your baby is getting, let them nurse until they’re not hungry anymore. The only way to feed a baby too much is by forcing it to eat, so as long as you are letting your baby lead the feedings, you will be okay.
As your baby starts eating solids, the amount of milk they drink will slowly taper off, and at the 12-month mark, they will probably have little interest in drinking formula or nursing. As long as your baby is gaining an appropriate amount of weight, there is little reason for you to worry about exactly how much they drink a day.