Baby Basics: How Often and How Much Should I Feed My Baby?
These are questions new parents often ask and often don’t but probably should! Whenever we meet with a family, we always discuss feeding and routines as they play a vital role in how babies feel and as a result how they behave. If a baby is fractious, unsettled or fussy, it is often the result of hunger or tiredness and sometimes discomfort from feeding too much or too frequently.
Baring in mind that all babies are different, the table below is intended as a guide to use as a starting point and to help you work out how often and how much to feed your baby. Bigger babies (on the 75th percentile and above) may need bigger feeds. Smaller babies (on the 25th percentile and below) may need smaller feeds or may need to feed slightly more frequently.
There is the belief that breastfed babies should always be fed on demand, but unfortunately their hunger queues are often misread as they get beyond the newborn phase of 12/16 weeks and this can lead to them being fed more frequently than they need (are demanding), which can lead to discomfort from “over-feeding” or grazing which leaves them never feeling fully satisfied.
The amount of time you spend breastfeeding can vary massively, depending on your milk supply, your let-down and how efficiently your baby feeds. In the early days (0-8 weeks) babies can often feed for over 45 minutes every couple of hours. The length of these feeds should start to reduce as breastfeeding becomes established and many babies feed for 15-30 minutes or less at each feed. If you find you are still regularly feeding for over 45 minutes when your baby is 4 months or older, you may have fallen into comfort feeding because you are misreading your baby’s queues.
|Age||Breast Feeds per day||Bottle Feeds Amount / per day|
|0-6 weeks||on demand – 8-12 feeds||On demand 1-3 ounces / 8-12 feeds|
|6-12 weeks||on demand – 6-10 feeds||on demand 2-4 ounces / 6-10 feeds|
|12-16 weeks||6-8 feeds||3-5 ounces / 6-8|
|4-5 months||6-8 feeds||4-6 ounces / 6-8|
|5-6 months||6-8 feeds||5-7 ounces / 6-8|
|6-7 months||5-7 feeds||5-7 ounces / 5-7 feeds|
|7-10 months||4-5 feeds||5-7 ounces / 4-5 feeds|
|10-14 months||3-4 feeds||5-7 ounces / 3-4 feeds|
|12-18 months||2-3 feeds||6-7 ounces / 2-3 feeds|
If you are feeding a lot more or less than the amounts in the table above and would like some tips to help you to work out how much and how often your baby needs to feed, we can look at your current feeding patterns and write a bespoke, flexible routine for you to follow. Just give Dee Booth a call on 07977 462252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . A one hour call to look at routines and feeding is £115 and comes with 3 follow-up support calls.