How Many Times Should You Feed Your Baby In A Day?

how many times to feed a newborn

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Are you worried whether your newborn is getting enough nutrition or not? Whether you are breast feeding or bottle feeding your baby, it is natural for you to have many doubts regarding how often to feed newborn.

The feeding habit of each baby tends to be different, so you must make sure that your baby feeds once in every 2 or 3 hours during the first month.

During the next two months, your baby would consume food less frequently. This is because she would have more ounces of breast milk or the formula in a single feed. Some babies will eat more in a short time, which is known as bunch or cluster feeding, and will sleep for longer hours. Whereas some babies are so sleepy during the day that you might have to wake your baby up to feed her. Read more in detail about how often to feed your baby in a day.

Breast Feeding Your Newborn:

If you are breastfeeding your baby, you must feed her very often as breast milk gets digested very easily unlike the formula milk.

  • Make sure you feed your baby whenever she demands it or show signs of hunger.
  • This means you have to feed your baby once in 2 hours or more, or at least 8 or 12 times per day.
  • As your baby grows, she will need breast milk once in every 2 or 3 hours.
  • Also remember, it is ideal for you to nurse your baby on each breast for 10 minutes or more in the beginning.

How To Know If Your Newborn Is Getting Enough Breast Milk?

If you are a new mom and have worries about the milk supply when your baby cries after you feed her, check for the following signs:

  • Has wet 6 to 8 cloth nappies or 5 disposable diapers very wet per day.
  • Has normal bowel movement every day.
  • Gains suitable weight as per her age.

When Must You Opt For Bottle Feeding? [2]

Sometimes, certain situations might demand you to feed your baby with infant formula. You must remember that it is safe to opt for an infant formula, after checking with your doctor, when you face the following conditions:

  • Your breasts have low milk supply.
  • Your baby refuses to drink your breast milk.
  • The poop of your baby has a different smell and consistency.
  • Your baby is not gaining enough body weight according to her age.

Bottle Feeding Your Newborn:

How many ounces to feed a newborn? Well, making the transition from breast feeding to bottle feeding is easy when you understand how much milk your infant would need every day.

  • Your newborn baby has to take 2.5 ounces of the formula for every pound she acquires.
  • If your baby is within her first 8 weeks, then you must feed her 6 to 8 times per day.
  • She must have a bottle once in 3 to 4 hours.
  • If she is asleep for 4 hours or more, then wake her up gently to feed her.
  • Make sure that the formula drips from the bottle slowly to avoid over feeding.

Signs Of Hunger In Newborn: 

Rather than making your newborn go through a strict feeding schedule, you can keep a watch for certain signs of hunger in your newborn:

  • Stretching
  • Sticking out her tongue
  • Stirring on the bed
  • Nuzzling your breast
  • Making lip movements
  • Fussy
  • Crying
  • Moves head from one side to another
  • Makes sucking motions

Signs Of An Underfed Newborn:

If your newborn is hungry even after you feed her or is very fussy or cries a lot, it means that she is not getting enough to eat. Look out for a few signs in your newborn that would help you know whether she is full or not:

  • Not gaining enough weight
  • Wets very few diapers per day
  • Irregular movements of bowel
  • Not sleeping properly

Tips To Mommies:

  • While the thumb rule is that all babies need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours, the thing to remember here is that every baby is different and may have different needs.
  • A few hours here or there are fine, and your baby may want a feed in about an hour, or may want to wait for even 4 hours for a feed.
  • As a mother, try and understand the signs that your baby is hungry and feed her accordingly.
  • Also, listen to your baby’s body.
  • Check her weight and growth in all doctor visits to confirm that she is healthy and fine.

We hope the above points are useful and informative for you in feeding your newborn.

Do you have any additional information or personal experience you would like to share on how often to feed newborn? Do share it here with all the other readers.

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