How Much Milk Does Your Baby Need In The First Few Days?

how much milk to feed a newborn baby

Congratulations! You are now the happiest parent on earth! As your new baby nestles in your arms and you look at you, there are a thousand questions that will be running through your mind.

As a new mum, most things related to your baby will be confusing. One of these things is how much to feed your newborn baby.

Feeding your baby for the first time is as exhilarating as giving birth. Every aspect, from holding your baby correctly to feeding her the right amount of milk, is a cause for concern. When it comes to the quantity of milk that your newborn baby takes in, it is difficult to fix a measure. Every baby’s need is different, so you will have to respond to the same.

How Much Milk To Feed A Newborn Baby:

While no one can specifically say how much milk newborn babies drink when you breastfeed, here are some approximate figures according to age of the baby:

First day5-7 ml per feed
Second day12-14 ml per feed
Third day35-38 ml per feed
Fourth day55-58 ml per feed
One weekAbout 65 ml per feed

[ Read: How To Latch Baby On Breast ]

Signs Your Baby Is Full:

The exact amount that your baby drinks each time cannot be measured. However, once she is satiated, she will show these signs:

  • Pushes out the nipple from the mouth.
  • Seem to be sleepy or dizzy.
  • Stays calm and looks around instead of holding on to you.

You will soon learn to observe these signs when your baby has her tummy full.

How Long You Should Feed?

This is also something that differs for all babies. Some factors which will impact the time taken for a feed are – the ease with which your milk flows, alertness of your baby while feeding and positioning of your baby.

Here are some general guidelines that will help you understand how much milk to feed a newborn baby:

  • On the first few days, your baby will not be able to take in much milk at once. So the feeding sessions will be frequent and longer. They may stretch up to 40-45 minutes at a time and be barely an hour and a half apart.
  • Once you have a smooth supply of breast milk and your baby has got into the habit of feeding, the sessions may last for 15-20 minutes. Also, they will be less frequent.
  • On an average, a newborn baby needs to be fed about 10 to 12 times a day.
  • Make sure to feed the baby long enough each time so that she can have the milk that comes in towards the end. This will be creamier and filling. With this milk, your baby will not only stay full for longer, but will also gain weight quickly.

[ Read: Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding ]

When To Feed Your Newborn?

This one is a tricky question. You may be asked to follow a time schedule for feeding, which can be every hour or so. But a better way to time your feeds is by observing your baby for signs that she is hungry and needs to be fed.

These signs can be:

  • Sucking the thumb or the fist.
  • Licking the lips.
  • Opening her mouth and searching for your breast.
  • Moving the head from one side to other.
  • Puckering the lips as if to suck.

Reacting timely to your baby’s hunger signs will be the best course of action. If kept waiting for long, your baby may get irritated and weak. Also, the milk in your body is produced according to the demand of the baby. So, feeding frequently and when she is hungry will give signals to your system to produce more milk.

A key to remember here is to ensure you feed your baby every two hours.

[ Read: Breastfeeding In Public ]

Signals Of Proper Feeding:

There are some signs that will tell you whether you are providing enough milk to your newborn or not:

  • Breasts will soften during feeds.
  • Your baby will gain weight consistently.
  • She will wet about six diapers every day.
  • The bowel movements will be smooth and the stool will be soft and yellowish instead of dark and grainy.

[ Read: Food To Increase Breast Milk ]

On the other hand, if your baby is fussy and does not seem to gain weight as expected, then your feeds may be less than sufficient.

Learning about how much to feed a newborn baby may take some time. But you will always have people who can guide you. So do not worry and let her suck on to her heart’s content.

Don’t forget to share your experiences with us.

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