When a baby is born, many mums worry about how much their baby is feeding on, correct? So how much milk should your baby drink? What are the right infant feeding amounts? lets find out!
Infant feeding amounts – Breastfed babies
A baby should not go more than 4 hours without feeding.
Even if your baby is fast asleep, ensure to wake them up every 4 hours atleast in their early weeks of life for a feed.
At first, when breast milk hasn’t established, your baby will take in smaller amounts. However, as your baby grows and your milk supply amps up, your baby will be able to take in more milk in less time at one feeding.
Your supply will flow more and flow more faster as your baby learns the sucking motions. That’s when you will be able to put a time on each feeding session to ensure your baby has had a proper feed and is full.
Amount of feeds per day according to age:
- 1 to 3 months: 8 to 10 times per 24 hours.
- 3 months: 7 to 9 times in 24 hours.
- 6 months: 6 to 8 times in 24 hours
- 12 months: 3 to 4 times in 24 hours, with the addition of Solids
Do bare in mind that all babies are different. Although the majority may follow a routine, not all will.
Infant feeding amounts – Bottle-fed babies
A baby should be fed on demand whether their breast fed or bottle fed. On average, that’s about every 2 to 3 hours for bottle fed babies. A typical infant feeding schedule may look like this:
- Newborn: every 2 to 3 hours
- 2 months: every 3 hours
- 4 to 6 months: every 3-4 hours
- 6+ months: every 3-5 hours
Things to avoid for breastfed and bottle fed babies – Infant feeding amounts
- Avoid liquids until baby is over the age of 1. Except Formula or breast milk. Juices or Cows Milk are a no-no. Your babies digestive system isn’t developed for heavy foods yet. Yes cow’s milk is a food too! They also don’t provide the right nutrients your baby needs. Introduce Water when your baby is above 6 months. Only Water.
- Don’t add baby cereal to a bottle.
- Becomes a choking hazard.
- Clogs baby bottle teat
- Don’t give your baby honey until after the age of 1. Honey can be dangerous for a baby, it can cause, what’s called an infant botulism.
But what if your baby is still hungry? – infant feeding amounts
General rule of thumb, if your baby is still hungry, feed them.
Your baby will naturally want to eat more frequently during growth spurts, which occur around 2-3 weeks, 2-3 months, and 6 months of age.
Some babies “cluster feed,” meaning they’ll feed more frequently during certain periods and less at others. This is when they like to drink lots at one specific time (usually nights) which allows them to go longer without feeds.
This doesn’t mean you should overfeed them at the next feed or distract their sleep. Try to understand your baby’s rhythm when they do cluster feed. It’s more common in breast fed babies as formula fed babies get a set amount of ounces each time.
Still worried? The best way to determine whether your baby is feeding right or over feeding, is their weight. Also their hunger cues will help determine whether it’s a hungry cue or a comfort cue.
Related: is my baby weighing right?
Growing babies – infant feeding amounts
As your baby grows, you will eventually move them off milk and onto solids.
You can start with puree foods to foods that have more textures and flavour as they get older.
If your not a fan of making your baby’s own foods, you can have a look at your supermarket who should offer a variety of baby food products.
In my opinion, making your own baby food for your baby is best. That way you can control what goes in your baby’s tum tum. Keep home made baby foods sugar and salt free.
Additionally, as your baby grows you need to ensure they are supervised at all times during eating. From around 10 months of age babies can start eating themselves by picking up their own foods. Just don’t feed your baby anything that could become a choking hazard, for example:
- hard foods, such as sweets, popcorn or nuts
- hard fruits, such as apples with peel. Alternatively cook to soften the apple or chop it into very small pieces
- meat that isn’t well cooked
As your baby continues to grow they will start to eat a variety of foods. Make sure you include a variety of food types in their daily meals, such as carbs, fibres, protein and minerals. Your baby should be taking in about 4 ounces of solids at each meal, along with their milk – which most likely will be around 30 ounces a day.
Related: Need a baby feeding schedule? I’ve got you covered!
Top Tip: When introducing new foods to your baby stick with that food for 3 to 5 days before offering another. If there’s an allergic reaction (rash, diarrhoea, vomiting are usually the common first signs), you will know what food is causing it.
My daughter developed a severe nappy rash when being switched from formula to cows milk. I guess her body didn’t suit it. Luckily at that phase, cows milk was the only thing I had changed in her routine which must have triggered it. Was I right? YES. I switched her to goats milk and her rash cleared up.
Food Feeding tips for your baby – infant feeding amounts
Here are some things to consider when feeding your baby:
– As mentioned above, when starting solid foods, give your baby one new food at a time — Not a different variety all at once. That way if your baby is allergic to any of them you will find out quicker rather than playing the guessing game.
Some baby’s may not be allergic to the food, there body may just not tolerate it. After some months or even a year you can try that food again, once their digestive system has matured a little more. If the reaction persists then avoid as you baby most likely will be allergic to that food.
– Start with small amounts of new solid foods — start with a teaspoon at first and then slowly increase to a tablespoon and so on.
– When introducing foods to your baby, start with dry infant cereal first, followed by vegetables, fruits, and then meats at the end.
– Avoid using salt or sugar when making homemade infant foods.
– Avoid canned foods as these may contain large amounts of salt, sugar and other preservatives.
– Always wash fruits and vegetables and remove seeds or pits.
– Stick to Infant cereals with iron in them for up to the age of 18 months.
– Introduce cow’s milk after the age of 1.
– If you wish to give your infant under the age of 1 juice, ensure to dilute the juice with water and offer it in a cup with their meal.
– Never feed food via a bottle. Always use a spoon.
– Avoid honey under the age of 1.
– Don’t put your baby in bed with a bottle propped in their mouth. This can lead to ear infections (due to the feeding position LINK) and once your baby’s teeth are present, propping the bottle can also cause tooth decay. It can also cause choking if baby is left unsupervised with a bottle propped in their mouth.
– Allow your baby to tell you when their full. Learn to teach your baby to eat only when they are hungry and not out of comfort.
– Avoid giving your baby foods that can cause choking. Some examples of those foods can be nuts, seeds, hard candies, popcorn etc.
– Always supervise your infant whilst eating. Ensure they are seated when eating or drinking. Sitting down is the best position to eat and drink in.
– Give your infant water through out the day.
– Explore new foods with your baby. Don’t limit your baby’s food choices to only a few. Let them explore the different flavour’s and textures. Offering a wide variety of foods in early stages will create good eating habits later in life. They will be less picky for sure!
– Allow your baby to eat a balanced diet. You do not need to restrict their diet, unless advised by your health care professional.
As long as you feed your baby healthy amounts of what they need, they will grow to be healthy children leading to a healthy happy life.
Related: Best feeding positions for your baby