How often & how much should your baby eat?

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Highlights
  • Breastmilk or infant formula should be your baby’s sole source of nutrition until about the middle of the first year and a major source of nutrition until they’re 12 months old.
  • Breastfed babies usually feed more often than formula-fed babies.
  • 6 to 8 wet diapers a day and a consistent growth pattern help you know your baby is getting enough to eat.

It’s common to wonder if your little one is getting enough breastmilk or formula at each feeding. For the first 4 to 6 months, breastmilk or formula should be your baby’s sole source of nutrition, and the major source of nutrition throughout the first year.

Along with paying attention to your baby’s growth pattern, your pediatrician will also help you monitor your little one’s growth to help ensure he is eating enough.

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Is he getting enough?

If you’re wondering whether or not your baby is getting enough breastmilk or formula, it’s good to use his own hunger and fullness cues as a general guide.

Here are a few more helpful hints to keep in mind from the American Academy of Pediatrics:

  • Younger babies feed more frequently than older babies. Young babies should be fed about 8 to 12 times in a 24-hour period. Newborn breastfed babies usually feed about every 2 to 3 hours, which tends to be more frequently than formula-fed babies.
  • By the end of the first month, he may be drinking about 3 to 4 fl. oz. every 3 to 4 hours.
  • If your baby has 6 to 8 wet diapers a day and seems satisfied after feeding, it’s a good sign that he’s getting enough.
  • Your baby may not eat the same amount each day, so pay attention to his hunger and fullness cues to tell you when he has had enough.
  • When babies weigh more than 12 pounds, most formula-fed babies no longer need a feeding in the middle of the night. He will be feeding more during the day and his sleeping patterns will become more regular. However, this will certainly vary from baby to baby. 

Grow, baby, grow!

MyGerber Tools can help you keep track of how much your baby eats as they start to sprout, and can log how your body changes during pregnancy, too! 

Growth check

You might notice at each checkup that your baby’s pediatrician will measure your baby’s length, weight and head circumference, and plot the information on a growth chart. What’s most important is that your baby continues to grow in a steady way.

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