How much should baby eat? The answer isn’t always clear cut, but our handy “how many ounces should a baby eat chart” can help. Here we summarize just how much your little bundle needs, on average, at each stage of their development.
In this article: 📝
- How much should your baby eat?
- Your at-a-glance baby feeding chart — how many ounces should a baby drink a day?
- How to tell your baby is hungry
- How much breastmilk does a newborn need?
- How much formula does a newborn need?
- How much food does your baby need? Follow their lead
How much should your baby eat?
Whether you’re breastfeeding, formula feeding, or combining the two, working out how much your baby should be eating at any given time is an ever-evolving challenge.
Thankfully, babies are pretty good at keeping you informed when it comes to feeding. They’ll let you know when their tummy’s rumbling, they’ll take their fill of boob and/or bottle, and they’ll stop when they’ve had quite enough, thank you.
Letting your baby take the lead is a simple and natural way of approaching feeding — but it’s also helpful to know how much they need in general as they grow and develop.
Here, we summarize the key feeding stages, share some common hunger cues, and explain how much food breast and formula-fed babies need.
Your at-a-glance baby feeding chart — how many ounces should a baby drink a day?
If you’re wondering how much your baby should eat at certain ages and stages, this baby feeding chart should help.
It’s worth remembering that every baby is different, and some will need more food depending on their body weight, age, and appetite. So, how many ounces per pound should a baby eat?
A quick way to calculate this is to multiply your baby’s weight by two and a half. For example, a 10-pound baby will typically need 25 ounces of breastmilk or formula a day. Yay, math.
How to tell your baby is hungry
Learning your baby’s hunger cues is a crucial step towards making sure they’re well-fed. Beyond crying their little heart out, here are a few common signs that your little person’s ready for their next meal:
- Sucking on their fingers and hands
- Sucking on their tongue
- Nuzzling against your chest or breasts
- Smacking their lips
- Turning their head and opening their mouth when you stroke their cheek (known as the “rooting reflex”)
How much breastmilk does a newborn need?
Newborns will generally feed for between 20 and 30 minutes at a time every two to three hours. This adds up to 8-12 feedings a day.
Bear in mind that there will be days where your baby feeds almost non-stop. These cluster feeds tend to coincide with growth spurts, and things usually revert back to a more predictable pattern after a day or so.
It’s best to not let newborns snooze through a feed (however tempting it might be). Aim for at least 8 feeds a day, even if that means disturbing their beauty rest.
How much formula does a newborn need?
How much formula for baby? During the first few weeks, between 1 and 3 ounces of formula every three to four hours should do the trick. How much should a one month old eat? At one month old, aim for around 4 ounces every four hours. How many ounces of formula for a 6 month old? By 6 months, between 24 and 36 ounces across four or five feedings is a good rule of thumb.
Just remember to watch for those hunger cues. If baby still seems hungry after they’ve polished off a bottle, offer them more. On the other hand, if they start fidgeting before the bottle’s empty, they’re probably full. Don’t force them to finish it, or it could reappear on your favorite sweater.
What if you’re combination feeding?
If you’re combining breast and bottle, adapt the guidelines in our table above. Follow your baby’s cues as to when they’re hungry or full and you’ll soon find the right balance and routine.
How much food does your baby need? Follow their lead
Feeding your baby isn’t an exact science, and some days they’ll eat more or less than the amounts listed in this article. Still, remember that your baby is a good judge of what they need and when — and they won’t be shy in telling you.
Spot their cues, follow their lead, settle into a routine, and enjoy every step. It’ll be time for finger foods before you know it.
🥣 Read more:
Best Baby Food Recipes
What are the Best First Foods for a Baby?
Why I Chose to Formula Feed
Newborn Baby Feeding Schedule Ideas
A Nifty Guide to Bottle Feeding
How Long is Formula Good For?
How to Make a Kid-Friendly Breakfast