Your tiny human is now earthside, and you’re realizing there’s a lot to learn about this baby business — including their feeding schedule. How are you supposed to know when you should feed them, how much you should feed them, and how on earth are you ever going to get anything done, ever, when your baby wants to eat all the time?! We understand!
It’s a whole new world, but never fear – we’re here to answer some of your questions about your newborn baby feeding schedule.
In this article: 📝
- What is the best feeding schedule for newborns?
- How long do babies need to eat every 3 hours?
- When will baby have a regular feeding schedule?
- Infant feeding schedule changes
- How do I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?
- How many ounces should a baby eat?
- 6 months old baby feeding schedule
What is the best feeding schedule for newborns?
A newborn feeding schedule doesn’t really develop right away, so don’t worry if your days are looking anything but organized. Generally, you will want to feed your newborn on demand, not by the clock. Yes, this will mean feeding every two to three hours or more for the first few weeks, which can be exhausting work. But if you’re breastfeeding, it’s the best way to establish your milk supply and your baby’s latch technique. If you’re formula-feeding, it means you’re giving your baby the best chance at healthy weight gain in these precious first weeks.
How long do babies need to eat every 3 hours?
If you’re breastfeeding, expect to feed your baby every two to three hours for at least the first month. Yes, that probably includes nighttime. After a month, your baby will be able to take in more milk at each feed, so they may stretch to every three to four hours.
Breast milk is more quickly digested than formula, so if you’re formula-feeding, you may only need to feed your baby every two to three hours for the first couple of weeks before stretching feeds to every four to six hours. But again, for young babies, it’s usually best to feed them whenever they show hunger cues, regardless of when they last ate.
When will baby have a regular feeding schedule?
At around three months, your baby feeding timeline may change. You may notice your baby stays awake for longer periods and has more predictable naps, so you may be able to fall into a more regular baby feeding schedule.
Infant feeding schedule changes
Remember that each baby will have differing requirements. To ensure weight gain, a premature baby will probably have a different feeding schedule than a full-term baby. You might have a baby who likes to cluster feed then sleep for longer stretches. A colicky baby or babies with reflux might need help with their feeding routine to minimize their discomfort. Growth spurts can also mean feeding schedules go out the window since baby needs more calories to get them through the day (and night). The variations are endless!
How do I tell if my baby is getting enough milk?
If you’re formula-feeding, you will notice your baby tolerating more and more milk at each feed. However, it’s harder to exactly track a breastfed baby’s milk intake. Look out for signs like plenty of wet diapers and healthy weight gain. As always, chat with your doctor if you have any concerns.
How many ounces should a baby eat?
An example of a baby feeding chart might look like this:
Newborn — every 2-3 hours
1-3 months — every 3-4 hours
3-6 months — every 4-6 hours
Newborn — 0.5 to 3oz — every 2-4 hours
1-3 months — 3 to 5oz — every 4-6 hours
3-6 months — 5 to 8oz — every 4-6 hours
6 months old baby feeding schedule
Before you know it, you’ll reach another milestone — your baby starting solids! While a six month old will have a different routine than a nine month old baby feeding schedule, milk will still be their primary source of nutrition until their first birthday.
🍼 You might be interested in:
Why I Chose to Formula Feed
Your Essential Formula Feeding Guide
How Many Ounces Should a Baby Eat? A Chart
A Nifty Guide to Bottle Feeding
How Long is Formula Good For?
Do I Need Special Water for Baby Formula?