Our site uses cookies to make your experience on this site even better. We hope you think that is sweet.

How Often Do Newborns (1-3 Months) Need To Be Fed?

4 min read

Now that you have got your bundle of joy securely in your arms, it is time to think about feeding the child. We try to answer some commonly asked questions on newborn’s baby schedule in this write-up.
Feeding newborn

What Should You Feed A Newborn Baby?

Babies will get all nutrition they need from the breast milk. If you are not in a position to breast feed your baby, you can opt for an age-appropriate, doctor-recommended formula. Your doctor might even suggest a combination of breast and formula milk. The important thing to remember here is that do not feed your baby anything other than breast milk or formula milk. Not cow’s milk. Not even water. No matter what anyone says.

How Often Should The Newborns Be Fed?

Most newborns need 8-12 feeding sessions in one day. However, this varies slightly for breastfed babies and formula-fed babies. Babies evolve in their feeding cycles and consume more milk during each feed gradually.

  1. Feeding schedule for exclusively breastfed babies: These babies tend to feed more often than the formula-fed babies. For the initial 2 months, they will require a feeding every 2-3 hours. By third month their tummy’s capacity will grow, leading to more milk intake during each feeding session and hence lesser number of feeding sessions. Let your baby take the lead here. You do not need to offer her milk every time she is awake. She will show signs of hunger by being cranky, irritable or alert, putting her fingers in her mouth or by smacking her lips. Watch out for such hunger cues
  2. Feeding schedule for formula-fed babies: Formula takes more time to digest than mother’s milk because it is not natural. This is the reason formula-fed babies feed less frequently than their exclusively breastfed counterparts. On an average, they will require a feed every 3-4 hours. Again, by the third month the frequency of the feeds will reduce and you can generally increase the amount of formula prepared by few milliliters after consulting with the doctor
  3. Feeding schedule during growth spurts: All the above mentioned schedules go for a toss during growth spurts. In these few days they will feed more often and longer. This is completely normal and does not mean they are not getting enough during each feed. They will go back to their normal schedule after few days
How Will I Know My Baby Is Getting Enough Milk?

After a few weeks post the baby’s birth, the feeding times take longer, babies drink more milk and wake need to feed less often and sleep for longer periods. The baby should seem alert and content, should be gaining weight, and should be soiling diapers regularly.

Should A Sleeping Newborn Be Woken Up For Feeding?

This generally depends on the age, weight and general health of your child. But as a rule, it is better to wake your baby for feeding every 2-3 hours for the first 2-3 weeks. This is because your baby loses up to 10% of her birth weight during the initial days. So a systematic feeding schedule will help her regain her lost weight and start a normal weight gain pattern. Once this is achieved – mostly after the initial month – then you need not wake up a sleeping baby for her scheduled feed. Do on-demand feeding – meaning feed only when the baby demands.
Bottlefeeding newborn

How Does The Feeding Schedule For Premature Babies Vary?

The above mentioned feeding schedules do not apply for premature babies who come with special nutritional needs. Please check with your doctor about the feeding schedule as it needs to be customized for each child. Broadly, preemies require more frequent feedings of lesser quantities than full-term babies. Additionally, your doctor might recommend iron and vitamin supplements.

How Much Should The Baby Drink During Each Feed?

This should be baby-led. Your baby will give you enough cues about if her little tummy is full or if she needs more. Watch out for her mood, activity level, bowel movements and so on to get an idea. If you are worried whether your child is fed well or if your child demands a feed much more frequently than is described in this article (e.g. every hour), then read this piece here.
If your baby is formula-fed, do not try to finish the bottle every time. Keep in mind that feeding has to be baby-led. If she has had enough, she has had enough.

How To Avoid Too Much Spitting Up?

Spitting up is very common and normal. However, you can reduce the chances of spitting up by doing the following:

  1. Understanding your baby’s hunger schedule and starting the feed before the baby feels hungry. This avoids gas build up in the stomach, reducing spit ups
  2. Keeping the baby slightly upright during the feeding, and not fully horizontal
  3. Avoiding overfeeding
  4. Burping in regular intervals
  5. Avoiding rough play with the baby

Read more about spitting and burping babies here

Responses (0)

Please check a captcha

Want personalized reading and shopping suggestions for your exact stage of pregnancy?

Come on, sell the idea of signing up with us in two lines so well that they HAVE to sign up.

image

Top 5 picks

  • 1

     Is It Safe to Take Alprazolam (Xanax) While Breastfeeding?

  • 2

    'Baby Talking' Or 'Parentese' - What's Your Pick?

  • 3

    10 Alarming Postnatal Symptoms That Need Medical Attention

  • 4

    10 Best Weaning Foods For Your Baby

  • 5

    10 Common Mistakes That New Parents Make

Want curated content sharply tailored for your exact stage of pregnancy?

165+ Services.

6+ Cities.

60K+ Parents Reviewed.

Explore Local Services.

Get regular updates, great recommendations and other right stuff at the right time.