Feeding your infant


If you can breastfeed, do so. There are big benefits for both mother and baby. But no matter if you choose breast milk or formula, your doctor will support you. The tips below give some useful information about feeding.


Just feed on demand

Your baby knows what he or she needs. Look for the early signs of hunger. (See our “Hunger signs” article.) Typically, newborns need 10–12 feedings per day. That works out to every two to three hours. But you don’t need to watch the clock. You and your baby will soon find your own routine.

Sometimes, babies want to feed often in a short time. These “cluster feeds” tend to happen in the first two weeks and during growth spurts. Just ride it out as best you can. If you pay attention to your baby’s hunger and fullness signs, you can’t go wrong.


How much milk do babies need?

Every baby is different. But, in general, a newborn will take one-and-a-half to three ounces (45–90 ml) of formula or pumped breast milk per feeding. 

At two months of age, that will go up to four to five ounces (120–150 ml) at each feeding. Feedings may be every three to four hours. 

At four months, your baby may take four to six ounces (120–180 ml). Much of this depends on how often you feed and your baby’s size.

Is your baby getting enough?

Parents often worry if their babies are getting enough breast milk or formula. Just follow the guidelines. Don’t worry too much about the details. Instead, look for:

  • Steady weight gain. (Your doctor will help you track this.
  • Being happy and content between feedings.
  • How much your baby pees and poops. After day five, babies should have at least six wet diapers and three or more bowel movements (poops) per day.

Know when to call your doctor

Call your doctor if your baby:

  1. Wets fewer than six diapers a day
  2. Isn’t pooping
  3. Has no interest in feeding

Don’t forget to ask your doctor about vitamin D. This vitamin is important for all newborns, but even more for those that are breastfed. Your doctor will likely want you to start taking vitamins right away. Keep taking them until your baby is at least one month old.

Remember that breast milk and formula is mostly water. Your baby won’t need any extra water, even in the summer.