Tuesday, October 26, 2021
baby feeding
Baby Health

Baby Feeding Basics

Once I decided to breastfeed my daughter while pumping I had five baby feeding questions:

HOW DO I KNOW SHE’S HUNGRY?

WHAT’S THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF MILK TO FEED HER?

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I BE FEEDING HER?

HOW DO I KNOW SHE’S GETTING ENOUGH MILK?

DO I FEED AT NIGHT?

The lactation specialist and pediatrician explained that I’ll be able to tell she’s hungry and I needed to feed my daughter on demand until she stopped feeding.

They weren’t wrong answers. They just weren’t the most helpful answers. So I asked for more baby feeding basics and more I did receive.

Baby Feeding Basics

SIGNS YOUR BABY IS HUNGRY

  • Placing their hands, fingers, or fists in their mouths
  • Smacking lips
  • Sucking on hands, fingers, fists, or other objects
  • Nuzzling against their mother’s (and sometimes father’s) chest as if they’re searching for a breast
  • Fussiness especially if you’ve tried changing their diaper
  • Hard sucking of pacifier or spitting out pacifier
  • Crying (late sign of hunger)

HOW MUCH MILK OR FORMULA DOES MY BABY NEED IN THE FIRST SIX MONTHS (24 hours)?

Breastfed while pumping

  • Newborns: 8-12oz
  • 2 Weeks: 16-24 oz
  • 1-6 Months: 20-30oz

Baby Formula

  • Newborns: 6-8oz
  • Two Weeks: 12-16oz
  • 1-6 Months: 24-32oz

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FEED MY BABY (24 hours)

Breastfed while pumping

  • Newborns to 2 Months: On demand; 8-12 times
  • 2 to 6 Months: Every 3-4 Hours

Baby Formula

  • Newborns to 1 Month: On demand; 3-4 Hours
  • 1 Month to 6 Months: Every 4-5 Hours

HOW DO I KNOW MY BABY IS EATING ENOUGH?

  • Baby’s swallowing and sucking on bottle or breast will slow down
  • Baby doesn’t try to suck breast or bottle back to their mouth if attempting to remove them
  • Hunger cues cease until next feeding
  • Regularly wet diapers (Newborns have 2-3 but by day five have up to 5-6)
  • On target weight gain

DO I FEED MY BABY AT NIGHT?

YES. In the first couple of months your baby will probably not sleep through the night and you shouldn’t force it. Follow your baby’s lead, make sure your baby is meeting their target weight, and talk to your pediatrician first.

Hopefully these baby feeding basics can help you as much as it helped me. Happy feeding!

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