Is my baby feeding enough?

A common concern among new mothers is whether or not their little one is intaking the right amount of milk. Here are some guidelines for the first six months.

Having a baby is one of the most profound and daunting experiences in life. No matter how many parenting books you read during pregnancy, it’s completely natural to still have questions and concerns once your little one arrives. One of the most fundamental worries a new mother experiences is whether their baby is eating enough. No two babies are exactly the same but it can be useful to bear some basic guidelines in mind.


Let’s look at the average amount babies eat at their different stages.

Up to 2 months

At the beginning, your little one will need to eat between eight and twelve times per day, roughly once every two or three hours. If your baby doesn’t wake to eat by themselves during the first month, it’s best to rouse them yourself to eat on time.

Those who breastfeed may find that feeds are actually more frequent, taking place up to fifteen times a day. Breast fed babies tend to spend between ten and twenty minutes on each feed. If your child nurses for longer, ensure that they’re actually sucking and swallowing properly throughout.

If your baby is formula-fed, they should drink between one and a half and three ounces per feed. Around the one month mark, your little one should progress up to four ounces. The equivalent will happen for breastfed babies, although it may be harder to notice as they get better at nursing and take in more milk in less time. Whichever feeding route you choose, as your baby grows, so should their appetite.

2-6 months

From the end of the second month, little ones can drink up to five ounces of milk per feed and these will be every three or four hours. Around four months, babies can intake as much as six ounces. If your child is exclusively formula fed, it could be the right time to consider starting a small amount of solid food, whereas those who breastfeed may prefer to wait a little longer. Consult your doctor for advice if you aren’t sure when is the right time for your child.

By the half year mark, your baby can drink as much as eight ounces of milk each time, with longer gaps between feeds. It’s helpful to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach and the exact amount your little one intakes can vary from day to day.

Plenty of wet diapers, consistent weight gain and a happy, alert disposition are all signs that your baby is eating well.

Signs of a problem

Be sure to call or consult your doctor if you notice any of the following in your baby:

  • Less wet diapers than usual
  • Dark urine or orange crystals in their diaper
  • Upset and distress after feeds
  • A preference to sleep instead of eat
  • Issues latching onto you, or pulling away from feeding

It’s important to trust your parental instincts, but if you have any concerns at all, make sure to talk to your doctor.

Image Credit: ShutterStock

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