Some advantages of bottle feeding your baby, instead of breastfeeding them, is that you can easily see and measure the amount of milk they are ingesting every day. But, do your know how many ounces should a baby eat?
If you decided to bottle feed or your baby has grown and transitioned from breastfeeding to drinking from a bottle, this article will help you know the ideal amount of milk that your child has to consume according to their age.
First, it’s important to remember that each child is different, and, because of that, what a baby ingests is not necessarily the same amount as another baby of the same age. As your child grows, you’ll notice that sometimes they will be very hungry; while others, they eat less than usual. This is totally normal since each baby determines the ideal amount of milk according to their growth needs. That’s why it is important to feed your baby on demand, which means giving them as much milk as they desire until they are satisfied. Also, that amount will be a good indicator that your baby is eating enough.
How many ounces should a baby eat at each stage of development?
The next information applies to babies that consume breast milk or formula.
Let’s start with the youngest. In the case of newborns, they start feeding slowly during the first two to three days, and they consume between 1 and 2 ounces (30-60 ml) in each feed. After those few first days, the ration will increase to 2 or 3 ounces (60-90 ml) every 3-4 hours. If your baby has been sleeping for more than 4 hours, it’s best for you to wake them up to feed. This won’t alter their sleep; in fact, it will help your baby sleep better through the night since the naps are shorter.
After the first month, on average, your baby will drink around 4 ounces every 4 hours. This quantity will increase gradually as they grow. For example, around 6 months, your little one will drink 6 to 8 ounces (180-240 ml) 4 or 5 times a day. And since they will start eating solids once they are 6 months old, the way of measuring milk consumption will change.
Another indicator that your baby is drinking the ideal amount of milk is their body weight. It is recommended that babies consume two and a half ounces (75 ml) per pound of body weight (463 mg). However, this indicator is not very accurate. Each day, your little one will regulate the amount of milk they drink according to their current needs. If you notice that they are distracted while eating, they might be satisfied already. If they left some milk in the bottle, you should throw it out if you don’t use it again within that hour. On the contrary, if your child finishes the bottle but keeps making sounds with their mouth, they are probably still hungry. Prepare another bottle, even if they have already consumed what’s expected for their age. Check out our catalog to know how to correctly store and preserve the milk.
Remember that there are no established and prescribed amounts when feeding a baby. Don’t worry if your little one eats more or less than what we’ve said before; the nutritional needs of your child are unique. The important thing is that they grow in a healthy way, and this won’t be determined by the amount of milk they consume.
If at any point in your baby’s growth you’re worried or anxious about this topic, we recommend talking to your pediatrician. They will evaluate your child, monitor their growth, and give you advice in case you need to change something about their diet.