Newborn Feeding Guidelines


Feeding is a fundamental part of a newborn’s growth and development. Unfortunately, however, most parents leave the hospital with little to no information about feeding their baby. As a result, many parents are left to figure out what is appropriate regarding feeding their child. There are a variety of issues and complications that can be caused as a result of lacking knowledge about what is appropriate when it comes to feeding your child. Below you will find newborn feeding guidelines to help you get up to speed quickly.

Newborn Stomach Size

One of the largest misconceptions about newborn feeding deals with the size of their belly. Most parents don’t realize just how small their baby’s stomach is when they are born. On day one, their stomach is only the size of a cherry. By day three it has grown to the scale of a walnut, and by the end of the first week, it has grown to the size of an apricot. After a month of growth, your baby’s stomach is the size of an egg. As a result of this lack of knowledge, it can be difficult to determine the appropriate amount to feed your child.

How Much Should Your Baby Eat?

At the heart of newborn feeding, guidelines are the actual amount that your child should be consuming. The rule of thumb is that for a healthy baby who is gaining weight appropriately should eat 2.5 ounces for every pound they weigh during each 24-hour period. As an example, if a baby weighs 10 lbs, they should eat 25 ounces in a 24-hour period to maintain healthy weight gain. The biggest thing to remember is that if you have concerns about your baby’s food consumption, contact your pediatrician for guidance.

Overfeeding and Underfeeding

There are several ways to tell if your child is eating too much or not enough. If your newborn spits up a large volume of food after eating, it could mean the baby has been overfed. Additionally, signs of discomfort after feeding or abnormally rapid weight gain can also point to overeating. Conversely, if your child is not gaining weight appropriately or has few wet diapers during the day, it can be a sign that your newborn is not eating enough. It is critical that you keep in mind that these are newborn feeding guidelines and not hard and fast rules. Consult your pediatrician if you are unsure or have questions about feeding your baby.