How Much Breastmilk Should A Newborn Eat: Finding The Balance

How Much Breastmilk Should A Newborn Eat: Finding The Balance
Last Updated: 04 March 2020

After the child is born, one of the parent’s first concerns always has something to do with feeding. How often should a newborn eat? How do you handle a baby’s first feeding? What’s the best breastfeeding schedule?

All of these questions are very important because this stage is very crucial for your child’s development. Breastfeeding colostrum for your child will build up their immune system and give them the best nutrition possible. In our article, we’ve done all the research to show you the best ways of feeding babies.

Baby Stomach Size: Why It Matters

How big is a newborn baby’s stomach Example

How much should a newborn eat is entirely dependent on the size of their stomach. When babies are born, their stomach is only the size of a cherry, so it can only hold so much (5 to 7ml of milk). If you’re wondering why your babies need feeding every hour, you’ve found the reason.

However, a baby’s stomach will grow quickly every day, so much so that by the 3rd day, it will now be sized like a walnut that can hold 22 to 27 mL of milk. By the end of the week, their stomach will be similarly sized like an apricot that can hold 45 to 60mL. This is the optimum amount of milk for newborn babies at this stage.

After a month, breastfeeding newborn babies will be much easier because their stomachs can now hold 80 to 150 mL of liquid. They’ve still got a long way to go, though. To give you an idea, the size of an average adult’s stomach can hold 1000 mL of liquid.

How Much Milk Do Babies Need: The Various Stages Of Breastfeeding

Babies are unique. Some will immediately latch onto their mother and heartily eat from day 1, while a few others might be too sleepy for their first feeding. Here are the three main stages of breastfeeding that will help you know the average breast milk production per day and the benefits of colostrum milk. It will also give you an idea of the right breastfeeding schedule for newborn babies.

  • The Initiation Phase

  • How much milk do babies need

    After you’ve given birth to your child, the first five days that follow should be dedicated to you setting up your newborn babies nursing journey. You shouldn’t expect your milk production to be in full power right at the start, and this is completely fine. If you want to know how long to nurse newborn babies, they typically want to eat every hour, but they can only drink in very minute amounts (about a teaspoon).

    If you want to ramp up your milk production and start storing some, here are some pumping bra reviews that will help you out. Pumping out your milk at this stage will hasten the milk production. This way, you don’t have to worry about having little milk early on.

  • The Building Phase

  • The next stage happens when you start producing more mature milk over colostrum to suit the needs of a growing newborn. The timing of this varies per mother, but this usually happens between the first and fifth day after birth. After your child’s first week, you should expect to produce 500mL of milk every day.

    When your child is 2 weeks old, he/she will gain back the original weight and need at least 3 diapers for pooping and 6 diapers for peeing every day. Starting now, your young one will gain, on average, 4 to 7 ounces every week during this first month. Nursing babies might start to get difficult to keep in the schedule if you’re only going to breastfeed, so getting a bottle heater is a great way to ease them into bottle feeding at this stage. This way, your baby eating schedule is much easier to manage.

  • Maintenance Phase

breastfeeding newborn

After you’ve reached the fourth week, you can now start implementing other food in your child’s diet until they’re aged at half a year. The eating habits of, say, a 6-week old baby compared to a 1-month-old baby should be a little different. Give them a bit of food with their regular milk and increase the amount gradually. This is a great time to invest in the best bibs because feeding can get messier from here on out.

Keep your pumping routine consistent to make sure that you’ve got an adequate milk production even during the later stages. How much should a 2-month old eat? It’s a good idea to give them longer feeds between longer intervals. At the 6 month stage of baby nursing and above, you’re gradually replacing your breast milk with solid foods.

How Many Ounces Of Breastmilk Does A Newborn Baby Need Per Day?

How do I accurately calculate how much breastmilk should a newborn eat? In general, the beginning stages of breastfeeding is done frequently but with shorter times. As children grow older, their average breastfeeding time times get longer, and they need more milk, but the time between feedings will also lengthen. During this stage, it’s a good idea to invest in quality bottles for babies to last the whole milk feeding period.

Formula For The Average Amount Of Breast Milk Needed Per Bottle

If you want a more accurate method of determining how many ml should a newborn drink for every bottle or how many ounces should a newborn eat, here’s a set-by-step equation you can follow:

How many milliliters of breastmilk does a newborn baby need per day


Weight (oz) / 6 / 8 = Amt. breast milk for every bottle (oz)

(If you want the calculations to be in mL, multiply the answer by 30.)

This method will reduce the chances of overfeeding a breastfed baby. There are also plenty of breast milk calculator resources online if you’re having trouble with the formula. If you want outside help, getting an infant nurse is also a viable option. Here is a more thorough breakdown of the formula.

  • 1. Find The Baby’s Overall Weight In Oz

  • A pound equates to 16oz (add any extra oz). So if you’re baby is 7 pounds and 4oz, their overall weight in ounces is 116. If you’re more comfortable using kilograms, 1kg equates to 35.2 oz.

  • 2. Divide It By 6

  • Take the weight you’ve obtained in the first step and divide it by 6. The number that you get is the amount of breast milk (in oz.) your child should consume in a day. This is just an average amount, so don’t worry too much if your babies drink a little less or more than the value you got.

  • 3. Divide It By 8

Finally, take this total amount in oz and divide the value by the number of your baby’s feedings per day. Breastfeeding babies who are newborns need to eat every three hours per day. You can easily change this value to mL by multiplying 30 to it if you prefer breast milk bottles with mL measurements.

Can A Newborn Eat Too Much?

Can you overfeed a baby? What is the average length of breastfeeding to avoid this? Babies who eat too much are a rare occurrence, but it does happen sometimes. This is much more common for babies that are bottle-fed because this type of feeding a baby often follows a stricter schedule.

If you’re worried that your child is overeating, you can consult with a doctor. Many parents make the mistake of giving their babies water to reduce the chances of overeating. Can I give my newborn water? Does newborn need water? NO, they don’t. As much as possible, don’t give your child water until he/she is aged over 6 months.

Portions to Storing Breast Milk

Breastfeeding a newborn can be difficult to schedule, and how much breast milk you’re giving them is less precise when doing it this way. When you’re pumping after breastfeeding, and you’re planning on portioning your milk, storing it in 2 or 4 oz portions is best. Smaller portions will reduce the risk of waste, and they’re also easier to thaw out after being in the freezer. As your child gets older, you can increase the portions gradually.


We hope that we’ve answered your question of how much breastmilk should a newborn eat and other related inquiries. We at Top-Mom take childcare very seriously. A child’s early stages on this earth are extra crucial for his/her development, and it’s down to us, parents, to make sure everything goes smoothly.

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