There is a lot of talk about how much you should be feeding your baby. It’s all about The Goldie Locks Complex- not too much, not too little, but just right. But all babies are different, so how much is too much or too little for your baby? Cue the dreaded response: It depends.
The best place to start is measuring how much your baby is receiving from each feeding or on each day.
Breastfeeding can be measured by weighing your child before and after feeding to track the amount of breastmilk they have consumed. (Daily measurement is not as accurate for this type of feeding.)
Pumping breastmilk or formula can easily be measured by oz. or ml. (Tip: If you are using pumping containers, milk storage bags, or bottles to measure, make sure they are accurate before you rely on their measurement scale).
Now that you can measure the amount of nutrition your baby is receiving, what are the averages consumed based off of age? First, let’s get something clear- breastmilk and formula are two very different things. (We aren’t making the claim that one is better for everyone’s circumstance than the other. Everyone’s circumstances are different and it is up to you to decide what is best.) We’re speaking directly to the fact that babies often consume more or less breastmilk than formula because of its make-up and its tendency to metabolize quicker.
Formula guidelines suggest feeding frequency and amount approximately according to the below chart:
|Age||Average Ounces per Feeding||# Of Feedings per Day||Ounces per Day|
|0-1 Months||3 Ounces||6-8 Feedings||16-24 Ounces|
|2-6 Months||4-6 Ounces||6-8 Feedings||24-32 Ounces|
|6+ Months||8 Ounces||4 Feedings||32 Ounces|
***Baby should not consume over 32 ounces of formula in a 24-hour period***
As we alluded to before, every baby is different, so don’t live and die by this chart. Talk to your pediatrician about your baby’s unique needs. This chart provides an estimate of average eating habits based on your baby’s age, so you can see where you fall on the spectrum and start the conversation with your pediatrician.
If your baby is exclusively getting breastmilk, the guidelines change a bit. There are mixed reviews on this--big surprise! There is research to support that your milk consistency changes as your baby develops, therefore the amount of breastmilk that baby should consume should never be more than 25 ounces in a day.
The down and dirty on this was done by an exclusively pumping mom who did a survey on the moms who were pumping and feeding. Her results showed that breastfeeding moms are providing more breastmilk to their baby than the formula guidelines.
Some tricks to make sure you aren’t over feeding your baby are as follows:
1. Measure what your baby is getting and journal it. This will also help you see when your baby may be going through a growth spurt. This will also cue you to make sure you are producing enough milk if you are exclusively pumping.
2. If you are bottle feeding using breastmilk or formula, use a bottle that you can pace feed your baby or use one that is a no-flow bottle, like mimijumi. When your baby controls the flow of the milk and must work to feed, this allows them to eat slower and truly determine if they are still hungry. Remember not too much, not too little --just right! ;)
3. Consistency is key. This is especially necessary if you are pace feeding with a free-flowing bottle instead of mimijumi. Ask your nanny or daycare provider to tell you how long it took baby to finish the bottle. This will signal whether they are feeding your baby too fast or not. If you have multiple caregivers or are using a daycare, spend time educating them (if they don’t know) about your baby’s tendency to over eat due to eating too fast. Sometimes, the daycare will ask you to bring more breastmilk or formula because your baby still seemed hungry after the feeding, when this may not be necessary.
4. Healthy, happy baby. Is your baby growing? Is your baby happy? Is your baby healthy? Then you are probably doing a great job. You can always communicate with your pediatrician to make sure you are on the right track.
mimijumi believes in better feeding for all babies and we want to empower you to make the right decisions for you and your baby.