Baby Feeding Schedule

This page gives mothers a newborn baby feeding schedule whether breast-feeding or formula feeding for babies up to 6 months of age.

To read about the feeding schedule for babies aged between 6 months and 12 months, click here.


How Do I Know My Breast-fed Baby is Getting Enough Milk

Look for signs of effective milk transfer to your baby.

  • Is he latched on properly?
  • Does he have a good suck pattern?
  • Can you hear swallowing?
  • Is your breast becoming softer as he feeds?
  • Are his stools (poop, poo) appropriate for his age? Read more on what is normal.
  • By Day 3 or 4, you baby should be
    • having 4-5 wet diapers in a 24 hour period
    • at least 2-3 bowel motions (poop, poo) that are at least the size of coin measuring 2.5cm that are starting to become seedy, mustard yellow
    • having at least 8 feeds in a 24 hour period
    • content after feeds

If you answered yes to the above questions and by Day 3 or 4, your baby is progressing as above, it is likely your baby is getting enough milk.

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What can I do if my breast-fed baby is not getting enough milk?

  • Have lots of skin-to-skin contact
  • Try Switch Nursing - feed on one side until your baby stops effective sucking.
  • Wake him up and then feed on the other side. Stop when he stops effective sucking and change sides again
  • Ask for help from a professional - Love Your Baby has helpful information for breast-feeding mothers.

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When should my baby regain his birth weight?

All babies lose weight after birth but by Day 5 they normally stop losing weight. Babies can lose up to 7 % of their birth weight. They usually regain their birth weight by Day 10.

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What should the baby feeding schedule be?

Feed your baby when he wants to be fed. Babies need to set their own schedule. They don't have the stores of energy that older children have so can't wait a long time for food when they are hungry. Your baby should be having at least 8 feeds per day in the first week or so.

If your baby is having more frequent feeds than every 3 hours and you want your baby to sleep longer between feeds, make sure he has a longer feed before he sleeps so he can last longer before the next feed. That may mean letting your baby wait a bit longer before you feed him in the first place, but not too long.

The baby feeding schedule is determined by your baby not you!!

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What if I am having difficulty breast feeding my baby?

Sometimes breast feeding doesn't come as naturally as many first-time moms expect. Experienced midwives will be able to help you develop a good latch and check your baby is feeding adequately.

If there are issues, a lactation consultant can be invaluable.

Sometimes, a baby problem can cause issues. Some babies with tongue tie have difficulty latching and the resultant action of the gum on the nipple with suckling can cause a lot of discomfort to mothers. In these cases, release of the tongue tie can be very useful. To read more on tongue tie in babies, click here.

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What is normal for a newborn who is feeding from a bottle?

After the first week, a baby will be having 150 milliliters per kilogram weight per day in milk (150 ml/kg/day) so a 3 kg baby will be having about 75 mls (2.5 ounces) every feed if he is feeding 4 hourly (so having 6 feeds per day).

For the first few days, babies drink less than this. It takes time for them to reach their normal baby feeding schedule.

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How often should I burp my baby?

All babies are different. Most babies need to be burped midway through a feed and after feeding. Babies don't usually need more burping than that. Some babies just need to be burped at the end of a feed. Once the baby feeding schedule is settled, you will have a good idea of how many times your baby needs to be burped, if at all.

To read more on burping and to see pictures of burping baby positions, click here.

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When should I be worried about my baby's feeding?

See your doctor or health nurse if:

  • your baby loses more than 10% of his birth weight
  • your baby has not regained his birth weight by Day 10
  • your baby does not have changing stools (yellow) by Day 7
  • your baby stays asleep for hours and is very lethargic and difficult to rouse
  • there are no signs of effective milk transfer
  • by Day 3 or 4, your baby is not having at least 4 wet diapers and 2 bowel motions (measuring about 2.5cm diameter)

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To go to the top of the Baby Feeding Schedule, click here

To read about what is normal for baby poop, click here - if your baby is feeding properly, he will have an expected result in his diaper (nappy). Read what that is..

To read more about how to burp a baby, click here

For babies aged 6 - 12 months, click here - gives information on how to wean your baby onto solids

To go to the Newborn Baby page, click here

To go to the Growing page, click here

To return to the Home page, click here

Love Your Baby - provides breastfeeding mothers with information and guidance in caring for their babies. In an effort to help mothers prevail over the challenges related to breastfeeding, is now offering Breastfeeding Online Services.

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Last reviewed 16 July 2012

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Dr Maud MD

Dr Maud MD (MBChB, FRACP, FRCPCH), a specialist pediatrician, provides health information and medical advice for parents of babies and toddlers. Read more about Dr Maud.

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