How Much Breast Milk Does Baby Need

how-much-breast-milk-does-baby-needOne concern many breastfeeding moms have is to know how much breast milk to put in a bottle for their baby.

It may surprise you to know that breastfed babies take in less milk per bottle than formula fed babies. This is because breast milk is much better utilized by the body with very little waste, so less is needed. The average breastfed baby takes in 25 oz in a 24 hour period during 1-6 moths of age.

You will get a feel for how much to give per bottle fairly quickly but here are some helpful suggestions:

Birth – 2 Months: 2-5 oz per feeding

2 Months – 4 Months: 4-6 oz per feeding

4 Months – 6 Months: 5-7 oz per feeding

Another way to calculate how many ounces is by weight. Typically a baby needs 2.5 ounces per pound daily. So a 10-pound baby would need 25 ounces in a 24 hour period of time. If he eats 8 times a day, then each bottle would need to be just over 3 ounces, so round up to 3.5 ounces.

Bottle Feeding Baby

exclusively-pumpingFor young babies, it is best to select a bottle with a slow flow nipple. Most bottle brands give the option for you to purchase different flow nipples (newborn, 3+ months, 6+ months, etc).

It is important to remember that it is possible to overfeed a baby using a bottle. The reason being that the baby cannot control the flow of the milk like they can with the breast. They will continue swallowing which can lead to frequent spitting up.

Another important fact about feeding a baby breast milk is that it is digested in about 90 minutes. You should feed your baby on demand and just like a nursing baby would be fed. You should expect the be feeding your baby every 1.5-3 hours.

Baby may take 20 or more minutes to finish a bottle. Gently burping baby midway through or at the end of the feed is recommended. Remember it is not a good idea to prop a bottle up to fed your baby.

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Read: Concerned You are Not Pumping Enough Breast Milk? Find Out How to Tell and What You Can do About it.

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