How much should a newborn baby eat?
The mom in this Q&A is worried because her three days old baby is only feeding for a few minutes at a time. Let’s take a look at how much a newborn baby eats according to research and what the warning signs are that your baby is not eating enough.
My 3-day-old daughter will only feed for 5 min at a time. She is never hungry – it is hard even to get her to do the 5 min! Also, she won’t cry; she never cries.
Is something wrong?
How Much A Newborn Baby Eats Day By Day
Congratulations on your little girl! I don’t think you need to worry and let me tell you why and what to look for.
During the first few days after being born, a newborn baby really eats very little during each feeding. Studies have shown that during the first few days outside the womb, a newborn baby eats roughly this much:
- During day 1, a baby eats around one tablespoon per feeding;
- Day 2, slightly more,
- Day 3, 2 tablespoons,
- Day 4, 3 tablespoons and
- Day 5, 4 tablespoons or more.
So, as you can see, a newborn baby drinks very little at each feeding in the beginning, but the amount tends to increase relatively quickly.
Newborn babies often also sleep very much and don’t cry much at all. (You can check this baby sleep schedule per month.
Some newborn babies do cry, but certainly not all. Premature babies often don’t cry at all; they can’t in the beginning!
Signs That Your Newborn Baby Is Eating Enough
What you should look for is that your daughter’s poop goes from the dark sticky meconium to regular baby poop. Yellowish if you breastfeed, light brown if your baby is formula-fed.
Babies also pee very little during the first couple of days, but within two days, she should wet some 5 or 6 diapers per day.
If none of this happens, contact her doctor to get an evaluation. But most probably, you’ll see a change within 2 days in how much she feeds and pees.
Regarding the crying, it may take a week or two before she starts communicating more by crying. So relax and enjoy this very first period; life is likely to be less calm quite soon.
Again, congratulations, and good luck!
More About Newborn Babies
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Paula Dennholt founded Easy Baby Life in 2006 and has been a passionate parenting and pregnancy writer since then. Her parenting approach and writing is based on studies in cognitive-behavioral models and therapy for children and her experience as a mother and stepmother. Life as a parent has convinced her of how crucial it is to put relationships before rules. She strongly believes in positive parenting and a science-based approach.
Paula cooperates with a team of pediatricians that you find here. They write or review all health-related articles.