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.

newborn not eatingPin

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


Colostrum – The Superfood For Your Newborn


Find comments below.

Comments for “3 Days Old Baby Doesn’t Eat Or Cry”

Sep 06, 2013 My baby now eats

by: Anonymous

Thanks a lot for the reassurance, Paula.

It took a few days, but my baby is now eating more, and she is more awake. Just waiting for the screaming… LOL

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Muhammad Anisuzzaman

    My 21 days old boy doesn’t cry much. He stays quite all day. he only cries a little when he get hungry / pee. is it normal? He is wetting his diapers moreover 6 times. I’m a bit worried about it.

  2. Amyaliera Minney

    My 5 day old doesn’t cry when she’s hungry. Intact she would sleep through feeding if not woken. She’s having wet and dirty diapers so I know she’s getting enough but the not signaling when hungry is worrying me, is this normal?

    1. Paula Dennholt

      I am sorry for the late reply. Your daughter is now probably 12 days old. Have you noticed any changes? Many babies sleep a lot in the beginning; it doesn’t sound alarming since she is wetting her diapers. The older she gets now, her hunger and growth will accelerate and I’d bet she’ll be much easier to interpret very soon. Unless she is a preemie, underweight or ill, I would not wake her up for feeding. I know there are still some midwives that recommend waking even a completely healthy baby up, but if you’ve been told to do that – ask why! Babies need a lot of sleep, and a thriving baby that wets enough diapers is highly likely to be able to regulate their feeding if allowed. Good luck and please let me know how things are going!


      1. VJ

        Hello ,
        My 20 days old does not cry for milk but he is lot in discomfort and pushing hard to pass gas, pee and poo.
        If I don’t wake him up to feed every 2-4 hours he sleeps through.
        Also due to pushing hard to pass gas, pee and poo he is not able to drink milk nicely.
        Maximum he can drink for is only 5 mins.
        Also he is breathing heavy.
        Though his weight gain is fine.
        Is this a concern ? What should I do ?