How often should I feed my baby?

Whether you’re using breast or bottle, we recommend responsive feeding. This means watching for your baby’s hunger cues and feeding them whenever they want.

Baby being fed with milk bottle

Breastfeeding

The NHS says babies may want to breastfeed eight to 12 times or more every 24 hours (more in the first few days). So you might be feeding every couple of hours, including at night. It’s also fine to give feeds when your breasts feel full – you can’t overfeed a breastfed baby.

You can find more information on responsive feeding on the NHS website. 

Bottle feeding

Most young babies need about 150ml to 200ml of formula per kilo of weight until they’re six months old. How much they want can vary from day to day, but most will still feed little and often.

The NHS website also has some information on bottle feeding.

How can I tell if my baby is hungry?

Look out for cues that your baby is hungry. Early cues include stirring, mouth opening and head turning. You may see them opening their mouth as though they’re about to feed.

Mid cues (when they’re somewhat hungry) include stretching, increased physical movements and hand moving to mouth. Late cues (when they’re very hungry) include crying, agitated body movements and turning red.

Feed at an early stage if you can. By the time your baby shows late hunger cues, they may be too upset to feed. Try calming them first with skin-to-skin contact, stroking, cuddling or talking.

Remember that growth spurts can increase your baby’s need to feed.

Go back

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What is paced bottle feeding?

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