When you bring your newborn baby home, it’s a time of significant changes and adjustments. Getting used to new routines and setting up schedules can feel overwhelming. One crucial aspect to understand is that the feeding schedule for a newborn can vary and may take some time to establish a consistent pattern.
The method of feeding, whether through nursing or using formula, will influence the feeding schedule. Additionally, each baby has unique needs. It is recommended to provide only breastmilk or formula during this period and avoid introducing other foods or liquids.
During the first two weeks, it is common for babies to engage in cluster feeding. This means they may nurse frequently, taking in small amounts of milk each time. This pattern can extend to night feedings, occurring every two hours. Some caregivers opt to feed their baby on demand whenever they show signs of hunger, while others may wake the baby at regular intervals to ensure adequate nourishment.
Keep in mind that every baby is different, and the feeding schedule can change frequently in the early stages. Over time, you will become more familiar with your baby’s needs and develop a routine that works best for both of you.
Sample Feeding Schedule for a Newborn to 2-Week-Old Baby
For a newborn baby, the recommended feeding schedule typically involves feeding every 2 to 3 hours. This means you’ll be feeding your little one around 8 to 12 times a day. Sleeping through the night usually takes some time to establish. So, nighttime feedings are expected during this period. Consider it your baby’s way of saying, “Hey, I need some midnight snacks too!”
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) , cluster feeds and frequent feedings can have positive effects on infant health. Cluster feeding often coincides with growth spurts in infants. During cluster feeding, babies tend to consume larger quantities of milk more frequently, particularly in the evening hours.
Recommended Food Chart for Newborn to 2-Week-Old Babies
The AAP suggests feeding your newborn on demand, responding to signs of hunger such as fist movements to the mouth, head turning to search for the breast, increased alertness and activity, sucking on hands or lip smacking, and opening and closing of the mouth.
Typically, newborns feed every 2 to 3 hours, amounting to 8 to 12 feedings within a 24-hour period. Initially, infants may consume as little as half an ounce per feeding (both formula-fed and breastfed infants) during the first couple of days after birth.
However, after this initial period, the quantity usually increases to 1 to 2 ounces of milk at each feeding (for both formula-fed and breastfed infants). By the time they reach 2 weeks of age , the amount typically increases to 2 to 3 ounces per feeding.
|Average breastfeeding patterns
|Average formula feeding patterns
|0 – 6 Days
|On-demand; At least 8 – 12 feedings in 24 hours
|On demand; May look like 1 – 2 ounces (29.5 to 59.1 ML) 8 times each day
|On demand; Cluster feeding is likely; At least 8 – 12 feedings every 24 hours
|On demand; May look like 1.5 – 3 ounces (44.4 to 88.7 mL) 8 times in 24 hours
|On demand; Cluster feeding is likely; At least 8 – 12 feedings every 24 hours
|On demand; May look like 2 – 3 ounces (44.4 to 88.7 mL) 8 times in 24 hours
Breastfeed your newborn to 2-week-old baby when they show signs of hunger, usually around 8 – 12 times within a 24-hour period. Keep in mind that breastfed babies often require smaller, more frequent feedings compared to formula-fed babies.
As a general guideline, it is recommended that your baby consumes approximately 2½ ounces (75 mL) of infant formula per pound (453 g) of body weight on an average day. This may look like 1.5 oz to 3 oz for each feeding, with a total of 8 feeds in a 24-hour period.
Infants in this age range should not be given any other liquids or foods.
6 Tips for Feeding Your Newborn to 2-Week-Old Baby
Let’s explore some valuable tips to ensure a smooth feeding journey for your newborn during the first two weeks.
Tip #1: Be prepared for round-the-clock feedings
Get ready to join the “every 2 to 3-hour club.” Your baby may require frequent mealtime sessions, even during the night.
Tip #2: Breast milk supply adjusts to meet demand
If you’re breastfeeding or using a pump, it’s important to stimulate milk production by feeding or pumping frequently. Consider pumping after each breastfeeding session to boost milk supply.
Tip #3: Embrace cluster feeding
Your little bundle of joy might surprise you with shorter, consecutive feeding sessions. Don’t worry, this is completely normal! Think of it as a baby buffet, where they get all the necessary nutrients for growth and development.
Tip #4: Stay hydrated
Keep a bottle of water within reach during feeding sessions. If you’re breastfeeding, it’s crucial to stay well-hydrated to support milk production. Drink plenty of water like a pro athlete to ensure a steady flow of breast milk.
Tip #5: Take care of yourself
Remember, you’re the superhero in this story! To keep up with your caregiving responsibilities, prioritize your own energy and health. Eat frequent meals and choose nutritious foods whenever possible. Keep convenient snacks on hand that can be eaten with one hand, such as granola bars, string cheese, pre-cut fruit, and veggies.
Tip #6: Monitor wet diapers
It’s common for parents to worry if their baby is getting enough to eat. Starting from around five days old, you should notice an increase in the frequency of wet diapers, usually totaling six or more within a 24-hour period. If you observe fewer wet diapers or have concerns about your baby’s feeding, consult your healthcare provider.
Night Feeding from Birth to 2 Weeks Old
Nighttime feedings are a normal part of caring for a newborn. During the initial weeks, your baby will wake up frequently during the night. Regular nighttime feeds are essential to maintain their energy levels and hydration.
Babies at this age shouldn’t consume water or other sources of hydration. Instead, focus on frequent feeding sessions to prevent hunger, dehydration, and promote comfortable sleep. Both breast milk and formula provide all the necessary hydration for your baby at this stage.
Key Takeaways: Feeding from Birth to 2 Weeks Old
Understanding your newborn’s feeding routine is crucial. During the first two weeks, babies require frequent feedings, gradually increasing their intake. Regardless of whether you’re breastfeeding or using formula, babies typically need to be fed every 2 to 3 hours, including at night.
Cluster feeding, where babies have shorter and more frequent feedings, is common and helps stimulate milk supply for breastfeeding mothers. Formula-fed babies also need regular feedings, even during nighttime.
If you experience any breastfeeding discomfort, seek guidance and support from your healthcare provider or a lactation consultant.
Remember, each baby is unique, and their feeding needs may vary. The key is to provide regular nourishment to ensure they stay hydrated, satisfied, and grow healthily. You’re doing an amazing job, and as time goes on, you’ll become more familiar with your baby’s feeding patterns.
Frequently Asked Questions about Feeding from Birth to 2 Weeks Old
Q: How often should a newborn to 2 weeks old eat?
A: Newborns up to 2 weeks old should eat at least 8 times a day, with feedings spread throughout the day. Expect to feed your baby every 2 to 3 hours, even during the night. Consult your pediatrician for guidance on waking times during the night.
Q: How long can a newborn to 2 weeks old go between feeds?
A: A newborn to 2-week-old infant can go for 2 to 3 hours between feeds. As they begin to consume larger amounts, they will be able to go longer between feedings.
Q: Can you stop night feeds for a newborn to 2 weeks old?
A: No, you should not stop night feeds for newborns or infants up to 2 weeks old.
Q: What is a nursing strike for a newborn to 2 weeks old?
A: A nursing strike occurs when a baby refuses to nurse. It can happen due to various reasons, such as milk supply or normal growth and development. If a baby finds bottle feeding easier or faster, they may refuse to nurse. This can be resolved by offering nursing time before offering a bottle.
Q: Are 4 feeds a day enough for a newborn to 2 weeks old?
A: No, four feeds in 24 hours are not sufficient for a newborn to 2-week-old baby. They should have at least 8 feedings within that timeframe. Frequent feedings are important for keeping the baby full, healthy, and provide all the health benefits, including preventing or treating jaundice and maintaining milk supply for breastfed babies.