How much does your baby need to eat?

Most babies eat 6 to 10 times in a 24-hour period. A baby will usually wake up during the night for feedings for about the first 6 months.

A baby is getting enough to eat if he or she:

  • Wets at least 6 to 8 diapers a day.
  • Gains 4 oz (0.1 kg) or more each week.

Babies give cues during feeding that indicate how hungry they are. Paying attention to these cues will help you determine when your baby has had enough to eat.

  • A hungry baby will latch on to the breast or bottle and suck continuously.
  • A baby who is getting full during a feeding will take longer pauses between sucking.
  • A full baby will turn away from the breast or bottle and not want to suck.

Overeating or swallowing too much air during feeding can cause abdominal cramps, which in turn can make a baby cry. The baby will often spit up some of the feeding and may have loose stools.

The following table gives the number of ounces that a baby needs to take with each feeding according to his weight. Remember that this is only an average, and every baby is different.

Average feeding amounts by baby's weight
Weight in pounds Ounces per feeding

6 to 8 pounds (2.5 to 3.5 kg)

2 to 3 ounces (60 to 90 mL)

8 to 10 pounds (3.5 to 4.5 kg)

3 to 4 ounces (90 to 120 mL)

10 to 12 pounds (4.5 to 5 kg)

4 to 6 ounces (120 to 180 mL)

12 to 16 pounds (5 to 7 kg)

6 to 8 ounces (180 to 240 mL)

Last Updated: February 19, 2009

related physicians

related services

Bon Secours International| Sisters of Bon Secours USA| Bon Secours Health System

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. Privacy Policy. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2010 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.