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How Much Milk Does My Baby Need During the Day? 

How Much Milk Does My Baby Need During the Day

When determining the amount of milk your baby needs during the day, it’s essential to consider their age, weight, and individual feeding patterns.Navigating the nutritional needs of your baby can be both exciting and challenging for new parents. Here’s a general guideline based on age:

Newborns typically consume 2-3 ounces per feeding every 2-3 hours, totaling 16-24 ounces daily. Infants (4-6 months) may take 4-6 ounces per feeding, totaling 24-36 ounces daily. Babies (7-12 months) transition to solid foods with a milk intake of around 24-32 ounces per day.

According to the National Health Service (NHS),  for newborns, it’s good to feed them whenever they seem hungry. This way of feeding is called on demand feeding. It means giving them food when they show signs that they are hungry, making sure their needs are met when they need it.
As an expert Pediatrician,  I will explore the recommended daily milk consumption at various ages, providing you with valuable insights to ensure that your baby receives the nourishment necessary for a healthy start in life.Baby Feeding Chart for Newborn to 12 months

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the babies should be fed when they seem hungry.

Age of BabyAverage Amount of Breast Milk or Formula per FeedingExpected Number of Feedings per Day
Newborn1 to 2 ounces8 to 12 feedings
2 weeks2 to 3 ounces8 to 12 feedings
1 month3 to 4 ounces8 to 10 feedings
2 months4 to 5 ounces6 to 8 feedings
6 to 12 months7 to 8 ounces4 to 6 feedings

How Can I Tell When My Baby Is Hungry?

Recognizing your baby’s hunger cues is crucial for responsive and timely feeding. Here are common signs that indicate your baby is hungry:

1. Rooting Reflex:

  • Newborns have a natural instinct to turn their head and open their mouth when their cheek is stroked. This is known as the rooting reflex  and is a clear indicator that your baby is ready to feed.

2. Sucking on Fists or Objects:

  • Babies often bring their hands to their mouth and suck on their fists or fingers when they are hungry. This self-soothing behavior is a hunger cue.

3. Increased Alertness:

  • Hunger can make babies more alert and attentive. If your baby becomes more awake and attentive, especially if they were previously asleep, it may be a sign that they’re ready for a feeding.

4. Mouthing Movements:

  • Babies may make sucking or smacking movements with their lips when they’re hungry. These subtle cues can be an early sign of hunger.

5. Crying:

  • While crying is a late hunger cue, it’s still an important one. If your baby is crying, it’s a signal that they need to be fed. However, try to respond to earlier cues to avoid reaching the crying stage.

6. Nuzzling or Nuzzling Against Your Chest:

  • Some babies express hunger by nuzzling against your chest, seeking the breast or bottle. This physical contact can be a clear indication that they’re ready to eat.

7. Restlessness:

  • Restlessness or fussiness can also be a sign of hunger. If your baby seems irritable and is having difficulty settling, it might be time for a feeding.

It’s important to be responsive to your baby’s cues and try to feed them before they become too upset or agitated. Every baby is unique, so pay attention to your baby’s individual signals and create a feeding routine that works for both of you.

Why Does My Baby Seem Hungrier Than Usual?

How Much Milk Does My Baby Need During the Day

If your baby appears hungrier than usual, there could be various reasons behind the increased appetite. Growth spurts, a natural part of development, may lead to heightened hunger as your baby goes through periods of rapid growth. The timing of these spurts can vary, but they commonly occur during the following approximate periods:

  1. Newborn Stage (0-6 weeks): A growth spurt may occur within the first few days to weeks of life, often referred to as the “newborn cluster feeding” phase. During this time, babies may feed more frequently, seemingly hungry around the clock.
  1. Around 3 Weeks: Another growth spurt may occur around the third week of life, where babies might exhibit increased feeding and fussiness.
  1. Around 6 Weeks: Around the six-week mark, another growth spurt is common. Babies may display increased hunger, want to feed more often, and may be fussier during this period.
  1. Around 3 Months: A growth spurt commonly occurs around the three-month mark, leading to increased appetite and possibly changes in sleep patterns.
  1. Around 6 Months: As babies start incorporating solid foods into their diet, they may experience a growth spurt around six months of age.

Achieving new milestones and learning new skills can also influence appetite, as can factors like illness or teething, which may result in increased energy needs or discomfort. Additionally, fluctuations in appetite are normal for babies, and thirst may sometimes be mistaken for hunger. Babies may also seek comfort through feeding, especially during periods of adjustment or insecurity.

Monitoring your baby’s cues and consulting with your pediatrician can help ensure they receive the appropriate nutrition for their individual needs and developmental stage.

Is My Baby Eating Enough?

Ensuring your baby is eating enough involves monitoring key indicators such as weight gain, steady growth, contentment after feedings, and regular wet diapers. Trust your instincts as a parent and observe your baby’s behavior for signs of satisfaction. Regular check-ups with the pediatrician provide valuable insights into your baby’s overall health and nutritional status.


In short, taking care of your baby’s feeding involves paying attention to what they need as they grow. At the beginning, feed them when they seem hungry, and as they get older, introduce solid foods. Watch for signs like the baby turning their head or becoming more alert, as this shows they are ready to eat. Keep an eye on their growth, weight gain, and if they seem satisfied after eating. It’s important to be flexible with their feeding routine and talk to the doctor regularly for personalized advice to keep your baby healthy.


Q1. How do I know if my baby is getting enough milk during breastfeeding?

Pay attention to your baby’s diaper output, weight gain, and contentment after feeds. If they have regular wet diapers, gain weight steadily, and seem satisfied after feedings, they are likely getting enough milk.

Q2. Should I wake my baby for night feedings?

For newborns, it’s generally recommended to wake them for feedings every 2-3 hours, even at night, until they regain their birth weight. Once they are gaining weight well, you can let them sleep longer stretches at night.

Q3. How can I tell if my baby is ready to start solid foods?

Look for signs such as good head control, ability to sit with support, showing interest in food, and loss of the tongue-thrust reflex. These indicate your baby might be ready for solids, usually around 4-6 months.

Q4. Is it normal for my baby’s feeding patterns to change?

Yes, it’s entirely normal for a baby’s feeding patterns to change. They might eat more during growth spurts or when they are more active. Trust your baby’s cues, and be flexible with their feeding routine.

Q5. Can I overfeed my baby with formula?

It’s important to follow your baby’s hunger cues and not force them to finish a bottle. Overfeeding can lead to discomfort and might interfere with their ability to self-regulate their intake.

Q6. When can I introduce cow’s milk to my baby’s diet?

Cow’s milk is not recommended as the main drink before the age of 1. It can be introduced in small amounts as an ingredient in solid foods after 6 months, but as a main drink, breast milk or formula is preferable until your baby is at least 1 year old.

Q7. What should I do if my baby refuses to drink milk?

If your baby is refusing milk, try different temperatures, feeding environments, or experimenting with bottle types. If the issue persists, consult your pediatrician for personalized advice.


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Emiley Walker Author & Writer | Parenting and BabyCare at Mamaadoptation About I'm a passionate writer committed to using storytelling to support and uplift families on their fostering and kinship care journeys. At Mama Adoption, I create engaging content that empowers parents and caregivers navigating the joys and challenges of raising amazing children. Expertise Childcare Parent coaching Parenting Attachment parenting Parent-child Relationships Baby Products Newborn Baby Knowledge of different parenting approaches (e.g., authoritative, permissive, authoritarian) Strategies for managing and modifying children's behavior communication techniques Understanding child psychology Specialized knowledge in supporting children with disabilities Highlights Certified in Family dynamics, Parenting guide, Effective communication skills. Education Emily Walker holds a Master's degree in parenting guidelines from Air university where she cultivated her expertise in understanding child development, effective communication, and family dynamics. Her academic journey ignited a lifelong passion for unraveling the complexities of parenting and helping others on their parenting journeys. Experience Emily Walker's professional journey is marked by a wealth of experience: Nurse (RN) - Pediatrics or Mother-Baby Unit Babysitter Authorship: Emily has authored numerous articles, essays, and books on parenting guidelines, all crafted with a blend of academic knowledge and practical wisdom. Parenting Workshops: She has conducted workshops and seminars, both online and in-person, providing parents with actionable tools and strategies. Consulting: Emily has worked as a parenting consultant, offering personalized guidance to families facing unique challenges. Media Contributions: Her insights have been featured in various publications, including parenting magazines and television programs. Emily's Approach to Parenting: Emily advocates for: Positive Discipline: Promoting non-punitive methods for teaching and guiding children. Open Communication: Fostering open and respectful communication within families. Child-Centered Parenting: Prioritizing the well-being and development of the child while supporting parents in their roles. Thank you for visiting Emily Walker's author page. Join her on a journey of discovery and empowerment as she guides you through the fascinating world of parenting guidelines. Together, let's nurture the next generation with love, knowledge, and understanding.

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