Skip to content

    Health & Baby

    Font Size

    How Often to Feed a Baby

    At first, feed your newborn when he or she seems hungry (feed on demand). It is hard to overfeed a young baby. Babies show that they are hungry by crying and/or sucking on their fists or other objects. If your young baby has eaten within the hour and is crying, he or she may be crying because of something else, such as needing a diaper change or feeling uncomfortable with the room temperature. For more information about crying, see the topic Crying, Age 3 and Younger.

    The length of time between feedings varies depending on the amount of formula the baby drank during the previous feeding. Most 2-week-old babies drink about every 2 hours. Older babies may wait as long as 8 hours before wanting to be fed again. Babies who wait longer between feedings usually drink more formula at each feeding. Babies typically eat more just before and during a growth spurt.

    As you get to know your baby, you will be able to recognize his or her true signs of hunger and fullness. After your baby is 4 to 8 weeks old, you probably will have a general feeding schedule based on his or her nutritional needs that also comfortably fits your lifestyle.

    ByHealthwise Staff
    Primary Medical ReviewerJohn Pope, MD - Pediatrics
    Specialist Medical ReviewerThomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics

    Current as ofNovember 14, 2014

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

    Today on WebMD

    mother on phone holding baby
    When you should call 911.
    parents and baby
    Unexpected ways your life will change.
    baby acne
    What’s normal – and what’s not.
    baby asleep on moms shoulder
    Help your baby get the sleep he needs.

    mother holding baby at night
    mother with sick child
    Chinese mother breast feeding newborn baby girl
    Track Your Babys Vaccines
    Baby Napping 10 Dos And Donts
    Mother with her baby boy
    baby in crib
    baby gear slideshow