As parents to newborn babies, one of the things we must focus on is how to provide them with the nutrition they need. You’ve heard a lot about how breast milk is best for them but what about how often they should feed? To make things much easier for you, dear parents, we have here a guide on a newborn feeding schedule.  

Newborn feeding schedule

When it comes to nursing a newborn, it’s a rule of thumb to follow their feeding cues. This is because of the fact that babies vary in terms of how often and how much they feed. However, as first-time parents, we want to have a rough guide on what to expect, so we’d know if we’re doing this right.

For the first month of your baby, expect to feed 8 to 12 times a day. It’s very important to feed during the first week because this will stimulate breast milk production. Here’s a breastfeeding frequency chart you can follow for the first five days.

Breastfeeding Frequency Chart

Newborn feeding schedule week by week

To determine how often your baby feeds, note the time they start feeding until the next time they do so. For instance, if you nursed at 4am, then 6am, then 8am, your baby is feeding every 2 hours.

Breastfeeding frequency chart

When do babies become more efficient at breastfeeding?

At first, you’ll have an erratic feeding schedule. You’ll even reach the point where you’d need to feed your baby round the clock because they seem to get hungry very easily. But fret not, parents. Over time, your baby will begin to feed less frequently and will develop a more stable schedule. Well, there are those who feed every 3 hours, while there are those who demand breast milk every 1 ½ hour. You’ll also notice that babies who are breastfed will consume more milk than those who are formula-fed. This is because breast milk is more easily digested. 

Common newborn feeding cues

How often to breastfeed a newborn

Image from Unsplash

Now we know that although you have a guide, what matters is how you are able to pay attention to the feeding cues of your baby. Take note, parents, that you should NOT wait for our baby to start crying. Many parents only feed their babies when they’re already bawling, treating it as the first sign of hunger. Remember that if your baby is already crying, that means that they’re so hungry that the discomfort is so great.

Pay more attention to feeding cues. Here are the most common ones.

  • When your baby moves their head side to side
  • When they put their fists near their mouths
  • When they mimic sucking
  • When their mouths are open and they stuck their tongues out
  • When you feel them nuzzling you

So there you go. If you have any questions regarding newborn feeding schedule, don’t hesitate to leave us a message below!