Breast Milk in a Bottle

Dr. Alan Greene answers the question, How many ounces of breast milk should my baby be eating from the bottle?

Question

I am breastfeeding my 2-week-old. I got a pump so we can include his daddy in the feedings. How many ounces of breast milk should my baby be eating from the bottle?

Answer

As a dad, I sure loved those special times that I got to feed pumped breast milk. There is no one right amount to feed babies, but there are some good rules of thumb. Most newborns take two or three ounces at a time and by 4 weeks, the average amount has gone up to four ounces.

But in real life this may vary quite a bit from day to day and from baby to baby. It's best to stay flexible and to let your baby set the amount. You don't need to coax him to finish a bottle or stop him if he still acts hungry. Babies are born with a wonderful, sophisticated mechanism that prompts them to eat until they are full and to stop when their nutritional and fluid needs are satisfied.

If babies consistently take more or less than expected, it is smart to run this by his pediatrician to be sure this is a healthy amount for him.

 

The information on this Web site is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your pediatrician or family doctor. Please consult a doctor with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your or your child's condition.

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