It is normal for most babies to loose weight in the first week; usually starting to regain weight at 4-6 days of age. We like to see them back to their birth weight between 7-14 days of age.
How Often and How Much
Breastfeeding – Breastfed babies eat more often than formula fed babies because breast milk is easier for babies to digest. Breastfed babies usually want to eat every 1 ½ -3 hours and your milk supply will be stimulated the more frequently you put your baby to the breast. Feedings usually take 15-30 minutes; don’t let your baby stay on your breast for too long, as this may cause sore nipples. One side at a feeding is usually sufficient in the first few weeks, but always offer your baby the other breast as well. Emptying the first breast completely will allow your baby to get the higher calorie, fattier hind milk. In the first 5-6 weeks it is best not to let your breastfed baby go longer than 3 hours between feedings during the day and 4 hours at night; this will ensure adequate weight gain and better milk production in the weeks ahead. You usually know your baby is getting enough milk if they are satisfied after nursing, they sleep between feedings, and are starting to gain weight at 4-6 days of age. Be sure to contact a lactation specialist or our office if you have questions about breastfeeding; it can be difficult in the first few weeks for some moms and babies, but with support and patience things usually improve over time.
Formula – There are many different types of formula available; if you need any advice your provider will be glad to discuss the various options with you. Formula fed babies usually take 2-3 ounces every 2-4 hours in the first few weeks, gradually increasing the number of ounces taken each feeding.
Most babies spit up a small amount during and after feedings. It is usually non-forceful and a small to moderate amount, occasionally a large amount may occur. If you notice more severe symptoms than this or your baby is having other symptoms, such as fussiness, cough or breathing difficulty, poor feeding, or decreased urination, call for advice.
Give your baby an opportunity after feedings to burp, but if they don’t burp…it’s okay! Only be more persistent if your baby has a lot of fussiness or spitting up with feedings.