Feeding Babies: Do I Really Need to Feed or Nurse Every 3 Hours?

Description: New parents get a lot of advice about feeding their babies and it can be overwhelming. Read on for some simple tips on how often you should feed your baby. 

Every new parent wonders if they are feeding their baby enough or too much. You want to do everything you possibly can to make sure your baby is healthy and happy. There are so many things to learn when you have your first baby and it can feel overwhelming. How do you know how much to feed your baby? Do you really need to nurse or feed every three hours?

Hunger Cues

A hungry baby is able to communicate their needs to you, even though they can’t verbalize them yet. Most hungry newborns root, which means that they move their head from side to side with an open mouth. It looks like they are searching for a nipple. They might start to wiggle more and get increasingly fussy. If they get really hungry, babies will cry to tell you how they are feeling. 

You can tell if your baby is hungry when you offer them a bottle or breastmilk. If they latch on and continuously suck, then they really were hungry. They are a lot like hungry grown-ups gobbling down a meal. 

Your baby will also indicate when he is full and ready to stop eating. First, his sucking starts to slow down. Then he will start to take long pauses. Finally, he will turn his head away from the bottle or breast when he is finished. 

Using an award-winning Baby Blendy bottle and mixer will help to alleviate some gas in your baby’s little tummy, which can help you to better understand your baby’s hunger and fullness cues. Fussiness caused by gas can be easily misinterpreted as a hunger cue. 

How Often Do Babies Eat?

Newborn babies need to be nursed or fed more often than older babies. Their little tummies are not very big and they just can’t ingest as much as older babies. Newborns who are breastfeeding will nurse every 1 to 3 hours. Newborns who drink formula will need to be fed every 3-4 hours. Remember to watch for hunger and fullness cues that your baby will give you.

This all sounds like a lot of work, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Babies start to eat a little less after 3 weeks. When your baby is about 2 months old, she will start to require fewer nighttime feedings and after about 6 months, she won’t require nighttime feedings any longer. 

Are They Eating Enough? Too Much?

It is common for new parents to worry if their baby is eating too much or too little. A newborn should wet 6 to 8 diapers a day and gain 4 or more ounces a week. A baby that is eating too much spits up more frequently and has loose stools. If your baby is happy and growing, then he is probably being fed just the right amount. It is best to talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your baby eating too much or too little. 

Being a new parent can feel overwhelming, but don’t forget to listen to your baby. Even though she can’t use words to tell you what she needs, you will quickly learn to communicate with your sweet little one. 

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