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
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.
Primary Medical Reviewer
John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer
Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.