How Much Milk Must A Baby Drink

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Feb 04, 2013

Mother and a newbornFeeding a baby can often be a stressful task and sometimes, overwhelming too. Scientifically, it is proven fact that breast milk is the best milk for babies. The nutrients present in breast milk helps in robust development of child's brain, immune system and digestive system. However, plenty of mothers are usually worried about how much milk they should feed their baby. Regarding the same, Dr. Pankaj Vohra, paediatrician with Max healthcare, New Delhi, advises,” The nutritional requirements of a child purely depend upon factors such as age, weight and other health conditions of the child”.

The American Academy of Paediatrics (AAP) reveals that babies, breast-fed or bottle-fed, should be fed on demand. This means that they have to be fed whenever they intimate you with signs of hunger like crying, sucking on fingers, nuzzling against mother’s breasts or displaying some kind of rooting reflex. In addition, authors of a popular book “What to Expect the First Year” state in one of their chapters, “Allow your baby to be fed until he doesn't want anymore”.


On the other side, some theories insist that you should feed your baby as per a fixed schedule. This ensures that your baby has a full meal every time, which will not only stabilize your baby's digestive metabolism but will allow your baby to sleep for longer hours. For all breast-fed babies, AAP recommends feeding eight to twelve times a day whereas bottle-fed babies should be fed 2 or 3 ounces of formula per feeding, every three to four hours. Below mentioned are few useful tips on how to calculate the amount of milk that your baby needs to drink:

  • Age:  Your baby's age is the first and foremost factor that you need to take into consideration. Generally, new born babies drink few sips of milk at frequent intervals. As your baby grows, you will surely find a difference in the amount of milk your child drinks. Increment of an ounce for each feeding, up to six months is recommended. After six months, your child will be ready for solid foods, complemented with some milk.
  • Weight: Check the weight of your baby periodically. Check whether the weight of your baby is normal for his age. If your child's weight is below average, then it means that you need to feed your baby at more frequent intervals than you would do normally. For more advice, consult your paediatrician.
  • Calculation: You can easily calculate the amount of bottle milk that you need to feed your baby by simply multiplying the weight of the baby in ounces with 2.5. The answer will be the number of ounces that you need to feed your baby within a 24 hour time frame.
  • Regular Consultation: Consult your paediatrician regularly to ensure whether your child is growing at an acceptable rate. Talk about your child's nutritional requirements and get proper advice and recommendations about the same.

These broad guidelines can definitely help you in attaining a clearer picture about how much milk babies require. However, it is wise to realize that all babies are born with a natural mechanism that signals them to stop feeding when they are full and therefore mothers should best go by their own intuition to understand their baby’s milk requirement.



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