How much breast milk to feed 3 day old baby

How Much Breast Milk Should a Newborn Drink

Learn how much breast milk a baby actually drinks, and how to initiate, build, and maintain a strong milk supply.

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Congratulations on making the decision to breastfeed your newborn, Mama! We know you’ll have a lot of questions as you become adjusted to life with a little one, and we’re here to help you ease into it all. After your baby is born, your pregnancy hormones will dissipate. This allows your milk-making hormones to officially kick into high gear. Beginning breastfeeding within the first hour or so following your newborn’s birth helps provide valuable colostrum from the moment your baby first latches on to feed. Colostrum, a thick, immune-building and antibody-rich early breast milk, is immediately available during and sometimes even shortly before the first phase of a mother’s lactation journey: The Initiation Phase.

The Initiation Phase | First 24 Hours

The first five days after birth, while your body learns to make larger quantities of milk and your baby learns to feed, are extremely important in setting up the rest of your breastfeeding journey - but don’t expect your supply to be plentiful immediately. On average, your baby will consume about a teaspoon of colostrum per feeding in the first 24 hours, which is ideal for his or her tiny stomach. In fact, your baby’s stomach is only about the size of a cherry on day one and holds just 5 – 7 mL or 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons of breast milk during each feeding! Don’t worry – it’s normal for babies to lose some weight after being born, but your doctor and nurses will be carefully monitoring your newborn to make sure they are healthy.  

In addition to the nutritional and wellness benefits of colostrum for your baby, removing it by pumping or feeding tells your body that your baby will be getting hungry soon, so larger volumes of milk must be produced to meet your baby’s growing needs. By day 3, your newborn’s stomach will have grown to about the size of a walnut. This means that the amount of breast milk that a baby drinks will have increased exponentially in just a short time, with their tummy now able to hold between 22 – 27 ml or ¾ - 1 ounce per feeding. Feeding your newborn at least 8 – 10 times per day in the first week after birth helps to promote a healthy and ample milk supply going forward.

The Secretory Activation (or Building) Phase | 24 Hours to 2 Weeks

This phase happens when your body switches from producing colostrum to releasing more mature milk to meet the evolving needs of your growing newborn. While the timing is different for each mom, this typically occurs in the 24 – 120-hour range after birth. However, it can take longer for some moms, in which case you should work with your doctor or nurse to ensure your newborn is receiving the correct amount of nutrition until your milk volume increases. Often by the end of the first week, mothers are producing about 500 mLs or 16 ½ ounces of milk per 24 hours. Also around the 1 week mark, your baby’s stomach will have grown to about the size of an apricot with the capability of holding around 45 – 60 mL or 1 ½ - 2 ounces of milk

By about 2 weeks old, babies will generally be back up to their birth weight and will typically have at least 6 wet diapers and 3 or more diapers with bowel movements per 24 hours. Also around this time, your baby’s stomach has grown to about the size of an egg and can now hold between 80 – 150 mL or 2 ½ - 5 ounces per feeding. Your newborn will likely gain about 4 – 7 ounces per week in the first month and as you enter the Maintenance Phase of your lactation journey.

The Maintenance Phase | 4 Weeks to 12 Months

From the 4-week mark through the time that additional foods are introduced into your baby’s diet at about 6 months of age, your milk supply won’t change much if your feeding and pumping routine remains consistent. Because new foods will eventually replace some of the breast milk in your baby’s diet starting around 6 months old, your supply may start to gradually decrease at this point unless you’re pumping to build a stash. Babies usually gain about 4 – 7 ounces per week, or 1 – 2 pounds per month, for the first 6 months. This usually then tapers down to about a pound per month from roughly 6 – 12 months of age.

It is important to remember that breastfed infants take fewer but longer feeds as they get older, though their daily consumption remains about the same. This means that your little one may have less nursing sessions through the day, but will typically nurse for a longer period when they do. During the 3 – 6-month-old period, babies start to grow more slowly, so they don’t need a lot more milk at this time.

So, How Much Breast Milk Does a Baby Actually Need?

We try to make feeding as simple and straightforward as possible, but that’s not always easy. Every baby is different and, in most cases, there isn’t a specific intake amount that an infant must meet each day. Here are a few guidelines for what to expect:

  • The amount of milk that a baby drinks from a single breast ranges anywhere from 30 – 135mL, though the average volume is about 75 ml.
  • Your number of breastfeeding sessions per day may be anywhere from 4 – 13, depending on his or her appetite and how much milk is removed from the breast during each session.
  • A single breastfeeding session can express anywhere from 54 – 234 mL of milk.
  • Boys typically drink about 831 mL daily while girls usually drink about 755 mL each day.

With that in mind, the range of daily milk intake of growing, exclusively breastfed infants is anywhere from 478 – 1,356 mL. So, answering the question of how much breast milk a baby needs isn’t so easy. While guidelines like the above help give a little bit of context around your feeding experience, every mom, every baby and every breastfeeding journey is unique. As long as both mom and baby are happy and healthy, you’re doing things right!

Newborn Feeding Chart

Looking for more breastfeeding resources? Download our printable feeding and pumping log - available in English or Spanish! - for easy tracking of your baby's feedings and your pumping sessions.

You can also download our Medela Family app for personalized tracking of all your unique breastfeeding goals right from your smartphone, or take a look at the handy resources below:

What is the Range of Normal?

How Much Breast Milk Should a Newborn Eat?

In the early days at home with your newborn, getting into a regular feeding routine may be challenging - but learning how your baby's stomach grows over their first weeks outside the womb can help you both establish consistent nursing and feeding sessions.

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Learn How Your Baby's Stomach Grows Over Their First Days and Weeks

During the initial postpartum days with an at-term infant, getting into a regular feeding routine with your newborn may be challenging – it’s simply too early, and your baby will eat when he or she is hungry. Because their stomachs are so small, expect your little one to feed often but only drink a small volume of breast milk during these early nursing sessions. Each day, their stomach grows and the volume of breast milk it holds will quickly increase – this means that your baby will want and be able to drink larger volumes of milk as the days turn to weeks. This is a time of rapid growth for your newborn, so right now it’s usually best to follow their lead: Learn his or her cues and feed them as often as they indicate (at least 8 – 10 times per day through the first week), for as long as they want. Of course, this applies to babies who were born at term – late-term or early-term preemies may demonstrate different feeding cues and have special feeding situations.

Use our helpful guide to learn what the range of normal is when breastfeeding and consider the following to better understand your baby’s growing stomach size in the early days after birth:

How Many Ounces of Breast Milk Should a Newborn Drink?

  • Day One ---> Your baby’s stomach is about the size of a cherry! This means that it holds just 1 – 1 ½ teaspoons of milk at a time.
  • Day Three ---> Your baby’s stomach is about the size of a walnut! This means that it holds just ¾ - 1 ounce of milk at a time.
  • One Week ---> Your baby’s stomach is about the size of an apricot! This means that it holds about 1 ½ - 2 ounces of milk at a time.
  • Two Weeks ---> Your baby’s stomach is about the size of a large egg! This means that it holds about 2 ½ - 5 ounces of milk at a time.

Between one month old and six months old, your baby will begin to eat more efficiently in fewer sessions throughout the day, but the total amount of milk that he or she drinks per day will not change significantly. Every baby is different and many will certainly have days when they are hungrier than others, but the amount of breast milk that your little one will take in during this time typically averages out to anywhere from 19 – 30 ounces per day. However, this can change if you begin supplementing or, later on, as you’re introducing solid foods.

Though it’s totally normal for newborns to lose some weight after birth, most babies are back to their original birth weights by about two weeks old and should have at least 6 wet diapers and 3 or more diapers with a bowel movement in a 24-hour period. If you have concerns about your baby and whether they are getting enough breast milk, talk to your healthcare provider and pediatrician right away. As long as you and your little one are doing well, and he or she is meeting the recommended weight, digestive, and health measures, you can rest assured that you’re doing just fine.

If you need a little help tracking how much milk your baby is drinking each day, download our Medela Family app to easily log your pumping, nursing, and feeding sessions and your little one’s diapers. You can also download our printable feeding and pumping log - available in English and Spanish - to stay as organized as possible during those early weeks at home with your baby.

Your breast milk provides so many benefits to your newborn, mama. The vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and other great nutrients are exactly what they need right now. Remember, you and your baby will establish a regular daily feeding pattern soon enough, so be patient with yourself during this early postpartum period and know that you are rocking this new mom life – You’re doing a great job!

▷ How much should a newborn eat: breastfeeding and formula feeding

With the advent of a baby in your life, parents have many important tasks, among which the first one is: “ how much should a newborn eat?”

Although breastfeeding is a natural process, most mothers are concerned that their baby does not have to suffer because of a lack of food, or, conversely, that the baby does not overeat.

Read in our material how to maintain this balance and feed the little one in such a way that it benefits him. nine0005

How much a newborn should eat and how often should he be fed

The most difficult time in terms of how much a newborn should eat is the first seven days after birth. During this period, mother and her baby are just beginning to recognize each other.

Let's start with the fact that the most correct and healthy food for a little man is milk. However, it does not appear in the mother's body immediately.

Toward the end of pregnancy and in the first few hours after you give birth, colostrum forms in your breasts. It differs from milk in composition, which includes antitoxins and immunoglobulins. All these antibodies are aimed at strengthening the immune system of the little man and protecting him from all kinds of infections. nine0005

It will take a few days, and instead of colostrum, your body will produce the so-called transitional milk: visually it will be lighter than colostrum, but still quite fatty.

Then mature milk is formed, which will be the main food of your angel during the first months of his life.

Of course, mothers want to know how much milk a newborn should eat in order to be satisfied and grow up healthy.

First of all, do not worry about the fact that the little one will be hungry. Do not forget that your baby has a very small stomach, so at one meal he can take about 10 ml. Thus, if you apply your sun to your chest at his request, on the first day after his birth, the little man will be able to eat about 100 ml. nine0005

About 3-4 days after giving birth, the mother should feel the milk coming in. By this time, her child's stomach will grow a little, which means that the portion of food consumed will grow with it.

Don't rely solely on someone else's experience: there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to breastfeeding.

The alarm should be sounded only if by the 5th day after birth the baby's weight decreases by more than 8%. And this despite the fact that you followed the daily routine, did not forget about bathing, walking and purchased little men for newborns, sliders and other comfortable clothes for the baby. nine0005

Click here to learn more about what can trigger weight loss. If you do not find the answer to your question there, we recommend that you contact your pediatrician.

To make it easier for you to check how your child eats, we have prepared a table of how much a newborn should eat:

Age of the little one

Portion of breast milk

per feeding, ml


Consumption rates per day,

ml or % of infant weight

1-2 days



3-4 days



7 days



nine0002 14 days


500 or ≈ 20%

1 month



2 months



3 months


≈ 1/6 of body weight


4 months


≈ 1/6

5 months - half a year


≈ 1/7

six months to a year


≈ 1/8 - 1/9

Based on this table, you will always know how much food your newborn should eat. nine0005

Do not forget that complementary foods are introduced to babies older than six months. Milk is no longer the only food in your child's life. Therefore, its quantity is gradually reduced, giving way to other, more varied foods. Try to make this food as natural and healthy as possible.

Another important point concerns how often you need to feed the little one.


  • Breastfeeding is best when your little man wants; nine0219
  • Try to gradually develop a daily routine with even intervals between feedings;
  • The optimal interval between meals is 2-3 hours. However, it is important here to listen to the needs of your baby.

To make life even more comfortable for your angel, make sure that he has comfortable clothes for newborns made of natural fabrics. It will be much easier to establish the feeding process in it, taking into account the natural biorhythms of the little man. nine0005

Why does a newborn hiccup and what to do about it?

In the process of eating, all parents sooner or later wondered why the newborn hiccups.

This usually happens as a result of overeating or when your child swallows a lot of air.

What to do when a newborn hiccups:

  • As a rule, hiccups come immediately after feeding. To help your baby burp, you need to hold him in your arms in a column for about 15 minutes after he has finished eating. nine0219
  • Tummy massage will also help to solve the problem of bloating.
  • Try to avoid overeating: not every restless behavior of a little man indicates that he is hungry.
  • Make sure that the little one does not suffer from stress, which can lead to even an abundance of bright events during the day.

Why does a newborn spit up?

Regurgitation in newborns is considered normal by pediatricians. nine0005

However, this does not rule out the fact that most parents are worried about why the newborn is spitting up.

This is usually associated with swallowing large amounts of air.

To help your baby, try:

  1. Feed your baby more often, but avoid overfeeding.
  2. Learn the correct feeding techniques: the baby should grasp the nipple along with the areola. In the process of swallowing milk, there should be no chomping sounds, indicating that the child has swallowed air
  3. If you are a bottle-feeder, choose one that will come out evenly, in drops, rather than spurting.

Newborn formula feeding: how much should I eat?

We discussed with you how to properly feed a toddler who consumes mother's milk.

Let's talk about how much a newborn who is bottle-fed eats. You can find out more about feeding your baby by month here.

First, it is important to choose a quality formula that will fully provide your baby with all the necessary nutrients. To do this, it is advisable to consult with your pediatrician.

Secondly, eating formula is much easier than sucking milk. In the case of a bottle, the baby makes much less effort. That is why a strict dosage is needed here so that the baby does not eat more than necessary in a hurry.

To make it easier for you to understand, we have prepared a table in which we painted how much formula a newborn should eat:

Infant age

Amount of mixture consumed,

calculated from the body weight of the baby

From 10 days to 1.5 months of life


1. 5 to 4 months


4 to 6 months


from six months to 9 months


9 months to a year


Try to distribute this amount so that there are 6-7 feedings per day.

TM Demi wants to quickly establish the process of feeding the little one, which will ensure its balanced healthy development.

How much should a newborn baby eat

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Like every new mom, you're probably wondering, "How often should a newborn eat?" and “How many milliliters does a newborn baby drink at a time?”. A mother's body is designed to provide her baby with all the nutrients she needs, but every mom needs practical advice and confidence when it comes to how much milk a newborn should drink. nine0005

Whether you are breastfeeding, bottle feeding or a combination of the two, here you will find all the information you need to know how much food your baby needs for full growth and proper development.

Signs indicating that the child is hungry

Every mother has a wonderful maternal instinct, but we cannot guess the child's desires from the first time. Over time, you will learn your child's unique gestures and body movements, as well as signs that he is hungry. In the meantime, here are some of the most common signs that a child is hungry:

  • turns head towards your breast or bottle;
  • clenches;
  • puts pens in mouth;
  • pouts, smacks or licks lips.

If your child is showing any of these signs, they are probably trying to tell you it's time to eat. Ideally, your baby should be fed on demand when he is hungry. If you're breastfeeding, on-demand feeding is a good way to keep your milk supply going as your body will naturally respond to your baby's needs and continue to produce the required amount of milk. Bottle-feeding on demand can also be beneficial for your baby, as it allows him to self-regulate his feeding needs. nine0005

How much breast milk should a newborn drink?

So, how much should a newborn baby eat? A remarkable feature of each child is its uniqueness, so it would be wrong to feed the baby strictly according to the instructions. Don't panic if the recommendations below don't fit your own feeding schedule, but please contact your healthcare provider or pediatrician if you have any questions.

Although every baby is different, newborns typically eat every two to three hours, for a total of 8 to 12 meals a day. nine0005

How many milliliters does a newborn baby drink? At the very beginning, your body will only produce a small amount of yellowish and thick breast milk called colostrum. This milk is an ideal source of nutrients that your newborn needs, in addition, it has many immunological components. 1

How much milk does a newborn baby drink? Infants drink 30-60 ml per feeding, while this volume increases to 60-90 ml by two weeks of age. So don't worry if you don't feel like your body is producing much milk in those first few days after your baby is born! Feeding times will also vary, ranging from 10 to 30 minutes at the very beginning and then gradually increasing as your baby grows.

How much breast milk the baby eats if bottle fed

If you choose to bottle feed your baby from time to time, do so at the same intervals and for the same period of time as if you were breastfeeding. Pumping is a great option for breastfeeding your baby. It will allow you to separate from the baby if necessary and at the same time retain all the benefits of breastfeeding. nine0372

It's also important to get a bottle that helps make bottle feeding more natural for both you and your baby.

Learn more