Feeding Your Newborn - DHS 4369A

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

State of Illinois
Department of Human Services

Feeding Your Newborn

Baby News

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Feeding Tips

  • Cuddle and love your baby during feedings.
  • Feed your baby before he is upset or crying.

How Much Should I Feed My Baby?

  • Newborns only need a small amount of breast milk* at each feeding. Your baby's stomach is only about the size of a large egg at 10 days old.
  • Nighttime feedings are needed for baby to grow strong and healthy.
  • During growth spurts or when learning, baby may want to eat more often.
  • Growth spurts typically last 1-2 days and usually occur around:
  • 2 weeks
  • 6 weeks
  • 2 1/2 - 3 months
  • 4 1/2 - 6 months
  • When baby gets older he will feed less often.
  • Allow him to feed as long as he wants. He will tell you when he is hungry and full.

Signs That Your Baby Is Well Fed

  • Most newborns will feed about 8 - 12 times in 24 hours (or about every 1 1/2 - 3 hours).
  • After one week your baby will have 6 or more wet diapers and at least 3 dirty diapers daily.
  • Your baby will gain weight.
  • Wait to give a pacifier or bottle until baby is about 3 or 4 weeks old and you have good milk supply.

It's Too Early for Solid Foods

Most babies are not ready for solid foods, such as cereal, until at least 6 months. Giving food too early can cause baby to have allergies, choke or drink less breast milk* than needed.

*or infant formula


DHS 4369A (R-09-14) FYB - Feeding Your Newborn Printed by the Authority of the State of Illinois.

15,000 copies PO#15-0309