How Much Does My Newborn Need to Eat in the First 24 Hours?


Skin-to-skin immediately after birth will help establish breastfeeding. A newborn will self-latch with skin-to-skin within the first hour or so after birth. Did you know that early and frequent active breastfeeding provides antibodies for your newborn? Prior to the initial latch your baby may root for the nipple, lick, bring hands to their mouth and/or nuzzle showing signs they are getting ready to feed.

So how much does your newborn need to eat in the first 24 hours? Your newborn should attempt to feed a minimum of 5 times in the first 24 hours. Your newborn may even start to cluster feed near the end of the 24 hours. Cluster feeding is when your newborn bunches feeds close together often happening in the evening. The frequency and duration of the breastfeeding is different for each baby. Normal healthy newborns eat 2-10 mls/feeds of colostrum in the first 24 hours.

Formula Feeding

Skin-to-skin is important regardless of the feeding method. Watch for early feeding cues like wiggling, bring hands to their mouth, and rooting. When bottle feeding bring your baby close to you this helps with bonding.

So how much formula does your newborn eat in 24 hours? Total formula volume requirements are based on weight. In the first 24 hours they need 30 ml/kg/24 hours. You need to know your newborns weight in kilograms then times that by the 30 mls and then divided by the feed times. Every 3 hours feeds you would divide by 8 and then for every 4 hour feeds you would divide by 6. The nurses on your postpartum unit can help with these calculations. The total formula volume requirements change daily as your baby grows.

If you have any questions regarding breastfeeding or bottle feeding reach out to your local Mama Coach. We are a no judgement zone trying to motherhood easier. You got this mama!


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