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Feeding > Feeding Your 0-2 Month Old

Feeding Your 0-2 Month Old

Your baby needs only breast milk or iron-fortified infant formula for the first 4 to 6 months of life. Most formula-fed babies will eat every 2 to 4 hours and breastfed babies every 2 to 3 hours. For a discussion of how to decide what type of milk to feed your baby, read How to Choose What to Feed.

Guidelines:

Breast Milk or Infant Formula

0-1 month 18 – 24 ounces in 24 hours
1-2 months 22 – 28 ounces in 24 hours
2-3 months 25 – 32 ounces in 24 hours
3-4 months 28 – 36 ounces in 24 hours

Intake may also vary depending on the weight of the infant. Bigger babies will eat more.

Feeding tips:

  • Your baby is likely getting enough to eat if he is having 6 to 8 wet diapers per day.
  • Breastfed babies may need to eat more often than formula-fed babies. This is normal. Breast milk is digested faster and babies will become hungry earlier than if they were formula fed.
  • Babies need only breast milk or formula for the first 4 months of life. Avoid giving your infant juice or food (including cereal) until 4 months of age (unless your doctor recommends it).
  • Do not add cereal to the bottle, unless recommended by your doctor. It does not make babies sleep longer.
  • Avoid putting your baby to bed with a bottle of formula. This may lead to tooth decay and ear infections.
  • Hold your baby upright when feeding. Lying a baby flat to drink a bottle may cause choking or ear infections.
  • Do not force your baby to finish a bottle. When your baby gets full, he will turn his head and push the nipple out of his mouth or fall asleep.
  • In addition to being hungry, your baby may cry because he is bored or lonely, or needs a diaper change.
  • Hold your baby close to you and cuddle him as you feed him.
  • Look at your baby and let him look at you while he eats.
  • Gently try to burp your baby mid-feeding and at the end of each feeding.
  • There is no need to sterilize bottles before use. Wash with warm, soapy water, and rinse well.
  • Use cold tap water or baby bottled water to make formula, then heat later in warm water, not the microwave. Warm tap water has more minerals in it, so is not ideal to drink.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends all primarily breast fed infants begin iron and vitamin D supplement. Vitamins for infants are available in your pharmacy in the vitamin section.
  • Vitamin D is not in breast milk. Every 8.3 ounces of formula has 100 IU. It is recommended for infants under 1 year to have 400 IU per day. If your infant has less than 33 ounces of formula per day a supplement is recommended. Skin can make it if exposed to sunlight, but no one knows how much is ideal and the risk of too much sun is great. Read more on our Vitamin D page.
  • Iron is in breast milk and term babies are born with iron stores in the liver to last 4-6 months, but many babies are deficient when tested. Because iron deficiency can cause growth and developmental problems, prevention is worth the effort.

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