How Much Should a Three Week Old Eat?

Updated on January 19, 2011
D.S. asks from Vicksburg, MS
25 answers

I have a three week old baby boy. I am curious to know what others out there are eating. The doctor says he should be eating about 1 & 1/2 to 2 ounces each feeding. When I told him he usually takes about 4, he said that's fine. Just wondering what others out there are eating. Today, I gave him 6 ounces and he gulped it down. I know they are going through a growth spurt about this time, but how much is too much?

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T.E.

answers from Lake Charles on

so ok when my child was born he weighed 10.3 and he was t he size of a 2 month old. I was feeding him about 4to8oz.. I was told though that when they have gas, all they want to do is eat.. So be careful not to over feed him or it will be a disaster.. Good luck....

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J.H.

answers from Tulsa on

A 3 week old will eat exactly how much he needs. That may not be the same every time. Don't worry if he gets plump. he will will run it off later. Stay away from sugar, and he will be a healthy strong boy. If he is going to be a tall man, he will need a lot of food throughout his life.

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K.F.

answers from Huntsville on

Babies know how much they should be eating! They eat when they are hungry and stop when they aren't. Honestly I wouldn't worry about comparing how much your baby is eating to anyone else's baby - they all march to their own drummers, and depending on how big your baby is his nutritional demands will be very different from another baby who is a pound or two different at the same age. If your doctor says its fine, it probably is. You'll probably notice that at one feeding he'll take only a few, then be satisfied for hours, then take a large feeding and want to eat an hour later. As long as he is gaining weight, having adequate wet and poopy diapers, and you aren't forcing him to finish a bottle (try pulling it away if you see him slowing down or just mouthing the nipple without swallowing) - if he's not finished he'll let you know! -He'll get just the right amount for him.
congratulations!!!

1 mom found this helpful

J.W.

answers from New Orleans on

follow this link to www.kellymom.com - it has great info and even a calculator to help you figure out how much your baby is eating. i fed on demand and my son is now almost 4 years old and very healthy.

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/milkcalc.html

(imo - babies eat when they are hungry, sleep when they are tired and cry when they need something whether it is a diaper change, a hug, they're cold/hot or just want to be close to their mommy) :-)

1 mom found this helpful
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S.J.

answers from Tulsa on

My baby is three months old now, but she has always consumed more formula than the books say babies her age should, from the beginning. I think at about 3 weeks she was having 4 or sometimes 5 ounces. And she is long and lean, not round and chubby like many babies I see. Hmmm...Maybe babies just have different metabolisms like adults - some people eat and eat and eat as much as they want and are skinny, and some live on dry salads and have trouble keeping their weight down :). So who knows, but mine ate a lot too and so far she seems fine!!

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P.L.

answers from Huntsville on

My son was on a oatmeal suppliment w/ formula by the time he was a few weeks old. I had a cousin that had to have his formula supplimented w/ rice cereal at 6 weeks!!! I think each child is different and you will see that if he gets hungry quicker after a feeding then you may need to suppliment w/ rice or cereal in the formula.

Best of luck and Im sure you will do fine!

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C.G.

answers from Pine Bluff on

My son is 4 weeks and 6 days old. He has been taking in 3 to 4 ozs since he left the hospital. A couple of days ago, I started giving him 6 ozs a feeding and he takes it all. I think that it is perfectly normal for our little ones to eat more than what is the norm. This is my fourth, I have a 10, 6, 4 and 4 week old. None of my kids eat what is considered the normal amount. Rest assured you have a normal 3 week old.

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J.L.

answers from Tulsa on

My baby girl is 7 months old right now. When she was 6 weeks old I stopped nursing and started giving her formula. Right off the bat she ate 4 ounces and very shortly moved to 6 ounces. She eats 6-8 ounces per feeding now. She's normal size and perfectly healthy. My ped says feed them what they want. Children don't know how to overeat, if they are hungry they eat, when they are not hungry they won't eat. Don't you wish we were like that?! HA! Good Luck.

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J.H.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Hey, my delicate little flower took 8 ounces every two hours straight out of the womb, I was breastfeeding and was a mess. If you're breastfeeding its not important how much they get, but if you're giving them a formula, there could be more fats involved. Just monitor his height and weight on the growth scale, if he's somewhere in-between you're doin just fine...

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J.K.

answers from Birmingham on

Read the book Baby Wise by Ezzo for help with this & other things.

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S.P.

answers from Oklahoma City on

At this stage in the game it all comes down to how many times are you feeding your baby a day. If he is eating this amount every 2 hours that is a little much. If it is every 4 to 6 hours then you are okay.

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A.J.

answers from Oklahoma City on

my baby boy only ate about 2 ounces at each feeding until he was 2 months old

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K.E.

answers from Little Rock on

D.,

I have always read that babies know internally how much they need to eat when they are hungry. I would feed him and not worry about it, unless you think it is seriously excessive and ongoing. In that case, take him to his doctor. My kids went through many growth spurts and ate much more during those times than normally. I fed my children at will when they were babies and it worked well for all three. None have weight problems and all continue to eat tons at some times and little to none at others.

Good luck!
K.
mother of 4-yr-old twins and a 23 mth old!

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S.W.

answers from Tulsa on

I know your bottle feeding, and that's okay. I'm breast feeding mine, and when I nurse, there isn't any way to know exactlt how much he's getting. So I just follow his cues. When he acts hungry I feed him, and I let him stop when he want to stop. But I also watch his diapers. If he's having plenty of wet and dirty diapers I know he's getting enough.

I think the same rules can apply to bottle feeding. Don't worry so much about amounts... just follow your son's cues. If he's acting like he's hungry, feed him. And when he stops eating stop feeding him. Your baby knows what his feeding needs are better than any book or doctor out there. Just follow your baby's needs on this one. And watch his diapers. If he's peeing frequently, that means he's well hydrated, and if he's having dirty diapers, that means his digestive system is getting nutrients. Just relax and trust your baby and your mama instincts.

P.S. There was an earlier recommendation for the Babywise book. Be very careful about this as the AAP has recommended against their techniques and has found that they are linked with dehydration and failure to thrive.
http://aapnews.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/1...

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T.B.

answers from Washington DC on

I have 6 kids our oldest is 12,11,10,10,8,and the baby she is 3 weeks old.
This is what happens when there is 8 years between kids. I hate to say it but i know we never followed the doctors orders when it was feeding time
i can not remember how much a baby eats and when you do not follow a feeding schudle or your husband does'nt .ANY WAY we feed her on demand and she will eat anywere from 2 oz. to 5-6 oz. at one feeding.
she seems happy and full sleeps well and goes potty well these are the things I would watch for but a real number for a 3 weekold is just like some times i am more hungery than others. we all know how that goes being a new mom and not taking the time to eat especialy if you have big kids please respond my name is T. let me know how you feel.

C.T.

answers from Atlanta on

My 3 week old boy is eating 3 1/2 onces of formula and breast milk as well when I pump. My husband sometimes gives him 4 ounces which I think its too much because he often spits up. Hope that helps!

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D.K.

answers from Tuscaloosa on

Having a boy and a girl, they are completely different. My girl was a slow eater taking her time. Then my son was born. He weighed only 7 lbs. but couldn't seem to get full. I started him with a little rice cereal in his bottle and that seemed to satisfy him to sleep better at night. When he gets up to 8 oz. and still acts hungry, just feed him a little cereal. You can gradually add fruit like applesauce to the cereal too.
Denise

M.H.

answers from Enid on

1 1/2 - 2 ounces???? Is your baby a small preemie? Does your dr. think your baby is a small gerbil? That sounds like not enough to me. My 2nd daughter was a larger baby (8 lbs 15 ounces) and at 3 weeks she would nurse vigorously on both sides and then down a 6 ounce bottle and be ready to eat again in 2 hours. She was my most agressive eater, but all my other kids really required a lot of nutrition those first few months. NOTE: none of my babies were "fat" or rolly polly babies - they were all skinny and ate like horses. My pediatrician could never believe how much they ate!

What you need to do at this age is feed them if they are hungry. They will not over eat and if they do, they'll spit up the extra on you :). Good luck!

A.B.

answers from Albany on

My baby boy just turned 3 weeks yesterday. He will eat anywhere from 2/12 to 5 oz. It really just depends on how hungry he is. My doctor said that was fine, if he vomits then its too much, if not, then it is okay.

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J.H.

answers from Tulsa on

A 3 week old will eat exactly how much he needs. That may not be the same every time. Don't worry if he gets plump. he will will run it off later. Stay away from sugar, and he will be a healthy strong boy. If he is going to be a tall man, he will need a lot of food throughout his life.

C.S.

answers from Seattle on

I had the same ?. my 3 week old son is eating 3 sometimes 4oz every feeding. and is eat every 3 to 4 hrs.

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T.E.

answers from Lake Charles on

so ok when my child was born he weighed 10.3 and he was t he size of a 2 month old. I was feeding him about 4to8oz.. I was told though that when they have gas, all they want to do is eat.. So be careful not to over feed him or it will be a disaster.. Good luck....

Smallavatar

A.S.

answers from Little Rock on

Let him eat as much as he wants!! At that age children do not have the ability to over eat. I had the same issue with my son. I took him to the doctor, and he said that at that age they only eat until they are full, and if he is still eating he is still hungry, and nobody wants a hungry baby.

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T.M.

answers from Oklahoma City on

I think you are doing ok..6 Might be a little much BUT I only say that because my 3 boys all had tummy/gas issues..so the more they ate that small the more it affected him IF he seems to handle it quite well go ahead. I fed all 3 of my boys on demand also. I never made them wait, I just fed as they wanted it and they have turned out great! You are doing a great job!

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S.P.

answers from Little Rock on

congradulations on the baby! my son is almost two months now he eats 8 oz each feeding sometimes he even eats 10 or 12oz. When I switched him to formula at a month he would eat 4 oz each feeding. My doctor told me to let them eat when they are not hungary they will let you know.

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R.G.

answers from Tulsa on

Hello D. S,
Well, my baby is almost two weeks old and she is taking about 2-3 oz, sometimes a little more. Good Luck!
R. G

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A.B.

answers from Birmingham on

D.,
My little one will be 3 weeks on Friday and is routinely eating between 2 & 1/2 to 3 & 1/2 ounces with feedings every 3 or 4 hours (usually every 3). I can't wait to see other responses as I've been wondering the same thing about what is normal at this stage. Good luck!
A.

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