Bottle Feeding & Newborn Sleep Habits.

Updated on June 13, 2008
N.D. asks from Tulare, CA
27 answers

I'm sort of new to the mommy business & decided to bottle feeding my newborn baby. She's a precious 1 week and 2 day old little angel but i'm wondering if i'm giving her enough or too much formula? At the beginning she'd feed at random hours but just yesterday she's been feeding every 2hrs & 2 oz, is that normal? I'm just not sure how much a newborn is suppose to bottle feed. Also, how often does a newborn sleep & how long does that last? Sorry so many question but like i said i'm a newbie to all of this. Thanks in advance.

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C.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Get the book Baby 411. It was extremely helpful and even has charts for feeding/sleeping etc. for the first year of life. I used it when my daughter was born and it was extremely useful. Good Luck!

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R.S.

answers from San Diego on

That sounds like she put herself on a very reasonable schedule~does she spit up much afterward? I would say that amount is in the normal realm, absolutely. ONce she completely keeps down that amount--and if you notice the times she's hungry geting closer together--increase the amount to 2.5 oz. You're doing fine--hang in there--the sleep-deprived part at night is the hardest!!!

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H.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N.
first of all congrats :D
it sounds like the two of you are right on track. i know its hard being a new mommy, but its gonna click :D
dont worry about her eating too much or too little, they will let you know when they need more or less. 2oz. for the first week is great. she will gradually eat more and sleep longer.
a few things to remember to ease some of the stress of being a new mommy...
when they cry it may be that they are cold. (my daughter hated being too cold...she became very fussy)
she might be hungry/or gassy
she might need to be changed
she might be tired
she may just want to cuddle/be held
she may just be bored(this one for a bit later :D)
...and sometimes they just get fussy to release the extra energy until they start playing on their own.
needless to say every newborn is different and they set the schedule for themselves. so if she is a happy girl and growing, you as a mom are doing a great job :D
good luck to you and hope this helps

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A.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

I suggest you consider breastfeeding your precious newborn. It really is the best food for a newborn and infant. They get the right amount of nourishment (provided you eat right, and drink plenty of water), and will drink only what they need. In addition it is the food made for babies, it's natural and no added chemicals. (Unless you eat them). It will create an incredible bond between you two, and your precious daughter will be protected from diseases. It will help her grow up healthy and independent. When the Mom meets the needs of the child, the child is fulfilled and can grow to be healthy, and happy, and independent.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

N. -

Sounds like she is going through a growth spurt....they tend to eat more often when they are growing. It should taper off in a couple of days and she will be back to nomoral. If she doesn't then you might try to move up to three ounces.

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J.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

My baby was a three hour baby when I had him he usually ate 4ozs. a feeding and he would go back to sleep. Then I had to try my hardest to keep him up a little during the day because he got his night and days mixed up. No I think your doing fine. Because most baby's eat 4ozs. every 4 hours. But if you could see if she could wait at least 3 hrs. it would let her stomach rest a little bit more. But I have a friend that fed her baby every 2hrs. and he seemed to do o.k. and her doctor told her that she was'nt letting his stomach rest enough between feedings, but she said he just would be to hungry and went ahead and fed him every 2 hrs. and when he could eat baby cereal she would give that to him before he would go to bed at night before his evening bottle and he seemed to be more satisfied and sleep better.

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S.F.

answers from Santa Barbara on

Hi N.,
I stumbled on a book about two weeks before our baby was born "The Baby Whisperer" by Tracy Hogg and read it in a couple of days. It turned out to be the most valuable info I read in all those months of reading birth and baby books! It will give you a loose understanding of a baby's rhythm which will become second nature to you in a few months. The book gave me a boost of confidence. It is such a paradigm shift, but you will love it! Enjoy!
S.

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D.M.

answers from Lawrence on

Hi N., the amount of formula she is eating is fine. My son ate that much when he was that old. Newborn's tend to sleep about 16 hours a day. Congrats, on your new baby, and I hope this helps!!!

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L.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Yes, your baby will tell you when she is hungry, tired or wet. in the beginning the feedings are more frequent and gradually they become less as you hit the one month mark. Then you will have growth spurts where they will be more frequent then.

good luck.

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J.D.

answers from Reno on

Two ounces every 2-2 1/2 hours is absolutely perfect. As she gets older, you can stretch out the time between feedings and give her more to eat. Increase it by an ounce every two weeks or so (after she's about 4 weeks) and go from there. She'll let you know whether or not she's getting enough.
Newborns sleep about 22 hours a day, only waking long enough for a feeding and diaper change. Don't get used to it, though, because it won't last long. My best advice, sleep when she does, because you know you'll be up every two hours at night for the next few weeks.
Congratulations on the new baby. :)

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L.F.

answers from Los Angeles on

Congrats on being a new mom. I have 3 small children so welcome to the "club".

First off I am going to say that every baby is different and you will know your baby best. So, trust your "gut"

Next with regards to eating, every 2 hours 2oz at a time in SOOOO normal. You don't say how big she is, but a baby will eat when they are hungry, so watch for her clues. If you are bottle feeding and you think she only going to eat 2 oz put 2 1/2- 3oz in the bottle this way she won't suck air, and if she is hungry there is more. IF she turns her head, pushes the bottle out with her tounge,spits up a lot... she doesn't want any more or has gotten too much. If she is constantly draining the bottle add an oz. If you feed baby on their cue and don't push when they are done they will learn to eat when they are only hungry ( they won't over eat)- my littlest girl never took more than 5 1/2 oz.

Sleep, at this age babys will sleep alot. They will wake at night every 2-3 hours to eat. You may get 1 3-4 hour period in the day, but for the next month expect your baby to sleep 2-3 hours and with each waking need to eat. I found with my girls once they were 12 lbs ( about 3 months) I got a 5 hour stretch at night and by then they were eating 3-4 oz.

Hope this helps-
Good luck,
L.

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I'm sure you don't have time to read but a great book for a new mom is The Baby Book by Dr. Sears. You can also find a ton of info on bottle feeding at his site www.askdrsears.com , don't be fooled - he is pro-breastfeeding all the way but understands that it isn't for everyone, a friend of mine who was having some trouble received some great bottle feeding info at his site.

Congratulations on your new baby!
M.

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K.G.

answers from Los Angeles on

You can read books (what to expect the first year) or all of our responses. The truth is, your daughter is unique. Feed her every 3-4 hours and she will eat as much as she wants and develop a schedule. You are doing great and you sound normal.

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A.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello N.,

Congrats on the New Born. Im also a new mom but my daughter is now 2 months old and has been sleeping through the night since she was 3 weeks old. I have managed to get her on a schedule. What I did was let her sleep during the day and she would feed her every 2-3 hrs. then try to keep her awake in the evening as much as possible and that's when she did what they call custer feeding meanning she ate every 1 to 2 hrs but not quite as much in quantities and between 8:30 to 9:15 give her a bath and I use Johnson's Bedtime Gift Set which you can get at babies R us, and put her down by 10 and she would be out until 5 to 5:30. That's an example of a schedule, like i said she has been sleeping that way since she was three weeks old. It's never to early to start your baby on a schedule. Let me know if you have any questions you can contact me at [email protected]____.com and by the way I checked with my pediatrician and she said that schedule is great. Ask yours too just to make sure. Good luck sleep is great.

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J.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

The best advise I got was feed every 3-4 hours as much as they want in a half hour. If you choose 3 hours keep it at that don't feed at 2 1/2. It puts them on a good schedule

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D.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

It depends on the size of the baby. My children were 8lbs.0 to 8lbs.13oz, when they were born, so they drank 3 ounces at birth. I nursed them, but I pumped sometimes. The baby should eat every 3 hours. When the baby wakes up in the morning, then you start the time. First change diaper,then feed ,then play with, read to, talk to, sing to and cuddle with your baby. After 1 and a half hour is passed change her diaper again and put the baby down to sleep. The baby will have 2-45 minute sleep cycles with a little stirring half way through. When she is sleeping her tummy will begin to get hungry so at the end of the 1 and a half hour nap then start the process over. At first it will be very hard to keep her awake for very long because it is alot of work getting born and she is tired. But keep it up and get her on a feeding schedule and you will both enjoy the routine and she won't be fussy because her needs are being met. Enjoy her!!They change vey fast!! D.

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S.B.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N.! Congratulations. Wow, that's awesome. I totally agree with Andrea A. I put my daughter on a schedule immediately and she was sleeping through the night by 7 weeks. The one thing I'd add to Andrea's post is to make sure when you put her on the schedule that it generally goes like this - wake up, feed right away, play/awake/bonding, sleep. The reason is that then they are never tied to that bottle to go to sleep. Later you'll be happy you did it. It's super easy to get them on a schedule when they're this young. I've heard arguments against scheduling which usually go like this, "It's too much trouble." I can tell you it's much easier. That way you can predict when it's a good time to go to the store, when they'll have their nap and you can take a shower, etc. Have a great time with your new child!!!

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B.B.

answers from San Diego on

Hi N.-

Congratulations on the new baby! There is nothing better in the world...although the first few months is tough trying to figure it all out. Newborns have tiny tummies and need to eat constantly. I would say every 2 hours is pretty normal. Watch also for cluster feeding. My little one would cluster in the evening (it felt like all I did was feed her from 5 pm-9pm) I assume to fill up before bedtime. One thing I didn't realize with my little one in the beginning is how much sleep they need. When she is crying and she has been fed and changed, she may just be tired. Let her sleep as much as she needs (which could be up to 20 hours a day in the beginning). The nights are rough...but soon enough, you will be sleeping for more than a 2 hour stretch at a time. Enjoy it..it goes by so fast! My 5 month old grew up before my eyes :)

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V.B.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

N.,

Poor thing you sound lost. :0) 2oz every two hours is great! Usually with a newborn when ever they wake up they are hungry! Don't wake her to feed her unless it’s been over about 3 hours or so. Too bad you are not breast feeding, that is the best for her and then she can have as much as she wants! You should start reading up on newborns (internet or books)....they sleep a lot! When she sleeps you should sleep as well, to avoid getting frazzled when she decides she wants to cry or anything else. Do you have family to help you? I feel bad for you.....it doesn’t sound like the hospital gave you too much information before they sent you and your little bundle on your way. I am sorry for that! Well feel free to email me if you want to [email protected]____.com I had my baby girl when I was 24 and boy did I feel like a fish out of water! It’s not easy that’s for sure.....thats probably why then men don’t do it! LOL! Keep your head up, listen to your heart, let your light guide you and GET AS MUCH SLEEP AS POSSIBLE (LOL!) you will be fine!

Peace~Love~Light
V.

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J.D.

answers from Los Angeles on

I know how you feel, unfortunately none of my kids came with owners manuals! Always remember that you can and should call your doctor with questions, and expect them to provide thorough answers that make sense to you. Cedar Sinai hospital has a hot line (I don't recall the name, as the switchboard) that is very helpful.

Re food, I don't recall, as my kids are older the amounts they should be eating, I do know that heathy babies can never be too fat, or eat too much.

Re sleep, the more the better! Your goal is to have them sleep for as long as possible during the evening, with at least 2 to 3 naps during the day. As your child get's older try to cut it down to 2. You might want to read Dr. Ferber's book on sleep. Google the title, i just don't recall.

The main thing as a parent is to trust your instinct. Collect information from others, but believe in your own answers. Good luck.

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D.B.

answers from San Diego on

Congrats on your new bundle!!! 2 oz sounds about right, every 2 hours or so, more if she is crying for more...and let her sleep as long as she wants (but no more then 4 hours or so at a time without eating for a newborn....) It's normal for them to eat all the time for the first few days, and then they kinda start spreading out their feedings....If I were you, I would get the book the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg, it is fabulous for 1st time moms and goes over everything from day 1 on...about how much they sleep, eat, etc! Order it online if you can't get to a store it is FABULOUS and really helpful! GOOD LUCK!

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J.L.

answers from San Diego on

Hi N., there is no 2 babies the same, a bottle feeding every 2 to 3 hours is normal, 2oz is fine, i would not give her more than that, unless she really acts like she is hungry. For sleeping, babies who are slept on their backs, don't nomally sleep as long as babies who are slept on their tummy's. as she ets older her feeding and sleep habits will change. happy to see there are still new mommies that bottle feed. J.

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J.C.

answers from San Diego on

Yes that is normal every baby is different on sleeping patterns I feed my son from every 2-3hours when he was a week old.

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J.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

A newborn's stomach is the size fo a marble.
A 3 day old's somtach is the size of a shooter marble.
A 10 day old's stomach is the size of a ping pong ball.

This is all true, unless the parent overfeeds the baby. Bottles dump for food quicker than a breast, so the stomach may not have enough time to tell the brain that it's full.

It sounds like 2 hours and 2oz is enough. Breastfed babies eat every 20 minutes to every 2 hours. Some people stuff their kids with 4oz oz of formula and then wonder why their kid has acid refluax, when in reality, it's just too much for the stomach to contain it all.

My babies all slept through the night thanks for breastfeeding and taking a good calcium every 12 hours. but, if I were like most other parents, sleeping through the night is 5 hours for babies. At 9 days old, they are still trying to figure it all out...but most babies are up every 2-3 hours.

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T.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi N.!

As far as how much is normal, 1-2oz. is normal per feeding. Some babies might want more, but they are usually on the larger end of the size spectrum. If she seems satisfied - newborns usually just fall asleep when they are....then, that was enough. If you are stopping at 2oz., just because, then that may be why she's only sleeping for a couple of hours. As far as sleeping, every baby is different. Most sleep between feedings pretty exclusively. It should be more like 3-4 hours in between feedings - but again, it is dependent upon your baby. You are doing fine! Good luck & God Bless!

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B.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

No two babies eat or sleep the same, so whatever you read or are told is a general guideline. 2 oz every two hours is fine, and the thing at this age is to follow your baby's signals. You can try to get her on a schedule so far as when she eats (and every 2 hours, at this age, is a good interval), but as far as the amount she eats you just have to go with what she does. If she falls asleep while eatting try to rouse her and get her to eat more, but don't stress or force it. Babies tend to know what they need, food wise, better than we do. And as long as she is healthy and you don't notice signs of dehydration (no wet diapers, soft spot on head sunken in, general sluggishness or drastic decrease in activity) or general illness (diahrea, vommitting, fever, etc) she is getting plenty to eat.

Sleep is a little more complicated. I highly suggest you find a book that reflects your personality and parenting style to help guide the sleep habits you are teaching your child. Parents forget or don't realize that sleep at this age is such a big deal, not the amount (also important, though), but how it happens. They don't realize that sleep and falling asleep are things that babies need to learn to do, not something they're born knowing. I really love the Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg- I think it is one of the most moderate and balanced approaches towards parenting an infant in general and I love her sleep approach (I don't, however, agree with her aversion to baby wearing, but you can't agree with everything!). A book like that would be most helpful to you because it addresses almost everything you need to know about infants and behavior, from sleeping to eatting to interaction and activities. But skim a few others to make sure it's what is right for you- there is no "right" parenting style, and if you try something that goes against your grain it won't work. Go to Barnes and Noble and paruse the parenting section- all the infant books tend to be in the same area.

As far as quantity, all babies are different. The general guideline is 16- 18 total hours of sleep, but my daughter slept up to 21 hours a day from 2-4 months, then dropped down to 16. They really can't sleep too much (again, as long as they are well- general sluggishness, even when awake, can be a bad sign), but if she's getting less than 14 hours you may need to change something. Also, now would be a good time for you to read Dr. Karp's Happiest Baby on the Block- unless you're one of those lucky moms whose baby has no colic, you'll need to know this stuff in about three or four weeks. Better to know it than to not and need it!

You've taken a step in the right direction by asking for help so soon- too many moms just try to tough it out on their own without looking for info or help. Both of the books I mentioned are short, easy reads but full of important information for new moms, so please check them (or others) out. Good luck!

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M.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

2 to 3 oz seems right. A great book for you to read in regards to feeding and sleep habits is called Baby Wise. It helped me so much when I was a new mom and made so much sense. Don't worry... your little one will let you know if she's getting too much by spitting up or not enough by wanted to eat more often. Good luck with all the wonderful joys to come.

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