A baby’s stomach is approximately the size of a cherry when it is first born and can contain 5–7 mL of milk. In the next 3 days, it grows approximately 4 times to the size of a walnut and can now hold 22–27 mL of milk. By 7 days, it will increase 9 times in size (about the size of an apricot) and can hold 45–60 mL of milk. When the baby is a month old, their stomach is about the size of a large egg, and can hold approximately 80–150 mL of milk.
Size of a newborn’s stomach
This is easy to see why babies need to be fed every few hours during their first few weeks of life.
As they continue to get older and grow, they will consume larger quantities of formula with longer periods between feedings.
How to determine if your baby is eating enough
Proper weight gain is the truest test as to whether or not your baby is eating enough. The number of wet diapers is also a good indication. If you get 6 or more per day, and your baby is content between feedings, they are likely satisfied.
It is important to follow your baby’s cues when they are nursing to determine when they have had enough. Don’t try to force them to continue feeding when they are not hungry. When exclusively bottle feeding, the below guide will give you an approximation as to how many bottles and how often you should feed formula to your baby. Remember though, these are just averages…Your baby’s appetite is always the best guide.
Approximation as to how many bottles and how often you should feed formula to your baby
Birth–7 days: Watch for cues of hunger and fullness. Expect baby to eat small amounts at a time. Baby will need to be fed often.
9–12 months: When your baby is 9–12 months old, you can start replacing formula with pasteurized 3.25% (homogenized) milk as long as he’s eating iron-rich foods at most meals. As your baby eats more solid foods, she will begin to drink less formula / 3.25% milk. By 12 months of age, your baby needs 16 ounces (500 mL) of 3.25% milk per day.
12 months and older: Infant formula isn’t needed for most healthy babies after 12 months. Offer 2–3 cups (500 mL–750 mL) of 3.25% milk each day as part of meals and snacks.
NOTE: Enfamil A+® has formulas for babies with special dietary needs (such as allergies or intolerances) and these may have different guidelines. Be sure to follow the instructions on the package and consult with your pediatrician.*