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Infant Nutrition Guide

Infant Nutrition Guide

New to feeding an infant? We’re here to help with this infant nutrition guide. Here are four signs to help you gauge whether or not your newborn’s getting enough nourishment.

Medically reviewed by a board-certified pediatrician

1. Follow your baby’s cues

Rather than basing your feedings just on length of time, it’s important to read other signals. Your baby will usually let you know when they’re hungry by fussing and crying, especially an hour or so after nursing. A well-fed baby will likely be content.

  • Movement. When your baby fidgets and turns away while feeding, they may be telling you they’ve had enough. It’s important to pay attention to these signals since this is their way of letting you know they’re full.
  • Sounds. When feeding from a bottle, it’s easy to get a read on how much your baby’s taking in. Breastfeeding moms, who can’t actually see the milk flow, can listen for sucking and swallowing sounds. You may also see milk around your baby’s mouth.

2. Do the math

Nutritional Needs for Infants:

  • Breastfed newborns feed approximately 8-12 times a day
  • Bottle-fed newborns take 2-4 ounces of formula every 2-3 hours

Some days your baby may feed more, but the amount averages out over time. If the milk is available, your baby will take what they need and push away when they’re done.

3. Track diaper changes

Most infants wet their diapers at least six times a day, sometimes more. Peeing is an important sign of hydration which is important for infant nutrition. Bowel movements may be frequent in the beginning, sometimes occurring after every feeding. This may continue or decrease to once or twice a day. Your baby might skip days entirely or have a stool only once a week. All of these diaper changing scenarios are considered normal.

4. Don’t worry

Your newborn may lose up to 10% of their weight in the first week of life, but try not to fret. They’ll usually begin to regain it by the end of the second week and continue at a steady rate in the weeks to come. Be sure your baby’s doctor is monitoring their height and weight at visits.

Feeding can be a time of worry and stress—we know. Infant nutrition is important, but don’t forget that feeding is also a great time to bond with your baby. Keep these nutritional needs for infants in mind, and if you’re still worried that your baby isn’t gaining weight, chat with your doctor.

“My advice to new moms is that if you baby is healthy, growing and is loved, you are doing a good job!” – Enfamil® mom

All information on Enfamil, including but not limited to information about health, medical conditions, and nutrition, is intended for your general knowledge and is not a substitute for a healthcare professional's medical identification, advice, or management for specific medical conditions. You should seek medical care and consult your doctor or pediatrician for any specific health or nutrition issues. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment, care, or help because of information you have read on Enfamil.