When it comes to feeding a newborn baby, parents often have many questions about how much and how often to feed them. At around 2 weeks old, most babies are still eating relatively small amounts at each feeding, so 4 ounces may seem like a lot. The short answer is that some 2 week old babies may be able to take 4 ounces at a feeding, while others may struggle with that much. There are a few factors to consider when determining if a 2 week old is ready for 4 oz feedings.
How often should a 2 week old eat?
At 2 weeks old, most babies need to eat every 2-3 hours, or 8-12 times in a 24 hour period. This equals out to about 24-32 ounces per day on average. However, all babies are different. Some may need as few as 20 ounces per day while others may need up to 36. Feedings should be guided by your baby’s hunger cues and their overall daily intake rather than sticking to a strict schedule. If they seem hungry, offer more. If they seem satisfied with less, let them lead the way.
What is the average feeding amount for a 2 week old?
During the first month, the average amount a baby eats per feeding is around 1.5-3 ounces. So for a 2 week old, 2-2.5 ounces per feeding is perfectly normal and enough to help them continue growing. However, some babies have a stronger appetite and bigger stomach capacity right from birth. These babies may manage more than the average amount.
Here is an overview of common feeding ranges for a 2 week old:
- 1-1.5 ounces per feeding (smaller stomach capacity)
- 2-2.5 ounces per feeding (average range)
- 3-4 ounces per feeding (larger appetite)
As long as your baby seems satisfied and is having enough wet and dirty diapers, their feed amounts are appropriate for them.
Signs your 2 week old may be ready for 4 ounces
While only some 2 week old babies have the appetite and stomach capacity to handle 4 ounce feedings, here are some signs your baby may be ready to try:
- They are finishing 2-3 ounces easily and still acting hungry
- They are requiring feedings more frequently than every 2-3 hours
- They are latching and eagerly sucking for longer feeding sessions
- They are producing the expected number of wet/dirty diapers for their weight
Keep in mind that a 2 week old should not be force fed more than they want. If your baby starts falling asleep or seems to lose interest part way through a larger bottle, take those signs as cues they are full for that feeding.
Is it safe for a 2 week old to eat 4 ounces?
For most babies, eating 4 ounces at 2 weeks old is safe, as long as it is tolerated well. Their stomach capacity expands rapidly in the first weeks of life. Some babies are just more eager eaters and physically capable of handling larger volumes early on. There are however a few risks to be aware of when considering 4 ounce feedings at 2 weeks old:
- Overfeeding – Feeding more than a baby needs can lead them to overeat and gain weight too quickly. This can increase their risk of childhood obesity. Watch for signs of fullness and do not coax a baby to finish a bottle.
- Dehydration – Large feeding amounts can fill a tiny tummy too much, leaving less room for the hydration from breastmilk or formula that babies need. Ensure they still get enough wet diapers.
- Spit up and vomiting – Overfilling the still-developing stomach may result in more spit up after meals and even vomiting. This can impact growth.
- Gas and discomfort – Babies may become gassy or fussy if fed larger amounts than they can comfortably handle. Find the amount that leaves them content without distress.
As long as your pediatrician has ruled out any medical conditions and your baby seems to tolerate the higher intake well, 4 ounces can be appropriate for some 2 week olds. But watch for any signs of overfeeding and make sure adequate hydration is maintained.
Tips for trying a 4 ounce feeding
If your 2 week old seems ready to try taking more, here are some tips for trying out a larger 4 ounce feeding successfully:
- Increase amounts gradually – Build up from 2.5 ounces to 3, then 3.5, before trying a full 4 ounces to allow their stomach time to adapt
- Go slowly – Take breaks to burp and pace the feeding to avoid gulping too much too fast
- Use the slowest flow nipple – A fast letdown can result in taking in air, spit up, or choking
- Hold baby upright – Feeding in a semi-upright position can help minimize spit up
- Watch for cues – Stop when baby seems disinterested or full before finishing the bottle
- Check diaper output – Make sure baby still has 6+ wet and 4+ dirty diapers per day
Stay attuned to any signs of discomfort like crying, gassiness or vomiting after trying a bigger bottle. These may be signs to scale back the amount at the next feeding or two. Your pediatrician can also help determine if 4 ounces seems appropriate based on your baby’s growth and development.
When to contact your pediatrician
While 4 ounce feedings may be fine for some 2 week old babies, contact your pediatrician right away if you notice any of the following:
- Projectile vomiting after eating
- Signs of choking during or after feedings
- Little interest in eating or inability to finish normal amounts
- Green or bloody colored spit up
- Fever over 100.4 F (38 C)
- Fewer than 6 wet diapers per day by day 5-7
- Excessive fussiness or crying
- Not having a bowel movement for several days
These can be signs of an underlying condition, allergy or reaction that needs medical assessment. Your doctor can help get to the root of any feeding difficulties.
While every baby has individual needs, some 2 week olds have bigger appetites and stomach capacities that allow them to comfortably take in up to 4 ounces per feeding. As long as your baby is showing hunger cues, finishing most of their bottles, and having enough wet/dirty diapers, 4 ounce feedings can be appropriate for some babies this age. However, don’t force extra intake if your baby seems satisfied or starts developing problems like spit up, gas or vomiting. Slowly increasing amounts while following your baby’s lead is key. Check with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your 2 week old’s nutritional needs or feeding tolerance.
Feeding Recommendations for a 2 Week Old
|Feeding Range||Number of Feedings||Total Ounces per Day|
|1-1.5 oz per feeding||8-12 feedings||16-24 oz|
|2-3 oz per feeding||8-12 feedings||24-36 oz|
|4 oz per feeding*||6-8 feedings||24-32 oz|
*Only some babies are ready for 4 oz feedings by 2 weeks old. Follow your pediatrician’s guidance.
Signs Your 2 Week Old May Need More than 2-3 Ounces
- Draining bottles quickly and eagerly
- Waking frequently or short intervals between feedings
- Acting hungry again shortly after eating
- Rooting, sucking or hands in mouth after finishing bottle
- Not able to go 3 hours between feedings
average weight, length and head circumference at 2 weeks
The average growth measurements for a full term, healthy baby at 2 weeks old are:
- Weight: 5-8 lbs
- Length: 19-22 inches
- Head Circumference: 34-38 cm
However, as long as your baby is following their own growth curve and percentages are proportional, variations up or down from the averages are perfectly normal. Your pediatrician will monitor your baby’s growth progress at regular checkups.
Expected Developmental Milestones at 2 Weeks Old
In addition to feeding needs, babies are rapidly developing in the first weeks of life. Here are some key milestones typically seen by 2 weeks of age:
- Vision – Can focus up to 8-12 inches away. Starts visually following moving faces and objects.
- Hearing – Distinguishes parents’ voices and responds more to familiar sounds.
- Reflexes – Grasp reflex still strong. Startle reflex active.
- Sleep – Sleeps 14-17 hours per day with no day/night pattern.
- Communication – Makes sucking noises and begins cooing.
- Movement – Holds head up briefly when on tummy. Opens and shuts hands actively.
Stay in close contact with your pediatrician if you have any concerns about your baby meeting developmental milestones or growth expectations. Monitoring feeding tolerance carefully is also essential.
Tips for Feeding a 2 Week Old Baby
The first weeks of your baby’s life involve lots of learning when it comes to feeding. Here are some tips to make feedings go smoothly:
- Look for early hunger cues – Rooting, mouthing, increased alertness means baby wants to eat
- Alternate sides during breastfeeding – Ensures balanced milk removal and supply
- Burp frequently – Gentle patting can relieve gassiness, spit up
- Hold upright 15-30 minutes after feeding – Minimizes reflux or vomiting
- Don’t prop bottle – Feeding safely in arms prevents ear infections
- Respond to cues – Stop feeding when baby turns away, falls asleep, or clamps lips
- Watch the scale – Ensure adequate weight gain with pediatrician
Remember that feeding should be an interactive bonding time, not just about the ounces consumed. Making eye contact, talking, smiling, and providing a calm environment are all important too.
Common Feeding Concerns
Many parents have questions or run into issues when feeding a 2 week old. Here are some common concerns and solutions:
Fussy at the breast or bottle
– Try different hold positions
– Check milk flow isn’t too fast
– Keep suction steady, avoid breaking seal
– Gently massage breast to improve milk ejection
Choking or coughing during feeds
– Ensure nipple hole size isn’t too large
– Keep baby upright, not laying flat
– Burp frequently to clear airways
– Pace feedings for easier swallowing
Spitting up often
– Keep baby upright after feeds
– Burp thoroughly halfway through feeds
– Check nipple flow isn’t too fast
– Feed smaller amounts slowly
Not finishing bottles
– Offer less per feeding if baby seems full
– Try a slower flow nipple to avoid overwhelm
– Ensure formula or breastmilk isn’t too cold
– Swaddle for comfort and less distraction
Not gaining enough weight
– Feed on demand letting baby set pace
– Offer both breasts at each feeding
– Supplement after nursing if needed
– Have pediatrician assess latch, transfer, and supply
If any feeding difficulties persist or you are concerned about your baby’s intake, weight gain, development or health, do reach out to their doctor right away for assessment and support.
At 2 weeks old, how many ounces should a baby eat at each feeding?
At 2 weeks old, the normal range for a baby to eat at each feeding is about 1-3 ounces. The average amount is around 2-2.5oz. Some babies will only take 1-1.5oz at a time, while others may already take 3-4oz per feeding.
How often should a 2 week old breastfed baby eat?
Breastfed babies at 2 weeks old need to nurse about 8-12 times in a 24 hour period, or every 2-3 hours. Watch for hunger cues and feed on demand. Nursing session lengths can vary from 10 minutes to over an hour in the early weeks.
Is it normal for a 2 week old to sleep 4 hours straight?
At 2 weeks old, it is fairly normal for a baby to have one 4-5 hour stretch of sleep in 24 hours, usually at night. However, sleeping any longer than 5 hours without eating is not recommended as it can risk dehydration, poor weight gain, and low blood sugar.
Can I overfeed my 2 week old baby?
It is possible to overfeed a baby even at just 2 weeks old. Feeding more than they need or are asking for can lead to obesity, vomiting, or other issues. Holding a bottle for a sleeping baby or forcing a baby to finish can result in overfeeding. Respect when a baby cues fullness.
Why does my 2 week old eat so frequently?
It is normal for a 2 week old to eat as often as every 2-3 hours. Their tiny stomachs empty faster and they need the nutrition and hydration for rapid growth. Frequent feeding also helps build milk supply. As they grow, they will slowly be able to go longer between feeds.