Can my 5 day old eat 4 oz?

As a new parent, it’s normal to have questions about how much and how often your baby should eat. At just 5 days old, your newborn’s stomach is still very small, so they will need to eat frequently in small amounts. Typically, newborns need to eat every 2 to 3 hours, around 8 to 12 times per day. Let’s take a closer look at whether a 5 day old can handle eating 4 oz per feeding.

How much should a 5 day old eat?

Most newborns need about 1 to 3 oz per feeding in the first few days. Here are some quick answers about feed amounts for a 5 day old:

– Newborns have tiny stomachs, around the size of a marble at birth. This limits how much they can eat at a time.

– Breastfed babies will take in small volumes of breastmilk, around 0.5 to 1 oz per feeding in the early days.

– Formula fed newborns may take 1 to 2 oz per feeding maximum.

– Overfeeding can lead to spit up, vomiting, and stomach discomfort. It’s best to start small and let your baby’s cues guide you.

– Feed on demand, whenever your baby shows signs of hunger like rooting, sucking motions, hands to mouth, etc. Allow them to eat to fullness each time.

– Offer both breasts at each feeding if breastfeeding. Next feeding, switch starting side to ensure baby gets hindmilk.

– Don’t force your newborn to finish a bottle. Let them stop when satisfied.

So at 5 days old, most babies will eat 1 to 2 oz per feeding, not exceeding 2 to 3 oz. A 4 oz feeding would likely be too much for a tiny newborn stomach to handle comfortably.

Signs your baby is eating enough

It’s important to recognize signs that your 5 day old is eating enough at each feeding. Here are some clues to look for:

– They seem content and relaxed after eating

– They release your breast or nipple willingly when done

– They sleep soundly between feedings

– You hear them swallowing regularly while feeding

– They have the recommended number of wet and dirty diapers (see chart below)

– They are gaining weight appropriately (about 1 oz per day in the first weeks)

– For breastfed babies, you may hear them gulping and see milk in the corners of their mouth

If your baby seems hungry again shortly after eating or isn’t producing enough wet/dirty diapers, they may need more milk. Your pediatrician can help assess if your baby is getting enough to eat.

Expected wet and dirty diapers per day

Day of Life Wet Diapers Dirty Diapers
1-2 days old 1-2 1-2 (meconium)
3-4 days old 3-5 3-4
5-6 days old 5-6 3-5

Aim for these numbers of wet and soiled diapers as a sign your newborn is eating and digesting enough milk.

Is my baby ready for 4 oz feedings?

Here are some factors to consider when deciding if your 5 day old can handle 4 oz per feeding:

– Birth weight. Newborns who weigh under 6 lbs at birth may need to stay at 1-2 oz per feeding until the second week. Babies over 8 lbs can build to larger volumes faster.

– Full term vs preterm. Babies born at 37 weeks or later can advance feed sizes more quickly than preemies.

– Hunger cues. If your baby acts hungry right after eating or needs feeds closer together, they may be ready for more milk.

– Weight gain. Babies should gain 4-7 oz per week. Inadequate weight gain means they need more calories.

– Digestion. Spit up, gassiness or discomfort after eating indicates baby needs smaller, more frequent feeds.

– Breastfed vs formula fed. Breastfed babies’ stomachs expand slower. Formula fed newborns may tolerate bigger volumes earlier.

If you watch your baby’s hunger/fullness cues carefully, 4 oz may be appropriate by 5 days old, especially for larger or formula fed infants. But for smaller or breastfed babies, 1-2 oz is still recommended at this age. When in doubt, call your pediatrician.

Tips for feeding a 5 day old 4 oz

If your pediatrician confirms your newborn is ready for 4 oz feedings, here are some tips:

– Go slowly. Offer in several smaller courses, burping in between.

– Use the lowest flow nipple to prevent overfeeding. Breastfed babies do well with newborn size bottle nipples.

– Alternate between breasts for a breastfed baby getting bottles. Or pump/supplement after nursing.

– Hold baby semi-upright during feeds to prevent choking. Keep their head higher than body.

– Stop feeding when they show signs of fullness like sealing lips, turning head away, relaxed hands and arms, falling asleep.

– Avoid forcing them to finish bottles. Let your baby stop when satisfied.

– Watch for cues of overfeeding like excessive spit up, gagging, coughing, fussiness.

– If baby becomes overwhelmed, go back to a smaller volume next feeding.

– Weigh before and after feeds to see intake. Around 1 ounce per hour is reasonable for newborns.

With patience and careful observation of your baby’s signals, moving up to 4 oz feedings can be smooth. But don’t hesitate to size back down if they become overwhelmed. At 5 days old, a feeding volume anywhere from 1-4 oz may be appropriate, depending on the individual child.

When to feed a 5 day old

At 5 days old, most babies aren’t on a strict schedule. Newborns feed on demand, whenever showing hunger cues like:

– Making sucking motions

– Rooting (turning head side to side)

– Hands to mouth

– Fussing or crying

Other signs it’s time to feed include:

– It’s been 2-3 hours since last feeding

– Your breasts feel full

– Baby is smacking lips

– Baby wakes up from sleep and is alert

Ideally, aim to feed baby every 2-3 hours, not going longer than 3 between feeds. Allow them to eat as long as needed, stopping when satisfied. Some quick tips:

– During the day, look for early hunger cues and feed as soon as possible.

– At night, allow baby to wake and cue you when hungry.

– Alternate which breast you start with for breastfed babies.

– Offer both breasts per feeding. Next time, begin with second breast.

– Burp halfway through feed or whenever baby squirms or turns away from breast/bottle.

Keep feeds frequent during the day, spacing daytime feeds 2-3 hours apart. Nights may stretch longer between feedings but wake baby if they sleep 4 hours. If using formula, don’t exceed 4 hours between feeds. Stay flexible and feed on demand in the early weeks!

How to know if baby ate enough

After feeding your 5 day old, look for these signs they ate enough:

– Baby seems content, relaxed, and sleeps.

– They release breast/nipple on their own.

– You see milk drips in the corner of their mouth.

– You hear them actively swallowing during the feeding.

– They burp or pass gas afterwards.

– Feeding took 15-20 minutes per breast.

– Wet and dirty diapers meet expected numbers (see chart above).

– Your breasts feel softer after breastfeeding.

– Baby falls asleep and doesn’t root for food again right away.

If baby ate well, they should sleep comfortably 2-3 hours before showing hunger again. Contact your pediatrician if you’re unsure whether your newborn is eating enough ounces at each feeding. Monitoring diaper counts, weight checks, and paying close attention to hunger/fullness cues are key.

Reasons a 5 day old may need more or less food

While 1-3 ounces every 2-3 hours is typical for a newborn, some babies need more or less. Reasons your 5 day old may need more milk include:

– Losing more than 7% birth weight

– Fewer wet/dirty diapers than expected

– Extreme sleepiness or lethargy

– Fussiness that persists after eating

– Seems hungry shortly after feeding

Reasons they may need less milk:

– Spitting up large amounts

– Gassiness or stomach discomfort after eating

– Consistently exceeded birth weight

– Wet/dirty diaper counts are exceeded

– Shows cues of fullness before finishing feed

If your baby’s intake needs adjustment, your pediatrician can provide guidance. Monitor hunger/fullness signals closely in the early weeks as feeding needs change rapidly. Reach out for help determining the right feeding volumes if anything seems off.

Tips for handling 4 oz feedings

If your pediatrician confirms increasing feeding volumes to 4 oz is appropriate for your 5 day old, keep these tips in mind:

– Offer smaller amounts more frequently, like 1-2 oz each 2-3 hours.

– Use slow flow nipples to control flow rate.

– Alternate breasts with each feed if breastfeeding.

– Watch carefully for signs of fullness and end feedings before baby becomes distressed.

– Hold baby in an upright position when bottle feeding.

– Frequently burp during and after feeding.

– If baby struggles with larger volume, go back to smaller feeds.

– Check weight gain and diaper counts to ensure adequate intake.

– Contact doctor if you notice signs of overfeeding like gagging, choking, or spit up.

With small, paced feeds and careful attention to baby’s cues, the transition to 4 oz feedings should go smoothly. But don’t hesitate to back down on volume if your newborn seems overwhelmed. Remember that fed is best, however baby gets the nutrition they need.

Setting up a feeding routine

Creating a structured feeding routine even in the early weeks helps ensure baby eats enough. Aim to:

– Feed every 2-3 hours during the day, allowing for 8-12 feeds in 24 hours.

– Alternate which breast you start with if nursing. Offer both breasts per feeding.

– Give bottle fed babies time to take breaks during feeds. Limit bottle use to 20-30 minutes max.

– Note times baby ate and for how long to detect patterns.

– Watch closely for hunger/fullness cues before and during feeds.

– Be patient with pacing – newborns often pause during feeds.

– Burp halfway through and at end of each feeding.

– Follow feedings with naptime or quiet alert time.

While feeding on demand, also wake baby if longer than 4 hours pass without eating. Establishing daytime feedings every 2-3 hours from the start helps ensure newborns get the calories they need to thrive.

When to seek medical advice

In most cases, there’s no need to worry if your baby eats more or less than these general guidelines. But if you have concerns, see your pediatrician promptly for assessment. Contact them right away if your 5 day old has any of these issues:

– Weight loss exceeding 7% of birth weight

– Fewer than the expected number of wet/dirty diapers

– Fever over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit

– Excessive vomiting or diarrhea

– Signs of dehydration like sunken soft spot, dry mouth, or lack of tears

– Extreme sleepiness or lethargy, difficulty waking for feeds

– Poor feeding or sucking

– Yellowish skin or eyes

– Persistent crying or inconsolability

Your pediatrician can check for medical issues interfering with feeding, such as jaundice, infection, or tongue-tie. With their guidance, you can get baby eating well and gaining weight. Don’t hesitate to call for help determining the right feeding pattern.


While every baby is different, most 5 day old newborns need 1-3 ounces per feeding, eating every 2-3 hours. Look for signs of hunger and fullness to determine when and how much your individual child needs. At this age, some babies will be ready for larger 4 oz feedings, especially if formula fed. But follow your pediatrician’s recommendations and watch your baby’s cues closely. With careful attention and responsiveness during feedings, your newborn will thrive and gain weight steadily in their first weeks. Trust your instincts if you feel something is off with their intake. Don’t hesitate to seek medical advice to ensure your baby is well fed and content.

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