How much milk should a 5-week-old drink?

The amount of milk a 5-week-old baby needs can vary depending on their size, rate of growth, and overall health. However, there are some general guidelines to follow when figuring out how much a baby this age should drink. Here are some quick answers:

– Breastfed babies will feed 8-12 times or more in 24 hours. They consume around 25-35 oz per day on average.
– Formula fed babies may take 2-3 oz every 2-4 hours. They need about 32 oz per day on average.
– Both breastfed and formula fed 5-week-olds should have at least 6 wet diapers and 3-4 stools per day.

Average Milk Intake for a 5-Week-Old

At 5 weeks old, a baby’s stomach capacity is still quite small, only around 5-7 oz. This means a newborn needs to feed frequently to meet their nutritional needs. While intake can vary from baby to baby, the general recommendations are:

  • Exclusively breastfed babies: 25-35 oz per day
  • Combination fed babies: 25-30 oz breastmilk plus 20-24 oz formula per day
  • Exclusively formula fed babies: 32 oz per day

However, the amount your individual baby takes in can differ from these averages. Weight gain and output are better indicators of whether your baby is eating enough.

Weight Gain

At this age, most babies gain:

  • 4-8 oz per week if exclusively breastfed
  • 6-8 oz per week if exclusively formula fed

Some breastfed babies gain on the slower end at first. Check with your pediatrician if you have any concerns.

Diaper Output

Watch your baby’s diaper output as a gauge for whether they are eating enough:

  • 6+ wet diapers per day
  • 3-4 yellow, seedy breastfed stools per day
  • 1-2 soft, pasty formula fed stools per day

If output is less than this, feed more frequently or offer an extra bottle to increase intake.

Feeding Tips for a 5-Week-Old

To ensure your 5-week-old is eating enough:

  • Feed on demand – let your baby indicate when they are hungry rather than sticking to a rigid schedule.
  • Offer both sides at each feeding if breastfeeding.
  • Watch for cues like rooting, mouthing, and sucking which signal baby wants to feed.
  • Allow paced bottle feeding – let baby draw formula at their own pace.

Your baby’s appetite can vary from day to day. Keep an eye on their overall intake over 24-48 hours rather than each feeding.

Increase Intake If:

  • Not having enough wet or dirty diapers
  • Excessive crying or fussiness
  • Not gaining weight appropriately
  • Sleeping longer stretches than normal

If your baby shows signs they need more milk, try feeding more often, offering both breasts, or adding a pumping session. Contact your pediatrician if issues persist.

Breastfeeding vs. Formula Feeding at 5 Weeks

Here’s an overview of key differences in milk intake for breastfed vs. formula fed 5-week-olds:

Breastfeeding Formula Feeding
25-35 oz per day 32 oz per day
8-12+ feedings per day 6-8 feedings per day
Feed on demand Feed every 2-4 hours
Gain 4-8 oz per week Gain 6-8 oz per week

Breastfed babies tend to eat more often in smaller volumes. Formula fed babies usually follow a more structured routine. But all babies give hunger cues when they need to feed.

Supplementing with Formula

If you are combination feeding, aim for:

  • 25-30 oz breastmilk per day
  • 20-24 oz formula per day

Monitor weight gain and diapers to ensure baby is getting enough nutrition from both breastmilk and formula.

Changes to Expect Around 5 Weeks

A 5-week-old baby will start to change and develop in many ways. Here are some feeding and nutrition milestones you may notice:

  • Better able to coordinate sucking, swallowing, and breathing
  • Longer periods between feedings
  • Can stay awake for periods during feeding
  • May drain breast or bottle more quickly
  • Begins rooting and mouthing behaviors
  • Might grasp and hold onto breast or bottle
  • More social smiles

During growth spurts, you may notice baby wants to feed more frequently again. Respond to their cues and offer more milk when needed.

Introducing a Bottle

Around 4-6 weeks, you can try introducing a bottle if you plan to combo or pump feed. Take it slow and watch for any nipple confusion. Have dad or another caregiver offer the first few bottles.

Vitamin D Supplement

Breastfed babies should start vitamin D drops at this time, unless they are formula fed. Formula contains added vitamins.


At 5 weeks old, breastfed babies need 25-35 oz of milk per day on average and formula fed babies need about 32 oz per day. Feed on demand and watch baby’s cues rather than sticking to a strict schedule. Monitor weight gain and diaper output to ensure baby is getting enough nutrition. Contact your pediatrician with any concerns.

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