How much milk does my baby need

How much milk does my baby need?

How much milk does my baby need is probably a thought running through every mother’s mind in the early days.
A common concern with breastfeeding mothers is whether baby is getting enough milk. This worry very often leads to a breastfeeding mother topping up feeds with formula milk. This in turn leads mom to produce less milk.

Remember that the best way to increase your milk supply is to let baby suckle as much as possible, especially during a growth spurt.

A lot of moms also worry about their baby being hungry in the first few days before their milk comes in. Immediately after birth you produce colostrum which is highly nutritious and your baby only needs a tiny amount and is perfect for your baby until your milks comes in approximately 2 – 3 days after birth.




The La Leche League recommends for breastfed babies to follow these guidelines:

  • Feeds 6 Hours apart: one quarter of 887mls= 222ml
  • Feeds 8hours apart: one third of 887mls= 296ml
  • Feeds 12 hours apart: half of 887ml= 444ml

The average breastfed baby drinks between 89 and148 mls per feed, 750- 1035 mls per day.

For formula fed babies you can follow these guidelines:

  • 0-3 months: 150ml x kg per day divided by the number of feeds a day
  • 3-6 months: 120ml x kg per day divided by the number of feeds a day

If you want to exclusively breastfeed your baby but you are struggling rather contact the La Leche League or a breastfeeding consultant before you consider topping up with formula.

What tips and advice do you have for moms that are worried about how much milk their babies are getting?

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5 comments

  1. Great advice!

  2. I feed ever 3-4 hours for 3month baby. I feel at every feed it might not be enough. Every tells me to go onto formula and purity but dont want to until 6months. Ive been drinking capsules the should stimulate my lactation i havent yet tho felt difference after a week. I dont want to alsway give through bottle, how else am i going to know that im giving her 120mls?

    • Hi Lucille. If your baby is happy, putting on weight and there are a few wet nappies per day I wouldn’t worry 🙂 I also breastfeed and don’t express. If you want to increase your milk supply the best way is to feed more, or you can stimulate your production by expressing after each feed.

  3. Breastfeeding was always a challenge for me. I had trouble making the milk supply happen. Though I found that if I would drink lots of water/milk or even eat icecream, the milk was very plentiful. 🙂

    I think that had more to do with my body needing calories for milk production. I was never a really big eater and often went without meals. So it’s no surprise my body was not wanting to give up the milk. :/

  4. i was so worried about my little boy till now he doesnt drink accordingly to the formula guide line but he drink enough the amount he wanted and i left it because i saw him picking up weight and he is healthy.

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