How frequently should I feed my newborn? Do I need to wake her at night to feed? How do I know if she is eating enough?
A healthy newborn of normal weight can be fed every three to four hours. Some breastfed babies may feed on demand—meaning every 30 minutes! Some babies will cluster feed, i.e. have a lot of feeds at once then have a long gap until the next feed. Some mums prefer to get into a routine but there are no hard and fast rules—do what you and the baby feel comfortable with.
Unless your baby has a problem with weight gain or other problems, you do not need to wake her to feed. She will wake if she is hungry.
Finally, a baby who is contented, passing soft stools and lots of urine, will be getting enough milk—actual quantities don’t matter as long as she is gaining weight. A hungry baby will be slow to gain weight, actively looking to feed and may be unsettled, crying or even lethargic, with dry nappies and infrequent hard stools.
Dr Renu Angwin, Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist, The International Medical Centre