Breast Milk Quantity for Newborns Across 4 Stages of Age and Weight

As a new mother, concerns about ensuring an adequate amount of milk for your newborn are common. Not knowing exactly how much milk is sufficient for breastfeeding can create mental pressure for mothers. Below is some important information about the breast milk quantity for newborns in the early days, with the hope that it will help address mothers’ concerns.


Size of the Newborn’s Stomach

The stomach size of a newborn undergoes significant development in the first days after birth. Right after birth, the baby’s stomach is small, equivalent to a cherry, holding only about 5-7 ml of milk per feeding. This explains why newborns often have a higher frequency of feeding.


The size of a newborn’s stomach undergoes significant development in the first few days after birth

Over time, the baby’s stomach grows. By day three, the stomach size increases to that of a walnut, capable of holding 22-27 ml of milk per breastfeeding. On the seventh day, the stomach is even larger, comparable to a plum, with the capacity to hold 45-60 ml of milk per feeding.

By the age of one month, the baby’s stomach reaches the size of an egg, capable of holding 80-150 ml of milk per feeding. This natural adjustment in the baby’s body ensures the fulfillment of increasing nutritional needs over time.


Breast Milk Quantity for Newborns by Age and Weight

The breast milk quantity for newborns in the first seven days after birth can be determined based on the baby’s stomach size. Here is a detailed guide on the breast milk quantity for newborns each day during this stage:

1. Days 1-7

  • Day 1 (first 24 hours): Milk Quantity: 5-7 ml (equivalent to 8-12 feedings).
  • Day 2 (24-48 hours): Milk Quantity: 14 ml (equivalent to 8-12 feedings).
  • Day 3 (48-72 hours): Milk Quantity: 22-27 ml (equivalent to 8-12 feedings).
  • Days 4-6 (72-96 hours): Milk Quantity: 30 ml (equivalent to 8-12 feedings).
  • Day 7 (144-168 hours): Milk Quantity: 35 ml (equivalent to 8-12 feedings).

Note: The time between feedings is approximately 2 hours for breastfeeding and 3 hours for formula feeding.


The amount of milk for newborns varies according to their age

2. Week 2 – 3 Months

  • Week 1 – 1 Month: Milk Quantity: 35-60 ml (equivalent to 6-8 feedings).
  • Month 2: Milk Quantity: 60-90 ml (equivalent to 5-7 feedings).
  • Month 3: Milk Quantity: 60-120 ml (equivalent to 5-6 feedings).

3. Months 4 – 6

  • Month 4: Milk Quantity: 90-120 ml (equivalent to 5-6 feedings).
  • Month 5: Milk Quantity: 90-120 ml (equivalent to 5-6 feedings).
  • Month 6: Milk Quantity: 120-180 ml (equivalent to 5 feedings).

4. Months 7 – 12

  • Month 7: Milk Quantity: 180-220 ml (equivalent to 3-4 feedings).
  • Month 8: Milk Quantity: 200-240 ml (equivalent to 4 feedings).
  • Months 9 – 12: Milk Quantity: 240 ml (equivalent to 4 feedings).


Breast Milk Quantity for Newborns by Weight

Formulas for calculating the daily and per-feeding milk quantity can be helpful guidelines for parents. However, it’s essential to note that each baby is an individual, and nutritional needs may vary. Here are formulas for calculating breast milk quantity for newborns:

1. Calculate Daily Milk Quantity – breast milk quantity for newborns

Formula: Milk Quantity (ml/day) = Baby’s Weight (kg) x 150 ml.

Example: If the baby weighs 4.5 kg, the daily milk quantity will be: 4.5 x 150 = 675 ml.

2. Calculate Per-Feeding Milk Quantity – breast milk quantity for newborns

Calculate Stomach Volume

Stomach volume (ml) = Baby’s Weight (kg) x 30.

Calculate Per-Feeding Milk Quantity

Per-feeding milk quantity (ml) = Baby’s stomach volume (ml) x 2/3.

Example: With a stomach volume of 135 ml, the baby needs about: 135 x 2/3 = 90 ml/feeding.

This calculation is relatively approximate and serves as an estimation. Mothers should listen to the baby’s cues, observe signs of hunger, and adjust the milk quantity according to the baby’s specific needs. If the baby is fussy or not breastfeeding adequately, mothers can make necessary adjustments to ensure the baby receives sufficient nutrition for healthy development.


Recognizing Signs of a Satisfied Baby

Identifying signs when a baby is full is crucial to ensuring the baby receives the necessary milk and avoiding conditions like reflux. Here are indications that a baby is satisfied and it’s time to stop breastfeeding:

Baby Stops Sucking and Turns Away:

  • The baby may stop sucking and turn away from the breast or nipple.
  • Releasing the nipple is a clear sign that the baby is full.

Easily Distracted:

The baby becomes easily distracted by the surroundings because when full, the baby is no longer intensely focused on breastfeeding.

Soft and Non-Leaking Breasts:

If the mother’s breasts feel soft and no longer leak milk when the baby feeds, it indicates that the baby has consumed enough.

Continuous Sleep:

If the baby sleeps for a stretch of 45-60 minutes, it signals that the baby is satisfied enough to engage in regular sleep and play activities.

Limiting Milk Quantity in the Early Days:

  • Within the first 72 hours after birth, mothers should limit the amount of milk the baby consumes to no more than 2/3 of the stomach volume to avoid reflux.
  • The early milk produced during this period is rich in essential nutrients, contributing to the baby’s immune system development in the first six months.
  • Recognizing these signs helps mothers adjust the duration and quantity of milk for the baby accurately, creating a comfortable and healthy breastfeeding experience for both the mother and the baby.


Signs of an Unsatisfied Baby

Identifying signs when a baby is not breastfeeding adequately is essential to ensure the baby receives the necessary nutrients.

Here are some specific signs and expressions:

1. Feeding Duration

The average feeding time is approximately 10-20 minutes per feeding. If the baby feeds excessively long (over 1 hour) or too short (under 10 minutes), it may indicate insufficient breastfeeding.

2. Slow Weight Gain

The most apparent sign is slow weight gain. After 10-14 days, the baby’s weight may return to the birth weight before gradually increasing.

Adequate weight gain is expected:

  • 0-3 months: 100-200g/week.
  • 3-6 months: 100-140g/week.
  • 6-12 months: 60-100g/week.

3. Wet and Dirty Diaper Count

The number of wet diapers can be a clear sign. For example:

  • Days 1-2 after birth: 1-2 wet diapers/day, dark green stool.
  • Days 2-6 after birth: 5-6 wet diapers/day, loose greenish-yellow stool.
  • After day 6: 6-8 wet diapers/day, soft yellow-brown stool.
  • If the diaper count is below the standard, the baby may not be receiving enough milk.


The quantity of diapers is one of the signs to identify when a baby is not getting enough milk

4. Mother’s Milk Production Stagnation

After 3-4 days, the mother’s milk production should increase. If there is no increase after this period, the baby may not be getting enough milk.

5. Softened and Painful Breasts During Feeding

If the mother’s breasts become softer and painful during breastfeeding, it may indicate a decrease in milk supply, and the baby may not be feeding adequately.

6. Other Signs

The baby may show signs of hunger by burying the head, hitting the breast with hands, attracting attention by tugging at clothes, moving hands and feet, continuous rooting, fussiness, crying, continuous eye movement, even when closed.


It is important to recognize and address the issue when the baby is not breastfeeding adequately to ensure the baby’s development and health. If there are any concerns, seeking the advice of a doctor or a nutrition expert is recommended. The article has provided information on “breast milk quantity for newborns” and related knowledge. Hopefully, the article will be helpful to you.

Kiểm Duyệt Nội Dung

Ban Biên Tập | Website

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