Deciding to breastfeed can give your newborn baby the best possible start to life. Experts agree that newborns should be fed “on demand” whenever they show signs of hunger, rather than sticking to a strict schedule. What you feed your baby during the first years is essential to your baby’s health, growth and development in later years. These early nutrients are the building blocks on which your baby’s future health depends.

Generally a newborn baby will need to be fed every one to three hours. As newborns get older, they can begin to eat more at each feeding and therefore will have longer stretches between feedings. Newborn babies who are on formula will take about two to three ounces every couple of hours. Newborns should not go more than about four to five hours without feeding.

You can be assured that your baby is getting enough to eat if they seems relaxed and contented, produces about six to eight wet nappies a day, has regular bowel movements, sleeps well, is alert when awake, and is gaining weight.