By eight weeks old, your newborn's feeding schedule may be evolving, which is likely welcome news to you! As they've grown, they can now eat more during each breastfeeding or formula-feeding session. That translates to also being able to go a bit longer between feedings—which can make a big difference, especially in the middle of the night.
How much should an eight-week-old baby eat?
The American Academy of Pediatrics and La Leche League recommend the following feeding schedules and amounts for 8-week-olds.
Breast milk: 4 to 5 ounces every 3 to 4 hours
Formula: 4 to 5 ounces every 4 hours. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also recommends that parents should follow the responsive feeding method, also known as feeding on demand, which looks to the infant's hunger cues for when to feed. The schedules below are just examples—be sure to follow your baby's hunger signals to know when your little one is ready for the next feeding. As babies get older, their hunger cues and feeding times start to become a little more predictable.
Related: 2-month-old baby milestones
What’s a good eight-week-old baby feeding schedule?
Remember, it's more important that you follow your baby's cues than adhere to a set schedule, so schedules outlined are general guides of how frequently you'll feed your baby—not hard-and-fast rules.
These guidelines also apply primarily to infants born full-term and without any underlying medical conditions. For preterm infants, babies with certain medical conditions or for any specific questions pertaining to your child, be sure to consult your child's pediatrician for a more customized feeding schedule.
Related: Baby Sleep Guides & Schedules
How to tell if your baby should switch infant formula types
If you feed your baby formula, you know there are quite a few formula options on the market. There are practical options to consider, such as cost and convenience. But there are also reasons to consider switching baby formula types that relate to your baby's reaction. A few reasons to change formula types include: suspecting your baby has food allergies, your baby needs more iron or your baby is fussy after feedings. It's best to consult with your doctor before changing infant formulas.
How long does it take to breastfeed a baby at eight-weeks-old?
On average, eight-week-old babies may take 5 to 10 minutes to breastfeed on each side during feedings. The big keyword there is "average"—because many other factors can contribute to how long it takes for a baby to breastfeed. These include your baby's eating style, the speed at which breast milk lets down, how frequently they feed and more.
Around two months, your baby may be ready to move into another size of clothes—which is always a bittersweet milestone for mamas! As you reflect on how much they have grown and look ahead to all that is to come, know that you are doing an amazing job, mama.
Read more about wellness for mama and your 8-week-old:
- How much sleep does an 8-week-old need?
- Motherly's Postpartum Wellness Class is here!
- Subscribe to the Becoming Mama podcast
- Coping with 'postpartum depletion' & how you can bounce back
A version of this story was published October 17, 2021. It has been updated.