With a six-week-old baby, the feeding schedule can still feel like it's dictating where, when and what you can do. While some baby feeding conditions are optimal—like that comfy rocker in your baby's nursery—there are simply other times when you need to break out the bottle or breast while on-the-go. The more you get out of the house with your baby, the easier it gets. We promise!
How much should a six-week-old baby eat?
The American Academy of Pediatrics and La Leche League recommend the following feeding schedules and amounts for 6-week-olds.
Breast milk: 2 to 3 ounces every 2 to 3 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 feeding schedule for a six-week-old baby?
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.
Can six-week-old babies sleep through the night?
In the beginning of your baby's life, you were probably advised to wake them up every two to three hours for breastfeeding or every three to four hours for formula-feeding. That didn't leave an opportunity for much sleep, did it? Now that your baby is rounding the corner to 2 months old, they may be naturally sleeping longer stretches. If they are gaining weight and you have the sign-off from their doctor, you should be able to let them sleep longer stretches between feedings at night.
Related: Baby Sleep Guides & Schedules
Is your six-week-old baby feeding constantly?
Let's face it: There is a lot to enjoy about feeding times for babies. It's not just about filling their bellies, but also about getting snuggles and comfort—which is something they crave during the fourth trimester. Cluster feeding is also common at this stage, which can help fill their tummies so they can sleep longer stretches at night. However, if it seems like your 6-week-old baby is feeding constantly and they are gaining a healthy amount of weight, you can explore other reasons for why they are fussing (like a wet diaper or discomfort) or stage a distraction (like some play time on the floor or offering a pacifier) before feeding.
If you are breastfeeding, you may notice your milk supply regulating at this point—as evidenced by less tender, full breasts and reduced leaking. If you are formula-feeding, you're probably also becoming a pro at eye-balling how much formula your baby needs for any session. It's amazing the things we can quickly become so skilled at, isn't it?
Read more about wellness for mama and your 6-week-old:
- How much sleep does a 6-week-old need?
- Motherly's Postpartum Wellness Class is here!
- Subscribe to the Becoming Mama podcast
- The self-care checklist that will refresh new mamas
A version of this story was published October 17, 2021. It has been updated.