With a nine-week-old baby, you can really appreciate how far they’ve come—and you have, too! Through breastfeeding, formula-feeding, pumping or a combination of feeding methods, your baby really has grown. Now, watch them use all that food as fuel as they work on building their strength and developing new motor skills. It’s all happening.

Related: 2-month-old baby milestones

How much should a 9-week-old baby eat?

The American Academy of Pediatrics and La Leche League recommend the following feeding schedules and amounts for 9-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.

How much should a 9-week-old baby eat?

printable summary of 9-week-old baby feeding schedule - breast milk and formula

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: How much sleep does a 9-week-old need?

How to cope with common baby tummy trouble causes

Your baby’s diet is still strictly breast milk or formula. Yet, if they’re experiencing infant tummy troubles… You might wonder, “What gives?” According to Stanford Children’s Health, it’s not uncommon for 9-week-old babies to experience spit-up, constipation, diarrhea or gas. If you are breastfeeding, there may be a connection to your diet. If you are formula-feeding, an ingredient in the formula may not sit well with your baby. In other cases, some infants’ gastrointestinal systems just take a bit longer to mature. If the tummy troubles seem chronic, consult your pediatrician for specific recommendations.

What to do if your baby’s cold disturbs their feeding schedule

With babies, it’s not necessarily a question of if they will develop a cold—but when. Even if your pediatrician says your baby’s runny nose or congestion are due to the common cold, the symptoms can still throw your baby’s feeding schedule into flux. If your baby is interested in eating, but fusses while trying to eat, try using nasal saline drops and using a suction to remove mucus from your baby’s nose before feeding. The primary concern is making sure your baby stays hydrated and nourished, even if they don’t seem to have as big of an appetite. Pay attention to their number of dirty diapers. If they aren’t eating well and not urinating often, you should check in with your doctor.

Related: Does breastfeeding protect against RSV infection? Yes, studies show

A note from Motherly on feeding a 9-week-old

Part of parenting—arguably the biggest part—is learning as you go. Some challenges, like that first cold, are to be expected. Others can’t be as easily anticipated. But know that you do have the most important ingredient for getting through anything: love.

Look ahead: 10-week-old baby feeding schedule and amounts

A version of this story was published October 17, 2021. It has been updated.