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How frequently should I feed my newborn? Do I need to wake her at night to feed? How do I know if she is eating enough?

A healthy newborn of normal weight can be fed every three to four hours. Some breastfed babies may feed on demand—meaning every 30 minutes! Some babies will cluster feed, i.e. have a lot of feeds at once then have a long gap until the next feed. Some mums prefer to get into a routine but there are no hard and fast rules—do what you and the baby feel comfortable with.

Unless your baby has a problem with weight gain or other problems, you do not need to wake her to feed. She will wake if she is hungry.

Finally, a baby who is contented, passing soft stools and lots of urine, will be getting enough milk—actual quantities don’t matter as long as she is gaining weight. A hungry baby will be slow to gain weight, actively looking to feed and may be unsettled, crying or even lethargic, with dry nappies and infrequent hard stools.

Dr Renu Angwin​, Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist, The International Medical Centre

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