Feeding Guidelines for the First 6 Months

Written by: Laura Hunter, LPN & Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN



Time to read 2 min

At Moms on Call, we believe in meeting parents where they are. So, whether you are nursing, exclusively bottle feeding (pumped milk or formula), or a combination of the two, we support you! Because we know a fed baby is a happy baby!

We will share what the amounts may look like, the number of feedings a day by age, and the typical amount of time they may take.

Babies up to 12 months of age need at least 24 ounces of breast milk or formula daily. 

The guidelines discussed below are recommendations as a general guide for families who feel they need some direction. In addition, we recommend following along with the Moms on Call routines mapped out by age in the “Typical Days” section of the popular Moms on Call 0-6 Month Book and in the Moms on Call  Scheduler App available on Apple and Android devices.

Feeding Guidelines for the First 6 Months

The First Two Weeks

  • About 7-8 per day
  • Feedings should take no longer than 45 minutes
  • 2-3 ounces per feeding (may have an occasional 4-ounce feeding)

2-4 Weeks of Age

  • We still have 7-8 per day
  • Feedings have shortened and should take no longer than 30 minutes
  • 3-4 ounces per feeding (may have an occasional 5-ounce feeding)

4-8 Weeks of Age

  • Now we have 6-7 per day
  • Timing: Closer to 20-30 minutes each
  • 4-5 ounces per feeding (may have an occasional 6-ounce feed)

2-4 Months of Age

  • 5-7 a day
  • Timing: About 15-20 minutes each
  • 5-6 ounces per feeding (may have an occasional 7-8 ounce feed)

4-6 Months of Age

  • 4-5 per day
  • Timing: Likely to last 12-15 minutes each (up to 20 minutes for breastfed babies)
  • 6-8 ounces per feeding (may have an occasional 9-ounce feed)
  • Introduction of baby foods 1-3 times per day

The baby is fed every 2-3 hours for the first few weeks. Once the baby is around 2 weeks of age, past their birth weight, and gaining weight of about an ounce a day for those first 6-8 weeks (see the book for more ), then we can move up to on-demand at night.

How Many Night Feeds Can We Expect the First 12 Weeks?

Moms on Call provides simple, sensible parenting resources for babies and toddlers to sleep, feed, laugh, and love birth through toddlerhood. You can find tips like this and more in our books and   Online Video Courses for 0-6 months, where we cover everything from feeding and sleeping to schedule transitions and typical days at each stage.

Need more support?

With each and every  Moms on Call   Consulting experience, we have one goal in mind— to equip you with the confidence you need to become the best parent possible for your child. We are proud to partner with Certified Consultants who are uniquely trained to work with families utilizing the Moms on Call philosophy. All consultants are licensed nurses with pediatric experience who have used Moms on Call within their own homes.  Book a consultation with one of our Premier Certified Moms on Call Consultants!  

Co-Founders of Moms on Call

Laura Hunter, LPN and Jennifer Walker, RN, BSN

Co-Founders of Moms on Call, Pediatric Nurses and Moms to 8 kids between them, Laura Hunter and Jennifer Walker created Moms on Call to simplify parenting. Through their books, online courses, podcast and content, they help parents everywhere navigate the first four years with confidence and better sleep.

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