Doctor Betti
Dr. Betti Hertzberg Ressler is a Board Certified Pediatrician on staff at Miami Children's Hospital. Dr. Hertzberg developed the toilet training video "Let's Go Potty." She is the co-author of "The Doctor's Book of Home Remedies for Children."

Feeding Amounts and Time

Question: My baby is 2 months and 2 weeks. How do I increase the time between feedings and the amount of formula he takes? He is eating every three hours 4 to 5 ounces. - J.

Answer: Your baby is just about on target with feeding 4-5 ounces every 3 hours or so. This will change almost right before your eyes! Keep in mind that that your baby is growing at a very rapid rate (in both the length and weight).

At this age, your baby should have already had a 2 month checkup with the pediatrician. It is at this time that growth should be assessed (plotting weight, length and head circumference). This is a very good indicator that your baby is getting the proper amount of food and nutrients in his/her diet. You didn't mention if every three hours is around the clock. Usually, when baby's weight doubles, longer stretches of sleep will come. (Some babies sooner, others later)

Appetites come in all different sizes, as do babies! Depending on what your baby's birth weight was, his/her appetite will usually follow the amount of energy and calories needed to support growth. For example, a premature baby may need more frequent feedings of a much lesser amount. A full-term 8 pound baby may take larger amounts of formula less often.

A baby's stomach is about the size of his/her fist. Imagine how much space would be needed if a whole 8 ounces of milk was in that small space. Frequent spitting up is just one sign of overfeeding, although other medical problems need to be considered also.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that solid foods not be introduced until at least around 4 months. At this time, baby is ready to enjoy eating solids (single ingredient baby foods) from a spoon. He/she is ready to sit up (with support) and is learning to coordinate swallowing. Of course, some babies (and parents) can't wait to start feeding their baby solid foods.

Speak with your baby's pediatrician regarding any food or other questions. He or she will be in the best position to guide you. Happy mealtime!

Also see:

  • Breastfeeding when baby isn't hungry?
  • Can a pediatrician comfortably prescribe and manage ADHD medication or is it better suited to a psychiatrist?
  • Ask Dr. Betti your questions

    This information is not intended to be a substitute for visiting your pediatrician. If you or your child has specific concerns, you should see your doctor for a diagnosis and treatment.