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The role of the Registered Nurse or Newborn Care Provider is to feed, soothe, bathe, change & provide all other gentle care to baby through the night.

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How big is a newborn’s stomach?

At birth, a newborn baby’s stomach is very tiny, about the size of a cherry. Even the tiny hospital bottles are way too much for the first two weeks of baby’s life! Overfeeding does not help baby sleep and in fact, it causes unnecessary spit up and gastric discomfort. Additionally many new parents who are breastfeeding want to ensure that their baby is indeed eating enough. So that you and baby can both feel comfortable, this blog answers the question… How big is a newborn’s stomach?

Small, frequent feeds, sometimes up to 12 feeds per 24 hour period, are the norm in baby’s first weeks. If it feels like, “All I’m doing is nursing/feeding!” then chances are you’re doing everything right. For breastfeeding moms, milk typically “comes in” on about day four or five after baby’s birth.  

Small frequent feeds are the norm during this time. Our helpful visual below shows the volume of a newborn’s stomach:  

How big is a newborn’s stomach?

How big is a newborn's stomach?
How big is a newborn’s stomach?

Things to Remember

If you have other questions about early breast or bottle feeding, Your First Night Home may help. One particular piece of advice to remember if you’re nursing is that milk doesn’t “come in” right away. It may seem like baby is not getting enough to eat but skin to skin contact and sucking are what helps milk to come in. Of course ask your pediatrician or lactation counselor if you’re worried.

For bottle feeding families, remember that the speed of the bottle’s nipple and amount of formula will effect how much your newborn takes in. The pre-made hospital bottles you may be sent home with are WAY TOO MUCH formula for a newborn. It is very easy to overfeed from a bottle because baby can’t naturally start and stop the flow so even though our urge might be to feed, feed, feed and not waste any formula, refer to the chart above to give baby the correct amount of food.