Thursday, July 14, 2016

Breast Milk Intake Scale: Infant Weight - How Much Breast Milk

One of the top questions we get, is how much do I leave for my baby in a bottle when I am away at work?  After all, your breasts don't come with ounce markers because your baby feeds on demand.  But for moms who are working or away from their baby short term, it is important to know how to determine how much milk is appropriate to leave.  For infants up to six months old, the quickest way to determine this is to take your baby's current weight rounding up to the nearest half pound and multiply by 2.5.  For example, a baby who is 10 lbs will need 25 ounces per day.  Then divide by the number of feedings per day, normally 8 for an infant under six months of age.  Therefore 25 ounces divided by 8 feedings is 3.12 ounces per bottle which we will round up to the nearest quarter ounce.  In other words, leave 31/4 ounces for a 10 lb baby for every 3 hours that you will be away.  Also leaving an extra frozen bottle is a good idea for emergencies.  Here is a link to a breast milk intake chart for those of you who are like me and have a mental block when it comes to math.
Breast Milk Intake Chart
If you are trying to determine breast milk intake in those early days for your peace of mind or if your baby doctor is indicating that your baby is slow to gain weight, an affordable accurate baby scale with memory is a great tool.

Remember, diapers are a great indicator that your baby is getting enough.  Infants from day 6 through 6 weeks should have 6-8 wet diapers per day and 3-4 dirty diapers larger than a silver dollar.  Also note that older babies who are on solid food do not use this chart.  At that age, they take an average of 24-32 oz per day in addition to three solid meals per day.  When feeding solid foods, breastfeed first as breastmilk is still the main source of nutrition.  

If you still have concerns, having an affordable accurate digital baby scale is a plus.  Choose a digital baby scale that is accurate within 5 grams and has memory for before and after feeds to give you an idea of your baby's breast milk intake.

Best wishes!


  1. Is there a specific age that this math stops working for? Because my 25lb 9 month old is definitely not getting 62.5 oz of breast milk.

    1. Thanks for the question! Yes, this scale is for between 6 days and 6 months of age. Once they are on solids and are between 6 months and 12 months, they take an average of 24-32 ounces of breastmilk per day.

  2. It is really helpful information. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for sharing this post. Really it is very important issue for us.


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