Very young babies don’t have complex feeding needs. Because they’re mammals, their sole source of nutrition has to come from milk. That’s until around six months of age when milk alone isn’t enough to meet their growth needs.
The type of milk babies require and where it originates is very important. Not all milks are the same, and many are unsuitable for human babies.
It’s important to know what to feed your baby, but equally what not to feed them.
How Much Milk Does My One Month Old Baby Need?
According to the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC), babies aged from five days to three months need 150 mls of milk per kilogram of their body weight, per day. For example, if a baby weighs 4 kgs at one month they need 600 mls over 24 hours. When this amount is divided over six feeds, they would need 100 mls at each feed time, or 85 mls x seven feeds.
Premature or small-for-gestation babies can have specific feeding needs. They often need extra kilojoules to make up for what they did not receive in utero. Babies who are growing rapidly or going through growth spurts also need additional kilojoules.
The recommended feeding amount for a baby’s age and weight is called a quota.
It’s important to remember that feeding quotas are intended as a guide only. Quotas are an estimate based on the average baby growing at an average rate. However, every baby is an individual and has their own unique feeding needs. Similarly, each feed can be different and it’s normal for one month old babies to be satisfied with smaller volumes at some feeds and want more at others.
Follow your baby’s cues that will tell you when they’re hungry and when they are satisfied.
What Not to Feed Your One Month Old Baby
Anything other than breast milk or formula is unsuitable for babies of this age. Their digestive system is too immature to deal with any substance except for milk.
Healthcare professionals recommend exclusive breastfeeding with no other fluids or solids, for six months and then continued breastfeeding, combined with solid foods for 2 years, or as long as mother and baby are happy.
Even cooled boiled water isn’t needed as long as a breastfed baby is having plenty of breastfeeds. Bottle fed babies don’t need extra water either as long as they are having frequent formula feeds.
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Hungry?
Healthy babies know when they are hungry and need to feed. They give clear hunger cues which are intended for their parents to prioritise feeding. Although we can estimate what a one month old baby needs to grow and thrive, only they know if they’re hungry or not.
Assume your baby is hungry if they:
- Are crying and won’t calm with a cuddle
- If it’s been more than a couple of hours since they last fed
- If they’re mouthing around, sucking on their fist or fingers
- If they have a worried and searching look on their face
How Many Feeds Does My One Month Old Need?
Breastfed babies at one month generally demand to be fed from 6-12 feeds in 24 hours. Bottle fed babies at one month demand less frequent feeds, around 3-4 hourly so between 6-8 feeds in 24 hours.
Five General Feeding Tips for a One Month Old
- Aim to breastfeed if possible. Any breastfeeding is beneficial to both you and your baby.
- Offer your baby feeds when they are telling you they’re hungry. Avoid timing their feeds; at this stage they’re too young for a strict feeding routine.
- It’s common for babies to have small “spills” or possits after they’ve fed. Have your baby checked by a doctor if they’re vomiting a lot or projectile vomiting.
- Feeding is tiring work. One month old babies often get sleepy during their feed times and need gentle prompting to feed actively.
- Expect your baby to still need regular feeds overnight. They are too young to sleep for longer periods during the night.
Five Breastfeeding Tips for a One Month Old
- One-sided feeding is often enough to satisfy a one month old baby. Offer the second breast if they’re still hungry.
- It’s common for one month old babies to need up to 12 feeds in 24 hours. Snack or cluster feeding in the late afternoon and evening is sometimes the only way to soothe an unsettled baby.
- Breastfeeding takes a range of learned skills for both a mother and her baby. It can take 6 weeks or more for breastfeeding to become easier.
- Accept that there will be times when your breastfed baby wants to feed more often. During periods of rapid development, the energy from milk will fuel their growth.
- Avoid offering your breastfed baby a bottle or a dummy until breastfeeding is established.
Five Bottle Feeding Tips for a One Month Old
- Feeding guidelines on formula tins are just a guide. If you want to know your individual baby’s quota, check with your child health nurse.
- Use one fresh bottle of formula for each feed. Don’t reoffer formula and instead, make a fresh bottle for each feed.
- Always hold your baby during their feeds. Prop feeding is unsafe and can cause a baby to aspirate formula into their lungs.
- Aim for a feed time of around 30 minutes for each bottle. Feeding too quickly can cause a tummy ache and feeding too slowly leads to frustration and fatigue.
- Burp your baby half way through their feed, when they seem uncomfortable, and at the end of the feed.
Speak with your child health nurse about feeding management for your one month old baby. Regular weight and growth checks will help you to understand what your baby’s individual needs will be.
Always speak and check with a qualified nurse or healthcare professional about your baby to understand what your baby’s individual needs are.