Birth to 3 Months: Feeding Your Newborn

Help your newborn be calm and stay awake

Your newborn comes out of a quiet, dark place into a world full of sights, sounds and commotion. To do well with eating, she needs help being calm and staying awake. To help her, feed her the way she wants you to.

Do what your baby wants with feeding

Don't worry about spoiling her. You can't spoil a tiny baby.

  • Pay attention to her cues and feed her when she wants to eat, when she is wide-awake and calm and before she gets upset from crying.
  • Sit still during feeding. Keep the feeding smooth and steady.
  • Let her eat her way - much or little, fast or slowly, steady or start-and-stop.
  • Stop feeding her when she shows you she is finished eating. She will relax, slow down and stop nursing.
  • Talk or play awhile after feeding. Put her to bed when she's calm and drowsy and let her put herself to sleep.

Your baby knows how much to eat

Your baby will eat as much as she needs and grow in the way that is right for her if you maintain a division of responsibility in feeding.You are responsible for the what of feeding - breastmilk or formula. Your baby is responsible for everything else - when, where, how much, how fast.


For more about feeding your baby, see Ellyn Satter’s Feeding with Love and Good Sense: The First Two Years. Also see to purchase books and to review comprehensive educational materials that teach stage-related feeding and solve feeding problems.

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©2016 by Ellyn Satter published at You may reproduce this article if you don't charge for it or change it in any way and if you do include the for more about and copyright statements.