How Much Expressed Milk to Feed Baby Calculator

FREE: How Much Expressed Milk to Feed Baby Calculator [2024]

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Are you pumping your milk to feed your baby? Maybe you are returning to work or breastfeeding just didn’t work out for you. Or maybe you are sharing the care of your baby and need your milk available to bottle feed your baby? Whatever your circumstance, this ‘How much expressed milk to feed baby calculator‘ is just what you need!

As a breastfeeding counselor and mom of 2, I know that breastfeeding is a unique journey for every mother and baby, and understanding how much expressed breast milk to feed your baby can sometimes be a challenge. Our calculator is designed to provide an estimate based on average milk intake values for babies at different weights.

Expressed Milk Intake Calculator

How the free ‘How much expressed milk to feed baby calculator’ works

1. Baby’s weight:
The weight of your baby plays a significant role in determining how much milk they might need. As your baby grows, their nutritional needs change, which is why it’s essential to update this value as they grow. Enter your baby’s weight in kg or lbs (kilograms or pounds).

2. Number of feedings:
By entering the number of times you plan to feed your baby expressed milk during the day, the calculator can estimate the amount of milk needed per feeding. For example, a newborn will typically feed every 3 hours (8 times a day) but this can vary.

Final calculation:
The calculator multiplies your baby’s weight by the average milk intake value for their weight to estimate the total daily milk intake. This total is then divided by the number of feedings to determine the amount of milk needed per feeding. The result is given in ml and oz.


This calculator is only for expressed breast milk and is not designed to be used with formula milk or combination feeding. It is a rough guide only – always consult a lactation specialist or pediatrician for personalized advice.

Expressed breastmilk intake by age

How much milk does your baby need? A rough estimate for those early days is about 2.5 ounces per pound of body weight until they weigh about 10 pounds. Between one and six months old they will consume approximately 19-30 ounces of milk per day. Of course, every baby is different, and milk intake depends on factors such as your baby’s size, activity level, and even the weather.

AgeAverage Milk Intake per FeedingAverage Number of Feedings per DayTotal Daily IntakeNotes
Newborn – 1 month1-3 oz (30-90 ml)8-1214-28 oz (414-828 ml)Initial intake might be low due to colostrum.
2 months4-5 oz (120-150 ml)6-724-35 oz (720-1050 ml)Increased solid food intake. Milk is still major nutrition source.
3-5 months4-8 oz (120-240 ml)5-720-56 oz (600-1680 ml)Transition period, preparing for solids.
6 months6-8 oz (180-240 ml)4-524-40 oz (720-1200 ml)Start weaning onto solids. Milk intake may begin to decrease.
7-12 monthsVaries3-528-34 oz (840-1012 ml) by 7-8 months; decreases thereafterIncreased solid food intake. Milk is still a major nutrition source.
12+ months14-19 oz (400-550 ml)VariesDependent on solid food intakeTransition to whole milk and more solid foods.
Expressed breastmilk by age

Key points:

  • This table provides an overview of the expressed breastmilk intake for babies from birth to 12+ months, adjusted for the introduction of solid foods around 6 months.
  • It highlights how milk intake starts at a lower volume in newborns and gradually increases, peaking before the introduction of solid foods.
  • The transition to solid foods around 6 months leads to a gradual decrease in milk intake, though it remains an essential part of the baby’s diet through the first year.
  • After the first year, the focus shifts towards whole milk and a more solid-based diet, with a decrease in expressed breast milk intake.
  • The “Notes” section provides additional context, such as the initial low intake due to colostrum and the gradual introduction of solids affecting milk consumption.

Every baby is unique, and these values are averages. Some babies might consume more milk or less than the estimated amount. Always monitor your baby’s hunger cues and consult with a pediatrician or lactation consultant if you have concerns about your baby’s milk intake.

Intricacies of milk production

Milk production is a unique dance between hormones and signals from your baby, working in harmony to ensure an adequate supply of milk. Keeping track of milk supply can be challenging as several factors come into play, including growth spurts, changes in bottle feeding routine, and feeding directly from the breast.

Factors affecting the quantity of milk intake

There are plenty of reasons your body will produce more or less milk. Here are just a few factors to consider:

  • Growth spurts: When your baby suddenly becomes ravenous, they might be going through a growth spurt.
  • Changes in your baby’s feeding routine: Skipping feedings or introducing solid foods can alter your baby’s milk consumption.
  • Your baby’s health: A baby who’s feeling under the weather might not be up for drinking milk like usual.
  • The temperature outside: Hot climates can make your baby thirstier and lead to increased milk consumption.

The role of solid foods

Generally, parents are advised to start their babies on solid foods around 6 months old alongside breastmilk and/or formula. As solids begin, a baby’s milk intake could decrease gradually, but it remains an essential part of their diet.

Breast milk remains an important part of a baby’s diet even after they’ve ventured into the realm of solids. It continues to provide essential nutrients and antibodies to support your baby’s immune system, ensuring they stay healthy while exploring the flavorful world of solid foods.

Expressing and storing breast milk

Many mothers need to pump their breast milk – returning to work is a primary reason. Even exclusively breastfed babies may need a bottle occasionally. But what kit do you need?

  • Breast pump: With so many choices, there is something for everyone! Wearable wireless pumps, hospital-grade pumps, handheld – it may take some time to find your perfect pump but it is out there!
  • Storage containers: Choose breast milk storage bags specifically designed for the freezer, or, if you plan to use your pumped milk quickly, consider learning the pitcher method.
  • Breast pads: Disposable or washable – wherever your preference, they are breastfeeding and pumping essentials!
  • Comfy chair: To avoid back strain during those hours of pumping, invest in a comfortable chair.

Proper storage techniques for expressed milk

Now that you’ve mastered the art of expressing milk, it’s time to store it properly!

  1. Label it: Make sure to write the date and time you pumped so your baby gets the freshest milk available.
  2. Cool it down: Store the milk in the back of the refrigerator or freezer. Avoid the door, as it tends to have fluctuating temperatures (no one likes a lukewarm latte).
  3. Divide and conquer: Place milk into portions that are just right for one feeding (use the calculator above to work out how much to portion out per feed). This way, you won’t waste any liquid gold.

Tips for warming up stored breast milk

Breast milk has a delicate profile that’s maintained when handled correctly. So before your newborn baby dives in, follow these tips:

  • Thaw safely: Place the frozen milk in the refrigerator overnight or under cool, running water for a quick thaw.
  • Warm it up: Soak the milk storage bag or container in warm water (not scorching hot).
  • Swirl, don’t shake: Mixing in all that rich, creamy goodness requires a delicate touch. Shaking breast milk is not recommended.
  • Test the temperature: Use your wrist to check if it’s a comfortable temperature before serving to your baby.

Following these tips and using a milk calculator will ensure your breast milk is served perfectly!

Seek expert lactation guidance

Feeding your baby with expressed milk can be a bit of a guessing game, especially for new parents. Thankfully, there are plenty of experts on hand to offer personalized help:

  • Breastfeeding counselors
  • Lactation consultants
  • Pediatricians

They assist mothers with various aspects of breastfeeding, such as latch, milk supply, and pumping techniques, and can recommend books that empower nursing moms with expert guidance.

Pediatricians are knowledgeable professionals who can help parents ensure their baby gets the right amount of expressed milk during each feed, based on factors such as weight, age, and specific needs.

Together, these experts can answer all your breastfeeding-related questions and work to create a customized approach that nourishes your baby fostering a successful breastfeeding journey.

Final thoughts

Navigating the journey of feeding expressed milk is deeply personal and varies with each baby. As a breastfeeding counselor and mom of two, who both breastfed and pumped, I understand the importance of tailoring feeding practices to your baby’s unique needs.

Monitor your baby’s hunger cues and adjust feedings accordingly, ensuring they receive the right amount of milk without overfeeding. Breast milk, whether directly from the breast or expressed, serves as the primary nutrition source in the early months, transitioning smoothly with the introduction of solids around six months. Embrace the journey with patience, seeking support when needed, and remember, each feeding is a moment of connection and growth.

Feeding expressed milk FAQ’s

In the first few weeks, an exclusively breastfed baby typically needs small amounts of breast milk, as their stomach is quite small. The amount of expressed breastmilk a baby drinks can start from 1-2 ounces every two to three hours. As the baby grows, the milk intake increases quickly, reflecting the baby’s age and their increasing stomach capacity. It’s essential to adjust how much breast milk you feed based on the baby’s cues and needs, with the measured breastmilk intake gradually increasing to match their growth.

An oversupply of breastmilk is when a mother produces significantly more milk than her baby requires for nourishment. This can be identified if the baby is taking large amounts of milk but still seems unsatisfied, or if the mother’s breasts remain engorged with milk after regular feedings. Managing an oversupply requires adjusting the pumping schedule to avoid stimulating milk production beyond what the baby feeds or what is needed for storage.

Pumping too much breast milk can lead to an oversupply, which might cause discomfort for both the mother and baby. For the mother, it can result in engorgement, blocked ducts, or mastitis. For the baby, it can lead to issues such as gas, spit-up from overfeeding, or difficulty in managing the flow of milk. It’s important to pump enough milk to maintain supply and meet the baby’s needs without excessively increasing production.

Yes, it’s possible to overfeed a baby expressed milk, especially when using a bottle, as it may be easier for the baby to drink more milk than when breastfeeding directly. Overfeeding can lead to discomfort, gas, and spit-up. To avoid overfeeding, pay attention to the baby’s hunger cues and let the baby lead the feeding, pausing frequently to check for signs of fullness. The typical range of milk intake for an exclusively breastfed baby varies, but it’s crucial to adapt to the baby’s individual needs and avoid wasting milk by preparing large amounts for each feeding.

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