Essential for growth


Optimal nutrition is essential for newborns to grow and develop. The need for nutrition is first and foremost purely physical, but cognitive development also plays a role in this. Whether you breastfeed or bottle-feed, a newborn’s feeding schedule can be very unpredictable. What, when and how should you feed your newborn? We take you on a journey through the ins and outs of feeding a newborn.

Feeding your newborn

Feeding your newborn

During the first few months, a newborn baby survives solely on milk. You can choose to breastfeed, but if you would prefer not to or are unable to, you can also bottle-feed your baby.

One option is to feed your newborn according to a schedule. A newborn feeds every two to three hours on average, so a schedule adds a little more structure to your day. You can also choose to feed on demand. Newborns often show signs when they are hungry: they move around, wake up, make more sounds or move their hand towards their mouth. During a leap, your baby may experience temporary loss of appetite. Learn about the 10 leaps in your baby’s mental development in our app.

How often to feed your newborn

How often to feed your newborn

In the first 12 weeks, newborns want to feed often because their stomach is still small and can only hold small amounts at a time. If your baby is happy, has several pee and poop nappies per day and has gained weight, you know that he or she is getting enough milk.

During the first weeks of life, newborns feed an average of 10 times every 24 hours. The gaps between feeds gradually start getting longer. Every baby is unique and feeds according to its own schedule. Babies who are breastfed usually feed more often than bottle-fed babies.

Feeding your newborn during a leap

Feeding your newborn during a leap

Your baby will experience its first developmental leap between four and six weeks of age. During a leap, your baby may have less of an appetite. It doesn’t matter whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby. You may see signs such as:

  • Your baby will drink more often than before, but not drink a lot
  • Your baby is not interested in feeding at the usual times
  • Your baby continuously stops drinking and is more easily distracted

Vitamin D and newborns

Vitamin D and newborns

It’s recommended that you give your newborn extra vitamin D, regardless of whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding. This is because babies need extra vitamin D.

Vitamin D is necessary for the body to absorb calcium. It’s important for growth and maintaining strong bones and teeth. A vitamin D deficiency can cause pain and weakened bones or muscles in babies.

Breastfeeding or bottle-feeding your newborn

If you choose to breastfeed

When you have a baby, you can decide whether or not you want to breastfeed. You can also decide to combine breastfeeding and bottle feeding, such as if you do not have enough breastmilk or your newborn needs supplementary feeds. Breastfeeding has lots of advantages, such as being free and very healthy. In the beginning, it’s very important to breastfeed your baby often. Make sure your baby latches on properly and try different feeding positions.

Tips for breastfeeding mums:

  • Find a comfortable sitting or lying position and make sure you have sufficient support
  • Have your baby feed from both breasts, especially in the beginning
  • Bring your baby to the breast and not your breast to the baby
  • When latched on properly, the baby’s chin, jaw and ears will move. If you see dimples or hear smacking noises, your baby is not latched on properly
  • Feed your baby on demand
  • IF you need to give your newborn supplementary feeds, do not use a bottle the first few weeks, but a dropper or spoon
  • Trust your intuition
  • Do not wait to ask for help if you experience problems

Are you having difficulty breastfeeding and would like some help? Or do you have any specific questions about breastfeeding? Contact a lactation specialist.


If you choose to bottle feed

Breastfeeding does not always work out or you may decide to bottle feed from day one. The difference between breastfeeding and bottle feeding is often subject to intense debate. But every mother makes the best decision for her and her baby. Sometimes, it is not a matter of choice. All the same, bottle feeding is just as healthy as breastfeeding.

A few bottle feeding tips and handy facts:

  • The composition of formula contains all the same nutrients, no matter which brand you buy
  • Special baby formulas are also available, such as for babies who bring up milk often, for very hungry babies or for babies with lactose intolerance
  • Always check the temperature of the formula before giving it to your baby
  • There are many different types of bottles and nipples, so use what is most comfortable for your baby
  • When bottle feeding, you know exactly how much your baby is feeding every time
  • An advantage of bottle feeding is that you can take turns feeding, which is especially nice at night
  • Bottle feeding is usually easier to combine with working