You asked

When and how often should I feed my baby?

Babies should be fed when they give a sign that they are hungry. Crying is a late cue of hunger and makes latching on difficult so look out for feeding cues before this.
Early cues are:
  • Licking and smacking lips
  • Opening and closing mouth
  • Sucking of fingers, toes, lips, toys or clothes
Active cues are:
  • Nuzzling your chest or whoever is carrying him
  • Positioning for nursing – lying back or tugging on your clothes
  • Squirming or fidgeting
  • Hitting your arm or chest repeatedly
  • Fast breathing or fussing
Late cues are:
  • Crying
  • Moving head frantically
If your newborn is constantly sleeping then you may have to wake them to nurse. Newborns tend to be very sleepy in the first few days and weeks and may not have hunger cues as often as they need to eat. Newborns should be fed at least every 2 hours during the day and at least once at night. Once the newborn has established a good weight gain pattern (at least 4 ounces every week for babies under 4 months), you will no longer need to wake them to nurse.
If your baby is less than 4 weeks he should be woken every 4 to 5 hours at night to be nursed. If your child is older than 4 weeks, you can allow him to sleep for as long as he wants.

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