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The size of the stomach at birth is very small and increases with the baby's growth and also with the intake of breast milk, infant formula and other foods.
In the first days of life, the size of the baby's stomach increases a lot, having on the first day of birth a capacity for up to 10 to 20 ml of milk, on the third day a volume of 22 ml, reaching a capacity of 44 ml of milk on the 7th day, for example.
In general, the size of the baby's stomach and the amount of food he can eat is:
- 1st day of birth: size similar to a cherry and capacity of 10 to 20 ml;
- 3rd day after birth: walnut-like size and 22 to 29 ml capacity;
- 7th day after birth: plum-like size and capacity for 30 to 90 ml;
- 1st month: size similar to a chicken egg and capacity of 90 to 150 mL;
- from 3rd to 6th month: size similar to a kiwi and capacity from 150 ml to 200 ml;
- 6th to 12th month: apple-like size and capacity from 210 ml to 310 ml;
After the first year of life, the baby's stomach grows according to its weight, having an estimated capacity of 30 to 40 ml for each kg of weight. Thus, a 1 year and 6 month old baby weighing 10 kg will have a stomach with an approximate capacity of 300 to 400 ml.
How to breastfeed
As a baby's stomach is small at birth, it is important to feed the baby small volumes of breast milk, or infant formula, several times throughout the day.Thus, it is normal that at the beginning the baby needs to breastfeed more often, from 10 to 12 times a day, because his stomach does not have a very large capacity.
Regardless of the size of the stomach, it is recommended that the baby is exclusively breastfed until the sixth month of life, and may continue until the age of 2 years, or as long as the mother and child want, on demand, which is whenever the baby wants.
Infant formula may be indicated by the pediatrician when the mother is unable to breastfeed or when breast-feeding is contraindicated, as in the case of contagious diseases or the use of certain medications. Understand in which situations and how to choose infant formula.
When starting supplementary feeding
Complementary feeding of the baby should be started in the 6th month of life, regardless of whether the baby is breastfed or fed on infant formula. Understand better how the introduction of foods in the baby's diet should be.
The first baby foods should be composed of fresh fruits, grated or crushed, such as apples, pears, bananas and papayas. From the 7th month onwards, the main baby food should be introduced at lunch and dinner, which are made with cereals, such as rice and pasta; or tubers, such as cassava and sweet potato; proteins such as chicken and beef; and fresh vegetables such as carrots, chayote and zucchini, which must be mashed to prevent the baby from choking. See how a baby should be fed from 0 to 12 months.