Understanding the Stomach Capacity of a Newborn

Baby Feet Unnatural proportions of milk are believed by many, to be needed, for feeding a newborn baby.

I would like to put into perspective what is actually needed to fill a newborn tummy over the first few days of life.

A newborn is not thirsty or hungry at birth; the placenta has hydrated the baby for the immediate postpartum hours. The newborn’s golden hour immediately after birth is for bonding, learning how to eat out of the womb, and to start consuming that fabulous colostrum which is excellent medicinally and nutritionally.

How much is too much? Stomach sizes can vary with each baby. Their milk capacity can differ by the gestational age and size of the baby. The average stomach capacity of a newborn is about 7 mL, keeping in mind that 30 mL is 1 ounce. In the first two days of life, 2-15 mL feedings are sufficient for the baby’s well-being.

When babies are given 30-60 mL of artificial milk and are expected to consume this excessive amount, it is an unnatural and unrealistic proportion for their stomachs.

Just to give you a visual of a baby’s tummy…

Age: 1 day Amount Stomach Can Hold: 5-7 mL Comparable Object: hazelnut, thimble, glass marble, thumb nail

Age: 3 days Amount Stomach Can Hold: 22-27 mL (about an ounce) Comparable Object: teaspoon, milk ball, large glass marble

Age: 10 days Amount Stomach Can Hold: 45-60 mL (1.5-2 ounces) Comparable Object: walnut, golf ball, coffee measuring scoop


High volume feeds in the first few days of life can actually stress a newborn’s immature kidneys. That is why colostrum is a low volume, perfectly measured milk. Our bodies know what our babies need. Trust them! --------------- Disclaimer: Anticipation and Beyond uses all reasonable effort to provide accurate, up-to-date and evidence-based information for teaching and counseling purposes. All information that is written for blogs, social media posts, and websites is to be used for education and informational purposes only. All data and instruction from Anticipation and Beyond should not be intended to replace or substitute professional or medical advice from your health care provider. Direct all of your family’s concerns, questions, and health issues to your health care provider.   The information provided is not and may not be applicable to every situation. The purpose of Anticipation and Beyond providing guidance and education to new families is two-fold. The first purpose is for the intention of teaching parents about the many choices and alternatives that are available to them. The second motivation is to encourage families to dig down deep and research themselves from reliable resources that will help to enlighten their new journey.

The Mommy Nerve


Once upon a time I looked at my gorgeous husband and I asked him to give me a baby. He knocked me up faster than a sneeze. It was glorious (on both accounts). I loved being pregnant even though I puked my guts up a bazillion times a day for the first 6 or 7 months. It was magical. People smiled at me in Target and asked me if it was a girl or a boy. They wanted to know my due date. There I was, in Target, with perfect strangers talking to me about my unborn child and through their wrinkled eyes and gray hair they would tell me how wonderful children are. They'd tell me how much I will love having a baby in my life. What I didn't realize was...

These people were GRANDparents. And big, fat stinking liars. 

As I type these words my 7 week old is learning the valuable lesson of "Hey! Your mom can't hold you all day long. I have stuff to do! LIKE SHOWER! AND EAT!" So she's watching the blurry colors and absorbing the inappropriate sounds of Family Guy. (MOTHER OF THE YEAR!) Her father will walk through the door and want to play with her, but what he fails to realize is that as soon as the clock strikes 7:15PM my sweet, adorable little girl turns into her own version of Edward Hyde. I swear her sparkly, beautiful blue eyes haze over into this deep, dark gray and she scowls at me with hatred as she recounts her earlier "cry it out session" and the fact that I slammed her against my pelvic bone for an entire hour during labor. Those people brilliant scientists that claim have proven children don't remember their entrance into the world have clearly never seen the look of resentment, hostility, and disgust their infant gives them at random points in the day. It's as if they're saying,

"Yeah ... I remember you, Dilating Cervix Lady. I remember my cruel descent down your pelvic region. And my crapping on your leg at 3:00 in the morning is just the start to the hellacious plans I have to pay you back! ... Hold on tight, Dilating Cervix Lady." 

I'm the middle child of seven children. I was guaranteed to be special. What my parents and siblings failed to understand is that one day this sarcastic, semi-inappropriate individual would reproduce. Now, I am a fantastic mother. (If I say so myself...) I love being a stay at home mom and watching my little girl grow. I love laughing with her and having conversations that she can't understand. It is perfection. But you moms know what I'm talking about when I say every kid hits a nerve at some point. This nerve is buried under about 18 layers of patience, 46 layers of love, and 4 layers of self control. Somehow, someway that 7 week old infant burrows in and finds that nerve and tap dances the crap all over it. More often then not it is moments after she has pooped all over you, is screaming bloody murder, and refusing to nap (even though she needs it). You look around for help and you find two Labrador Retrievers staring at you like you broke the baby and you're going to hell.

Because I am a middle child and sarcasm is my love language, I have started to think of ways to laugh at these situations. And by laugh I mean think of hilarious ways to pay my child back for tap dancing all over my well hidden Mommy Nerve. I've written these down in her journal that I will give to her when she graduates college. If she is my child (my hooha says she is...) she will get a good laugh out of it - and I hope you do too. Better to laugh than cry. Lord knows I'll be crying way too much when she is 13 and realizes I'm not as cool as I think I am.


"Dear Emma,

You're 7 weeks old. And you stress me out sometimes. We'll get through it, but here are some of the ways I wish I would have paid you back. (Or maybe I actually do it ...)

Love, The Best Mom in The World

1) When you poop on me. Why does this keep happening, by the way? You've never pooped on your dad. Did I do something wrong here? Is the pooping ON me really necessary? I follow all diaper changing procedures to protect myself. I've worked in daycares, nannied, babysat ... I'm really good at diaper changes! What gives, kid? Are you some Pooping Prodigy? At any rate, I'm going to let you get that cute puppy that you want so badly. Because I know one day he/she is going to drop a giant one in the house and you're bound to get poop on your hands. Enjoy that, sucker.

2) When you scream for no reason at all other than you want to be held. This, well ... this one is my favorite. It will be really hard not to do this for real. One day you're going to be 13 and hate me. You'll think I'm a loser when I make fangs with candy corn and laugh at my awesomeness. (Shut up, I am awesome! And THAT IS FUNNY!) At this tender age you will ask me to drop you off a block away from school or not "embarrass you in front of your friends." So my payback? When you reject me I would love to throw myself on the ground and wail like I have nothing to live for. I mean go crazy. Tears, snot, running mascara and hyperventilating  I want people seeing this spectacle to believe that I am actually dying. I want them to call 9-1-1. And when they ask 'what's the emergency?' I want to scream, 'she won't let me hang out with her all the time and go everywhere she goes and she hates me and has abandoned me and I'm dying. I'M DYING OF A BROKEN HEART!' Sufficient payback. Sufficient indeed.

3) When you scream when I walk out of a room and you can't see me. This is easy. Super easy. Here we are in the living room watching your stupid television shows about some teenage girls liking vampires (because I KNOW it's going to come back like platforms and bellbottoms when you are in your teenage years...) and you get up for a glass of tea. You walk into the kitchen and then all of the sudden you hear a shrill scream. You rush back into the room to find me smiling and happy again. You roll your eyes and walk away. It happens again, only this time it is worse. You run into the living room to find me flipping out like I have demons inside of me and the worst case of constipation to ever occur in the history of mankind. You ask me five times if I am okay, when I hear your voice and realize you're there I smile again and all is right with the world. Repeat. Repeat every stinking time you walk out of a room I am in.

4) Sore breastfeeding nipples. Bengay in your training bra. That's all I'm sayin'.

5) Fighting sleep. Ahh ... my second favorite. I'd like to come into your room at night and tell you stories. Loudly. Screaming them. As I drink espresso. There you are just trying to fall asleep and then there's me yelling to you about the time your dad and I installed the backsplash.

6) Interrupting mommy and daddy's "special time" because your binky fell out. All those nights you try to sit in your boyfriend's car, well I won't be interrupting it just to prevent Mr. Handsy from feeling you up. It's called payback. The worst kind of payback. There's a form of blocking that you're doing ... and I refuse to say that word here. But a blocker? That's what you are.

7) I love you. And you're going to grow up awesome because you have the realest mom in town. Eat your peas. And remember ... the best payback of all? One day you're going to be a mom."

Feeding Your Future Foodie

I've heard "wisdom is knowledge applied." So, as we read books and blogs, talk to experienced moms, live in community with other wise parents we take in their knowledge and turn it into wisdom. Let's not just read these words, but try to apply them and share them! I only started on my health journey after my 3rd son was born. Unfortunately, the wisdom of whole foods, foundational nutrition for my kids and their development, and the simple tips to follow when feeding them were not presented to me. Or maybe, I didn't listen to my healthy friends.

When my daughter started eating solid foods, I remember feeling lost, nervous, and scared. It's an incredible responsibility to be sure she was receiving all that she needed.  I thought I had to buy the expensive magical jars on the shelf that had been there for who knows how long, cooked to oblivion, and filled with some unnecessary ingredients. This was 10 years ago! We are so blessed now with Pinterest and amazing blogs to help us now. Admittedly, I did not feed her very well. Now, I'm happy to share with moms about some easy and wonderful tips to feeding your baby! I wish someone had sat me down and shared this with me.

Today, by some amazing act of grace, my 3 kids are all very healthy. I believe it's never too late to start building their immunities up again. They love fruits and vegetables now, and we do our best to keep an abundance of fruits and vegetables in our systems with smoothies, soups and salads!

First, is your baby ready for solid foods? Here are a few signs that he or she is ready, but be sure to talk to your pediatrician to be certain.

  • Lets you know she's full from a meal of nursing or bottle by turning away
  • Can sit up and hold her head up without assistance
  • Newfound interest in your food
  • Doubling of birth weight

Some basic tips about starting solid foods:

  • Try one per week to be sure there are no allergies
  • Start with non-sweet veggies first (babies will enjoy sweet fruits more, and possibly not enjoy veggies when introduced)
  • No salt or sweeteners are needed for their foods
  • Room temperature is best to avoid burning their tender mouth
  • Don't assume they don't like something, re-introduce it another week
  • Talk to your pediatrician

Handy tools you might need:

  • A food processor, or high powered blender like a VitaMix
  • A good vegetable peeler
  • Apple corer
  • Small mason jars for storage
  • Ice cube tray for freezing
  • Potato masher or fork

One day on a trip to Our Father's Farm, I learned of an interesting food for babies. An egg yolk a day beginning at 4-6 months. The egg yolk supplies cholesterol needed for mental development as well as important sulphur-containing amino acids.

The white, which contains difficult-to-digest proteins, should not be given before the age of one year.

Please make sure to find egg yolks from pasture-fed hens or hens raised on flax meal, fish meal or insects are also rich in the omega-3 long-chain fatty acids found in mother's milk but which may be lacking in cow's milk. These fatty acids will assist in the proper development of the brain. Parents who feed egg yolk to baby have been known to have children who speak and take directions at an early age.

A couple ways you can serve an egg yolk:

  • Place and egg yolk in a bowl and pour simmering water to lightly cook it, let cool and serve.
  • Mix in an egg yolk with hot cooked rice cereal, cool and serve.

First foods for baby:


A great first food for baby, avocados burst with essential fats and nutrients that a growing baby needs. Smooth and creamy, avocados are easily digested and well tolerated by most babies! Like the banana, it's a portable food in its own wrapper!

Vitamins: A, C, Niacin, Folate Minerals: Potassium, Phosphorus, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium

1. Peel and take out the pit of a ripe avocado - do not cook 2. Cut “meat” out and mash with a fork 3. There should be no need to use a machine as just like bananas, avocados have a very soft consistency and texture. Avocados do not need to be cooked 4. Add breast milk or water to thin or add cereal to thicken up if you'd like

Acorn or Butternut Squash 

1. Cut acorn, hubbard, or butternut squash in half, scoop out seeds 2. Place an inch of water in a baking pan, then place squash halves "face" down in the pan. Check on water level while baking 3. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes or until the “shell/skin” puckers and halves feel soft then scoop squash “meat” out of the shell 4. Place squash "meat" into the food processor and puree 5. Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency 6. You can also peel the squash, scoop out the seeds and then cut into chunks and boil/steam until tender (like when boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes) 7. Follow steps 4 and 5

Yams/Sweet Potato

Vitamins: A (24,877 mg ), C, Folate Minerals: Potassium, Sodium, Selenium, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Calcium

1. Wash and poke holes in sweet potato with fork then wrap sweet potatoes in tin foil - do not peel for baking 2. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes or until soft 3. Let cool and puree the potato in a blender or food processor


1. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into small chunks 2. Place chunks into a pan with just enough water to slightly cover potato 3. "Steam" boil until tender, be sure to check on the water level 4. Reserve any left over water to use for thinning out the sweet potatoes 5. If you have baked your sweet potato, remove skins and use liquid from your preferred source 6. Place sweet potato into the processor and puree 7. Add the reserved water or other liquid as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean


Peas are high in protein, vitamin C and A! Anything green has amazing detoxifying properties. As with any of these fragile vegetables, don't over cook them as you will lose some of their valuable nutrients.

1. Bring a cup of water to boil 2. Add frozen peas, cook until just tender 3. Blend in food processor or blender 4. Cool and serve


Bananas are another great first food for your baby. Research indicates that bananas and their mucosal properties actually help coat the tummy and help aid in digestion. Bananas are sweet, which may help baby more readily accept the first food experience.

Vitamins: A, C, Folate Minerals: Potassium, Phosphorus, Selenium, Magnesium, Calcium

1. Peel a ripe banana - do not cook 2. Place banana in a food processor/food mill or blender and puree 3. You can also mash the banana in a bowl using a regular fork – heat in microwave for 25 seconds prior to mashing for extra softness 4. Add breast milk or water to thin or add cereal to thicken up if you'd like

Apples (Applesauce)

Vitamins: A, C, Folate Minerals: Potassium, Magnesium, Calcium

This recipe is written so that you may use any amount of apples you wish 1. Peel, core and cut apple into slices/chunks 2. Place slices or chunks into a pan with just enough water to slightly cover apples 3. Boil/steam until tender; be sure to check on the water level and stir. 4. Apples may be mashed with a potato masher to achieve a smooth applesauce consistency. If your masher will not achieve a puree type of consistency, then follow steps 5 – 7 5. Reserve any leftover water to use for thinning out the apples 6. Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing 7. Add the reserved water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin puree 8. Add cereal to thicken if you'd like 9. Ask your pediatrician about adding some cinnamon for new tastes


Vitamins: A, C, Folate Minerals: Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Calcium

1. Peel and cut into chunks so as to avoid the little seed portion. 2. Steam gently until tender; 3. Place in a blender/food processor and puree until smooth. You may be able to just use a fork too. 4. Use the leftover cooking water if needed but Pears tend to be very runny and watery without adding liquid - Add some baby cereal to thicken if needed.

Mango (6-8 months or older)

Vitamins: A (1262 IU in one cup), C, E, K, Folate Minerals: Potassium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Calcium, Sodium

1. Peel 2. Scoop our the "meat" 3. Puree in a food processor, or mash up until smooth

Organic Brown Rice Cereal

If you decide to make homemade baby cereal, make it with brown rice (organic if preferred). Whole grains are more healthy and nutritious for your baby (and for the whole family).

1/4 c. rice powder (organic brown rice ground in blender or food processor) 1 cup water

1. Bring liquid to boil in saucepan. Add the rice powder while stirring constantly. 2. Simmer for 10 minutes, whisking constantly, mix breast milk, egg yolk and fruits if desired Serve warm

For more tips on a healthy family and a community of healthy minded friends, please check out and our facebook page!