How Long Can A Baby Go Without Eating
Baby Toddler Safety

How Long Can A Baby Go Without Eating

Thanks to human biology and luck, pediatricians say that a baby survived for six days without food or water after being dumped.

A major decision is to decide who is going to feed the child.

You should know the suitable food for you and your baby and ensure that you feed them the same food, if not the ones specific for them.

To understand how long can a baby go without eating, read this article. 

How Long Can A Baby Go Without Eating?

A baby can sleep without feeding for how many hours?

Parental and child health experts have debated providing frequency, and they usually suggest different feeding frequencies.

As a result, these recommendations are often confusing. Baby’s should be fed between 10-12 times a day when they are newborns, according to general feeding advice.

If you feed your baby every two or three hours during other hours, do so.

Your baby may nurse for short periods or fall asleep during a meal at some point.

When the baby is hungry, they will also give you a signal, and you have to recognize the signal.

Remember, this will happen only when your child is awake. The baby can even spend an entire night without being hungry after a certain age.

Even mothers might not feel hungry for many hours if they eat or breastfeed more than one time. 

1. When Your Baby Isn’t Hungry, Should You Feed Them Every 3 Hours?

Sometimes it is necessary to feed your baby after every 3 hours, even if they do not seem to need it:

  • When your baby struggles to gain weight.
  • Premature birth of your baby.
  • If your baby has ever been diagnosed with jaundice or any other medical condition, you should contact your pediatrician.
  • The baby should reach three times their birth weight by the time he turns one year old. 

You shouldn’t wait until your baby wakes up and signals that they want food if your baby is not gaining weight usually.

You should feed or nurse your baby properly. If you are confused, how to treat them, speak to your pediatrician.

Also read: Baby Sweats While Eating

2. How To Know If The Baby Is Hungry? 

When they touch the age of six months old or older, babies can sometimes sleep for 6 hours straight without eating, and the duration is shorter for babies younger than six months.

For example, babies can sleep comfortably for four stretch hours without consuming any food at 0-4 weeks old. 

Your baby’s crying will usually tell you if they are hungry. Taking your baby’s hunger cues into consideration can help you settle an upset baby so that they can eat.

Some of these signals may include:

  • They are licking their lips
  • Making their tongues stick out
  • Their mouths are frequently open
  • As if searching for breasts, rooting (moving head and jaw as if looking for breasts)
  • Irritability 

3. Newborns Need To Be Woken For Feedings

A newborn proliferates, so it seems like they are eating continuously. Neither his body nor you can take a lot of time off.

Therefore, for the first two weeks, you should wake your newborn baby if they sleep longer than four hours at a time. Newborns are easy to feed, with good digestion

With such a fast rate of digestion, coupled with your baby’s tiny stomach (which is only slightly bigger than a ping-pong ball at two weeks old), your little one has a physiological need of nursing.

The babies who get formula food can go about three to four hours between feedings as during the first month, and the formula will digest more slowly. 


You now have the answer to the question, how long can a baby go without eating?

You need to feed a healthy, full-term child as soon as they are hungry. This is referred to as responding to a child’s hunger.

It is important to know that you need to feed babies every 2-3 hours during the first six months.

Since exclusive breastfeeding should be practiced in the first six months, do not give the baby juices or sips of water.

Following a consultation with your doctor, you may provide formula if breast milk isn’t enough.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the maximum amount of time a 2-month-old can go without eating?

In the initial week, weeks or months, your baby will take naps of about two to four hours at a time.

This depends on whether you’re either breastfeeding, formula-feeding, or both. Baby sleeps for five- to six-hour stretches when two to three months old.

Is it okay for a 2-month-old to sleep through the night?

If a newborn sleeps for an extended period, it should be roused to feed.

You should wake up your baby three to four times a day to feed them until they show good weight gain, usually occurring within the first several weeks.

If your baby sleeps longer at night after that, it’s okay.

Is it possible for a 3-month-old to sleep 12 hours without eating?

At the ages of 3 and 6 months, some babies sleep very long at night and only have short naps during the day.

For example, a few babies sleep 12 hours without interruption, others manage 8 hours, and many regularly wake for feedings.

Iesha Mulla

Iesha is a loving mother of 2 beautiful children. She's an active parent who enjoys indoor and outdoor adventures with her family. Her mission is to share practical and realistic parenting advice to help the parenting community becoming stronger.

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