Amount and Schedule of Formula Feedings

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Knowing the amount of formula to feed your baby can be very difficult to gauge, especially if you're a new mom with no prior experience and in the early stages.

Every baby is different and their appetites differ largely.

Your infant’s feeding habits may not match a fixed guidelines precisely, and rarely will your baby wake exactly 3 hours after the previous feed is finished. However, as long as they are feeding well and gaining normal weight, they are definitely getting the amount they need.

If your little one is premature or of a low birth weight, please note, that their feeding requirements will be different. Your consultant or midwife will be able to advise you about your child’s unique needs.

From when your baby is 2 weeks to 6 months, expect your bottlefeeding routine to consist of around 5-6 feeds daily.

After the first few days of starting, your formula-fed newborn will take from 2-3 ounces of formula per feeding and he will eat every 3 to 4 hours on average during her first few weeks.

If your baby sleeps longer than four to five hours during the first month, and starts to miss feedings, ensure you wake her up and offer a bottle.

By the end of the first month, she should be able to take at least 4 ounces per feeding, with a fairly predictable schedule of feedings about every 4 hours.

By 6 months, your baby can consume 6 to 8 ounces at each of 4 or 5 feedings in twenty-four hours.

Ideally, your infant should take in about 2 1⁄2 ounces of formula daily for every pound (453 grams) of her body weight. However, he will probably regulate his intake from day to day to meet his own specific needs. Therefore instead of going by fixed amounts, try to notice when he has had enough. If he becomes easily distracted or fidgety during a feeding, he is probably finished and if he drains the bottle and still continues smacking his lips, it means he might still be hungry.

However, there are high and low limits. Most babies are satisfied with 3 to 4 ounces per feeding during the first month and they just increase that amount by 1 ounce every month until they reach a maximum of about 7 to 8 ounces. If your little one seems to want more or less than this consistently, then discuss it with your pediatrician. Ideally, your baby should drink no more than 32 ounces of formula in 24 hours.

At first, it is best to feed newborn on demand, or whenever he cries because he is hungry, and as time passes, he will begin to develop a fairly regular timetable of his own. In the same vein, as you become used to his signals and needs, you will be able to schedule his feedings around his routine.

The most essential thing to note, whether you breastfeed or bottlefeed, is that your infant’s feeding needs are unique. Therefore, no book can tell you exactly how much or how often he should be fed or precisely how you should handle him during feedings. All these you will discover for yourself as you and your little one get to know each other.