How often to feed 6 week old baby formula
Formula Feeding FAQs: How Much and How Often (for Parents)
Whether you plan to formula feed your baby from the start, want to supplement your breast milk with formula, or are switching from breast milk to formula, you probably have questions.
Here are answers to some common questions about formula feeding.
How Often Should I Feed My Baby?
Newborns and young babies should be fed whenever they seem hungry. This is called on-demand feeding.
After the first few days of life, most healthy formula-fed newborns feed about every 2–3 hours. As they get bigger and their tummies can hold more milk, they usually eat about every 3–4 hours. As babies get older, they’ll settle into a more predictable feeding routine and go longer stretches at night without needing a bottle.
Talk to your doctor if you have concerns about feeding your baby, especially if your baby is very small, is not gaining weight, or was born early (prematurely).
How Can I Tell When My Baby Is Hungry?
Signs that babies are hungry include:
- moving their heads from side to side
- opening their mouths
- sticking out their tongues
- placing their hands, fingers, and fists to their mouths
- puckering their lips as if to suck
- nuzzling again their mothers' breasts
- showing the rooting reflex (when a baby moves its mouth in the direction of something that's stroking or touching its cheek)
Babies should be fed before they get upset and cry. Crying is a late sign of hunger. But every time your baby cries is not because of hunger. Sometimes babies just need to be cuddled or changed. Or they could be sick, tired, too hot or too cold, in pain, or have colic.
How Much Should My Baby Drink?
In the first few weeks, give 2- to 3-ounce (60- to 90-milliliter) bottles to your newborn. Give more or less depending on your baby’s hunger cues.
Here's a general look at how much your baby may be eating at different ages:
- On average, a newborn drinks about 1.5–3 ounces (45–90 milliliters) every 2–3 hours. This amount increases as your baby grows and can take more at each feeding.
- At about 2 months, your baby may drink about 4–5 ounces (120–150 milliliters) every 3–4 hours.
- At 4 months, your baby may drink about 4–6 ounces (120-180 milliliters) at each feeding, depending on how often they eat.
- By 6 months, your baby may drink 6–8 ounces (180–230 milliliters) about 4–5 times a day.
Watch for signs that your baby is hungry or full. Respond to these cues and let your baby stop when full. A baby who is full may suck with less enthusiasm, stop, or turn away from the bottle.
Why Does My Baby Seem Hungrier Than Usual?
As babies grow, they begin to eat more at each feeding and can go longer between feedings. Still, there may be times when your little one seems hungrier than usual.
Your baby may be going through a period of rapid growth (called a growth spurt). These can happen at any time, but in the early months are common at around:
- 7–14 days old
- between 3–6 weeks
- 4 months
- 6 months
During these times and whenever your baby seems especially hungry, follow their hunger cues and continue to feed on demand, increasing the amount of formula you give as needed.
Is My Baby Eating Enough?
At times, you may wonder whether your baby is getting enough nutrients for healthy growth and development. Babies who get enough to eat seem satisfied after eating and are regularly peeing and pooping.
At your baby’s checkups, the doctor will review your baby’s growth chart, track your little one’s development, and answer any questions. Talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about your baby’s feeding and nutrition.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: November 2021
Amount and Schedule of Baby Formula Feedings
- In the first week after birth, babies should be eating no more than about 1 to 2 ounces (30 to 60 ml) per feed.
- During the first month, babies gradually eat more until they take 3 to 4 ounces (90 to 120 ml) per feed, amounting to 32 ounces per day. Formula-fed babies typically feed on a more regular schedule, such as every 3 or 4 hours. Breastfed babies usually take smaller, more frequent feedings than formula-fed infants.
If your baby sleeps longer than 4 to 5 hours during the first few weeks after birth and starts missing feedings, wake them up and offer a bottle.
By the end of the first month: Your baby will be up to at least 3 to 4 ounces (120 mL) per feeding, with a fairly predictable schedule of feedings about every 3 to 4 hours.
By 6 months: Your baby will consume 6 to 8 ounces (180–240 mL) at each of 4 or 5 feedings in 24 hours.
Formula feeding based on body weight
On average, your baby should take in about 2½ ounces (75 mL) of infant formula a day for every pound (453 g) of body weight. But they probably will regulate their intake from day to day to meet their own specific needs, so let them tell you when they've had enough. If they become fidgety or easily distracted during a feeding, they're probably finished. If they drain the bottle and continues smacking their lips, they might still be hungry.
There are high and low limits, however. If your baby consistently seems to want more or less than this, discuss it with your pediatrician. Your baby should usually drink no more than an average of about 32 ounces (960 mL) of formula in 24 hours. Some babies have higher needs for sucking and may just want to suck on a pacifier after feeding.
Initially it is best to feed your formula-fed newborn a bottle on demand, or whenever they cry with hunger. As time passes, your baby will begin to develop a fairly regular timetable of their own. As you become familiar with their signals and needs, you'll be able to schedule their feedings around their routine.
Eating & sleeping patterns
Between 2 and 4 months of age (or when the baby weighs more than 12 lb. [5.4 kg]), most formula-fed babies no longer need a middle-of-the-night feedings. They're consuming more during the day, and their sleeping patterns have become more regular (although this varies considerably from baby to baby). Their stomach capacity has increased, too, which means they may go longer between daytime feedings—occasionally up to 4 or 5 hours at a time.
If your baby still seems to feed very frequently or consume larger amounts, try distracting them with play or with a pacifier. Sometimes patterns of obesity begin during infancy, so it is important not to overfeed your baby.
Getting to know your baby's feeding needs
The most important thing to remember, whether you breastfeed or bottlefeed, is that your baby's feeding needs are unique. No book―or website―can tell you precisely how much or how often they need to be fed or exactly how you should handle them during feedings. You will discover these things for yourself as you and your baby get to know each other.
- How Often and How Much Should Your Baby Eat?
- Making Sure Your Baby is Getting Enough Milk
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The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
Feeding baby formula
All parents dream that their child grows and develops correctly and harmoniously. However, the formation of a child's body largely depends on balanced nutrition that the baby receives from the first days of life.
Dry milk drink "Baby milk" Valio Baby 3 NutriValio for feeding children over 12 months Read more
Of course, the best food for a baby is mother's milk, because it gives the child a lot of useful and necessary substances for growth and development. The quality of a child's nutrition in early childhood largely determines the state of his health in adulthood. In addition, nutrition is important in the development of the child's central nervous system and affects his intelligence and abilities. nine0003
If the child is artificially fed, it is all the more important to consciously approach the issue of his nutrition, carefully choosing the right mixture. Carefully monitor the feeding regime and introduce complementary foods in a timely manner. It is in the power of parents to provide the baby with health for many years.
It is important to follow a few rules, always remembering that when choosing a diet, consultation with a doctor is required! nine0003
1. Give preference only to adapted mixtures, since in their composition they are as close as possible to the composition of breast milk.
2. Take into account the individual characteristics of the body and the state of health of the baby.
3. Take into account the age of the child and select mixtures of the appropriate stage - initial and subsequent. To make it easier for parents to navigate, the formulas are labeled with numbers: 1 (0–6 months), 2 (6–12 months), 3 (from 12 months). The initial (starter) mixture is indicated by the number 1 and is intended for children in the first six months of life. Subsequent formulas have the numbers 2 and 3 on the packaging. They are intended for older babies from 6 months. It is important to remember that in mixtures for each stage, the composition formula changes, taking into account the age-related characteristics of development and the needs of children. nine0003
4. Observe the dosage in accordance with the instructions on the packaging. Deviation from these norms can adversely affect the well-being and health of the child. If you take too much dry matter, the mixture will come out with an increased content of nutrients, which can lead to more frequent regurgitation, unstable stools and excessive stress on the kidneys and intestines. If you take the powder less than the specified norm, then the mixture will turn out to be low-calorie and insufficiently nutritious - the baby will remain hungry. nine0003
5. Use specially prepared water to dilute the mixture. Only clean and boiled water should be used.
With artificial feeding, it is impossible to abruptly transfer the baby to a qualitatively new food and without the need to change the mixture. It is very important to properly control the amount of feeding. For each age, the daily volume is calculated, which is divided by the number of doses. This is done so that the actual volumes eaten by the baby do not exceed the calculated recommended norms. To calculate the amount of feeding for the baby yourself, you should rely on the following data. nine0003
- For a child in the first days of life, the volume of feedings (day and night) per day should be 1/5 of the child's body weight. Approximately 600-900
- In the first 2 months, the volume of feeding per day should not exceed 1/5-1/6 of the child's body weight. For example, if a child weighs 4 kilograms, then he should eat no more than 800 g of the mixture per day.
- For a 2-4 month old baby, the daily formula is 1/6 of body weight (800-1000 g) nine0027 For a 4-6 month old baby, the maximum daily amount of formula should be 1/7 of body weight (900-1000 g).
- After six months and up to 9 months, the baby should eat within the daily volume of the mixture not exceeding 1/8 of his body weight (1000-1100 g).
- At the age of 9–12 months, the daily volume of milk formula is already 1/9 of the child's body weight (1100–1200 g).
To calculate the volume of each feeding, it is necessary to divide the calculated daily volume of milk formula by the optimal number of feedings. With artificial feeding of children in the first months of life, as a rule, 6-7 meals a day are recommended after 3 or 3.5 hours with a 6.5 or 6-hour break. nine0003
0-2 months - 7-10 feedings per day
2-4 months - 6-7 feedings per day
4-6 months - 5-6 feedings per day
6-12 months - 4-5 feedings per day
If a child has at least some deviations in development, a lag in weight gain, then you should definitely consult with a pediatrician to draw up a baby nutrition plan!nine0002 Most doctors and infant nutritionists agree that “free” (on demand) feeding is optimal for a baby. To meet the needs of the child, it is important for parents to listen to the child. However, when a child is bottle-fed, you should pay attention to some nuances. Already in the first days of life, babies show their individual character - one eats in moderation, the other can overeat. Therefore, when feeding with milk formulas, it is recommended to stick to the golden mean and choose a partially limited "free mode", when there are no restrictions on the time and frequency of feeding, but the volume of the mixture eaten is controlled. nine0003
From the first days of the transition to artificial feeding, it is important to carefully monitor the reactions of the baby and record them. The best option is to keep a child's food diary, where you need to write down all the nuances associated with feeding: time, amount of food, baby's reactions after feeding. If necessary, such a diary will help you and your baby's pediatrician adjust the schedule and volume of feedings, as well as understand the possible causes of problems with nutrition and growth.nine0002 After a year, the time comes to transfer the child to a diet that is closest to what is eaten in the family. And then the question arises of when to give up formula milk. If up to a year a child is breastfed or artificially fed and does not particularly need regular milk, then after a year it becomes an important source of nutrients: calcium, phosphorus, vitamins, proteins, fats and carbohydrates. But even the best cow's milk in its original form is not suitable for feeding young children. Why? nine0003
It's all about the large amount of casein, a protein that is difficult to digest and thereby increases the load on the child's digestive systems, which do not produce enough hydrochloric acid and enzymes to digest casein.
The ideal option for children from the age of one is a special baby milk or milk drink that will provide the child's body with all the necessary nutrients, helping to occur a natural transition and adaptation to the next, adult, stage of nutrition. Valio specialists have developed a special baby milk Valio Baby 3, which can be used with mixed and artificial feeding. It is ideal for children from one year old, who become more mobile and active every day. You can also learn more about the correct complementary foods menu in our blog. nine0003
Author: Reetta Tikanmäki
Palm oil in baby food
Infant milk formulas are made from cow's milk. However, in terms of fat composition, it differs significantly from that of the mother.
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How to choose milk formula for a baby
Breast milk is the best food for a newborn baby. It contains all the necessary nutritional components that fully meet the needs of the child and are necessary for his healthy and harmonious development. nine0003
Feeding on demand or by the hour? What to do if the baby is bottle-fed
It would seem that strictly hourly feeding is a thing of the past, and we hear from everywhere that a newborn needs to be fed on demand. But this applies to breastfeeding, and in the case of artificial, everything is not so simple. How to feed an artificial baby and what is important to remember when choosing a mixture - in the material "Daily Baby". nine0003
Feeding: on demand or by the clock?
In Soviet times, it was recommended to feed a newborn on any type of feeding strictly by the hour. There was no question of any wards of joint stay with the baby.
Times have changed, and today doctors are unanimous on this issue: it is more expedient to feed a baby "on the chest" on demand and apply it at his slightest request. But what are the norms for feeding an artificial child? Is it right to give the baby a mixture “on demand”, or in this case, do you still need a diet? nine0003
Doctors recommend following a certain regimen when feeding a baby with artificial formula. Feeding a newborn "on demand" on an artificial form of feeding is almost impossible, because, firstly, it is not always convenient to quickly and at the first request of the child to prepare the mixture.
And secondly, when feeding on demand, it is difficult to track the amount of food received by the baby. And if it’s impossible to overfeed with a breast, then with a mixture it’s completely. Modern artificial mixtures, although they contain a lot of nutrients, but, whatever one may say, breast milk is easier and easier to digest. Therefore, when feeding with a mixture, the regimen is so important. Doctors insist: you need to feed the newborn with a mixture not at the request of the baby, but strictly on time. nine0003
Hourly formula feeding is also important because this type of feeding is an acute issue of hygiene. Bottles and nipples must be perfectly clean, and the mixture must be freshly prepared.
You also need to remember that the stool of a bottle-fed baby should be daily. Due to the fact that the formula is absorbed and digested longer, the frequency of meals should be lower than when breastfeeding. Otherwise, there is a risk of overfeeding the child, and there are not far from problems with the gastrointestinal tract and obesity. There is also the possibility of underfeeding, which is why nutritional order is so important. nine0003
Artificial feeding: how to properly feed
There is no single and clear schedule for feeding an artificial newborn. It is necessary to focus on a specific baby and adjust the nutrition plan for him. The optimal intervals between feedings and the volume of the mixture eaten must be selected individually. Parents should be patient and gradually accustom the child to the regime that suits him.
It is recommended to take notes while observing the behavior and well-being of the child. So you can adjust the daily routine, making it the most comfortable for the baby. At the same time, small deviations from the regime, in half an hour or an hour, are quite acceptable. nine0003
Artificial babies of the first month of life are fed about six to seven times a day, the interval between feedings is about three and a half hours. At night, it is desirable to withstand six hours without feeding. Haphazard or more frequent meals can cause indigestion, as well as the appearance of increased gas production in the baby, colic and frequent spitting up.
With age, the hours of feeding a newborn formula change: the intervals between meals increase. A six-month-old child is given a mixture about five times a day. From the age of 7 months, the baby is fed with a mixture approximately every 5 hours, taking into account the fact that at this age the baby is actively eating complementary foods. nine0003
“Children of the first year of life, especially the first half of the year, grow and develop very actively, and this requires a regular supply of nutrients. Formula-fed infants are usually fed once every 2-3 hours.
It is very important to calculate the child's daily energy requirement. For full-term healthy babies up to 6 months, this is 115 kcal per kilogram of weight. But children are also very large. There is an upper limit of the daily volume of the mixture: for three months it is 850 ml, for 5 months and above - no more than 1000 milliliters of the mixture per day. nine0003
Unlike breastfeeding, the daily volume of the formula must be controlled, because obesity and overfeeding during artificial feeding are more dangerous.
Children with a good appetite, who are already low on the maximum daily volume, after 4 months can be introduced complementary foods, but do not increase the mixture.
Bottle-fed water may be offered to children, but this is not required, at the request of the child. Again, the daily volume of water is important - no more than the volume of one feeding. nine0003
I would also add that formula-fed on-demand feeding is not recommended, since formulas, even the highest quality ones, do not have such good digestibility as human milk. And the risk of overfeeding is high,” says pediatrician Anna Ganina .
Pay attention to the stool of a bottle-fed newborn. The appearance of mucus in it, a strong liquefaction of the stool, or, conversely, constipation may warn that the mixture is not suitable for the baby.
However, it is important to remember that you should not change baby food too often and unreasonably. It is better if the child eats one, suitable for him, high-quality and healthy mixture.
If you follow all the rules of feeding, the growth and development of the baby on artificial feeding will proceed in accordance with the norms.
Kabrita Gentle Nutrition based on goat milk
Kabrita infant formula based on goat milk has an adapted protein composition. Goat's milk is closer in composition to breast milk than cow's milk, it is digested faster and easier than cow's milk, so feeding a newborn with a mixture based on goat's milk is preferable.