How Much Baby Formula For Baby

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Baby formula can be a substitute if you’re not breastfeeding your infant or offered as a complimentary meal alongside it. 

But every baby is different, and your baby’s needs change as they grow older. How much they need now will be different in a month.

Understanding how much formula your baby should have depends on several factors. So, if you want to know how much formula for baby, you’ve come to the right place. Keep on reading to avoid overfeeding or under-feeding your infant. 

Why Are Feeding Amounts Misleading?

Some parents think they can simply stick to the recommended amount on the feeding formula’s package. Or that there’s a best formula milk brand. However, these requirements can be hard to follow and some maths are needed. 

If you’re breastfeeding your infant, the baby will stop when they’re finished and their cues are more obvious, the milk itself also evolves with them whereas formula does not. Moreover, the amount of milk you offer can differ from one day to another. The same applies to formula feeding. 

The information on the package doesn’t consider several factors. For example, there is no way it could determine how much breastmilk your child actually took (it is a substitute and meant to replace). And although finding a suitable pattern for some babies is easy and straightforward, it can be more challenging with others. 

How Much Formula Should a Baby Have by Age?

Paying attention to your infant’s hunger cues will help you determine that it’s time to offer the formula. 

As a rule of thumb from formula brands, your baby needs between 150 and 200 millilitres (of prepared milk) per kilogram of weight until they’re 6 months old. That’s between 330 and 440 millilitres of milk per one pound of weight per week. This mathematical formula will help you determine the recommended formula amount for your child as they grow older.

We didn’t come up with this ratio, but we have helped make the ratio make sense to busy mums and dads.

0 months (5.7 lbs to 9.25 lbs)

At 0 months old, you might be feeding your little one between 8 and 10 times per day. Your little one needs between 1881 to 2508 millilitres of the feeding formula from birth. A baby that weighs 9.25 pounds needs between 3052 and 4070 millilitres of the feeding formula.

This is the weekly recommended amount, so your child will need between 268 and 358 millilitres to 436 and 581 millilitres per day. 

1 Month (9.7 lbs to 12.6 lbs)

At the age of one month, your child will gain weight, and accordingly, the amount of formula will change. Your child will need between 3201 and 4268 millilitres of feeding formula if they weigh 9.7 pounds. 

If your infant is on the other end of the spectrum and it weighs 12.6 pounds, it will need 4158 and 5544 millilitres of the feeding formula. If you’re breastfeeding (combo feeding) your child, you’ll have to decrease this amount. 

baby formula amounts

2 Months (9.7 lbs to 15.4lbs)

By the time they’re two months old, your child will start to grab on objects and might be able to hold onto the feeding bottle by itself. However, your child’s weight might not change drastically, so it will need between 3201 and 4268 millilitres of weekly feeding formula. 

As your child grows and its weight increases, it will need between 5082 and 6776 millilitres of feeding formula per week. That would be between 726 and 968 millilitres of feeding formula per day. A little more than double what they did as a newborn.

If you combi feed your little one, your child will need less feeding formula to avoid overfeeding. In most cases, your child will need about 59 millilitres of milk or feeding formula per feeding session to feel full. 

3 Months (11.2 lbs to 17.4 lbs)

You might need to offer your infant milk over six to eight feeding sessions. The amount your child needs per week is between 3696 and 4928 millilitres per week if they weigh 11.2 pounds. A heavier child that weighs about 17.4 pounds will need between 5742 and 7656 millilitres of feeding formula per week. 

This means that on average, and if your child isn’t breastfed at all, they’ll need between 528 to 704 and 820 to 1093 millilitres of formula per day, depending on weight.

4 Months (12.3 lbs to 19 lbs)

The 4-months mark is significant for your little one because they’re able to hold their head up during tummy time. In addition, this stage involves a lot of play as your child will be able to kick and even roll while they’re 4 months old. 

Your little one needs about 5 to 6 feeds during the day, and they’ll sleep through the night for up to 12 hours, although they might wake up for a feeding session or two. According to our mathematical formula, a 12.3-pound baby will need between 4059 and 5412 millilitres of feeding formula per week, which is equal to 579 and 773 millilitres per day. 

If your baby weighs 19 pounds, they’ll need 6270 and 8360 millilitres of feeding formula per week. That’s between 895 and 1194 millilitres of feeding formula per day. 

However, you should notice that by 4 months, your baby will be ready to eat solid food. Pureed vegetables and meat-based foods will be a suitable start, as long as the food has a watery texture and is easy to swallow. As your baby gets older, they’ll prefer a thicker and lumpier texture. 

Solid foods should result in less formula feeds – the rest of the guide is assuming they are still on a formula only diet.

5 Months (13.4 lbs to 20.3 lbs)

At the age of 5 months, your little one will be able to spend some time sitting with your support. Some babies can also sit unsupported for a few seconds. 

Whether you’re offering breastmilk or formula, your amount is determined based on your baby’s weight and the other types of food you’re offering. 

A baby that weighs 13.4 pounds and depends solely on the formula will need between 4422 and 5896 millilitres per week or between 631 and 842 millilitres of formula per day. A baby that weighs about 20.3 pounds needs between 6699 and 8932 millilitres of feeding formula per week or between 957 and 1276 millilitres per day. 

Quite a lot now. Solid foods should help reduce the feeds and the cost!

6 Months (14.1 lbs to 21.4 lbs)

The baby can move better by the time they’re 6 months old. As a result, they’ll need more food, whether you’re breastfeeding, formula feeding and breastfeeding or offering just feeding formula or solid foods. 

A 6-months-old baby that weighs 14.1 pounds needs between 4653 and 6204 millilitres of feeding formula per week, or between 664 and 886 millilitres of formula per day. A heavier baby weighing about 21.4 pounds will need between 7062 and 9416 millilitres of feeding formula per week or between 1008 and 1345 millilitres per day. 

How Many Calories in Formula Milk?

The number of calories per 100 millilitres of formula milk differs according to the type. For example, anti-reflux milk is suitable for babies from birth, and every 100 millilitres contain 70 calories. Cow’s milk and comfort milk, which is suitable if your little one struggles with colic, have the same calorie content. 

However, 70 calories per 100ml is the general amount.

Why are Formula Feeding Amount Guidelines So Hard to Follow?

According to the previous mathematical formula, the range between the recommended smallest and largest amount of feeding formula is large and difficult to track. As a result, following the maths won’t be the right approach when deciding on the amount you should give your little one. 

This is why it’s best to pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues and only feed them when they’re hungry. The baby will move its fist to the mouth, turn its head, suck on its hands, or open and close to the mouth to show that it’s hungry. 

You should also stop when you see your baby pushing food away, closing their mouth, or turning their head away. Overfeeding your child can make it extremely uncomfortable. 

How Do I Know if I am Feeding Them Enough Formula?

The best thing is to follow your child’s cues and feed them when they show that they’re hungry. Let your child set the pace for feeding and pay attention to the following signs. 

  • Notice if your little one is gaining weight. Invest in some scales or visit your health visitor regularly.
  • Your child will have wet or soiled nappies. Constipation means that your child isn’t eating enough. 
  • Your little one is developing normally. 
  • Your baby sleeps after feeding sessions and doesn’t wake up often because of hunger. 

Conclusion

Paying attention to the recommended amount on the feeding formula isn’t always right, despite the efforts we’ve made with the numbers. And because the difference between the lowest and highest recommended amount is large, it’s better to follow your little one’s hunger cues.