The amount of formula you should give your baby depends on your age, weight, and if you’re feeding or formula only and if you give it in combination with breast milk or solid food. It is important to note that breast milk is the ideal place for a baby if the mothers can breastfeed food. If you plan to use the formula to give your child some extra bottles, you should bear in mind that the more you breastfeed, the longer you produce milk, and thus to give many additional bottles may make less milk, causing you to leave breastfeeding sooner than you think if you go to feed your baby formula exclusively. Here are some guidelines that you may find useful to know how much to give:
- Pay attention to the signals your baby:
The most important guideline is the behavior of your baby. Babies eat when hungry and stop eating when they are full. Do not expect a newborn or any baby to follow a time routine or a mathematical rule. The needs and appetite vary with a baby, and most babies change from day to day and month to month. The most important thing for you is that you learn to understand the signs of your baby. Note that sometimes babies go through a period of rapid growth that can be hungrier than usual and, after a few days, return to stabilize and satisfied mode, with a smaller amount of formula. While it is easy to answer to your baby’s needs, eg, a bottle, how convenient is to make sure you are not crying for any other reason. Some signs that your baby is hungry could be to make a noise with his lips, looking for food (turning his head toward your hand when you touch the cheek) and to bring the hands to the mouth. You will notice if your baby was hungry when you finish eating quickly and start looking around and trying to get more. (If you think you are still not satisfied after your first bottle, just prepare some extra ounce at a time [30 ml], because if you give a greater amount, may not finish it and be wasted.)
- Multiply the weight of your baby for 2.5 ounces (74 ml):
If your baby is not yet eating solid foods (should not do before 4-6 months of age), as a general rule, you must provide 2.5 ounces (74 ml) of formula per pound (0.45 kg ) of body weight per day. So if your baby weighs 6 pounds (2.7 kg), you will give about 15 ounces of formula (445 ml) in a 24 hour period. Person weighing 10 pounds (4.5 kg), should ingest 25 ounces (740 ml) over a period of 24 hours.
- Consider the age of your baby:
The amount of formula your baby needs depends not only depends their weight but also their age. If you start to give formula to a newborn, about giving only an ounce or two (30 or 59 ml) per meal during the first week. Be guided by their hunger. When he/she is about one month, it is probably 3 or 4 ounces (89 or 118 ml) for food and consumes 18-32 ounces (532 ml to 947 ml) per day. From the 2-6 months you should give of 4-6 ounces (118-178 ml) per meal, which means that ingest 23 to 32 ounces (680 ml to 947 ml) per day. Some parents find that an increase of about one ounce per month (30 ml) works quite well. Once your baby is 6 months, you can give of 6-8 ounces (178-237 ml) per meal, to about 32 ounces (947 ml) of formula milk per day. At this point you should start adding solid foods to their diet if you have not yet done that. You will find that as your baby grows, he/she take less bottles of formula. In any case, the amount of formula should never exceed 32 oz. in 24 hours. When you reach this amount, you can add more volume introducing rice cereal, but be careful, because it is not good to introduce any food too soon. For more information on how you can introduce solid foods depending on the age of your baby. If you’re worried that your baby is not eating enough, see if you gain weight and talk to the doctor. This will let you know if your little intake is adequate to their size and age, and advise you about the changes you should make to adapt to their individual needs.