How Much Formula Should My Baby Have: A Guide by Age

Being a parent is hard. We wonder if our baby is eating enough, sleeping enough, sleeping too much, being held enough, being held too much, eating enough, eating too much – I know you understand! For the first few months, babies often feed on demand, and amounts can vary. As they get older, their feedings tend to space out a little and they consume more at each feed. This is great because it helps to set the flow of their day; feeding and sleeping becomes more predictable. It doesn’t meant that the worries go away though. A common question from parents is:

“How much formula should my baby have?”

When I work with a family, we do talk about feeds, and my goal is ensure that your baby is getting everything that she needs. I cannot tell you how much your baby needs – I defer to the experts on that. I was very happy to find this wonderful article from AboutKidsHealth.ca. This chart for formula fed babies is broken down by age for the first year. What is great is that it shows a range for number of bottles each day, along with the range of ml/oz needed.

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If you are concerned about your baby’s intake, please talk to your doctor.

Click here to read the full article.

“Can I follow the same guideline if pumping breastmilk?”

Unfortunately, you cannot. I called the nurse to ask this question for a client of mine. The nurse explained that because breastmilk is different for everyone, she cannot give me an exact amount for any age. Babies will drink what they need, and leave what they don’t. You can use this as a bit of a starting point. Keep track of your feeds, and you might find that your  baby doesn’t finish the whole bottle – so you can offer a little less. If  she is looking for more when it is finished, then make the next bottle a little bigger. It might be helpful to talk to a lactation consultant or your doctor to find out the best amount for your baby.

A few things to consider:

As your baby gets older and more social, you might find that she gets very distracted when eating. If this is the case, try feeding in a quiet are – their room, your room etc.

Check the nipple flow. Did you know that each brand of bottles has more than one nipple flow? If your baby is coming off of the nipple often, or getting frustrated, or taking only a small amount – it might be time to try the next size.

Temperature of the formula. Some families offer the formula room temperature, and others warm it up. If you are going to warm it, place the bottle in a bowl of warm water and be sure to test it before giving it to your baby. Never microwave a bottle.

This article is not intended to replace medical advice. Always speak to your doctor or lactation consultant if you have any questions.

Other articles that you might find interesting:

How to drop the night feeds?

Jamie Contarini
Jamie Contarini
Jamie is a certified Family Sleep Institute Sleep Consultant with Good Night Sleep Site and Team Manager. Proud Mama of two. Jamie realized that her interest in helping change some of her son’s sleep habits actually turned into a passion and she happily joined the Good Night team with her mission being to help families succeed as she did.

 When she is not working, Jamie enjoys family time with her husband, sons and golden retriever.
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