Formula Feeding: How Much and How Often?
Crying is actually a late sign of hunger, and doesn't always mean your child is hungry.
Each child is different, and whether or not you should start feeding yours formula is left entirely up to your judgment.
But how much formula will your child need? And how often should he or she be fed?
Various websites offer different information; but we've gathered it all together here, so you won’t have to look any further!
When wondering about the frequency and quantity of feedings for babies up to one year of age, follow the guidelines below!
Oz. Per Feeding
# of Daily Feedings
Total Oz Daily
2 to 3 oz.
8 to 12
8 to 24 oz.
4 Weeks to 4 Months
about 4 oz.
6 to 8
24 to 32 oz.
4 to 6 Months
4 to 8 oz.
4 to 6
24 to 32 oz.
6 to 9 Months
6 to 8 oz.
9 to 12 Months
about 8 oz.
3 to 4
about 8 oz.
2 to 3
16 to 24 oz.
If your baby was born prematurely and needs to gain weight, you may need to set a separate feeding schedule. Otherwise, when it comes to feeding babies, most experts recommend feeding upon demand.
This doesn't necessarily mean you should pop open the formula every time your baby cries. Crying can be a sign of anything, from a dirty diaper, to over-stimulation, to boredom. Crying is actually a late sign of hunger, and doesn't always mean your child is hungry. Experts recommend feeding your baby before he or she gets that hungry. This way, it prevents you from ending up with a baby that’s too upset to feed efficiently. Instead, watch for the early signs of hunger, which include your baby’s:
- head moving from side to side (as if looking for food);
- mouth opening or tongue sticking out;
- hands or fingers placed inside his or her mouth;
- lips are smacking, sucking, or puckering; and,
- mouth moving toward your hand or chest.
Every baby is different, but formula takes longer to digest than breast milk; so you might find that the time between your child’s feedings will stretch a bit more than when you were breastfeeding. According to this article from Pampers, they may go three to four hours between feedings.
There will also be times when your baby seems hungrier than usual. If your baby seems to be eating more, he or she may be in the middle of a growth spurt, according to KidsHealth.org, most growth spurts during a baby’s first year of life occur around 7 to 14 days, 3 to 6 weeks, 4 months, and 6 months.