Formula Feeding: How Much and How Often?

baby drinking from bottleIf you determine that formula feeding is the right choice for your family and your needs, you'll want to know how to best take care of feeding time. 

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!

Age

Oz. Per Feeding

# of Daily Feedings

Total Oz Daily

Newborn

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.

6

32 oz.

9 to 12 Months

about 8 oz.

3 to 4

24 oz.

12+ Months

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.

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. 

What do you think?

Formula Feeding: How Much and How Often?

Tell us what you think!

16 comments

  1. Profile photo of Stacy Stacy says:

    Clearly whoever made this chart can’t multiply….

  2. Profile photo of Courtney Courtney says:

    My 3 month eats 5-6 oz bottles every four hours! She weighed 6 pounds 12 ounces at birth and is now almost 13 pounds.

  3. Profile photo of mommy nhoj mommy nhoj says:

    My 10 month old baby eats solid food at least three times a day and have 4-5 bottles of formula.

  4. Profile photo of tatiana tatiana says:

    my baby will be one month in 3 days and she eats 3oz every 2-3 hours.lady at WIC program said that is too much since she gained over 2 pounds already when she should gain only 1.5 pounds.

    • Profile photo of Melissa Melissa says:

      No offense to WIC workers but I don’t think they have enough training to make that judgement, that’s what your Dr is for. My babies gain 2lbs per month (they are 10 weeks) and my dr is ecstatic about it. They eat every 3 hours, the smaller twin eats 4oz and the larger twin eats 5oz.

  5. Profile photo of Joe Sparks Joe Sparks says:

    Our kid just eats and eats..going to try adding in formula

  6. Profile photo of Shericial Shericial says:

    I’ve had trouble with getting my son to drink the suggested amount of formula for the past 3 months. He eats his food very well but was not taking the formula as well as I felt that he should have. Here lately he is started to take a little more formula and a little less food (I believe that tooth number 5 cutting threw has something to do with that!)

  7. Profile photo of Lena Lena says:

    My newphew eats a lot , every 2 hours he can get 4-5 ounces over a 30 min time frame. He’s only 2.5 weeks old.

  8. keeping this as a back up plan (breastfeeding) great tips, thankyou

  9. keeping this as a back up plan….great tips, thanks

  10. Profile photo of Sadako Sadako says:

    My baby sometimes only drink 2 oz every 3-4 hrs .. She’s 4 weeks now

  11. Profile photo of EbyMom EbyMom says:

    The ages 6-9mths is my concern. My baby eats solids now and she doesn’t drink up to that quantity 32oz. Is there a problem with that?

    • My 8mos girls are eating solids pretty well 3x/day and still intaking anywhere from 36-40oz formula /day! I’ve tried to increase the meals but they aren’t having it.

    • Profile photo of Kim ShannonEditor Kim Shannon says:

      Hi Eby! I think it’s all about balance – if your baby is eating lots of solids and growing, the decreased formula amount could be a result of that and seems like it would be fine. It’s always best to talk to your pediatrician for guidance, though!

      • Profile photo of Erika Erika says:

        Thank you I was wondering the same thing my on is almost 8 months an will drink 2 6oz bottles of breast milk during the day then one in the evening and one at night but he is eating all day he eat solid foods three times a day plus a morning and afternoon snack. The pediatrician says to make him drink a bottle because he needs the milk but he won’t drink it al all.

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