How Do You Know If Your Baby Is Getting Enough To Eat
Your baby is eating enough if she:
- Is gaining weight. Your babys provider checks your babys weight at each well-baby visit. You can track your babys weight, too.
- Is making two to three wet diapers each day in the first few days after birth, and six to eight wet diapers 4 to 5 days after birth
If youre worried that your babys not getting enough to eat, tell your babys provider.
How Do I Prepare Formula
Formula comes in three basic forms:
- powders that require mixing with water and cost the least
- concentrates, which are liquids that require diluting with water
- ready-to-use liquids that can be poured right into bottles. These are the most expensive but are convenient if you’re traveling or can’t get to a clean water supply.
Carefully follow directions on the label when preparing formula. Do not add more water than directed.
Whatever formula you choose, check the expiration date on all cans and bottles of formula, and don’t use formula from leaky, dented, or otherwise damaged containers.
Tips For Choosing A Baby Formula
- Healthy babies, who are born full-term and who are not breastfeeding, should always be fed with a cow’s milk-based formula before trying any other type.
- The price of a formula is not a sign of its quality. Words like “Superior” or “Gold” are used by marketing people to persuade parents to buy their product.
- Check the price of the formula against the ratio of formula scoops to water. This will give you a good idea of how long a tin of formula may last.
- Read the label and make sure you’re choosing the right formula for your baby’s age.
- Look for a formula with a lower concentration of protein. Excess protein can increase the risk of your baby becoming overweight or obese later in life.
- Give your baby a few days to become accustomed to a new type of formula. Avoid switching multiple times to different brands and formula types.
You May Like: What Can Cause Seizures In Newborns
Starter Or First Formula
There is a variety of starter formulas based on cows milk protein . Formula based on soy or goat’s milk is also available. These formulas are suitable for babies from birth to 12 months.
Read the label carefully because:
- formulas developed for toddlers as well as pregnant women can look very similar, so check the label carefully to ensure your baby gets a formula that is safe and appropriate for their age.
- the label may list a number of additions such as LCPUFAs , probiotics or prebiotics. These ingredients are added because they are found naturally in breastmilk.
How Do You Know When Your Baby Is Ready To Eat
Feed your baby when she’s hungry. This is called on-demand or responsive feeding. Most newborns eat every 2 to 3 hours, or eight to 12 times over 24 hours. But each baby is different. Your baby may want to feed more or less often. As your baby grows, her feeding patterns may change, and she may go longer between feedings.
Look for and learn your baby’s feeding cues. Feeding cues are ways that your baby tells you that he’s hungry. Feeding cues include:
- Rooting. This is when your baby turns his head toward anything that touches his cheek or mouth.
- Sucking movements or sounds
- Putting her hand to his mouth
- Crying. This is a late feeding cue. Try to breastfeed your baby before he starts to cry.
Newborns eat about 2 to 3 ounces of formula every 3 to 4 hours. If your baby sleeps longer than 4 to 5 hours at a time, wake her up to feed her. By the end of the first month, she eats at least 4 ounces about every 4 hours. By the time she’s 6 months old, she eats 6 to 8 ounces four or five times a day.
Signs that your baby is full include:
- He starts and stops feeding.
- He spits out the bottle.
- He slows down or falls asleep.
- He gets distracted easily.
- He closes his mouth or turns his head away.
Don’t Miss: What Is The Best Body Wash For Newborns
How Much To Feed A Baby: The Basics
Right from the start, your baby needs the right nutrition to support healthy development. The Canadian Pediatric Society, Health Canada, Breastfeeding Committee for Canada and Dietitians of Canada recommend exclusively breastfeeding for the first six months, as breastmilk will provide your baby with all of the nutrition that they need. After six months you can begin introducing solid foods. They further recommend that if you are breastfeeding, you give your baby a daily Vitamin D supplement of 400 IU. If breastfeeding is not an option, dont worry: Infant formula like Enfamil A+ is designed to meet the nutritional requirements your baby needs.
Feeding Highlights for Year One
- For the first six months, breastmilk and/or baby formula will provide your baby with the nutrition they need.
- Initially, most babies do not need breastfeeding and formula feeding schedules. However, they will settle into more of a routine as they get older
- Whether you are breastfeeding or formula-feeding, it is important to listen to your babys feeding cues and feed them according to their hunger.
- Around six-months old is when you can begin to introduce solid foods to your babys diet below.
What Should I Know About A Babys Feeding Schedule
- Feeding needs vary depending on babyâs age
- When to expect a natural feeding pattern to emerge
- Which cues mean your baby is ready to eat
Many new parents wonder if they should be feeding on demand or on a feeding schedule .
Early on in your babyâs life, itâs best to feed on demand instead of following a newborn feeding schedule. A baby will let you know loud and clear when theyâre hungry, and itâs important to respond to these cues to support babyâs growth and development.1
In addition, frequent growth spurts during the first 6 months often cause babyâs hunger to spike for a few days.2, 3 Your little one needs more feedings during these times to help support their fast-paced growth. This makes it even more important to follow their cues. However, as your baby gets older, their own feeding schedule begins to emerge making it more predictable for you.
How often do newborns eat?
If it feels like youâre feeding your newborn around the clock, itâs because you are! Newborns require 8-12 feeds per day, and may feed anywhere from 10 to 60 minutes at a time.3 While breastfed babies typically nurse every 1.5-3 hours in the newborn phase, formula fed infants can sometimes go 3-4 hours between feeds. However, itâs important to follow your babyâs hunger and fullness cues rather than a newborn feeding schedule to ensure your baby is getting enough.3, 5, 11
How do I know when my baby is hungry?
Signs that your baby is hungry and ready to eat include:
Recommended Reading: How Many Ounces Should A Newborn Drink Per Feeding
How Does This Formula Feeding Calculator Work
This is a useful calculator for all mothers that are concerned whether their baby has enough formula and about which is the recommended amount they should be giving to their baby.
The formula feeding calculator is designed to answer this important and sometimes stressing question for new mothers by taking into account the age and weight of the baby.
There are different stages in the babys formula intake and this varies from newborns to infants and according to how much they weigh.
Why Does My Baby Seem Hungrier Than Usual
As babies grow, they begin to eat more at each feeding and can go longer between feedings. Still, there may be times when your little one seems hungrier than usual.
Your baby may be going through a period of rapid growth . These can happen at any time, but in the early months are common at around:
- 714 days old
- 4 months
- 6 months
During these times and whenever your baby seems especially hungry, follow hunger cues and continue to feed on demand, increasing the amount of formula you give as needed.
Read Also: When To Bathe Your Newborn
Guide For Formula Feeding
- When breast milk is not available, standard infant formula is an appropriate alternative for most healthy full term infants, but there are some differences between brands. Do not hesitate to ask your health care provider for a recommendation if you are unsure which formula to use.
- Bottle-feeding should be interactive, with the caregiver holding both the bottle and the infant. Propping a bottle has been linked to an increased risk of ear infections and tooth decay.
- Formula feeding should be in response to the infants needs and not based on a predetermined schedule. Look for cues of hunger and fullness to determine both when to feed and how much. The number of wet diapers per day and your childs growth will reflect if he or she is getting enough formula. The chart below demonstrates common intakes for infants at various stages. However, ask your health care provider if you have any questions about how much formula your infant is taking.
- The amount of formula an infant takes will decrease as the baby increases intake of solid foods, but formula remains a significant source of calories, protein, calcium and vitamin D for the first year of life.
- Ask your health care provider before switching an infant less than 1 year of age from formula to cows milk or a cows milk alternative.
How Much Formula Should I Give My Baby
Babies, just like the rest of us, have different appetites and they change over time. Make sure you follow the instructions on the pack when preparing the bottle. And if your baby was premature follow the advice of your healthcare professional. See the more detailed feeding guide below as an example.
Don’t Miss: How To Help My Newborn Sleep Longer At Night
When To Introduce A Bottle
Its recommended to breastfeed for as long as you can, however when breastfeeding isnt possible, you can use formula to feed your baby. When making the decision to move from breastfeeding to formula feeding or combination feeding there are a few things to consider before doing so:
- Speak to your midwife, health visitor or a public health nurse if youre thinking of introducing bottle feeding so they can provide you guidance.
- This is an emotional decision as well as a biological one. You need to balance the needs of you and your baby when making this decision. Introducing formula or even partial bottle-feeding may reduce the supply of breast milk which is biologically difficult to reverse.
- Formula feeding comes with some financial changes as well as changes in routines.
- If possible, make the change slowly so you and your baby have time to adjust. Removing just one breastfeed a week will give your body time to learn to produce less milk and will prevent your breasts from becoming engorged or leaking.
- You may need to express a little here and there, to relieve full breasts. Try not to express too much as that will over-stimulate milk production. Its worth having some breast pads handy.
- If you choose to switch to formula you can do this at any time, however if you intend to combination feed with breastmilk and formula, its best to wait until 6 to 8 weeks until breastfeeding is fully established.
Transporting And Storing A Made
Sometimes, transporting a made-up feed might be the only option . In this case, make up the formula at home, cool it in cold water and then cool it further in the back of the fridge for at least an hour before transporting it.
Made-up formula stored in a fridge should be used as soon as possible, but within a maximum of 24 hours.
Move the made-up formula from the fridge to a cool bag with ice packs just before leaving the house and use it within four hours .
Read Also: Why Is Newborn So Fussy
How Much Formula To Feed A Newborn
Learn how much formula to feed the littlest member of the family, and how often he should receive a bottle.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby’s life, if possible. But many parents opt for formula feeding instead, either because of medical reasons or personal preference. “Commercially available iron-fortified infant formulas are the safest and most effective alternatives to breast milk,” says Amy Lynn Stockhausen, M.D., an associate professor of general pediatrics and adolescent medicine at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. Read on to learn how much formula to feed to a newborn, with tips on recognizing the signs of hunger and fullness.
Limitations Of Formula Feeding
Just as breastfeeding has its unique demands, so does bottle feeding. Bottle feeding requires organization and preparation, especially if you want to take your baby out. Store-bought formula can be pretty expensive, but do not try to make your own formula at home.
It’s important to make sure that you have enough formula on hand, and bottles that are clean and ready to be used.
Here are a few guidelines for formula feeding:
- Carefully follow directions on the label when preparing formula. Do not add more water than directed.
- Bottles left out of the refrigerator longer than 1 hour and any formula left in the bottle that a baby doesn’t finish should be discarded.
- Prepared bottles of formula can be stored in the refrigerator up to 24 hours and carefully warmed just before feeding. You don’t have to warm formula, but most babies prefer it.
- A bottle of formula can be warmed by holding it in running warm water or setting it in a pan of warm water. A bottle of formula should never be warmed in a microwave. The bottle can heat unevenly and leave “hot spots” that can burn a baby’s mouth.
Recommended Reading: What Is A Good Going Home Outfit For Newborn
Can Formula Make My Baby Constipated
When using formula, always use the amount of powder recommended on the packaging.
Do not add extra formula powder. Using too much can make your baby constipated and may cause dehydration.
If your baby is under 8 weeks old and has not done a poo for 2 to 3 days, talk to your midwife, health visitor or GP, particularly if your baby is gaining weight slowly.
Your baby should be gaining weight and have plenty of wet and dirty nappies.