How Do I Know If My Baby Is Getting Enough Infant Formula
There are certain signs that will tell you if your baby is getting enough formula needed for them. For example, their weight gain and number of wet and soiled nappies. Generally, your baby should be producing around six wet nappies a few days after birth .
Read our article Is my baby feeding well and getting enough milk? to find out more.
References: The Newborn Feeding Schedule
Nutrition during lactation is an excellent resource for parents who want detailed information about the newborn feeding schedule and other breastfeeding issues. It is available online. For more information regarding the newborn feeding schedule, see these publications :
American Academy of Pediatrics. 1997. Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk. Pediatrics 100 : 1035-1039.
Casiday RE, Wright Cm, Panter-Brick C, and Parkinson KN. 2004. Do early infant feeding patterns relate to breast-feeding continuation and weight gain? Data from a longitudinal cohort study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 58: 1290-1296.
Casey CE, M.R. Neifert MR, Seacat JM, and Neville MC. 1986. Nutrient intake by breastfed infants during the first five days after birth. Am. J. Dis. Child. 140:933-936.
de Carvalho M., Robertson S, Merkatz R, and Klaus M. 1982. Milk intake and frequency of feeding in breastfed infants. Early Hum. Dev. 7:155-163.
Dewey KG, Nommsen-Rivers LA, Heinig MJ, and Cohen RJ. 2003. Risk Factors for Suboptimal Infant Breastfeeding Behavior, Delayed Onset of Lactation, and Excess Neonatal Weight Loss. Pediatrics 112: 607-619.
Fildes VA. Breasts, bottles and babies. 1986. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Freeman V, vant Hof M, and Haschke F. 2000. Patterns of milk and food intake in infants from birth to age 36 months: the Euro-growth study. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 31 Suppl 1:S76-85.
Content of The newborn feeding schedule last modified 9/2017
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: How Often To Give Newborn Formula
Month Old Breastfed Baby
- 7 a.m. Breastfeed on both breasts
- 7:30 a.m. 2 to 4 tablespoons of cereal mixed with breast milk or formula
- 9:30 a.m. Morning nap
- 11:30 a.m. Breastfeed on both breasts
- 12 p.m. Offer a vegetable or fruit option
- 2 p.m. Afternoon nap
- 4 p.m. Breastfeed on both breasts
- 5:30 p.m. Offer a protein option
- 7 p.m. Breastfeed on both breasts
Working A Feeding Schedule Around Naps
According to the Sleep Foundation, most 5-month-olds take two to four naps a day. Some naps may be longer than others. For example, a baby might take a short early morning nap, then a longer nap late in the morning and in the mid-afternoon.
Some people feed the baby right before they go to bed, hoping this will help them sleep longer. Others use an eat, play, sleep schedule. Neither is right.
Instead, people should choose the approach that works for them. Some babies need to nurse just before sleep. Others are eager to fall asleep after a play session.
Some tips that can help shape a schedule around a babys eating and sleeping routines include:
- Be prepared to feed a baby when they awake. Expect babies to be particularly hungry and need more food after long naps and in the morning.
- Each person must consider which schedule works best for them and the people around them. Some people choose to play, then feed, then put the baby to sleep, while others adopt a feed, play, sleep approach.
- Know that a childs napping needs may change when they are unwell, growing, or stressed. Similarly, many babies nurse for comfort during challenging times. Allowing a baby to nurse when they want, even if it is not feeding time, may help soothe them.
- Do not put solid foods in a bottle, including before naptime.
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Resist A Quest For The Perfect Formula
New parents could spend weeks researching the many Food and Drug Administration-approved formulas on the market, but this is not necessary, said the doctors I spoke with. In The Pediatricians Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers, DiMaggio and Dr. Anthony Porto, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of pediatrics at Yale University state that quality and content are similar across formula brands.
Full-term, healthy babies should do well on a standard cows-milk-based formula, according to DiMaggio and Porto. If you suspect your baby has a cows milk protein allergy , consult with your pediatrician about switching to a formula with a protein that has been hydrolyzed, or broken down into more digestible components. While the main source of carbohydrate in breast milk is lactose, the main source of carbohydrate in formula may be lactose, or something else like corn syrup or table sugar. Some parents may grow alarmed over the presence of corn syrup, but some babies might not digest 100 percent lactose as well as a mixture of lactose and something else, said Dr. Bridget Young, Ph.D., an assistant professor of pediatrics and public health at the University of Rochester Medical Center. If your baby is thriving, then your formula is working dont switch, she continued, citing potential stress on the babys digestive system, and the stress on the family thinking they need to find the perfect formula.
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Getting Enough Milk
If youre worried about your babys appetite and whether they are getting enough milk, their nappies are quite a good indicator to give you a steer. Youre going to become very familiar, and potentially a little obsessed, with the contents of your babys nappy!
In addition to your babys weight gain, the number of wet and dirty nappies will show you whether your little one is eating enough. In the beginning, you’ll probably be changing at least six wet and four dirty nappies every day . When changing your babys nappies, check to ensure your little ones urine is clear or pale and it will probably feel a little weighty . As a newborn, your little ones poos will probably be very dark and sticky, but after the first week they should start passing yellowish brown poos. Welcome to the joys of parenthood!
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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.
Are There Differences In Feeding Times Between Formula And Breast Milk
Yes, there may be some differences in the feeding lapse between formula feeding and breastfeeding.
On the one hand, formula is a slightly different consistency compared to breast milk, especially when babies are newborns and so it can be a bit more filling. However, this doesnt speak to any lack of nutrition. Formula is often a nutritious alternative this is something we stand by.
On the other hand, breast milk is digested in a babys stomach more quickly than most types of infant formula. As a result, little ones are usually hungrier more often when they are fed with a breast milk-only diet.
If you choose to only use formula, youll actually benefit from slightly more spaced out feeding sessions, especially in the beginning. However, this frequency difference evens out when your baby gets to be a few months old or so.
Additionally, there isnt much of a difference in terms of how much formula your baby should eat compared to breast milk.
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What Do I Need If I’m Formula Feeding Away From Home
If you need to feed your baby away from home, take with you:
- a measured amount of formula powder in a small, clean and dry container
- a vacuum flask of hot water that’s just been boiled
- an empty sterilised feeding bottle with cap and retaining ring in place
The vacuum flask does not need to be sterilised, but should be clean, and only used for your baby. The boiling water should kill any bacteria present in the flask. If the flask is full and sealed, the water will stay above 70C for several hours.
Make up a fresh feed only when your baby needs it. The water must still be hot when you use it, to destroy any bacteria in the formula powder.
Remember to cool the bottle under cold running water before you feed it to your baby.
Alternatively, you could use a carton of ready-to-feed liquid formula when you’re away from home.
Wean Gradually And Mix Formula With Milk
At 12 months, formula is no longer necessary and most babies can begin drinking cows milk. DiMaggio and Porto recommended mixing formula with cows milk, and gradually decreasing the ratio of formula over time. Young said that parents should not stress out about weaning at exactly 12 months, and remember, the process of weaning begins with the first solid foods, and that a 10- to 14-month time for weaning is O.K. She said to be flexible and respect your babys lead.
Susan Reslewic Keatley holds a Ph.D. in chemistry and blogs at I Love a Good Story. She is the mother of two children.
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What Should I Do To Support My Babys Feeding Schedule
Newborn feeding pattern
If youre in the thick of the first 8 weeks, take a deep breath! You and your baby are both still learning and things will get easier over time. Focus on babys feeding cues to let you know what to do.
Feed your newborn 6 to 10 times for formula and 8 to 12 times for breastmilk in a 24-hour period versus focusing on a specific feeding schedule. Follow your babys hunger and fullness cues.
Older baby feeding pattern
As baby gets older, their feeding cues may change.7 A consistent baby feeding schedule may not emerge until your baby is around 6 months old. Remember that your baby needs to eat frequently , especially throughout the first 3 months. Watch for your babys natural schedule, but do not force it or stick to a rigid baby feeding schedule.
Allow your babys cues to guide you in determining how much breast milk or formula to offer and how frequently. Its ok if your baby stops nursing sooner than usual or does not finish a bottle, and its also ok if your baby prolongs breast feeding or needs you to prepare an additional bottle.
Read more: Breastfeeding on Demand vs. on a Schedule
Find your support group
Build a strong support network. Feeding a baby is a demanding job! Having friends and family members who can support you, whether with holding the baby while you nap or tossing in a load of laundry so you dont have to, will allow you to focus on yourself and your baby.
Read more about the experts that help write our content!
Sample Baby Feeding Schedules
Although every baby is different, it can be helpful to have a sample feeding schedule as a guide for how much and how often a typical 6 to 9 month old will eat. Remember that a baby’s flavor preferences and appetite may go through changes that deviate from this schedule.
In addition, you can combine fruits and vegetables in a single meal or deviate from the suggested offerings to meet your baby’s preferences. If you want support in introducing foods, consider working with a dietitian that specializes in feeding infants and toddlers.
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What Can Babies Eat At 11 Months
At 11 months, many babies have developed the ability to feed themselves. They might be able to awkwardly hold a spoon to shovel mashed food into their mouths. More predominantly, however, they are able to hold the food in their fingers and put it in the mouth. While this might be messy, its all part of the normal growth and development process.
At this stage in life, the baby does not depend on breast milk alone despite its benefits. You might have started weaning her off the breast and introduced some solid foods into her diet around the 6-month mark.
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As she grows older, you need to diversify the kind of food you give her so that she can develop her palate and be able to draw nutrition from more than one source. So, what baby foods should you add to the diet of your 11-month-old?
Here are some options:
- Eggs contain plenty of nutrients especially the yolks and are easy to eat and digest
- Fruits contain various vitamins and minerals, and small teeth can easily bite into bananas, apples, and oranges
- Fish and poultry
- Leafy greens contain iron, which is absent in breast milk.
- Dairy products , though its advisable to delay giving cows milk until your baby is older than one year
- Dry cereal
How Often Should I Feed My Baby
It’s generally recommended that babies be fed whenever they seem hungry, which is called demand feeding .
Most newborns who are formula-fed feed every 2 to 3 hours. As they get bigger and their tummies can hold more milk they usually eat every 3 to 4 hours.
And if your baby is very young, or having problems gaining weight, you shouldnt go too long without feeding, even if it means waking your baby. In this case, talk to your doctor about how often your baby should be fed.
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