How Often To Feed Formula To Newborn

How Long Can Or Should You Feed A Baby Formula


You can start by offering your baby 1 to 2 ounces of infant formula every 2 to 3 hours in the first days of life if your baby is only getting infant formula and no breast milk. Give your baby more if he or she is showing signs of hunger. Most infant formula-fed newborns will feed 8 to 12 times in 24 hours .

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.

What Kind Of Bottle Should I Use

Bottles come in different shapes and sizes. They can be made of glass, plastic, silicone, or stainless steel. Here are some differences:

Plastic bottles are now “BPA-free” meaning that they do not contain the chemical bisphenol A . This chemical may be harmful and is found in some plastics, but is banned from baby bottles. Years ago, some plastic baby bottles had BPA in them, but none do now.

Glass bottles. Glass bottles can cause injury if broken, but silicone sleeves make them easier to grip and help prevent breaks.

Silicone bottles and stainless steel bottles are newer options. They are unbreakable but tend to be more expensive than plastic or glass.

Some babies do better with certain bottle shapes, vented bottles, or bottles with liners on the inside. You may need to try a few kinds before you find what works best for you and your baby.

To get you through the first week or so, you’ll need to have enough formula, water, bottles, and nipples. Burp cloths and a bottle/nipple brush will also come in handy.

Once you get in the swing of feeding your baby, you may find it’s worth investing in more or different kinds of bottles, or items that can make the feeding process go a little smoother . A bottle sterilizer is not necessary, but you should sterilize all feeding supplies before the first use.

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Should I Wake My Baby Up To Feed Them

You will need to feed your newborn around the clock. This means waking your baby up in the middle of the night or from a nap to feed them. For example, if its been three hours since your newborns last feeding, its time for a wake-up call. To make this happen, its best to set your alarm. And your baby isnt the only one who will need the alarm! Youll want to keep hitting the snooze button, but dont do it! Your body needs to build up a good milk supply for your little one if youre breastfeeding. And if your baby is bottle-fed, tag team with your partner or family member so youre not the only one waking up around the clock. When your days start running together because of your sleep schedule being thrown off, just remember that this time spent with your newborn baby is priceless!

How To Wake Your Sleeping Baby

Storing And Transporting Formula Milk

How often should I formula feed my newborn?

Powdered formula milk isnât sterile, so only make up a feed just before using it and throw away any formula thatâs left over after a feed.

If you need to feed your baby while youâre out and about, it helps to take

  • the amount of formula powder you need for a feed, measured out into a small, clean and dry, airtight container

  • a clean vacuum flask containing just-boiled tap water

  • an empty, sterilised feeding bottle with the teat, retaining ring and cap.

When you need to make up a feed, follow the steps above. Donât forget to cool the formula and check the temperature on the inside of your wrist before feeding it to your baby.

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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.

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. Also, formula can be pretty expensive.

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.
  • 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 should be stored in the refrigerator up to 24 hours and can be 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.

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Preparing A Formula Feed

Formula should be made up fresh for each feed. Harmful bacteria can grow in prepared formula, and the longer the formula is kept before use, the greater the risk of your baby getting sick. If you are taking your babys formula feed out with you, see Feeding your baby away from home.

Always read the formula labels carefully and follow the manufacturers instructions.

  • Check the use-by date located on the base of the formula can. If you have formula that is past its use-by date, throw it out.
  • Make sure you have a clean surface on which to prepare the formula feed.
  • Wash and dry your hands before opening the formula can.
  • Always put the plastic lid back on the can after use.
  • Store the formula can in a cool, dry place . Use within 4 weeks of opening.

Combining Breastfeeding And Formula Feeding

FORMULA FEEDING BASICS | How to Formula Feed Your Baby Must Have Products

Joel Forman, MD, is a board-certified pediatrician and associate professor of pediatrics, environmental medicine, and public health at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

Giving your baby formula in addition to breastfeeding is called supplementing. It’s completely OK and perfectly safe to do, and many families choose this type of combination feeding method, whether out of necessity , convenience, or simply a personal choice. In some cases, breastfeeding and providing formula may be recommended by a doctor for medical reasons.

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Is It Normal For An Infant Not To Poop For 2 Days

Breastfed babies, especially if they have not started solid foods, can easily go two weeks without a poopy diaper once they are 2-3 months old. Breastmilk is exactly what your baby needs, and so there is little waste product left for the baby to poop out. Exclusively breastfed babies are almost never constipated.

The way your babys poo looks might depend on your babys diet.

Breastmilk The poo:

  • will be quite soft and maybe even runny, a bit like mustard, often a yellow-orange colour, but sometimes green
  • might get less frequent but will stay quite soft until baby starts eating solid food
  • can smell quite sweet, and the smell can be affected by what mum is eating.


  • is generally firmer but can vary a lot in colour and consistency
  • can be grey-yellow , or some shades of brown.

Change from one formula to another This can lead to changes in appearance and consistency of poo.


What If I Need To Make Up A Feed Before Going Somewhere

Its best to make up feeds one at a time as your baby needs them as this helps avoid infection. Sometimes this isnt possible, and you may need to take a feed out with you .

If youre using powered formula, prepare the feed at home and cool it for at least 1 hour in the back of the fridge. Take it out of the fridge just before you leave and carry it in a cool bag with an ice pack and use it within 4 hours. If you dont have an ice pack or access to a fridge you should use the feed within 2 hours.

As a general rule, if made-up formula is stored:

  • in a fridge, use it within 24 hours
  • in a cool bag with an ice pack, use within 4 hours
  • at room temperature, use within 2 hours.

Some women prefer to use ready-to-feed liquid formula when theyre out and about because its more convenient. Just remember that your bottles still need to be sterilised and any unused formula should be thrown away if you cant store it according to the instructions on the carton or bottle.

Read Also: How Many Ounces Should A Newborn Drink A Day

How To Feed Your Baby Formula What I Did

This is how I made it through the early days and weeks when the details for how much your baby should drink are a bit sketchy.

Please remember that you and this new little person are getting to know each other. They will show preferences from the beginning and you should go with those regardless of advice you are given that says otherwise. If they seem to hate taking a bottle, try another brand or type of bottle. Try another type of formula. Not all bottles, nipple types and formulas suit every baby.

Your baby has a personality and will feel free to express it very loudly quite often if need be. Start your parenting well by listening! Yes, even from birth.

This advice is not earth-shattering, but its what I needed to hear so its what Im telling you:

  • Make up one portion of formula and feed your baby that. If they seem to want more, make another lot to give them. Basically, this means one scoop of formula made according to directions. If you are using ready to drink liquid formula, which we did for a brief time, then one serve or portion is what I would give them. Same story. Your baby will let you know if they need more by drinking it if you offer it to them. Yes, this sometimes means waste. If youre worried that baby is getting too much formula, Ive included some handy guides and links below. But, eating too much one day and a bit less another is pretty much what humans seem to do so dont worry too much about it either.
  • Bottle And Nipple Cleaning Tips

    Bottle Feeding: Am I Feeding My Baby Too Much or Too ...
    • If you wash the bottles and nipples by hand, use hot soapy water.
    • Use special brushes to get the bottles and nipples clean. Make sure the nipple holes are cleaned well.
    • Rinse well with hot water.
    • Let the bottles and nipples air dry.
    • You can also wash bottles and nipples in a dishwasher. Use a basket to hold the nipples, collars and caps.
    • Do not store clean nipples and bottles in an air-tight container. Small amounts of milk could remain on them and cause mold.

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    How To Mix And Handle Formula

    • Check the expiration date on the container. Don’t use if the formula is past this date.
    • Wash the top of the new container before opening it.
    • It is important that you follow the mixing directions on the can. Your baby can get sick if you use too much water or not enough water.
    • You may use city water to mix concentrated or powder formula. You may use well water if you boil it before using.
    • Heat the water to a full boil for at least one minute.
    • Pour the water into a clean container and cover it. Keep it in the refrigerator.
    • Use the water within three days of mixing formula.
  • Most babies prefer to have their formula warmed to body temperature. Some older babies will take a bottle right out of the refrigerator.
  • To warm the mixed formula in a bottle, place it in a pan of warm water, or use a bottle warmer.
  • Never heat mixed formula in the microwave. This destroys nutrients and can cause hot spots that could burn your baby’s mouth or throat.
  • Shake the bottle to mix the powder or concentrate evenly.
  • Be sure to test the temperature of the formula before giving it to your baby. Squirt a few drops of formula on the inside of your wrist. The temperature should be comfortably warm. It should not be hot.
  • Follow the storage directions on the formula container.
  • Throw away mixed formula that has been sitting out at room temperature for more than 30 minutes. It could make your baby sick.
  • Amount Of Food Per Day

    Its normal for babies to have shifts in their preferences from day to day. If you are concerned about your babys intake, ask your pediatrician or a registered dietitian. Broadly, most babies eat:

    • 4 to 6 months: 3 to 4 tablespoons of cereal once a day, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of a vegetable and fruit 1 or 2 times a day
    • 7 months: 3 to 4 tablespoons of cereal once a day, 2 to 3 tablespoons of a vegetable and fruit twice a day, and 1 to 2 tablespoons of a meat and protein food once a day
    • 8 to 12 months: 4 to 8 tablespoons of cereal once a day, 2 to 4 tablespoons of a vegetable and fruit twice a day, and 1 to 3 tablespoons of a meat and protein food twice a day

    As babies get older, they move through the classic baby food stages and steps, starting with pureed, single ingredient baby foods and gradually moving up to foods that have more texture.

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    Should Newborns Get Nutritional Supplements

    Breast milk has the right combination of vitamins and easily absorbed iron for newborns. A healthy infant being nursed by a healthy mother does not need any additional vitamins or nutritional supplements, with the exception of vitamin D.

    The AAP recommends that all breastfed babies begin getting vitamin D supplements within the first few days of life, continuing until they get enough vitamin D-fortified formula or milk .

    Iron-fortified formula contains the right blend of vitamins and minerals for a baby, so supplements usually aren’t necessary. Infants drinking less than 1 liter, or about a quart, of formula a day may need a vitamin D supplement.

    Water, juice, and other foods usually aren’t necessary during a baby’s first 6 months. Breast milk or formula provides everything babies need nutritionally until they start eating solid foods. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about feeding your newborn.

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