Baby Care

How much formula should I feed my newborn?

The Amount and Schedule for a Newborn’s Formula Feeding


There is really nothing that can duplicate a mother’s breast milk but modern formulas are the closest alternatives to breast milk. Today’s formulas are good for your baby. Bottle feeding is a wonderful time to get close to your baby and to get to know each other. Fortunately, any of your family members can do some of the feedings.

Choosing the right formula

Formula feeding is all about choosing the right formula for your baby. Infant formulas are designed to have the same nutritional value as breast milk. So most formulas are modified cows’ milk. Unless otherwise advised by your doctor, choose a formula that is fortified with iron. There are 3 kinds of formula preparations:

  • Ready-to-feed formulas which are more expensive
  • Liquid concentrate
  • Powders, the most economical

When mixing formula, follow the directions on the package to the letter.

Mixing formula

It is not necessary to use bottled water for your baby’s formula unless you suspect an issue with your water supply. To kill bacteria that might be present in municipal water, use tap water that has been boiled for one minute and cooled quickly to body temperature, 98.6 F (37 C).

The right quantity of formula

As you probably notice, newborns have very tiny stomachs that can hold only a small amount at first. So within the first month, they will only need 2 ounces per feeding. By the second month, the baby will need 24 to 32 ounces a day. This means about six to seven feedings within 24 hours.

Here are some important guidelines:

  • A newborn needs 2 to 3 ounces per feeding and feeding happens every 3 hours
  • At one month, the baby needs 4 ounces per feeding and being fed every 4 hours
  • At two months, the baby needs 4 ounces and six to seven feedings in 24 hours
  • At 4 months, the baby needs 4-6 ounces and five feedings every 24 hours
  • At 6 months, the baby needs 6-8 ounces and five feedings within 24 hours
  • At one year, the baby needs 8 ounces and 2-3 feedings within 24 hours. This is supplemented with baby food.

Formula feeding guidelines

  • Every baby is unique and each day is different for your baby, so the intake of formula will vary from feeding to feeding. You should not force-feed extra formula so that your baby can meet the day’s ‘quota’. Also, don’t leave his or her still smacking their lips for more.
  • Before your prepare formula, always wash your hands carefully
  • Use clean and hot water to wash the feeding equipment. Carefully rinse bottles and artificial nipples. Also, remember to clean out any leftover formula. This is because it can easily spoil and cause your baby to have a stomach upset
  • Never use a microwave to heat formula since microwaves heat formula unevenly resulting in hotspots that will burn your baby
  • As you feed your baby, hold your baby’s head in a slightly elevated angle and keep the bottle held up
  • If your baby hasn’t touched the nipple, then prepared formula can stay in the refrigerator for 48 hours. If he or she has, then throw out whatever remains after feeding.

The good thing with formula feeding is that anyone can help you do it so that you can have time to rest and relax.