Amount And Schedule of Formula Feedings For Babies and Toddlers
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If you are first time parents, chances are, you have a ton of questions. Among your many questions, the amount and schedule of feedings are probably at the top of your list.
You may have decided to stick to formula feeding, or probably supplement your breast milk with some formula. Regardless, you obviously want to understand how much and how often to feed your newborn baby.
Notably, this is not a one size fits all type of situation. Every baby is different, and hence; you are encouraged to listen to the baby’s needs. However, below are a few things to keep in while feeding your baby.
The First Few Days
It is important to keep in mind that the baby’s stomach is still tiny. Hence, your newborn baby will not be able to consume a lot of formula during her first few days after birth.
Keep the amount formula to 2 or 3 ounces every few hours. Specifically, feed the baby every two to three hours to keep her satisfied. However, if you notice that the baby is still hungry, you can feed the baby more.
First Few Weeks
After a few weeks, you’ll notice that the time between the feedings will extend. In other words, the baby’s feeding time during the first few days was two to three hours. However, after a few weeks, your baby is bound to start feeding after three to four hours.
When this happens, make sure that you wake your baby up when it’s feeding time. Stroke the baby gently or change their diaper to wake them up before feeding them.
After The First Month
After a month, your baby should be able to consume at least 4 ounces of formula. Keep the feeding times between four hours to maintain a consistent schedule. You may have to wake them up so that the baby does not miss his regular feeding time.
If your baby seems to want to feed on more formula, please discuss this with your pediatrician.
Two To Four Months
During this time, your baby should no longer need midnight feeding. Since the baby’s stomach is likely to have increased, the baby should be consuming 4 ounces of formula. The fact that they are feeding on more formula helps improve sleeping patterns.
Six To Twelve Months
The baby should up his intake of formula to 6 or ounces. Even after the increase in the amount of formula, the baby should be feeding 5 to 6 times within a 24-hour time frame.
Notably, this is the stage that most parents start weaning their babies. So, whether you’re jumping between feeding the baby formula and solid food, the baby should still feed 5 to 6 times a day. The more the baby starts to consume solid food, however; the less formula he is likely to need.
Twelve To Twenty Four Months
At this stage, you may want to help your baby/ toddler transition from formula to cow’s milk. Ensure that the cow’s milk is fortified while doing so. The process is often a gradual one, so don’t get frustrated if the child doesn’t seem to be accepting it at first.
In conclusion, when feeding your baby, you want to feed them whenever they are hungry. This is what is often termed as feeding on demand. This way, you will be adhering to the baby’s needs.
There will be times when you’ll notice that your baby seems hungrier than usual. This could mean that the baby is going through a growth spurt. Growth spurts tend to occur between:
- Seven to fourteen days old
- Three to six weeks old
- Four months old
- Six months old
However, always visit your pediatrician to ensure that you’re adhering to your baby’s needs while feeding her.