In the first week, formula-feed your newborn on demand. After that, it’s important not to overfeed your baby so he’ll stay at a healthy weight.
Most new babies want to eat every few hours. Start with 1.5 to 2 ounces at each feeding for the first week, and work up to 2 to 3 ounces every three to four hours.
As your baby gets older – and his tummy gets bigger – he’ll drink fewer bottles a day with more formula in each. By about 1 month, for example, he may be down to five or six bottles of 4 ounces every 24 hours. And by 6 months, he’ll typically be down to four or five bottles of 6 to 8 ounces per day.
He’s likely to maintain that four-to-five-bottle pace until his first birthday, when he can transition to whole cow’s milk in a bottle or sippy cup, along with three solid meals and two snacks between meals per day.
Signs that your baby’s getting the right amount of formula
These are signs that your baby’s getting all the formula she needs:
- Steady weight gain. She continues to gain weight after her first two weeks and maintains the same pattern of growth during her first year. (Most babies lose up to 10 percent of their birth weight and then regain it by the time they’re about 2 weeks old.)
- Happy baby. She seems relaxed and satisfied after a feeding.
- Wet diapers. She wets five to six diapers a day if you’re using disposable diapers, or six to eight if you’re using cloth diapers. (Disposables hold more liquid.)
Worries that your baby’s getting too much or too little formula
If you’re worried that your baby is getting too little or too much formula, talk with his doctor. The doctor can check your baby’s weight and growth, tell you whether his intake is appropriate for his size and age, and advise you about any adjustments you may need to make.