When it comes to infant care, feeding is the most important responsibility for a parent. Feeding is imperative to raising a happy and healthy infant. Healthy growth patterns are dependent on babies receiving the optimal amount of nutrition.
While everyone agrees that infant feeding is critical, roughly half of American babies are at risk of malnourishment. Medical experts have concluded that the first 1000 days are paramount for brain development.
Read on for a formula feeding guide to ensure your baby receives optimal nourishment. Explore important topics like volume calculations and how to know if your baby took enough formula.
Is Your Baby Getting Enough Formula?
Parents, especially those with their first child, are always stressing about whether their baby is getting enough. You can feel confident that your baby is receiving proper nourishment without a calculator and daily logs.
Your baby has a few different ways to communicate this to you. For starters, the vast majority of babies are going to cry when they are hungry. They are going to fall asleep or play with the bottle’s nipple when they are satisfied.
The human body gives parents other signs as well. Checking your baby’s diapers, for instance, will give you some clues. Is your infant’s diaper full or is frequently dry after several hours?
Another sign over the long-term is your baby’s weight development. Ask your primary care physician how your baby’s weight is increasing in relation to the average child.
What Is the Appropriate Volume?
Some parents want to take the next step and calculate volume. They are interested in quantifying daily formula intake.
There is nothing wrong with this thorough approach either. The volume of formula that your baby needs is dependent on a few variables.
The two primary drivers are age and weight. Continue reading on for a standard volume breakout by age.
Newborns eat more often than any other age group. They need to eat every three to four hours. While this is the recommendation, many parents know this number is closer to every two to three hours.
Newborns drink formula out of smaller bottles. They generally drink about 2 to 3 ounces per feeding.
One to Two Months
At one month old, your baby has the ability to consume more formula. Their stomach is growing and they can go longer between feedings.
This means that you can stretch their feedings to every 4 hours. They will drink about 4 ounces of formula per feeding.
Four to Six Months
At four to six months, you are going to start transitioning your baby to a bigger bottle. They will be drinking between 6 to 8 ounces now.
Also, your baby is ready to start eating on a more traditional meal schedule. There should be roughly 5 formula feedings per day now.
Six Months to 1 Year
After the six-month milestone, you are going to start incorporating baby food into your child’s diet. This is going to reduce the number of bottle feedings necessary per day.
Your baby will drink 8 ounces of formula per feeding. However, the number of feedings will drop down to three per day.
What Are Some Other Rules of Thumb?
Not everyone likes to follow rigid feeding program by the hour. If you are looking for a different way, you can calculate how much the baby needs per hour.
The key variable for this rule of thumb is the baby’s weight. A baby requires 2 to 2 ½ ounces of formula per pound over a 24-hour period.
Consider an infant that weighs 15 pounds. This means that the baby would need at least 30 ounces of formula per day.
Why Is Formula so Important?
Formula is an integral part of a child’s diet for the first year of life. This is a crucial time for the baby’s physical and mental development. Formula provides the nutrition required to facilitate this development.
The goal of formula is to create a near identical substitute for breast milk. The primary difference between the two is that breast milk contains the mother’s immunities to certain viruses. While not a perfect substitute, formula contains all of the nutritional ingredients that make up breast milk.
For example, it contains the protein and fat that is crucial to infant development. In addition, formula includes the vitamins and minerals that foster growth.
Are All Formulas Created Equal?
The truth is that not all formulas are created equal. Some are made from organic ingredients, while others are not. Some formulas are milk-based, while other products are soy-based.
The soy-based options are great for parents electing to live a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle. They also work for infants that are born with a milk allergy.
There are even differences among the milk-based formulas. Many formulas use cow milk while others may use goat milk instead.
There are also quality concerns when comparing different formula types. Major corporate brands sometimes use controversial ingredients in the formula.
For example, some formulas contain high amounts of high fructose corn syrup. This ingredient is known to lead to negative health outcomes like obesity and diabetes.
In other cases, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found trace amounts of chemicals in baby formula. In one recent case, the FDA discovered melamine in two popular baby formulas.
For these reasons, it is imperative that you research which baby formula is best for your child. Baby formulas made with high-quality, organic ingredients are safe and healthy for your infant.
What If Your Baby Is Not Drinking Enough?
Most likely, there are no health concerns if your baby is not drinking the recommended amount. Each individual infant is different and some drink less than the average.
There could be an underlying illness behind a sudden lack of appetite. If the issue persists and the infant is routinely unhappy, you should schedule an appointment with your pediatrician.
Formula Feeding Guide – A Recap
The fact that you are researching optimal formula amounts already shows you are a good parent. There are rules of thumb to follow, but each child is different.
You will quickly learn that your infant communicates their needs. If you have questions about our formula feeding guide, contact us today for assistance.