In truth, there is no universally accepted amount of formula to feed your baby; the amount to feed each baby is relative; that is, it depends on certain factors; such as whether your baby feeds solely on formula or receiving breast milk, the baby’s body weight, when you introduce solid food and the growth rate of the baby.
Need of the breastfed Baby?
More so, the rate of feed consumption depends on the need of the baby, as babies generally take what they need at a time, and when they’ve had enough, they call it quit. Nonetheless, how often you feed them depends on whether they receive formula as a supplement to breast milk or feed solely on the formula. With these in mind, we can draft out the average feeding rate for a normal healthy baby.
Importantly, babies should be fed regularly within their first few days anytime they show signs of hunger. At this stage of their life, they have a stomach the size of their fist and only take little food.
Need of the formula fed baby?
If your baby feeds solely on formula, that is, no breast milk, between 1 to 2 ounces of baby formula every 2 to 3 hours is appropriate within the baby’s first few days. Babies who feed only on a formula usually feed 8 to 12 times within the space of 24 hours.
In a nutshell, a baby is expected to take between 32 and 34 ounces of baby formula daily by the time they are six months of age.
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Although baby formulas contain the right amount of vitamin D, babies fed less than 32 ounces of baby formula daily from birth tend to be low on Vitamin D. In this case, a supplementary source of vitamin D should be given to the baby to balance the deficiency.
As the child grows, the stomach also grows, and consequently, the rate of feed consumption. Therefore, when the baby is between 6 and 12 months old, the amount of formula taken is increased. At this stage, the baby is likely to be introduced to solid food; this will subsequently reduce the rate of formula consumption. This stage also requires the baby to be fed 5 to 6 times within 24 hours with either formula or solid food.
When the baby starts eating solid food, it is recommended that the rate of formula consumption be reduced to between 32 and 34 ounces daily, which is the maximum taken by the baby in the first six months, this is to avoid being overfed with formula.
At 12 months old, we recommend that the formula be replaced with fortified cow milk; however, it shouldn’t be done suddenly. Replacing formula with fortified cow milk should be transitional until the baby is accustomed to the milk.