All about baby formula: How much is needed ?
Most of the time, it can be difficult to know how much artificial milk you need to give to your baby. Is it too much or too little? The answers depend mainly on your baby’s weight and growth.
In general, babies eat when they are hungry and stop when they are full. But formula-fed babies tend to be heavier than breastfed babies. Appetite varies from one baby to another and the nutritional needs of each baby vary from day to day and from month to month.
1) Do not give more than one liter of formula a day
Once he has started eating solids, you will probably need to reduce the amount of milk you give him. The doctor can tell you about your baby’s growth and make sure he gets a good amount of formula.
Learning to read your baby’s hunger signals will help you know when and how much formula the baby needs.
- If your newborn is hungry, he will eventually cry. But crying is a late sign of hunger. The older signs to watch for include: tapping or sucking on his lips, turning his head towards your hand when you stroke his cheek, and put his hands in his mouth.
- Change appetite:
Your baby may be more hungry than usual during growth spurts. These usually occur 10 to 14 days after birth. But also at the age of 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months. Your baby may be less hungry than usual if he is not feeling well.
- Want more:
You will know that your baby wants more when he finishes eating fast and is still searching. If he is hungry after his first milk bottle, try to prepare 30ml or 60ml more. If you make a larger quantity, it may not finish it.
- Ate too much
Vomiting after eating may be a sign that your baby has eaten too much. Spitting is normal, vomiting is not. Abdominal pain after eating can also be a sign of overeating. If your baby raises his legs or his belly seems tense, he may have trouble.
- It’s not always hunger:
Resist the urge to respond to each moan of your baby with a bottle. Consider other possibilities especially if you have recently fed. He may cry because his diaper is wet, cold or hot, or just needs attention.
2) How much artificial milk to give based on the weight of the baby ?
In the first four to six months, when your baby is not eating solids food, here is a simple rule:
- Give 75 ml of formula milk for 450 g of body weight each day.
- These figures are not rigid rules. They give you an overall average of what your baby may need. His daily diet will vary according to his individual needs. He may want more some days and few other days.
3) How much milk to give based on the age ?
- In the first week, feed the newborn when he asks. After that, it’s important not to overfeed your baby so that he stays at a healthy weight.
- Most new babies want to eat every few hours. Start with 45 to 60 ml each meal during the first week. Go up to 60 to 90 ml every three to four hours.
- As your baby gets older, he will drink less bottles a day. At about 1 month for example, he can go down to five or six bottles of 120 ml every 24 hours. And at 6 months, it will usually be between four to five bottles of 180 to 240 ml per day.
- He is likely to maintain this rate of four to five bottles until his first birthday. From then on he can switch to a larger bottle or a cup, with three solid meals and two snacks between meals a day.
4) Signs that show that your baby is getting the right amount of formula per day
Here are signs that your baby is getting enough formula milk:
- Regular weight gain
He continues to gain weight after his first two weeks and maintains the same growth pattern during his first year.
- Baby is happy
He seems relaxed and satisfied after eating.
- Regularly wet diapers
He wets five to six diapers daily if you use disposable diapers, or six to eight diapers if you use cloth diapers. (Disposable products hold more liquid.)
If you are concerned that your baby is consuming too much or little, talk to your doctor. He can check the weight and growth of your baby, tell you if his / her contribution is suitable for his height and age and advise you on the necessary adjustments.