Formula Feeding

Formula-fed newborns generally take 2–3 ounces of formula approximately every 3 to 4 hours in the first few weeks. Feed your baby on demand, initially, and if he sleeps longer than 5 hours between feedings, wake him up to feed him!


Formula comes in different forms: dry (powder), concentrates (which need to be diluted with water), and liquid (already mixed) . If you are using a can of powder, be sure to follow the instructions explicitly regarding the amount of powder vs. water—so that you achieve the correct mixed amount—and shake well.

Your baby’s bottles will need to be sterilized. These basics explain all you need to know about sterilization.

When feeding your baby formula, make mealtimes moments to be with your baby fully, just as if you were breastfeeding.

Hold your baby close and return her gaze as she feeds. Babies adore skin-to-skin contact, especially while feeding, so you might open your blouse a little and let her cheek rest against your chest. Let the feeding occur at the baby’s pace, and allow her time for smiles and playing with your fingers as you hold the bottle.

Babies usually know how much they need to eat. If they are breastfeeding they have total control. They feed until they are done. Take a similar approach with bottle feeding. Encouraging your baby to “finish the bottle” is not healthy and can contribute to obesity later in childhood. Your pediatrician can give you a general amount that babies take a various ages, but that will just be an average.

Mealtime, of course, isn’t the only time for quiet closeness with your baby. Reading, massage, rocking and singing will provide the frequent snuggling so important to young babies.

Disclaimer: This page is not intended to provide medical advice about your child. Always seek the advice of a physician, qualified healthcare provider or child-development specialist with any questions you have about your child's health, medical condition or development. Never disregard, avoid or delay contacting a doctor or other qualified professional because of something you read here.

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