Resources are abundant when it comes to how you should raise your little one. As a parent, it must be hard to wrap your head around always changing parenting rules.
One of the most talked-about topics on mommy and daddy discussion boards revolves around food. What kind of bottle shape is good for a baby’s grip? When is the right time to transition a baby to regular milk? The list goes on and on! The one question that seems to stand out in all of this noise: What should a baby’s feeding schedule look like?
Your baby has no problem letting you know when it’s time to eat. Babies will lick their lips and stick their tongue out. They might even bring their hands to their mouth repeatedly, gesturing as if they had a bottle. Fussiness is a key factor, too!
Babies triple in size in their first year - and so does their appetite.
How Often Should My Baby Drink?
If you are breastfeeding, it’s best to feed on demand. The Bump brings to light how genius a mother’s body truly is. It will produce just the right amount of milk for a feeding period. When your little guy goes through a growth spurt and demands to be fed more, your body will work harder to match your baby’s needs.
Feeding on demand is trickier with formula because you’re constantly having to prep a bottle. Newborns tend to take longer to digest their food, which means they will go longer in between feed times. As babies age, they will demand more fluid ounces of formula milk – and more often. You will most likely see a schedule of every two to three hours. Once they hit the 6-month mark and are still craving something after 32 ounces of formula a day, it’s time for solids.
If you’re warming a bottle, be sure to do it safely and properly. Microwaves and traditional bottle warmers can rob nutritious breast milk bottle of its nutrients and lead to hot spots. We recommend a bottle warmer that safely heats up breastmilk and formula because it has two different heat settings -- our Safe + Smart Baby Bottle Warmer.
Your baby’s feeding schedule depends solely on him or her. Some little ones metabolize food a lot quicker, so they get hungry for another bottle sooner. Some babies are stubborn and won’t seem to suckle when you want them to. It’s best to figure out what schedule works best for you and your baby. Once you do, keep them on that schedule. As much as you might not want to wake a sleeping baby, it’s imperative to keep the feeding schedule as consistent as possible. From there, you can begin to break down just how much you’re going to serve your little one.
How Much Should My Baby Drink?
According to healthychildren.org, “your baby should take in about 2½ ounces of formula a day for every pound of body weight.” Just like adults, babies have specific needs, so their intake may fluctuate. It’s best to let your little one tell you when he’s full or when he’s ready for more during the feeding process.
- When you first bring your bundle of joy home, you’re going to feed them more frequently but with less breast milk or formula. From the first week to 1 month age range, you should feed your baby 2 to 4 ounces per feeding. You’ll do this 7 to 8 times per day, and sometimes even more for breastfed infants.
- In the 1- to 3-month range, you will notice her appetite demands a little more. You should feed your baby 5 to 6 ounces of breast milk or formula per feeding 5 to 7 times a day.
- If your little one is 3 to 6 months old, he will start craving bigger servings but less frequently. Food servings will spike from 6 to 8 ounces at a rate of 4 to 6 times daily.
- At 6 to 12 months, your baby’s digestive system has matured further, and so has her palate. You can start by feeding her 7 to 8 ounces of milk along with small amounts of solid foods. This inevitably will break down to 4 bottles a day and 2 to 3 meals with solid food.
Final Tips on Feeding
Preparing a baby’s formula bottle can feel like a time-consuming chore. To satisfy your little one’s cravings quickly and efficiently, try the Formula Pro Advanced Formula Dispenser. It will make automatically make a warm bottle instantly -- saving you tons of time -- so you can stick to your baby’s schedule without any hassle.
If you’re a parent serving formula and breast milk, there’s no unique schedule that you need to follow. The Bump recommends at least 6 to 8 feedings a day for one type of milk or the other. However, you might want to consider breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months before you begin to supplement with formula.
No matter what regimen you craft for you and your baby, it’s important to remember that your baby’s feeding needs are unique. With a little patience and time, you will become more comfortable with what your little one needs from you - and when.