Update: Please see FAQ page for information regarding availability of Infacare Comfort infant formula.

How Much Infant Formula and How Often?

How Much Infant Formula and How Often?

As a parent who’s chosen to feed your baby infant formula, it’s important to know how much formula to give your baby. After all, every baby is unique – so the appetite of one newborn may vary wildly from another baby’s appetite. Young babies may also want to feed more frequently, whereas older babies may have fewer feeds yet drink more infant formula at one time.

The information provided below will help you spot your baby’s hunger signs, provide a guide to how much a newborn might drink – and how often – as well as at older ages.


how much infant formula

How to Know When Your Baby is Hungry

As a parent, you want to make sure your baby is well fed so they can be comfortable, happy and healthy. But every baby’s appetite is different, so being able to recognise the signs – or ‘hunger cues’ – will help you know when it’s time to feed.

Here are some of the most common signs that your baby is hungry and wants to feed:

  • They are moving their fists towards their mouth.
  • When you are cradling your baby, they keep turning their head to look for your breast.
  • They suddenly become much more active and alert to their surroundings.
  • Their mouth starts opening and closing to mimic a feeding/sucking motion.

When it comes to infant formula, how much is too much? It’s important to know what to look for, as overfeeding may result in your child regurgitating their most recent feed. To avoid that from happening, here are some signs that your baby is full:

  • Your baby releases or lets the bottle fall out of their mouth.
  • They turn away from the bottle to indicate they don’t want any more.
  • Their body suddenly gets very relaxed and they open their fists.

How Much Formula Milk to Give a Newborn Baby

It’s a tough question to answer for many parents: how much should a newborn drink? Breast milk is extremely important for newborns, and many babies are able to naturally stop feeding from the breast when they are ‘full’. It’s a little different for formula fed babies, however. Here are some tips for bottle feeding your baby:

  • Look at the guide on the can.
  • Make up just one bottle at a time.
  • Learn to spot your baby’s signs of hunger.
  • Offer them a little more if they finish and still seem hungry.
  • Never force your baby to finish a bottle.
  • As your baby grows, the amount of milk they need will change.

For parents of newborns, here’s an example of a feeding guide you may find on pack:

Baby’s AgePre-Boiled Water (mL)Level Scoops of PowderSuggested Feeds Per Day
0 – 2 weeks6017-9
2 weeks – 3 months12026

Your baby may need more or less than indicated.

How Often?

In general, newborn babies can be offered a bottle of formula milk every three to four hours. Keep an eye on their hunger cues and feed them sooner if they appear hungry.

From around the one-month-old mark, your baby may still be feeding up to eight times a day, but as they get older this will become less frequent. For example, a 6 month old may have closer to 5 feeds a day, and this may change again once you start introducing solids.

Be aware that your baby may need to be fed more often during growth spurts, which are common at weeks three and six. If you’re unsure about how much infant formula to give, contact your healthcare professional.

How Much Formula Milk to Give to Babies 3–12 Months Old

As your child outgrows the newborn stage, they will still be feeding frequently throughout the day and night, although their appetite will have grown. During this period, you will also be starting to introduce solids to your baby’s diet. You may need to adjust their milk intake, but they will still need plenty of infant formula (or breast milk) as they transition to solids to ensure they are getting the nutrients they need to grow.

Here are feeding guidelines for babies between three and 12 months:

Baby’s AgePre-Boiled Water (mL)Level Scoops of PowderSuggested Feeds Per Day
3 – 6 months18035
6 – 12 months18034-5

FAQs

Can you overfeed a newborn with formula milk?

Because it’s more difficult for newborns to control the flow of milk when bottle feeding, compared to breast milk, they may sometimes consume more than needed. They may regurgitate the milk in cases of overfeeding. Make sure you are aware of the signs of when your newborn is full to ensure you avoid overfeeding issues.

Why does my baby seem hungrier than usual?

Every baby’s appetite is different, and on some days they may seem hungrier than usual. Maybe they didn’t get enough milk during their last feed, or perhaps they slept longer and woke up very hungry. As your baby grows, their appetite will also grow, meaning they will require more milk (or food when they start to eat solids) as they get older.

Can I use bottled water to make up infant formula?

Although it can be used if it’s unopened and there is no other source of water available, it’s not advisable to use bottled water for infant formula. Instead, only use boiled water that has been cooled to make up your baby’s formula milk.

Can I heat bottles in the microwave?

To correctly feed your infant formula in a bottle, make sure you use boiled water that has been cooled to a lukewarm temperature. It is not advisable to heat infant formula bottles in a microwave as the heating can happen unevenly and end up burning your baby’s mouth. If you need to heat up refrigerated infant formula, stand the bottle in warm water until it reaches the right temperature.

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