Bottle Feeding Basics: How Much?

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Bottle feeding the baby:

bottle feeding

How can you make bottle feeding and breastfeeding work well together? Keep breast feeding the baby on demand when you are home with them! Used paced bottle feeding! We have videos to show you how to do this as well! Scroll down on that page to see examples of paced bottle feeding.

The baby only needs about 2.5 oz per lb of their weight per 24 hours up until they reach about 10ish pounds. This amount of total intake does not increase after about 25-30 oz!

Really! This is true! Whether they are breast feeding, breast milk feeding, or shockingly, formula feeding! If you are feeding your baby more than 30ish oz per 24 hours, you might want to think about paced bottle feeding really hard. Research says if you feed too fast, you are setting the baby up for over eating and obesity later in life.

If your baby is little and you are needing to supplement, take their weight in pounds and times it by 2.5 oz to get a total amount. So a 6 lb baby needs to eat about 15 oz per 24 hours. If they eat 10 times, they would need about 1.5 oz in each bottle. Make sense? However, we always listen to hunger cues as our bottom line. If we pace feed and the baby seems to want a little bit more, give it to them! Have weight checks every few weeks to make sure your baby is gaining about 1 oz per 24 hours for the first four months and about 1/2 an ounce per 24 hours after four months.

How Much Do You Feed Your Baby When You are Away?
How many bottles and how much in the bottle?  Babies need about 2.5 oz per lb of their weight per 24 hours.  This amount of total intake does not increase after about 28-30 oz.

Count how many feedings a day does in total does your baby have when you are home with him for a full day.  Divide 28 oz by that number.  That is about the number of oz they will need per feed in each bottle.

Count how many breastfeeds the baby will miss while you are gone.  This is about how many bottles the baby will need.  Consider making several small bottles instead of a few large bottles.  Most babies will eat 2-3.5oz per feed.  If your baby is eating more than 5 oz per feed, they are most likely eating too much at a time.  Go back to Paced Bottle Feeding.  Try replacing the nipple.  Your old nipple may have gotten too stretched.

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Pacing the bottle feed

Feeding calculator:
28 oz divided by # of feeding per day roughly = how much in each bottle
# of feeds the baby will miss = # of bottles to send.
Remember, these are rough calculations. Please send a few 1 oz bottles in case the baby needs a bit more food at a particular feed.

  • 15 breastfeeds per day: 1 3/4 oz per bottle, about 56 mls
  • 14 breastfeeds per day: 2 oz per bottle, about 60 mls
  • 13 or 12 breastfeeds per day: 2 1/4 oz per bottle, about 67.5 mls
  • 10 breastfeeds per day: 2 3/4 oz per bottle, about 76 mls
  • 9 breastfeeds per day: 3 oz per bottle, about 90 mls
  • 8 breastfeeds per day: 3 1/2 oz per bottle, about 105 mls

To help keep track of all this you might consider checking out our new phone app! iLactate: Back to Work

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iLactate: Back to work

Note: It is usual, but not unheard of, to breastfeed less than 8 times per 24 hours. Make sure your baby is gaining weight well. If so, great! Continue! You may also encourage the baby to take smaller meals more often when you are away, especially is you are hitting over 4 oz per bottle. Just a thought.

  • 7 breastfeeds per day: 4 oz per bottle, about 120 mls
  • 6 breastfeeds per day: 4 1/2 oz per bottle, about 135 mls
  • 5 breastfeeds per day: 5 1/2 oz per bottle, about 145 mls

Note: Having a baby eat only 4 times per day is almost unheard of. Please make sure your baby is growing well with only 4 feeds per day.