Formula feeding tips
- How do I know when my baby is hungry?
- How do I know when my baby is full?
- How do I know if my baby is getting enough to eat?
How do I know when my baby is hungry?
Always feed your baby on demand. Don’t wait for your baby to start crying, as crying is a late sign of hunger.
Look for these signs of hunger:
- Rapid eye movements
- Sucking motions and sounds
- Sucking on fingers or hands
- Stretching and curling of arms and legs
- Opening the mouth and moving head side-to-side as if searching for something (this is called rooting)
Keep growth spurts in mind: these normally occur at different intervals. Your baby may take more infant formula or breast milk during these periods. They can last from 48 hours up to a week. Growth spurts are not an indication to introduce solids to your baby’s diet.
How do I know when my baby is full?
Don’t force your baby to finish the feed. Your baby is learning to recognize feelings of hunger and being full, and is learning to eat accordingly.
Look for these signs of fullness:
- Letting go of the nipple
- Swallowing less
- Looking sleepy or relaxed
- Falling asleep
- Stretching out arms and legs during feeding
Remember that your baby may be hungry at one meal and less hungry at another.
How do I know if my baby is getting enough to eat?
There are ways to tell that your baby is getting enough to eat simply by looking at how well your baby feeds, and even looking at your baby after he has finished. Does your baby look content? Satisfied?
Look for these signs that will tell you if your baby is getting enough to eat:
- Gaining weight at a slow and steady rate
- Producing lots of pale, odourless urine
- Passing regular, soft bowel movements
- Being alert and active when awake
- Having bright eyes and moist mouth
During a 24-hour period, your baby may drink a little more or less than other babies. In general, your baby may need to feed:
|AGE||NUMBER OF BOTTLES EACH DAY||AMOUNT IN EACH BOTTLE|
|Newborns||6-10||60-90 mL (2-3 oz.)|
|2 to 8 weeks||6-8||90-120 mL (3-4 oz.)|
|2 to 3 months||5-6||120-180 mL (4-6 oz.)|
|3 to 5 months||5-6||150-180 mL (5-6 oz.)|
|5 to 7 months||5-6||150-180 mL (5-6 oz.)|
|7 to 9 months||4||180-240 mL (6-8 oz.)|
|9 to 12 months||3-4||180-240 mL (6-8 oz.)|
Remember it’s normal for babies to feed during the night. Let your baby decide how much to eat and how often.
Source: Reproduced with permission of Toronto Public Health