How Do I Know When to Increase My Baby’s Formula?
It can be hard to know if your baby is getting the right amount to eat – it’s something that nearly every parent worries about, whether they’re formula feeding or breastfeeding.
If your baby seems hungry after feeding, even though they’re eating the right amount for their age, then it’s natural to consider whether they might need a little more. But how do you know how much to give, and is there a risk of overfeeding?
Babies know when they’re hungry and when they’re full – so it’s almost impossible to overfeed. A formula-fed baby will push their bottle away once they’ve had enough. If your baby is showing signs of hunger, try increasing their feeds and see how they react.
3 signs your baby needs more formula
1) They’re having a growth spurt
Most babies grow in fits and starts, and they can often put on a surprising amount of weight without you realizing it. Growth spurts are common at 10 days, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months – but they can happen any time.
If your baby has put on weight, they’ll need more formula. You can easily find out how much by multiplying their weight in pounds by 2.5 – so a 10-pound baby needs 25 ounces a day while a 12-pound baby needs 30 ounces a day.
That’s a lot of extra formula needed for just a couple of pounds – so it’s worth getting your baby weighed regularly so you know their formula intake is keeping up with their growth.
2) You’re not seeing many wet diapers
Babies should have at least 5-6 wet diapers a day. If your baby isn’t having that many, then it might be that they need more formula.
Their milk isn’t just food, but hydration – so a lack of wet diapers indicates that they’re not getting enough fluid. Try adding another ounce to their bottles and see if they end up peeing more.
3) They show you their hungry
Babies will usually let you know if they’re hungry. Breastfed babies will root around for their mom’s nipple, and formula-fed babies will look for their familiar bottle.
They might show signs of hunger before their next feed is due, such as sucking, lip smacking and chewing on their hands, and they’ll probably drain their bottles quickly.
If your baby is less than 6 months old, try giving them an extra two ounces at the end of a finished feed. If they drain that too, they probably needed it – and you might need to up all their feeds by at least an ounce.
If they’re six months or more and not yet eating solid food, start weaning. You can start gently with purees while they build up their appetite and explore their taste buds.
Make sure you’re ready to feed
There’s not much worse for a parent than a hungry, upset baby. To make sure you always have formula to hand try:
- Preparing enough formula for the whole day in one go. It’s safe to keep in the refrigerator for 24 hours and it’s much faster to heat a cold bottle than to make one from scratch.
- Try a formula subscription. This gives you formula delivered on autopilot, so you don’t have to worry about running out as your baby’s appetite increases.
- Order in bulk. This makes it cheaper to buy formula, and means that you’ll have a handy stash ready whenever you need it.