31 answers

How Much Formula for a 1 Week Old

I am looking for some feedback from other parents on the amount of formula that is appropriate (in general) for a 1 week old. (I am unable to breastfeed my children)

I delivered our second child, a 7 lb 4 oz boy, last Monday. At present he is on a parent led schedule of eating every 3.5 to 4 hours... My problem isn't the schedule, but rather the amount of formula that he should be taking at a feeding. The home nurse said that his daily intake should be about 18 oz... Which is what he is getting now if I limit his bottle to 3 oz and feed him every 4 hours.

My problem is that he is still rooting and wanting to suck after finishing a 3 oz bottle and seems hungry again in 2.5-3 hours. I don't want to over feed him, but I am not sure what else I can do besides increase the amount of formula per feeding or the number of feedings each of which will put him closer to 24 ozs. in 24 hours. Can anyone tell me about how much formula your 1 week old took in a 24 hour period? Or can you give me any ideas for helping to sustain him.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you all for the feedback... We have kept the schedule so that he doesn't become a "bottle baby"- eating to pacify instead of for nourishment. By increasing the formula to 4 oz, he is MUCH more content to eat every 3-4 hours. He actually slept the best he has in the last 4 days, last night.

Featured Answers

I always believe that babies will stop eating when they are full. It may be he does need more at feedings. This may create less feedings. I would slowly give him an ounce at a time and see if that makes a difference. Does he fuss and cry when he is done eating? If so that may mean he is still a bit humgry. Does he use a pacifier? If so that may soothe him for a while. Good luck!

People don't limit how much a baby eats if their being breastfeed so why do so when their being bottle fed?

Whether breastfeeding or formula-feeding an infant, I have always thought it was best to provide it to the infant as the infant demands. They do not have the overeating instinct that so many adults experience...the infant is the best to judge how much he gets to eat. I say give him as much as he requests. This is what I did with my children. I never bothered with "scheduling" feedings because infants change so much their first year.

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You need to take that parent led schedule and throw it out the window. Feed that baby when he is hungry and you let him eat how ever much he wants to eat. there is no overfeeding a one week old. His body tells him when he is hungry, thus the instintal rooting and sucking mechanism kicks in. that 18 oz is a guideline, not a rule. How do you think breastfeeding mothers monitor how many ounces a baby is taking in? They don't, they just feed when the baby is hungry and let the baby nurse for as long as the baby wants to. Bottle feeding should go the same way.

1 mom found this helpful

The 18 oz is just a guide; remember that newborns are individuals, too.

My two cents worth is that you should be feeding him more like every 2-3 hours. I think 4 hours is too long for a newborn to go without eating, unless they've been sleeping solidly that whole time, and not fussing or rooting.

That being said, there's a great saying, "Watch your baby, not the clock". If your little one is rooting and sucking, he needs to eat, regardless of how long it's been since his last bottle.

I breastfed, so the focus was on what my son's "output" (i.e., poop and pee) was. We had a poop/pee chart for the first few weeks, that outlined how many wet and poopy diapers he should have each day. You might want to see if such a chart exists for bottle-fed babies.

1 mom found this helpful

hun, you have to understand that NO ONE, not even doctors or nurses, can tell a person with certainty how much a baby should be eating. its individual. its personal.

a parent led schedule will never work. thats for sure. how would you feel if someone was in charge of when YOU got food? i would assume that it could be pretty frustrating, however we can wait 3-4 hrs to eat. babies have MUCH smaller tummies, and remember this; they will triple their weight and double their height in ONE year. thats a lot of growing, so that means a LOT of feeding.

you need to feed on babies schedule. when baby is hungry. this means all night too. yes, its going to be tiring, and hard. but you need to listen to your babies cues and signals, no matter when and where you are. its important.

as long as baby is gaining weight at appointments, there isnt a problem with how much baby is eating. just feed her when shes hungry. and dont ever force baby to eat more than she wants! baby is listening to her body, her body tells her when shes hungry, and when shes full.


william and martha sears are both in the medical field and have raised 8 children, one adopted, and they know what they are talking about! they are very into helping moms know that YOU are the ones with the instincts. you need to listen to them - and that is far reaching! always always listen to your heart and your instincts. thats so so so important. dont listen to outside advice unless it backs up the instinct that you are already having. if you start listening now, you will not regret it later. that means all the time. all day and all night. listen to your isntincts. during the first 3 months, you need to just find out how to survive. do it by instinct instead of outside advice, even from your doctors!!!

doctors sometimes will just tell us what they think we want to hear. and they dont nkow your child, they cant take the time to really explain something to you, they wont take the time to really listen either. doctors dont have time.

listen to your instincts. thats so important. and check out www.askdrsears.com and any and all of their books.

listening to my instincts meant with my son (now 22 months) nursing until he self weaned at 19 months (i understand you cant and thats fine, dont feel guilty. just do what you have to do ok? its ok) that meant for me co sleeping most of the time until he was between 15-17 months. that means letting him sleep in our room, yet in his own bed even today. that meant NOT forcing him to 'cry it out'. after all, what is 'it' and where is 'out'???

the cio method is something also that i feel strongly about. i really dont agree with it, and i really feel it hurts the parent/child relationship. if you have any questions, please as me, i will help you out the best i can.

parenting is hard. and tiring. and frustrating. but when you can see your child happy, safe, comfortable, friendly, .... and .. like my son, one who will lay down when put to bed, and just go to sleep instead of tantrums or crying... wow. the power of being the parent...

think of it this way. if the majority of kids have some sort of issue... and the majority of parents are parenting a certain way.... then.... connect the dots you know? something about parenting these days isnt working.
anyway, its a lot to think about this early in your parenting. but its a good time to think about it!

1 mom found this helpful

I am a old fashion Mom, and get so tired of hearing of home nurses and WIC nurses making decisions for baby. Obviously 3oz isn't enough, up to it 4oz, so he eats more than 18 oz a day, he's hungry....feed him. And up the amount little by little until you find the amount that is right for him.

1 mom found this helpful

I am a first time mother to an almost six month old boy. I breastfed and supplemented as well. The first week I had a hard time breastfeeding becasue I was producing too much milk and he was becoming overwhelmed. During this time I bottle fed and I never used a small 4 oz. botle. I always prepared an 8 oz. bottle and let him eat until he was content. I never had a problem overfeeding him and then he was able to go the 3 hours between feedings. Whatever formula was leftover after the feeding, I refridgerated until the next feeding avoiding any waste. This also helped at nighttime because he slept the whole night through. Good luck and I'm sure everything will work out.

I always believe that babies will stop eating when they are full. It may be he does need more at feedings. This may create less feedings. I would slowly give him an ounce at a time and see if that makes a difference. Does he fuss and cry when he is done eating? If so that may mean he is still a bit humgry. Does he use a pacifier? If so that may soothe him for a while. Good luck!

I also had difficulty with nursing my son. He never seemed to get enough to eat and was always hungry. At 1 week old I started a combination of nursing and formula. When he had a bottle he took about 2-3 ounces every 2 hours or so, so he was probably getting more than the 18 ounces in 24 hours. He is fine weight-wise. When I mentioned to the doctor how much he was eating, she just said to go by what he eats. If he wants more than the 2 ounces, make more! Just keep an eye on his weight. If he seems to be healthy and not gaining too much weight too fast, I'm sure it's fine. Some kids just eat more than others and it doesn't mean they will be overweight. Another thought, what about trying to mix just a tiny bit of cereal into his bottle? Is your child too young for that?

Did you know that newborn babies do not over eat. It is a habbit we learn (the new age is about 18 months) when we learn to eat for taste, not calories as the taste buds mature. Feed your baby. If at a feeding, he is needing more give it to him. Now you do not want to create a grazer, so if you feed him to contentment and one hour later he is needing to suck, then go ahead and give him a bink. If it has been 3 hours or more then offer the bottle. What the nurse was actually aiming for is the min. amt. of calories/day not the max. Congratulations on your new addition.

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