19 answers

How Much Formula Is "Normal" to Give a 6 Week Old?

I have a 6 week old son who is SO hungry!! He is eating 4oz every 3 hours during the day...sometimes he wants 5oz. He eats about 7-8 feedings during the day. He is gaining lots of weight and growing. He was 8lbs 1oz at birth and 19 3/4 inches long. 6 weeks later, he is now 11 lbs. 4 oz. and is 23 1/8 inches long. My question is have other moms had the same experience where your son/daughter eats very well? We can't believe he already seems to be hungry still after 4oz. My husband and I think we should make 5-6oz at each feeding and see what he takes. If we do that, do you think we can feed him maybe around 6-7 times a day or just feed on demand? I need some advice, please!!!!

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Dear D.,
Perhaps he is in need of something more natural, like breastmilk. Why do you give him formula? Babies are human and need human milk, just as animals need their own mother's milk. Something to think about.....
concerned.....J

1 mom found this helpful

D.,
I wish I had an answer to your question because we are in the same boat! Our Son was born Oct.6th, is also eating at least 4 oz every 2-3 hrs (sometimes every hour) and at times is still hungry. If you get some good advice, I would really appreciate you passing it on! Congrats on the new baby :)

G.

It sounds fairly normal for even a 6 wk old to eat a lot! However, does he spit up after feedings? I'm just wondering if maybe he's eating to satisfy his need to suck. That may not be case, though, he very well may be that hungry. He'll let you know when he's hungry/full, so feed him on demand!! You're doing great to be so in tune with your son's feedings!

My son ate ALOT. He was born at 7.5 lbs and 21 inches. He shot up from there and at a few months old he was eating 8 oz bottles. He is healthy now, is 3 yrs old and close to 3.5 feet tall and 40 lbs. He is not overweight, in fact his height has always been at a higher percentile than his weight. I agree with other moms that as long as he is not spitting it back up then feed him as much as he seems to need.

I have two children and am a feed on demand person. Both my children were born large, over 10 pounds each. By 6 weeks I was making 8 oz bottles and just letting them drink as much as they wanted. Neither of them would spit up though so take that into consideration too. Your son knows how much he wants/needs and when he wants/needs it. Follow his lead....

HI D.,
Im in the same boat with my 2 boys. My dr told me with both of them to let them eat as much as they want as long as they are keeping it down. If they are eating so much but spitting up a lot of it then they are eating that much to sooth themselves for something else that is going on. My first son was 8.14lbs 2 weeks early and he was eating 6oz at 3 weeks every 4 hours and keeping it all down. at 4 months he was 17 lbs. By his first bday he was 31.5lbs. He is now 3yo 39lbs. Healthy as a horse. His dr was never worrried. He has always been in the 95% tile. I only breastfed him for the first 3 months but rotated feedings with formula. My second son.....who is now 5 months old is a bit of a different story. He was 5.5 weeks early and was eating 2oz every hour. At one month he was up to 4oz every hour and half. At 3 months he shot up to 6oz off and on but was spitting it up and yelling for food all the time. I mean SCREAMING! I thought what the heck. Took him to the dr and we found out he has acid reflex-heartburn. They put him on medicaion and its gotten better. He still doesn't sleep through the night unlike my older son who was in his crib at 7 weeks through the night. My baby is now 5 months old eating 6oz every 4 hours. He is now 18.5lbs 96% tile. He just wants to graze all day and eat and eat. I have tried to push him out longer periods then 4 hours at night. He started cereal at 4 months that i spoon feed him in the morning. At night I put it in his formula and he is still up 4 hours later yelling for food. He is keeping it all down now but Im going kookoo trying to get some sleep at night. Good luck to you. Enjoy this time it goes by so fast.

SAHM, 39, with a super funny 3yo and a 5 month old who is full of smiles and bubbles.

Hi D.
my son was the same way .. birth 7 lbz 21 inches, then shot up from there, always off the doctor's chart in terms of percentile.. and yes, he ate, but every TWO hours.. like clockwork.. so we went with the flow and yes, eventually went to bigger bottles.. when he was a little older, i forget at what age, the doc said you can mix in a little of the baby cereal with the formula and that will help fill the baby up...
but yeah, it's pretty normal.We also ended up keeping a journal where we wrote down what time he ate, we kept it on the kitchen counter, this way WE and our babysitter could track it. We'd simply write, 4 oz bottle 9am ...4 oz 11am.. etc.. we did this to see how much he was eating so that we could tell the doctor and we were just losing track :)
anyway, it's normal and enjoy it all... they do grow up so fast and look at these feedings as a way for you to cuddle with your little one.. I say because as they get older, they want to be held less and less.. take advantage now.. you ll be glad you need. My son is now 7 and I still have fond memories of holding him close and feeding him in the wee hours. sure I was tired as can be but so happy......

D., I remember when my son was a newborn. OMG that child ate and ate and ate and ate...you get the picture. I was breastfeeding but I had to supplement with formula because the child was never satisfied. The advice I got and will give was to feed on demand. Why make them suffer through being hungry on a schedule? My son is 14 now and he is perfectly healthy and at normal weight. He still loves his food. L.

Hi D., our little one was similar - she just ate and ate and ate! We kept bumping up her amount and then at about 2 months she threw up for literally a week. We brought her to her pediatrician and he said she was overeating and basically in the habit of calming herself with food and her bottle (BUT she would not take a pacifier which didn't make sense to me). Anyway, we had to start backing her off the huge amount she was eating since her weight shot up! This may not be the same for your little boy since he was a lot bigger than my daughter at 6 weeks. Basically the guide is normally to feed them what they want - if it's too much they will spit it back at you! :)

Here's a general guide - I would track what your son eats in 24 hours for a few days and see how it compares:

http://similac.com/baby-formula/similac-advance-feeding-tips

Good luck and congrats!!

Also PLEASE ignore the rude comments from people regarding why you do or do not breastfeed. It really irritates me that people request advice on this site and get a lecture instead. It is NO ONE else's business why or why not you feed formula so do not take people's criticisms personally - you did NOT ask for advice on whether or not to breastfeed so these comments are not necessary.

Just go for it. My son was a big baby (over 10lb) and he really let us know when he needed food. Esp when he had a growth spurt he would just eat and eat. If he's eating a good feed (not just snacking on a few oz at a time) feed him whenever he wants it.

E.

Around 3 week, 6 week, 3 mth and 6 mth of age babies generally experience growth spurts where they want to eat more frequently (it's really time consuming when you are nursing). They generally last about a week. I assume with formula feed babies these are the ages where they are going to increase the amount they want. Try offer more. I know you have to toss what he doesn't eat with formula but it is normal to increase their demand at this age. Up until the age of 2 kids are very good at regulating their dietary intake. Unless we goat them into eating more than they need they will eat the right amount. I would just offer more. Sometimes they change their demand in steps like this.

Very normal! Please simply feed on demand at his age. He knows how much he needs right now. Little babies grow extremely fast and need a lot of nourishment. Don't worry about gaining too much weight unless your doctor becomes concerned about it. Make 5 oz. and see if he eats it. Increase as needed. And despite what others have said, formula is appropriate nutrition - not everyone can breastfeed for various reasons. I breastfed initially with my son and then at about 4 weeks we thought he was developing colic since he was becoming so fussy. Long story short, we discovered he was just hungry! We supplemented with formula and finally had to switch over entirely to formula because I couldn't make nearly enough milk. He was a hungry boy too. He has eaten well ever since and is perfectly normal weight. Don't worry - just feed him and enjoy him!

I BF so I am not sure how much ... but around 6 weeks is usually a growth spirit (and 4 mo and 6 mo). At the moms group last week the nurse and one of the moms were talking about uping the oz and offering 30min to 1 hr sooner (I think for a 4 mo).
Good luck!

I would feed on demand and let him tell you how much and when he is done. He may be going through a growth spurt and need extra calories right now. He is so little, listen to his cues and feed on demand

If your son acts satisfied and happy after you feed him the amount he wants , then trust him! He knows what he needs . if he is unsatisfied and unhappy even after he finishes eating , then it may be something else he needs. babies do have an inherent need to suck. He sounds like a healthy boy to me . they grow very quickly , and need to put on a great deal of baby fat for energy when they start to become mobile! the books , Sears baby book, and Natural Family Living by Peggy O'mara should help also !

J. Tilsner CPM Awakenings Birth Services

well D. i have a 15 in a half year old son and a nine year old daughter. so for my little boy we usually give him six ounces of formula he doesn't eat a lot but we usually try. so when he was 6 months (my baby)we would give him about 4 to 6 ounces but now we've been feeding him pediasure, formula stoll just a little, and whole milk. we usually have half and half of formula and milk hope this helps if this keeps going on then just try to slow it down but you don't need to contact a doctor no woories

My son was the same way. He was formula fed and by his 2 month well baby appointment was eating 4 - 6 oz and weighed 12 lbs! The doctor was surprised when I told her how much I was feeding him since she said other kids she sees are only eating 2 - 4 oz. The one thing my son did alot though was spit up. One minute he'd be fine, the next he'd be soaked. So we cut down his formula intake and when we did the spitting up decreased a whole lot.

If your son isn't spitting up alot and he seems satisfied, I'd keep doing what you're doing.

I have a three month old who was 9lbs 4oz and 21 inches long at birth. At 6 weeks she was drinking any where from 4-5oz a feeding every 3-4 hours. At her two month check up she was 13lbs 15oz and 24 inches long. My doctor said that it is alright that some babies are better eaters than others. She now drinks 6oz every 4-5 hours, but sleeps from 8:30pm - 6:00am every night without getting up. I hope this helps.

Your son is normal and healthy! Mine was the same way. He took 4oz only a few times and we immediatly switched to larger bottles. He was taking 7oz I think by the same age as your son. 6 weeks is also the time when growth spurts usually occur and they need a little more. You should stick to your schedule but increase the number of ounces in each bottle (start with 1) and maybe cluster feed in the evenings.

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