9 1/2 Month Old Not Drinking Enough Formula

Updated on June 19, 2010
M.Y. asks from Pasadena, CA
7 answers

I have a 9 1/2 month old boy that is super active and alert but had been refusing the bottle about 2 months ago. He was never a big formula drinker, he can take only 4 oz. at a time ever since 3 months. I have been dream feeding him at night (2 time) ever since I can remember. I know I am not suppose to feed him during the night (though he does wake up hungry) but since he is not getting enough during the day, I need to compensate during the night. I wish he can be done with his eating by bedtime so I can rest too. I think he wakes during the night because he is a little hungry since he doesn't eat alot during the day.

Right now he eats 3 meals a day of baby food mixed with oatmeal and about 2 oz. formula. He also have 2 cartons of Yo Baby yogurt a day. I basically have to mix the formula in his baby food in order for him to eat it. He had completely weaned himself off the bottle during the day. So by bedtime he will only have taken 6 oz. of formula that is if he finish all his baby food which he doesn't sometimes. It is a struggle to get him to eat at each meal. He never seem to be hungry or want to eat and I already wait 4 to 5 hours in between each meal and he doesn't even snack that much. I figure since he is so active he should be more hungry? I know he is probably too busy meeting his milestones to eat.

I give him baby food 3 times a day because he will not drink his formula anymore so I have to feed him something. I give him the formula before the baby food at first and he wouldn't take it even though he is hungry so that's why I resorted giving him 3 meals a day of baby food mixed with 2 oz. of formula since I don't now of another way to make him take at least a little bit of formula. I know 3 meals of baby food sounds like a lot but I don't give him a whole jar, just a couple of teaspoon of fruit of veggie mixed with a little bit of meats and the rest if formula and oatmeal. It would take him couple of days to finish one jar of baby food so I don't think I am overfeeding him.

I know at his age his main source of nutrition should still be from formula and 6 oz. is not enough for the whole entire day. I read the minimum amount of formula he should be taking in a 24 hour period is 16 - 24 oz. and he is nowhere near that so I have resorted to feeding him when he is sleeping (2 times a night for a total of about 10 oz. of formula if I am lucky). Even with that he is barely getting 16 oz. a day and usually less because he would completely fall asleep after a couple of oz. I am at a loss here. I am worried because people stress so much about formula intake and my little one is not getting enough and I know I can't do this night feeding forever......

I did try to cut back and not give him baby food but he still would not drink his formula. I tried using the sippy cup but he doesn't really care for it but we are still working on it. He would drink water out of sippy if he does take a sip but not formula. Seems like he will only drink formula if he is half asleep.

Just to add that I have tried not feeding him at night and just let him cry back to sleep thinking maybe he will eat more the next day during the day but he still doesn't. I feel like if I don't feed him while he is sleeping he might not be at the weight he is now which is
21 lbs and 3 oz. at his 9 month checkup.

Have any other moms went through this? I know alot of babies drink up to 7 to 8 oz. at a sitting.

Thanks in advance for hearing me out and any advice would be appreciated.

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answers from New York on

Cut back on all the solid foods! His belly is very very full. Babies should have their primary nutrition from formula until their 1st birthday and then slowly shift toward solids for nutrition and milk for nutrients and fluids.

What is he drinking during the day? You say he's weaned from the bottle, but does that mean he's drinking from a sippy? If so, then put the formula in the sippy. Truly- you may be overfeeding him. Check with your pediatrician.

From what I recall, my son at this age...
- 8 oz bottle when he woke up on the morning
- "puffs" and 1 jar babyfood (cereal and fruit mix) for breakfast
- 6 oz bottle before his morning nap
- veggie/meat for lunch with small bottle
- "puffs" (or some kind of baby snack) and a bottle around 3:30
- bottle before going to bed 6-8 oz.

The APA website has pretty good guidelines.

Just FYI... my son is somewhat small for his age, but at 2, he weighs 25 pounds.

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answers from Honolulu on

There is no rule that you cannot feed a baby during the night, if they are hungry.
Our Pediatrician, says to feed on-demand for the 1st year of a baby's life.
Solids and other liquids are NOT their Primary source of nutrition... breastmilk or Formula is.

Next, your baby is eating a lot of solids... and 3 times a day. So he is probably just too full, to drink his formula.
Eating solids 3 times a day, at this age, is NOT the goal.

If you give solids as the primary source of intake... and give it before formula... then this will make the baby "wean" from it.
This is per our Pediatrician as well.
I would, give him his Formula/bottle BEFORE any solids... and upon waking and at night if he wakes and is hungry.
Keep in mind, that at growth-spurt periods (9 months is a growth spurt time), a baby will often wake at night due to hungry. SO feed him.
Nothing wrong with that.
Again, per our Pediatrician and what I did with my kids as babies... is I fed them ON-demand the 1st year... day and night.

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answers from Washington DC on

Try putting the formula in his sippy cup. Also, cut back on one cup of yogurt. It may be that the table food portions are a bit to large for him so when he finishes all of the table food there is no room for the formula.


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answers from Detroit on

I have a 10 month old too. Maybe you could try weaning some of the solids and pushing more formula--do it moderately though. It may take a week or so, but it's worth a shot. My son loves to eat solids, but he doesn't get much. I've been successful in keeping a schedule and it has worked. If your son is still drinking out of a bottle, now is the best time to switch to a sippy cup because it will be tougher to do so later on, I learned that with my last kid. Here's what my 10 month old eats and he's 21 lbs. too:

Morning: 7 oz. of formula first thing (sippy cup)
Breakfast: Baby cereal w/fruit mix or bits of banana or toast
6 oz. of formula before morning nap
Lunch: 1 jar of baby food
6 oz. of formula before mid-afternoon nap
Dinner: Sometimes just formula or one jar of baby food
Bedtime: 6 oz. formula

If your baby is going through a growth spurt, he will probably get up to eat more at night.

I've noticed that my son will drink the ready made formula (Similac bottle) much better than he will the powdered stuff. Maybe you should try the ready made stuff if you are using the powdered...I know it's much more costly, but, just a thought.

Hope this helps!


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answers from San Diego on

Hello, I am not a nutritionist, but I would say that if he is getting the proteins through his other foods (yogurt and such) then not to worry. However, have you tried the tippy cup? Also, if he won't do the formula, then why not feed him more of the baby food? Just a thought.
Good luck with your precious little baby.
K. K.

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answers from San Diego on

Keep trying... worry less :) My almost 9 month old is only breastfeeding, so I have no idea how much he is drinking. He does eat 3 meals per day, and he eats a lot- all three of my kids have by this age. What I do know is that he is happy and healthy- oh, and neither of my girls were over 19 lbs at one year, and I don't think he will pass 20 lbs either. My kids don't sit still ever and they are just built lean- they have met all developmental milestones early and they are average or above in height for their ages. I just take it that I'm lucky I don't have to worry about them being overweight. If your little guy is healthy, just try not to worry too much. Like other suggestions, I would try to give it to him before or between meals and make meals smaller. I have also found that my son likes to drink more when his food is more "real" and less runny. I would agree with other comments about trying to give him different formulas and also try different kinds of sippy cups (my little one will only use the ones with soft spouts and my girls likes the soft straws really young). Good luck!

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answers from Dallas on

I like Krista's schedule. Cut back on the food. I have a 10 month old who weighs 23 lbs and doesn't eat as much as your child. I also think that the wieght of your baby at 9 months is right on track. At my son's 9 month check up he was 21 lbs 4 oz and is in the 97% for height and weight. I think your baby is just full of other foods, that is why he is refusing the bottle. Just my thoughts.

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