What's In This Article
When you are a new parent there are so many things to learn and remember – it can be very daunting!
There seem to be so many rules and best practices around sleeping schedules and feeding. and your shopping list will get bigger as you will need diapers, formula, and a whole lot of coffee (for yourself, not the baby)!
But how much formula do you need? How much will you get through in a month? And how much should you put in each bottle?
If you are formula feeding or combining formula with breastfeeding then you will need to know the answers to these questions.
We have put together this guide to help you, so keep reading to find out more about baby formula.
How Much Formula Should A Baby Drink?
The amount of formula that you give your baby is determined by their weight at birth.
Babies under 6 months old only drink up to 150mls of formula per day, while those over 12 months should drink between 300-400mls.
This is based on an average adult’s daily calorie intake of 2,000 calories.
For example, if your baby was born weighing 9lb 11oz (4.3kg), they would be expected to drink approximately 450mls of formula per 24 hours.
To calculate how much formula you need to buy, divide 450mls by 24 hours x 7 147mls. Then add 20mls to cover any waste from the previous feed.
How Much Formula Should You Put In A Bottle?
How much formula to use in each bottle will depend on the age of your baby.
Babies between 0 and 2 months old need to be fed every 3 to 4 hours and you should use between 1 and 3 ounces of formula in each feed.
When your baby reaches between 2 and 4 months they will need to be fed every 4 to 5 hours but you should use 4 to 6 ounces of formula in every feed.
Between 4 and 6 months, it will depend on your child, how hungry they get, and how quickly they are growing. Once your baby is 6 months old then you can use between 6 and 8 ounces of formula per feed.
How Many Cans Of Formula Will You Need Per Month?
So how much will you need per month? This will vary from baby to baby, and if you are using formula alongside breastfeeding then you will use less.
It also depends on the size of the can of formula. It will work out better value for money to get the largest cans. You will need at least four of the large 35-ounce cans per month.
- Similac Sensitive VS Pro Sensitive
- Enfamil Neuropro VS Gentlease
- Enfamil Enspire Vs Neuropro
- Similac Pro Sensitive Vs Pro Total Comfort
- Enfamil Neuropro Gentlease vs Enfamil Gentlease
How Long Does The Prepared Formula Last?
Once you have mixed the formula with water it does not last long at room temperature – one to two hours at most.
This is why you shouldn’t mix it in advance, only prepare the formula when your baby is ready for a feed. It will last a little longer if refrigerated, but it is best to feed your baby with freshly prepared formula.
Does Formula Go Off?
If the formula is unopened it will last for a long time, so if you see it on sale in the grocery store then it is a good idea to stock up. Only open one can at a time, as once the can is open it won’t last very long.
Each brand will have its guidelines, but an open can of formula will probably need to be used within 14 days.
How To Prepare Formula
When you are preparing formula for your baby, make sure that you are always using sterilized bottles and equipment. Follow the instructions on the formula can, as each brand will be slightly different.
However, you should always use water that has boiled and cooled, never straight from the tap. Mix the formula with the water and ensure that there are no lumps or gritty bits- the mixture should be nice and smooth.
Always check the temperature of the formula carefully before you begin the feed. If you are worried that it is too warm, splash a little of the formula on your wrist.
Babies can drink a warm liquid, but not a hot liquid. If you aren’t sure if the formula has cooled enough then pop it in the fridge for a few minutes.
As you feed your baby, make sure that the bottle is tilted at the right angle so that they are not sucking in lots of air along with the formula.
This will help to prevent them from getting a build-up of wind. When they have drunk around half of the bottle, stop feeding to wind the baby.
Once they have been winded, you can see if they are still hungry and want to continue the feed.
You will need at least four cans of formula per month, but the exact amount will depend on your baby and how much they like to drink.
Carly Link, a 33-year old mother of two toddlers. She is a parent and goes through a lot of the usual parenting difficulties herself. Carly shares all her experiences and knowledge about the best baby products through this blog.