I remember the day that I finally had to give my 4 day old twins a bottle. The memory that is most vivid is the feeling of being completely confused because I wasn’t given any information on how many ounces a newborn needs during bottle feeding. How was I supposed to know? To make it even more daunting, I realized that I was supposed to learn how to interpret tiny signals or gestures my babies were sending to me.
Thank goodness we have the internet. I just can’t imagine how our mothers survived without Google. When I asked my own mother how she figured it out, she calmly replied “just trial and error I guess”. I give her a lot of credit for finding a way to survive without the world wide web.
In an effort to help those new mothers out there, I have included a one page resource that you can easily print out and keep accessible for all the stages of your baby’s first year.
Save the guessing for another night! If I can alleviate stress for anyone else out there then I have done my good deed for the day.
(click on image to download)
I gathered all this information from John Hopkins website, KidsHealth.org and WebMD.
If you want to be very specific the formula is 2 – 2 1/2 ounces per pound of your baby in a 24 hour period. Did your mind start to do the math and then think, I need a calculator? 🙂 Well, this printable will work it out for you.
Remember that one mother’s 5 lb newborn is going to eat differently than another’s 8 lb newborn.
Also, babies grow at different rates and have occasional growth spurts where they will want to eat more over a 2-3 day period. This is why each age has a range of ounces. Please ask your pediatrician if you have any concerns.
Signs Your Baby is Hungry
- moving head side to side
- opening mouth
- sticking out tongue
- putting hands or fingers in mouth
- puckering lips
- nuzzling against mothers breast
- baby moves his mouth in direction of something that is touching its cheek
- crying (this is the last sign and means you missed the earlier cues)
Signs that Your Baby is Full
- Closing lips when the bottle gets close
- Turning away from the food source
- Decreased or stop sucking
- spitting out the nipple
- show an interest in surroundings rather than eating
I hope this is helpful to a new mom out there. It’s always nice to learn from someone else instead of recreating the wheel on your own.
When you are ready for the next stage read Experienced Parents Tips for How to Transition From Formula to Milk.
Read more about Swaddling, 5 Things You Need To Know About Having a Baby Boy and Best Tip to Prevent New Sibling Resentment.
robin rue says
I bottle fed and they will let you know when they are full. I never questioned it or worried – if my kids were full, they would stop eating.
Angela Tolsma says
Not a mom here, but google has been a life saver when it comes to babysitting my nieces and nephews! It’s challenging to know the right thing to do in some situations.
Very good post for people with newborns. Your mother got by and we got by with instinct, and yes trial and error, there is no exact science even with your feeding amounts.
aish das-padihari says
My baby is 5 now and I wish I had this information 4 years ago. I’m going to share this post with friends who have small babies.
Marcie in Mommyland says
This is so helpful!There’s nothing worse than feeling like you may not be feeding your baby enough. I was told to feed my baby until he spit up. Thankfully, he gives me better cues now 🙂
Wow…that is interesting advice. Once you notice the cues it is much easier.
The bottle feeding stage is so challenging for parents! This chart looks very helpful.
I’m not a mom but I nanny and watch a lot of kids! These resources were AMAZING and so helpful for when I’m working with babies.
This is some great insight for new moms that may be asking this same question!
Sona Sethi says
Wow! great post for new moms! I am still not a parent but can see how new parents can benefit from it.
Rhian Westbury says
It must be so hard knowing what’s right with these kinds of things as every kid is slightly different x
Elizabeth O. says
I got used to our pedia telling me what amount I should be feeding the twins so I never really bothered to research about it back then. But this is such a good guide for parents. Especially the new ones.
Amanda Love says
I was clueless before when I had my eldest and I’m glad that I have my mother and my pedia to guide me through it all especially when it came to feeding. This is really awesome!
Cindy Ingalls says
Such helpful advice. It is hard to know how much to feed your baby if no one tells you.
Blythe Alpern says
I can only imagine how stressful it is for new mothers when it comes to bottle feeding. The internet is a really useful tool. I do wonder how we all figured life out beforehand. I guess trial and error or asking our doctor.
Krystel | Disney on a Budget says
Wow, this is so perfect, I’m sure any new mom would love this. I have to share.
Shoshana Sue says
Great information especially for moms to be and new moms. I breastfed and bottle fed both my kids and some of it just came naturally, I guess it has to do with mummy instincts.
Some people it comes more natural. I was always questioning if I was doing everything right.
A great post for moms with newborns, especially first time moms like me. I couldn’t breast feed so my little one was on the bottle right away.
Cassie Tucker says
My cousin will really appreciate seeing this guide. She has been worried that she isn’t feeding her newborn daughter enough.
I hope it helps. It is hard to know until you learn your baby’s signals.
Nikki Arnold says
This is some great advice!! My friend just had a baby yesterday and its her first. I will pass this along!
We were always concerned about this too because both our daughters were bottle fed. If their gaining weight, you usually are doing it right. This is a great topic I rarely see discussed online.
I was always so concerned I wasnt giving my children enough or I was giving them too much. I sure wish I had these tips when my kiddos were younger.
Tiffany Haywood says
What a helpful way to be certain your baby is getting just what they need from being bottled fed. I know it can be a daunting thing at times to worry if they are eating enough but this will definitely help with that…
Catherine Anderson says
Great post! I’m gonna share this info to my sister, her daughter is about to turn 2 this week.
Carolyn, thanks for this helpful post! If there are any new moms out there who need help getting a free breast pump through insurance, they can do that here – https://thebreastfeedingshop.com/