How much and how often to bottle feed
A guide to quantity and frequency of feeds
Knowing how much formula to feed your baby can be difficult to gauge, especially in the early stages. From around week two, they will need approximately 150-200ml per kilogram of bodyweight per day, up to the age of six months1. A guide to the quantity and frequency of feeds is shown in our baby feeding chart. Generally, from the age of 2 weeks to 6 months you can expect your bottle-feeding routine to consist of around 5 or 6 feeds a day.
Every baby is different, and their appetites vary massively. If your baby is premature or of a low birth weight, their feeding requirements will be different. Your midwife will be able to advise you about your baby’s unique needs.
The table below provides a general guide to how often and how much you should feed your baby, relative to their age.
Bottlefeeding guide 0–12 months
Your baby may need more or less than the amounts shown in the table below – this is simply a guide. Never leave your baby alone during feeding.
|No. of feeds per 24hrs||
No. of scoops per feed
(1 scoop = 4.6g)
Quantity of water / feed
|Up to 2 wks||3.5 7 3/4||6||3||90 3|
|2-4 wks||3.9 8.5||5||4||120 4|
|4-8 wks||4.7 10.5||5||5||150 5|
|8-12 wks||5.4 12||5||6||180 6|
|3-4 mths||6.2 13 3/4||5||6||180 6|
|4-5 mths||6.9 15 1/4||5||7||210 7|
|5-6 mths||7.6 16 3/4||5||7||210 7|
|7-12 mths||- -||3||7||210 7|
To ensure your baby’s milk is mixed to the right proportions, always use the scoop provided. Please note, the colour of the scoop may change from time to time.
When should I feed my baby?
Feeds should be timed from the moment they start. In the early days, feeding can take as long as an hour and they’ll need around 6 feeds per day. Once your baby becomes more efficient at feeding, they’re likely to get quicker.
To measure the time between feeds, start from the beginning of one feed until the beginning of the next. For example, if you begin feeding your baby at 11am, then you would probably expect them to be hungry again at about 2pm.
Get the support you need, the moment you need it
Breastfeeding is best for babies and provides many benefits. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, you eat a varied, balanced diet. Combined breast and bottle feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of your own breastmilk, and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. The social and financial implications of using an infant formula should be considered. Improper use of an infant formula or inappropriate foods or feeding methods may present a health hazard. If you use an infant formula, you should follow manufacturer’s instructions for use carefully – failure to follow the instructions may make your baby ill. Always consult your doctor, midwife or health visitor for advice about feeding your baby.
Questions about feeding and nutrition?
Our nutritionists and feeding advisors are always on hand to talk about feeding your baby. So if you have a question, just get in touch.