Formula for Breastfed Babies - How Much and How Often?

Formula for Breastfed Babies - How Much and How Often?

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When it comes to feeding your baby, it's important to understand how much and how often to give them formula if you are breastfeeding. While breast milk is the best source of nutrition for infants, there may be times when supplementing with formula becomes necessary. Here's a guide to help you navigate the formula feeding process for breastfed babies.

How much formula should breastfed babies have?

The amount of formula needed for breastfed babies varies depending on their age and weight. Generally, newborns consume around 1-3 ounces (30-90 mL) of formula per feeding. As your baby grows, the amount of formula will increase. By the time they reach six months, they may consume 6-8 ounces (180-240 mL) per feeding.

It's essential to pay attention to your baby's cues and not force them to finish a bottle. Babies have different appetites and may not always finish a full bottle. Trust their instincts and let them guide you.

How often should breastfed babies have formula?

The frequency of formula feeding for breastfed babies also changes as they grow. Newborns typically feed every 2-3 hours, which equates to about 8-12 feedings per day. As your baby gets older, the time between feedings may increase to every 3-4 hours.

Remember, every baby is different, and their feeding patterns can vary. Some babies may need to be fed more frequently, while others may have longer intervals between feedings. Trust your instincts and observe your baby's hunger cues to determine if they need formula in addition to breastfeeding.

Combining breast milk and formula

If you are supplementing with formula while breastfeeding, it's important to find the right balance for your baby's needs. You can start by offering formula after breastfeeding or substituting one feeding session with formula. This allows your baby to get the benefits of breast milk while receiving the additional nutrition from formula.

Remember to consult with your pediatrician or a lactation consultant for personalized advice and guidance on combining breast milk and formula.


Knowing how much and how often to give formula to your breastfed baby can help ensure they receive the nutrition they need. It's essential to pay attention to your baby's cues and consult with healthcare professionals for personalized advice. Remember, every baby is unique, and their feeding needs may vary.

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