How Often Should I Feed My Baby Formula?

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Feeding your baby on demand is the rule used by many breast feeding mothers; however is it the same for bottle fed babies? Here’s some information that might be useful for you.

Different Babies Need Different Numbers of Feeds

Different babies show feeding cues at various time intervals.  Feeding your baby when he/she shows feeding cues using a paced bottle feeding helps him/her get the amount of milk he/she needs.

A paced bottle feeding method helps babies better control their intake when babies feed from a bottle because they cannot control their own intake as well as babies feeding at the breast. When a baby sucks at the breast, she/he is in control of how much he/she drinks. They can also be at the breast and not suck at all or he/she can just stop. When drinking from a bottle, the firm bottle teat inside a baby’s mouth gives a strong stimulus to suck and whenhe/she sucks, they get milk whether they need or not. The relatively fast and continuous flow of milk from a bottle means she needs to keep sucking or be flooded with milk. Nonetheless, you can help your bottle-fed baby to better be able to control her intake by using a paced bottle feeding method.

Unsettled behavior doesn’t always mean your baby is hungry. Just like young breastfed babies, young bottle-fed babies also have periods where they cry a lot and sleep very little. These periods are often more about babies seeking emotional regulation as opposed to being hungry. During these times, breastfed babies often cluster feed, meaning they have a lot of short feeds close together. Because bottle-fed babies cannot control their intake like breastfed babies, during these periods, try to settle your bottle-fed baby in ways other than with feeding or offering only small amounts at a time (e.g. about 30ml). Bottlefeedingyour baby according to his own individual need by using a paced bottle feeding method helps him get only the amount of milk he needs.