Bottle Feeding Patterns
All babies' feeding patterns are different.
Some babies drink a little often, while others will drink a lot not so often! Your baby will know when it's hungry and when it's full, so allow your baby to be in charge. You should gradually be able to pick up cues and understand if your baby is hungry or not. There won't necessarily be a pattern to their feeding habits - it may vary from day to day. The important thing is to allow your baby to feed at its own pace.
Newborn babies tend to feed small amounts regularly throughout the day. You should try to offer them a bottle every 2-3 hours (even if you have to wake them up from a nap) and allow them to feed until they are full. Don't try to encourage them to finish a whole bottle if they don't want to as this may lead them to put on more weight than is healthy.
As your baby gets older they will begin to drink larger quantities in one sitting, and they will probably leave longer periods between feeds.
Babies will generally drink 150-200ml of formula per kg of body weight each day. So if your baby weighs 4 kg, they should be drinking around 600-800ml per day.
In the first three months, your baby should put on about an ounce a day. Between three and six months they should put on about half an ounce per day. If you think your baby isn't drinking enough and not gaining weight, visit your GP for advice.
After six months formula consumption should decrease as your baby begins to eat more solid foods.
The World Health Organization (WHO) strongly recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and states that babies fed exclusively on breast milk for their first six months will develop most healthily.
Visit our Breastfeeding Section