Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Formula (Bottle) Feeding - Brief Version
Breast milk is best for babies, but breast-feeding isn't
always possible. If you choose to bottle-feed, be sure to
always use formula until your baby is 1 year old. When your
baby is 1 year old, you may start to give your baby whole
Formulas are made especially for babies. Most are made with
cow's milk. Others are made from soybeans for babies who
are allergic to or have a hard time digesting regular
You can get formula in three ways:
- Concentrated liquid
- Ready-to-serve liquid
How do I mix formula?
- If you use powder, mix each level scoop of powder with 2
ounces of water.
- If you use concentrate, mix it with equal parts of water.
- If you use ready-to-serve formula, do not add any water.
Always follow the directions. Do not add more powder or
liquid or water than you are directed. If the formula is
too concentrated or too diluted, your baby will not get what
If you use tap water for making formula, use only water from
the cold water tap. Let the water run for 2 minutes before
you use it. Fresh, cold water is safe. Do not use warm or
hot tap water. The warm water can cause lead to get into
the water from the pipes.
If you make one bottle at a time, you don't need to use
boiled water. Heat the cold tap water on the stove or
If you would rather make a batch of formula:
Use boiled or distilled water. Follow the directions
printed on the side of the formula can. Put formula
in the refrigerator. Use it within 48 hours.
How often should I feed my baby?
Most babies need:
- 6 to 8 feedings per day for the first 3 weeks
- 5 to 6 feedings per day from 1 to 3 months
- 4 to 5 feedings per day from 3 to 7 months
- 3 to 4 feedings per day from 7 to 9 months
Your baby may start with 1 ounce per feeding. By 7 days, he
may take 3 ounces. Divide your baby's weight (in pounds) in
half to find the amount (in ounces) he will probably need.
For example, if your baby weighs 8 pounds, your baby will
probably drink 4 ounces per feeding.
When you are traveling, ready-to-serve formulas are the
What about fluoride?
When your baby is 6 months old and until she is 16 years of
age, she may need fluoride to prevent dental caries. If the
water supply where you live has fluoride and your child
drinks at least 1 pint each day, the water should provide
enough. Otherwise, it may be a good idea to use fluoride
drops or tablets. Talk to your health care provider.