Even if your baby has started eating solid foods, breastmilk or iron-fortified formula will still provide the majority of her nutrition. Every baby is different, and it’s normal for babies to consume different amounts from feeding to feeding. And as your baby eats more solids, she will nurse less or take fewer bottles.
Check out our infant feeding guidelines for recommendations on how much breastmilk or formula to offer your baby.
At this age, most babies who are eating solids well will nurse about four to five times per day. If you feel like you’re having flashbacks to those early weeks of round-the-clock nursing, your baby may be having a growth spurt or teething. Many breastfed babies will nurse more often at these times. And no, you’re not the only one still doing that 3 a.m. feeding. Lots of babies still wake in the middle of the night to nurse at this age. You’re tired, we know, but these night feedings won’t last forever.
As your baby gets older, you may feel more comfortable leaving her with a sitter or family member, or you may already be back at work. If you want to continue to feed your baby breastmilk, this means you need to be able to provide bottles of breastmilk when you are away. A breastfed baby needs less breastmilk in a bottle than a formula-fed baby because breastmilk is packed with more nutrition and babies digest it more fully. Many breastfed babies will take in 3 to 5 ounces of breastmilk from a bottle per feeding.
Formula-fed babies at this age typically consume 6 to 8 ounces at breakfast, lunch, dinner and before bed. It’s important that you never force your baby to finish a bottle. Let him tell you when he’s full.
To avoid wasting that pricey formula, you may want to prepare a 6-ounce bottle, and if he is still hungry, prepare another ounce or two.
If your baby is gaining weight, growing well and having regular wet and dirty diapers, he is probably eating enough. But if you are worried about your baby’s feeding schedule, or if he is eating a lot more or less than the normal range of baby feeding guidelines, don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician.