Breastmilk and Formula Guide: 9 to 12 Months Old

Your baby is probably getting braver and better at eating solid foods each day. Way to go, kiddo! Even though your baby may be nursing less often and taking fewer bottles, they’re still getting most of their nutrition from breastmilk or infant formula—at least until they’re 1 year old. So how much breastmilk or formula does your older baby really need? Read on for suggested amounts and a typical infant feeding schedule.

Keep in mind that every child is different, and it’s normal for your baby to drink different amounts each day and from feeding to feeding. It’s also important to remember that your baby’s digestive system still can’t handle other kinds of milk—including cow’s milk or a non-dairy alternative. Wait until after your child’s first birthday to introduce milk. 

breastfeeding a 12 month old

At this age, most babies who are eating solids well will nurse about 4 times per day. Of course, that number may increase during growth spurts or if your baby is feeling under the weather. Is your baby still waking in the middle of the night to nurse? Don’t worry—that’s still normal for some babies at this age.

4 ounce bottle of breastmilk or forumula

A breastfed baby typically needs fewer ounces per bottle than a formula-fed baby, as breastmilk has more nutrients per ounce and can be digested more fully. At this age, many babies will drink about 3 to 5 ounces of breastmilk from a bottle.

Keep in mind that every baby is different, and it is normal if your baby eats less sometimes and more other times. If your baby does not finish their bottle at a feeding, that is OK. Never force a baby to finish the bottle.

6 ounce bottle of breastmilk or formula

If you are formula-feeding, offer your baby 6 to 8 ounces at breakfast, at lunch, at dinner and before bed. Keep in mind that, as your baby is eating more solid food, it is completely normal if they drink less formula per feeding. Aim to offer 4 bottle feedings per day, and pay attention to your baby’s hunger and fullness cues. We know formula is expensive, but do not force your baby to finish a bottle. To minimize waste, you may want to consider preparing a 6-ounce bottle to start and then prepare another ounce or 2 if they are still acting hungry after the first 6 ounces.

bottle feeding a 12 month old

If you are worried about how much your baby eats, or if he is eating significantly more or less than the amounts listed in these infant feeding guidelines, talk to your baby’s doctor.