How Much Breastmilk or Formula: 6 to 9 Months Old
Even if your baby has started eating solid foods, breastmilk or infant formula will still provide the majority of their 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, they will nurse less or take fewer bottles.
At this age, most babies who are eating solids well will nurse about 4 to 5 times per day. If you notice your baby wanting to eat more frequently, they 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. Try to enjoy the midnight cuddles, because night feedings won’t last forever.
Bottle-feeding breastmilk guidelines
As your baby gets older, you may feel more comfortable leaving them 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 expressed breastmilk whenever you are away.
A breastfed baby typically needs fewer ounces of breastmilk in a bottle than a formula-fed baby. The nutrients in breastmilk continually change to meet your little one’s exact needs, and babies digest breastmilk more fully than formula. Many breastfed babies will take in 3 to 5 ounces of breastmilk from a bottle per feeding. Keep in mind that every baby is different, and it is normal for babies to sometimes eat less or more at any given feeding. It is OK if your baby does not finish their bottle at a feeding; never force a baby to finish the bottle.
Formula-fed babies at this age typically consume 6 to 8 ounces at breakfast, lunch, dinner and before bed (aiming for an average of 4 feeding times a day). Keep in mind that, because your baby is exploring and eating solid foods, it can be normal for them to drink less formula per feeding. And, while formula is expensive, it’s important to never force your baby to finish a bottle. Let your baby tell you when they’re full.
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.
Still worried about how much baby eats?
If your baby is gaining weight, growing well and having regular wet and dirty diapers, they are probably eating enough. But if you are worried about your baby’s feeding schedule, or if they are eating a lot more or less than the normal range of baby feeding guidelines, don’t hesitate to talk to your pediatrician.