Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

How much milk does my 12 week old need if I feed her formula?

I am starting to wean my 12 week old onto the bottle/formula and would like some advice on quantities etc to give her. She will happily take the bottle and I have always given her a bottle at 11pm. For the last three days I have given her a bottle at the 10.30am feed. I have also started giving her a top up from a bottle: c 50ml at 12noon before her nap. I wondered how much I should be giving her as I obviously can’t tell how much she gets from the breast. I plan to drop one further feed in a few days time.

I also feel like I am feeding her more often with these top up at lunch and split feed, is this ok or am I encouraging her not to take enough at her proper feed times.

At present she feeds at 6am 20mins, 7.30am 15mins, 10.30am 130-150mls, 12 midday 50mls, 2/2.30pm 30mins, 5pm 20- 30mins, 6.20pm 20-30mins and 11pm 130-160mls. May daughter weighs about 11lbs.

She naps at 8.50-9.45am, 12-12.40pm, 1-2pm and 3.45-4.15pm. She settles at 7pm.

Providing you know roughly how much your daughter weighs you can work out how much milk she should be having at each feed. This can vary a little from baby to baby but it is a useful guide.

Allow 2 1/2 ozs of milk for each pound of body weight. As your daughter weighs 11lbs, this means 2.5 x 11= 27.5ozs. This is the amount of milk your daughter needs in a 24-hour period. Divide this total by the number of feeds she has in the day: 27.5 divided by 5 = 5.5 ozs or 160mls each feed. To work this figure out top ups are not included and split feeds at 6am/7am and 5pm/6pm count as one feed.

Although the above amount is the average for an 11lb baby you may find that your daughter takes slightly less at a feed. As your daughter is only 12 weeks old you may need to give her a small top up at 12 midday so she sleeps well at her lunchtime nap. Split feeds are a way to increase an overall intake and help her get through the day without becoming too distressed.

Once your daughter is sleeping through the night until nearer 7am you will only be feeding her once in the morning. Her 10.30am feed and the top up at 12 midday seem about the right amount for her given weight. The 5pm/6pm split feed often stays in place if a baby seems happier at bath time having had some of her feed at 5pm. Be guided by her needs as well as trying to keep her to the routines. Your notes suggest she is still on a size one teat. Try her with the next size up now that she is 12 weeks old. The faster flow should help her take a good feed without getting tired of sucking.