Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

My 12 week twins are distressed at their 6pm feed

My two identical twin boys Oliver and George are 12 weeks old. Until recently my husband has been able to get back in time to help me with bath time and the 6.15pm feed, but because of work commitments he will now be unable to do so. My boys get very frantic from about 30 minutes after the 5pm feed, and have recently started getting so cross and tired, that I am struggling to calm them down enough to take their feed after bath time. I initially tried feeding them both in their car seats so that I didn’t miss their sleep “window”, but they are getting so upset that I really need to hold each one individually. Today I bought bath time forward by 15 minutes, but this still happened. I find it so distressing and upsetting that I’m only able to feed one while the other one gets himself so worked up.
They are both approximately 12lbs in weight and sleep for 45 minutes at the morning nap, 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 hours at the lunchtime nap and approximately 1/2 hour before 5pm. One is sleeping through until 6.45am and the other until approximately 5.30am from 10.30pm. They are still getting their split feed at 5/6pm because I am too afraid to drop the 5pm feed in case I can’t manage to get either of them to finish their 6pm feed. I look forward to a response very soon.

Getting twins of this age bathed, fed and into bed before they have got overtired is not easy at all when you are coping alone. By structuring their whole day so one is ready to be fed before the other may well go some way to help ease the situation in the evenings.
This “tier” method allows you to follow a routine but it means that not both boys will be very hungry at the same time.
To start a better routine in the evening have one baby ready to feed by 4.45pm. Give him his feed and then let him sit in his chair whilst you feed the second baby. Both of them should be finished by 5.30pm.
From your description it would seem they may need a little more milk each at 5pm. This split feed allows a baby to take a slightly larger feed than he has at other times of the day. If the boys are taking 5ozs at most feeds they will be able to manage 6-7ozs over this period. Give them a 4oz bottle at 5pm so they will not be so desperately hungry and more able to cope over bath time. It was sensible to bring bath time forward. As you are dealing with two alone, bath time will take twice as long.
When caring for young twins, using dummies at certain times during the day can be useful. The word pacifier is more appropriate as that is what they are used for: to pacify one baby whilst dealing with the other. I would suggest you have two at hand at bath time especially when on your own. The dummies will only be a short term measure until the boys are just a little older, bigger and able to cope with waiting better.
So, bath the twin who was fed at 4.45pm whilst the other one has some free kicking time on the floor next to you. If he becomes distressed then use the pacifier to calm him down whilst you deal with the first baby. Then bath the second twin and use another pacifier for the first twin if he is beginning to get restless after his bath.
As there is now a 20-30 minute time delay between the first and second twins feed, the second twin should be content to sit in his chair whilst you offer the first twin a 3oz bottle. Then feed the second twin. You may find that the first twin will manage to wait for his brother, so you can put them down at the same time or you may have to settle him in his crib before feeding his brother.
If you begin to use the “tier” method throughout the day you will be able to give each of the boys some individual time whilst they sit with you for their bottle. The baby waiting or finished can sit in his chair near to you and watch.
Having twins is hard work and some crying is inevitable in the early months. Getting the boys to sleep so well at night is excellent. I feel sure that bath time will very soon be a much more enjoyable part of your day.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

How can I get my eight-week-old daughter to take bigger feeds in the day?

I have two problems. I have been following the routine for five weeks, and while I have needed to adapt it slightly to suit my daughter, she is still feeding very little and only manages short naps during the day. She settles at 7pm, and although she needs to cry herself to sleep, she is down until I wake her for her 10:30pm feed. Lately she has been waking much earlier for her middle of the night feed and will only take 1oz. I don’t want to drop this feed as she only grazes through the day. The maximum she takes is 19/20oz on a good day. As a result, I struggle to do anything in the day, as she is so unsettled; she will only nap in her bouncy chair, and even then for no more than 45 minutes. Please can you help? Any advice would be welcome.
At present she feeds at 7.30am 2-4oz, 10.30am 2-3oz, 2.45pm 3oz, 5pm 2oz, 6.20pm 2oz, 10.45pm 4oz and 3am 2oz. She weighs 4.64 kg (10.3lbs). She naps at 8.45-9.30am, 11.30am-12.30pm, 1.30-2pm and 4.30-5pm. She settles at 7pm.

The small amount of formula that your daughter is taking at each feed is probably the reason she is unable to settle well to sleep. Getting her more used to being in her cot for daytime naps will help, but this will take time and persistence on your part.

To help increase her overall milk intake, try to split some of the feeds, offer her top-ups and give her mini breaks half way through. Also, allow her to wake fully at 7am before offering her the bottle. Let her have 2oz and then give her a break of 20 minutes. You could use this time to change her or let her have a kick on the floor. Then offer her the bottle again and see if she will take another 2oz. Once the feed is over, encourage her to have some more time kicking, or let her watch you from her bouncy cradle while you eat breakfast. By 8.30am she will probably be tired. Babies of this young age can often only stay awake for 1-1.5 hrs before becoming tired and needing to sleep. By keeping them up too long, they can become overtired and fight sleep, which means they are unable to settle properly or sleep for any length of time. Take her to her room at 8.30am and check her nappy. Draw the curtains and blinds and, if you are still half swaddling her, then prepare her for her nap. In the darkened room hold her close to you, but with no eye contact, and try not to sway, pat or shush her. She may fuss and squirm a bit. Some mothers use a dummy at this stage to help their baby calm itself, but if you do this it is best removed before sleep to prevent any associations forming. You will feel her becoming relaxed and heavy in your arms. This can take between 10 and 20 minutes, so be patient. It may help if you do some deep breathing, in the same way as you were taught in preparation for birth. This will help you to relax, which your baby will also sense. Once you feel she is really relaxed (you may notice her eyes heavy with sleep) lay her down in her cot and tuck her in securely. Use a sheet lengthways across her body and secure it on both sides with rolled towels. Give her 10 minutes to settle on her own in the same way as you do at 7pm.

For a question and answer about settling a baby, look at p86 in the Contented Little Baby Book. You may need to teach her how to fall asleep alone, and this can involve some short periods of crying. Providing you check on her every 5-10 minutes, and use the same method for settling her at other naps, she should learn how to put herself to sleep fairly quickly.

At 10.30am you could split the feed into two halves and offer her 2-3oz at 10.30am followed by another 2oz at 11.15am. Giving her this feed in two stages will help increase her intake and also make it more likely that she will settle for a longer nap at 11.30/45am. Again, settle her in a dark room in the same way. The feed she has at 2.30pm can stay in place and also the split feed at 5/6pm. You could try to encourage her to take nearer 3oz at both these times to help increase her intake.

Rather than leaving her until 10.45pm, wake her at 10pm and offer her at least half of the usual amount she drinks. Make sure she is well awake before beginning this feed. Then allow her some time awake, perhaps kicking quietly on the floor. By 11/11.15pm she will be getting tired, so change her and offer a fresh feed of 2-3oz. Give this in her room with the lights dimmed so she will settle back to sleep soon. This approach should help her to take a bigger feed at this time.

Until her intake increases during the day, you must keep the middle of the night feed, even if it is small. If she is able to settle with 1-2oz and is willing to wake and feed at 7am, she still needs it. Once she shows signs of not being so interested in her 7am feed, you will know that the time has come to cut back. Do this very slowly, gradually decreasing the amount offered, so she continues to increase her daytime feeds. See p149 in the CLB book, which explains more about how and when to drop the nighttime feed.

It can be hard work to get a reluctant feeder to take enough milk for their needs. You may need to experiment with a faster flowing teat to make sure she is not becoming tired sucking on one that is too slow for her. This small adjustment can make a difference to how well a baby feeds.

Keep working on the settling techniques, and encourage her to take as much milk as she is able by offering it to her little and more often.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

How do I move from breast to bottle feeding?

I have a 10-week-old baby boy, Ayton. He weighed 9lb 6oz at birth and has gained 8oz each week and is now 13lb 6oz. I have been breastfeeding him, and giving him a bottle of formula at the 10:30pm feed. He does seem to be a hungry baby, and I have been worrying that I’m not producing enough milk for him (despite knowing he is gaining the right amount of weight!)

I have twice followed the plan to increase my milk supply, which seems to work for a short while before it seems to decrease again. I am also giving him a top-up of expressed milk of 1-2 oz just before putting him down for his lunchtime nap, as he isn’t sleeping well at this time. Other than that he sleeps well, and for the last week he had been sleeping from 11pm to 7am, however the last two mornings he has woken at 5am and today he woke at 3:30am.

I have therefore decided that I’d like to start the transition to bottle feeding him. I’m going back to work after 6 months anyway, so it wouldn’t be much longer before I’d have to think about it anyway. It may seem like I’m giving up, but I can’t help but worry constantly about not producing enough milk, even though I know that is probably making it worse!

I read the section about weaning the baby from breast to bottle, so I know the time it is going to take, the order I drop the feeds and how much milk a baby should need each day according to weight, and I was interested to see how the example you give worked with regards to how the total amount is split.

Are there any guidelines as to how I should split the total amount he needs in 24 hours between each of the feeds? For example is there a rough percentage I should follow? The book mentions it is important to structure it possible so he gets more milk at certain times than at others.

I have no idea how much to feed him at the 11am feed once I have reduced the breastfeeding time for this feed, and likewise so on until I’m bottle feeding him entirely. He takes 7.5oz of formula at the 10:30pm feed if that helps.

I look forward to hearing from you.


For a baby weighing between 13 -14lbs the average amount he needs in the day is between 33-35 ozs. That is based on a baby needing 2.5 ozs per lb bodyweight. When you have that figure divide it by the number of feeds in the day. I imagine in your son’s case it will be about five: 7am, 11am, 2.30pm, 6pm and 10.30pm. You may still be splitting the 6pm feed and giving him a small feed before his bath at 5pm. So 34 ozs divided by 5 = 6.8ozs. Obviously you will make 7oz bottles to allow for Ayton to be hungrier at some feeds more than others. When I care for a formula-fed baby I am happy if there is a small amount of feed left in the bottle at the end, rather than it being drained each time. I then know the baby has had enough for his needs.

In order for you to structure the feeds properly, think how he feeds from you. Ayton should be hungry at 7am so will take a full feed of 7ozs then. He may only take 6.5ozs at 11am and maybe only 6ozs at 2pm. This feed is best kept smaller, especially if your baby still feeds at 5pm. The split feed could be 3ozs at 5pm followed by 4ozs at 6.15pm. Or he may be able to wait until after his bath and take a full 7ozs. As you say he already takes 7.5ozs at 10.30pm. So his total daily amount would be 34ozs. Not all babies keep exactly to this average amount. Some take 1oz or so more or less in 24hours but it is meant as a guideline so your baby is not over- or under-feeding. If you keep a record of his feed amounts over several days you will see his average intake and can adjust it according to his weight.

To answer the second part of your question: how much to top him up with when you first begin to introduce formula. I suggest you begin with a 2oz bottle. Feed your son as usual except stop him feeding about five minutes before he normally does and offer him the bottle. Let him take as much as he wants. He will probably not take the full amount. Depending how much is left you can roughly guess how much to increase the bottle by as he feeds less and less from you. It makes sense if making powdered formula to increase the amounts by a full ounce each time as it is easier to use full scoops. Be prepared for some wastage in the early days but you will know you son’s needs are being met if he continues to be settled between feeds.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

How do I get my baby to take more milk during the day?

My baby, Mia, is nine weeks old and weighs 11lb 8oz. The problem is that her milk intake is falling. She used to take 5-6oz each feed, but now it is only 2-4oz; she is exclusively formula-fed. I can cope with her feeding during the day, even if she only takes small amounts, but she has now started waking at 2am screaming for food. I know this is because she doesn’t take enough during the day, but I can’t encourage her to drink any more at the daytime feeds. I have tried offering cool boiled water during the night, but this gets her more irate, so I have always resorted to milk. Also, she won’t go to sleep without her dummy. She is a sucky baby and drinks her milk very fast. I am using the slowest teat possible, but still she finishes her 2oz in minutes. With regard to sleeping, Mia falls into a deep sleep when swaddled, but I prefer to put her in a sleeping bag overnight. I wonder if she would sleep better swaddled all night, but I don’t know if this is safe. I feel run-down and sleep deprived; I have tonsillitis at present and worry about passing it on – Mia has a dry cough, but otherwise seems well. I don’t know what to do next and would be grateful for your advice.

Using Mia’s weight as a guide, she needs to be taking about 5oz at each feed to meet her needs. Some babies require their feeds to be stretched over a longer period of time in order to take more.

When Mia wakes at 7am, regardless of what she has done in the night, offer her a feed. After about 3oz let her have a break, sitting in a baby chair for at least 20 minutes. Then offer the remaining 2oz. As Mia is such a fast feeder this should help her to take a little more at each feed. During the daytime, continue to feed her in this way, using the time in the middle of a feed for a nappy change or a kick on the floor. From your notes, it seems as though you have begun to use the split method at 5/6pm, which is another way to encourage Mia to feed better. Some mothers find it helpful to offer more feed at 5pm (4oz) and less after the bath (3oz), so their baby is really hungry at 10/10.30pm and feeds well.

At this stage, Mia still needs a feed in the middle of the night. If she begins to take more in the day, this may only be 2oz, but she will still need a small feed at some point to get her through to 7am. Once she begins to stretch out her night, Mia may begin to take a slightly bigger feed around 4/5am and then need a small top up at 7.30am to get her through to 10.30am. The manner in which babies begin to sleep through the night does vary tremendously. Until you feel that Mia is taking enough by day, it is better to offer a feed in the night, rather than trying to settle her with water only to end up feeding her anyway. Is it possible for your partner to feed Mia at 10.30 pm? This would mean that you could go to bed earlier to help you cope better with the night feed.

Providing you make Mia secure in her swaddle, there is no reason why she cannot sleep overnight this way, although at this age it is better that she gets used to being only half swaddled under the arms. If the idea of swaddling all night still worries you, then continue to put Mia in a sleeping bag. If you are using a low tog (0.5), as is suggested in ‘The Contented Little Baby Book’, tuck her in securely with a cotton sheet placed lengthways across the cot. Use two rolled up towels pushed down the cot spars on either side to prevent her from jerking herself when in a light sleep. The Moro reflex can still be very strong at this age and is a common cause of babies disturbing themselves.

It will take time for Mia to learn to settle without her dummy. Gradually removing it when she is more awake than asleep will work in the end, if you are consistent. Remember that Mia needs to have a calm wind-down period before sleep, and using a dummy to help her do this is fine.

Finally, if you are at all concerned about Mia’s health, then take her to your GP to be checked over. While it would be unusual for a baby of this age to have tonsillitis, it is better to be reassured. Generally when ill, it is important to be especially careful with hygiene and hand washing when handling your baby.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

How can I get my 11 week old more interested in his daytime feeds?

My son Sean, who is almost 12 weeks old, has become uninterested in some daytime feeds. He was taking 5-6ozs at 7am, 11am, 5/6pm and 11pm. But suddenly in his tenth week he began to take only 3.5ozs at the above times and refused any more. I would burp him, change him and let him have a good kick before offering the second half. He would refuse it (screaming) whereas he always used to finish the last 3ozs. So his milk intake dropped from 35-37ozs to 28-30oz which is below the recommended amount for his weight (14lbs 3ozs). I’ve resorted to doing split feeds during those feeds above, so I now feed him 6/7.30am, 9.30/11am, 5/6pm just so he gets enough to drink and doesn’t begin to lose weight. He takes 3.5ozs at the 2.15pm feed and another 3.5ozs at 11.15pm. But this means I am sterilizing like mad and always feeding! What has happened and what should I do?
During the day he follows the routine as regards naps and sleeping. He settles well at 7pm, sleeps through to 11pm but still wakes around 3-4am taking about 3ozs then.
At present Sean naps at 8.45-9.15am, 10.45-11am, 12.00-2.00pm, 3.15-4.00pm.

A baby who loses interest in his 7am feed as Sean did, is showing that he is ready to go without his middle-of-the-night feed. Begin to try to settle him at 3-4am with cooled boiled water so he goes a little longer in the night. When he next wakes give him a feed. Some babies will be content to settle with about 2ozs and then wake nearer 7am very hungry. Others will want a bigger feed at around 5/6am, and then be settled back to sleep until 7/7.30am, at which time you wake them for a top up to keep them on track for the next feed at 10.45/11am. Keep all feeds you give before 7am as quiet and quick as you can, only changing if necessary so Sean learns to stretch himself through the night.
In order to get through the night Sean needs to have good feed at 10pm. Wake him at 10pm and make sure he is well awake before feeding him. This can take up to 20 minutes at this time of night. Once he has had 3ozs let him kick quietly. Don’t over stimulate him at this time but keep him awake until 11.15pm. Change him, lower the lights and offer him the second part of his feed, then settle him to sleep. Taking 5-6 ozs at this time should help Sean be able to go longer in the night. Once his middle-of-the-night feed has been dropped and he is regularly sleeping to 7am you can begin to shorten the time he is awake at 10/11pm. Cut down the time by 5 minutes every three nights, providing he still takes a good feed and continues to sleep through to 7am.
Once the above is in place you should notice that Sean is much hungrier at 7am, will take a full feed and then able to wait until 11am. Sometimes a baby is just not hungry for a feed and can be allowed to wait another 15 minutes before offering it, if you notice that he is beginning to cut back again. It is a phase some babies seem to go through at this age, and often the reason is because they are not yet very active. Give Sean plenty of time on the floor and try not to let him spend too long in his chair. Encourage him to kick and practise rolling him from side to side. Play simple singing games such as “row, row, the boat ” and “Humpty Dumpty” on your knees. Also make sure he has a spell of time out in the fresh air every day.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

My 12 week daughter has started to refuse to finish her bottle feeds

I cannot get Anna to take the remainder of her feed any more. She has been happily feeding from a bottle since she was two weeks old. For the last ten days she will have half a feed (80mls) then refuse to have any more. I try and try over the next two hours to get her to take more, and eventually she will have taken 120mls. I start everyday afresh as I know that she is hungry having fed 3.5-4.5 hours before, but even then the problem is the same. By bedtime the problem is worse as she won’t take the full feed and is waking up 90 minutes after going down. This never used to happen.
She is constantly sucking on her hands and thumb, but won’t take a dummy or bottle. I think she is too young to be teething (although she is drooling a lot and blowing bubbles). Would this explain her behaviour, or could you suggest what else it could be? What can I do? She is still putting on weight (14lbs) and apart from being a bit grumpier she seems fine otherwise.

A baby who begins to feed less at 7am is showing all the signs she is ready to drop her middle of the night feed. Try to settle her with less when she wakes at 3.30am and see if this has the effect of her being hungrier at 7am. Look in The New Contented Baby Book to see how to drop this feed. Using the “core night ” method on page 148, you will see how Anna learns how to stretch herself in the night and drop the feed.
At present, Anna is never hungry for a feed as it is taking her so long to finish the feed before. This is also having the effect of her not increasing her daily intake which at her weight should be nearer to 35ozs. Once Anna has decreased her night feed she should be more willing to take 5-6ozs at 7am. Spacing out her morning feeds should also help. If she is fed at 7am, then push her next feed to 11am. At her age she is able to wait nearer to four hours between feeds and should be more ready to accept them.
Another way to help a reluctant feeder is to give her half a feed and then let her have a 20-30 min break. Use the time to change her and let her have a kick on the floor. Using this method along with stretching out her feeding times should help Anna take her bottles better. Even using this method, try not to let the feed last longer than 1hr so she will be hungry by her next feed time.
Once you find she begins to show more interest in feeding, increase her intakes at 7am, 11am and 5/6pm. The 2.30pm feed usually is best kept smaller. Keep split feeding Anna at 5/6pm as this will help her take more to see her through to 10.30pm feed. Feed Anna at 5pm and then give her plenty of kicking time before her bath, so again she will be hungry by 6.15 and more likely to finish her bottle.
When feeding Anna, beware of anything which may distract her. Babies of this age often are very interested in what is happening all around them. Feed her somewhere quiet, away from the TV, radio or other household noise which may well take her mind off feeding. After her bath, feed her in her room with the lights dimmed.
Give Anna plenty of floor time during the day. Encourage her to kick under a baby gym and help her roll from side to side. Let her spend time on her tummy when awake, so she practises raising her head and top body. This will all help Anna use some energy and have a better appetite. Take her out in the fresh air every day.
Although Anna is quite young to start teething, it is not impossible. The signs she is showing could mean that she could be feeling some discomfort in her gums. Try offering her cooled teething rings to see if that will help her, or a clean, cold, wet wash cloth to suck. See if you can see any redness on her gums which would indicate a tooth is just below the surface. Massaging them with a clean finger will help her as well.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

At 9 weeks my baby is drinking excessive amounts of milk

JJ is a very good baby, however he is a hungry one. Since birth he has always had more formula than the amount given on the tin. He takes 100-150mls extra a day. At present he is already drinking 200mls at most feeds and his intake is still increasing.
I have two problems I would like to solve. Firstly, his 10pm feed, at which he is awake for 1 hour, is his smallest feed of the day. He would take no more than 160mls and was then regularly sleeping through to 3.30am when I would give him a quick feed. So I tried to phase that feed out. Now he wakes at about 2.30am, when I just turn him onto his tummy and give him his dummy. He sleeps until about 5.30am when I do the same thing to settle him again. Should I continue to do this, or give him a feed, or give him water?
JJ starts the day at 7am and every day has his nap from 9.00-9.45am. I then can’t seem to stretch him to 11am. He is always ready to feed by 10am. What do you suggest?
At birth JJ weighed 2.710kgs, at 9 weeks he weighs 5.35kg. He feeds at 7am 220mls, 10.00am 200mls, 2pm 200mls, 6pm 200-240mls, 10pm 140-160mls. JJ takes 110mls of very diluted apple juice at 4.15pm. He naps well in the day, at 9-9.45am, 12-2pm and 15 minutes at 4pm. He settles at 7pm until woken for his feed at 10pm.

The problem with babies who put on weight quickly as JJ has done, is they begin to demand more feeds in 24 hours to consume enough for their weight. As the present guidelines suggest that weaning does not take place until nearer six months, you could find yourself in a difficult situation if JJ continues to drink such large amounts of milk. He could well go back to needing feeds in the night.
In order to avoid this you must begin to slow down JJ’s intake at each feed. He needs to gain about 200g a week. Some babies are inclined to take their feeds fast. Their stomachs don’t register how full they are, so they continue to drink. Making each feed last longer can prevent this.
As you having trouble encouraging JJ on towards 10.45/11am, let’s use this time as an example. When he wakes and wants his feed at 10am, let him have half (100mls) the amount he usually would take. Then wind him and let him sit in his chair or have a kick on the floor for at least 20 minutes. If he is not happy and demanding more food offer him a dummy to suck on. This “sucking time” will give him the comfort he needs without taking in excessive amounts of milk. It will also help his stomach to begin to register that it is almost full. Then change JJ and offer him the remains of his feed. He may well not want it all, having had some time for the first half of his feed to begin to digest.
At his present weight he should be taking about 150mls at a feed. If this extra time of sucking begins to work, very gradually cut back the amount you put in his bottles. Offering him his dummy for 10 minutes after a feed should help him get used to having smaller feeds if he still appears to want more.
Between feeds JJ could be offered cool, boiled water. Offer it to him at least an hour before the next feed is due. Give some at 9am to see if he would begin to wait longer when he wakes for his next feed.
Throughout the day and especially at the 10pm feed let JJ have these sucking breaks. It might mean longer feed times for a while but that is preferable to a baby who gains weight too rapidly.
As he settles himself back to sleep at night with a little help from you, don’t begin to offer him milk. With the amount he is consuming in the day he doesn’t need any extra added. Giving him some water could help, but it seems you manage to settle him quite quickly, with what you are already doing.
Be aware that his dummy could become a “prop” which he uses to help him sleep, and the result there could be further night wakings when he becomes aware of having lost it. By 4 months he should be able to settle himself without the need of a dummy. He may find his thumb or begin to use a “comforter” such as a muslin or blanket to help himself settle, which should limit the times you have to get up to him. Try to leave him for 10 to 15 minutes at present to see if he is able to settle alone rather than going straight into him.
Has JJ always slept on his tummy? We are sure you are aware of the dangers which have been sited in babies of this age for S.I.D.S. Until the age of six months it is advised that babies sleep on their backs to minimize the risk of S.I.D.S. After that, providing they are able to roll from back to front and back again it is not considered to be quite such a risk. If JJ is sleeping on his back during the night it would be safer for him to remain this way rather than turning him over.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

My 8-week-old won’t take enough at feeds by day now she is sleeping through

My daughter has been on the routines since she was 2 weeks old and has been a dream baby since then – she really is very contented. She has been sleeping through the night since she was 7 weeks old; she generally gets to between 6am and 6.45am from around 11.30pm. Obviously we were delighted and amazed by this as it was very early.
The problem is that this seems to throw the daytime routine out. We either feed her at 6am and put her back down until 7.30am when we try and feed her again, or we get her up and start the day if it’s nearer to 6.30am. Either way she doesn’t take enough food – often just 3oz – and we often end up feeding her again just before we put her down at 9am. This means she isn’t very hungry for her 10-10.45am feed which throws the daytime nap into chaos, with her waking up hungry within about 30 minutes of being put down. That’s even when I try to give her a top-up feed at about 11.45am.
She tends to get back on track in the afternoon and is really good at kicking and playing on her mat, then she has a small sleep in her pram about 4.30pm. I feed her at 5pm, but by the time she’s out of her bath at about 6.10pm she’s hysterical. Then she has a real fight with the bottle; it can often take us 30 minutes to get her to take her food. Now she has started taking less so she wakes during her 7-10pm sleep too – something she has never done before – we feed her and try to get her down quickly – but if she has another hysterical fight with the bottle again it can take up to an hour to settle her, feed her and get her back to sleep. We get her up between 10pm and 10.30pm when she is generally calm – she takes a little food and goes down well.
It’s the daytime sleeps I’m worried about and this new habit of fighting like mad with the bottle – often to the point where she gets too upset to feed at all – even though I am certain she’s hungry.
Both these traits are very unusual for her, and the only thing that has changed with her routines is her dropping her night feed. The other thing is that she does seems more windy than usual, but can burp and fart quite happily.

At present she takes feeds at 6.30am 3oz, 8.30am 3-4 ozs, 10.30am 3-4 ozs, 12.20pm 2ozs, 2pm 3oz, 5pm 3-4ozs, 6.15pm 4-5 ozs, 7pm 2ozs, 10.30pm 4ozs, 11.30pm 1oz. She weighed 11lbs three weeks ago. She uses an Avent bottle with a size-2 teat, will move to size 3 this week. She sleeps from 9-9.40am, 12.00-12.30pm 12.45-14.30pm, 4.30 nap.

Your daughter has indeed done well to sleep through at this age. Getting her to take slightly bigger feeds by day and settle better for naps will happen with a bit of restructuring. Often a baby who is overtired will not feed well and therefore not sleep well at the next nap and a vicious circle emerges.

As your daughter is not over-hungry at her waking time of 6/6.30am, try to settle her with a small drink of water to nearer 7pm. Often at this time in the morning just resettling with water, a cuddle, tucking in tight will get a baby through to 7am when they are ready to feed. If she will not settle without milk, then reduce the amount to 1-2 ozs so she will have a larger bottle at 7/7.30am.

Some babies do need a break mid-feed in order to take a full feed. Your daughter in a way is doing this herself by only taking 3-4 ozs at a time, rather than nearer 5oz which would be a realistic amount given her weight. You just need to restructure the timings a little so she has fewer feed times.

When she is given her 7am feed, if she has managed to settle earlier without milk, let her have about 2.5oz before giving her a break of 20 minutes. Let her have a kick on the floor or top and tail her ready for the day. Then offer her the rest of the feed. This should mean she takes nearer to 5ozs and should not need a top-up before going down at 9am. Feed her about 10.30am in the same way, with at least 20 minutes between the two halves of the bottle. If she has had milk before 7am with a 7.30am top-up she will need half of this feed at 10am followed by the second half at 10.45am.

Still continue to offer the top up feed before she settles to sleep at 12. Be aware of getting her down for this nap before she is too tired. If you need to begin to wind her down by 11.30am then do so and have her settled by 11.45am if needed. An overtired baby will not fall into a restful sleep. Make sure that her room is dark and even if in a sleeping bag it is a good idea to tuck her in with a sheet to prevent her Moro reflex disturbing her when she enters her light sleep.

Keep the 2pm feed to no more than 4ozs and encourage her to have a nap of at least 20-30 minutes before 5pm. If the lunchtime nap went wrong then let her have a catnap about 3pm of 15 minutes and another one between 4.30 and 5pm. This should help with her being overtired after her bath. Bring her bath time forward to nearer 5.30pm. The first half of her feed may begin a little earlier than 5pm. Keep things at bath time as calm as you can and sit in a quiet, dimmed room afterwards to help her take a good feed before settling. Use a CD of soothing music to help both of you relax at this time.

The size teat you are using may also be why she finds it hard to take a full feed and fights the bottle, especially when she is tired. Look for the Variflow made by Tommee Tippee which will fit in a Avent bottle and she can then regulate how much milk she takes in. This may help at the feeds she fights when tired and help her be more settled generally by day.
As your daughter has slept through quite early it is tempting to try to push her into a routine by day which she is not quite ready for. By giving her a few split feeds by day she should take in the same amount of milk but at more regular intervals.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

How big a feed does my 8-week-old son need now he sleeps longer at night?

My 8-week-old son has started to stretch out his nights, and is now waking at approx 4.30am. However, I am a little confused on whether I should give him a half- or full feed at this point. I am currently giving him between 2-3ozs when he wakes in the night; he will then take about 3oz at 7am. I have to wake him at 7am for this feed and prior to his night lengthening he was taking 5-6oz. Once he has the 2-3oz at 4:30am he will go back to sleep; last night he made a fuss for a couple of minutes first. I understand he is possibly moving towards sleeping through from 10:30pm but I want to make sure I am giving him the correct feed.
He currently takes: 7am 3oz, 10am 4oz, 2pm 5-6oz, 5pm 3oz, 6.15pm 3oz, 10.30pm 4oz, night 2-3oz. When he was waking at 3am he would take 3-4oz and then another 5-6oz at 7am. He weighs 11lbs.

Your son is doing well to be getting this far in the night. Getting him through completely will take a little longer and possibly you will need to juggle his feeds a little until you find the right combination for him.
There are two ways to try: The first would be to give him the smallest possible feed at 4.30am for him to settle; no more than 2ozs. This should help him be really hungry by 7/7.15am. However, some babies seem to settle better if given a larger feed at 4.30am and then woken at 7.30am for a small top-up to get then back on track for 10/10.30am.
As your son can settle with a small amount continue to do it this way. Wake him at 7am and feed him about 7.15/7.20am when he should be really hungry. This should help him take a bigger feed than he does now, so you will be able to encourage him on towards 10.30am. If he begins to be difficult to settle at 4.30am, then try the second method.
Have you tried giving him a split feed at 10.30pm so he takes a little more then? Wake him at 10pm and give him a 3oz feed, then let him have a quiet kick until 11.15pm. Offer him a fresh bottle of milk of 2-3ozs before settling him for the night. This could have the effect of him going through later than 4.30am. It may mean several days of giving a bigger feed at 5.30/6am, followed by a top-up at 7.30am but is another way of getting a baby to go through without losing too many ozs by dropping a feed.

Feeding FAQ: 8-12 weeks – Formula Feeding

My 12 week baby is uninterested in her milk and is slow to gain weight

My daughter has never been a great feeder and is quite inconsistent with the amount of milk that she takes at each feed. I have followed the CLB advice and continued to split the 5pm feed which works well. I also give her half her feeds and a good 15-20 minutes inbetween before giving her the rest, however she is still only able to take 4 or 5oz maximum per feed. Her weight gain has not been great since she started on formula at 2-weeks-old and she has only been putting on between 2-4 oz per week. During the day however, she is a contented baby and is sleeping well at nap times and usually settles well at 7pm. Today she cut her lunchtime nap short, but usually she sleeps for 30-45 minutes in the morning, 2 1/4 at lunch and 1/2 hour in the afternoon.
Olivia doesn’t appear to be in any pain during feeding, so I don’t think reflux is the reason for the small feeds. My main concern is that she has now started to sleep through from the 10pm feed until 7am, but does she still need the night feed that she has now dropped? When she awakes at 7am I can still only get her to take 3-4 oz after 8 hours without a feed! She only takes a small feed of 3-4 oz at 10pm, but is awake for a full hour. On average she takes between 22 and 26oz in 24 hours, so I would have thought she should still be waking at night to make up the shortfall in milk she hasn’t taken during the day?
At present she weighs 11lbs 8ozs and feeds at 7am 3.5ozs, 10.30am 4ozs, 11.45am 1oz top up, 2.30pm 4.5ozs, 5pm 3ozs, 6.20pm 4ozs, 10pm 3ozs.

As your daughter has dropped her night feed by herself and is contented and sleeping well in the day she may have a smallish appetite. Look at yourself and your partner; either one of you may be small in build which means she is inheriting your characteristics. Have your health visitor or doctor ever expressed concern at her weight gain? If they have, what suggestions have they made to help you? Splitting her feeds and waiting 20 minutes are both a good way to help a baby who finds taking the full amount needed for her weight a bit of a struggle. But even the tables for the amounts of milk needed by body weights are very much “average” and so some babies may need slightly more and some slightly less than the suggested amount. At her present weight, your daughter could be taking 28ozs in 24 hours. Making up the ozs by dropping the night feed can be done by encouraging her to take even 1/2 oz extra at each daytime feed.

When she wakes at 7am, let her have a short kick before feeding her rather than offering her milk straight away. She may be happier feeding to nearer 7.20am and then would begin to push her next feed on a little. Continue to offer her a small top-up before going down for her lunchtime nap, as this will help her have a good sleep before her next feed.

Have you tried a different kind of teat? Avent variflow are sometimes better than the numbered ones, in that a baby can regulate the flow better. They are suitable from three months onwards. Experiment with these or a size bigger or smaller to see what really suits your daughter best.