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Newborn and Infant Care

Recommended ounces of formula per day

06/22/1999

Question:

Our 11th month old son is in the 1-5th percentile for height, weight and head circumference, he is eating between 3-4 ounces of formula at each feeding, eating somewhere between 15-20 ounces per day. He enjoys solid foods (shows interest), and is eating small amounts of cereal, 3 tablespoons, 1/2 jar fruits or veges per day.

We are concerned that he is not eating enough formula for his age, our 1st son was able to eat 8 ounce bottles by this point.

We have asked his day care provider to make sure he gets at least one full bottle before he is fed his cereal, we are not currently giving him any juice, because his formula amounts seem low to us.

Is there a set # of ounces he needs to be eating each day, based on his size and weight 16.5 lbs, he is full of energy, pleasant to be around, only thing is he still is waking up at night, sometimes hungry sometimes not?

Answer:

Hello,

This is an interesting question, but I am really not able to respond to your specific questions. In order to do that I would need to know how much your baby weighed at birth, what percentile for height, weight, and head circumference he was at birth,and his weight gain pattern since birth.

Each baby`s growth and development is unique so that the fact that he is not taking as much formula as your older child did at this age may not be significant.

The primary nutrition should come from formula until around age one year; you may try to decrease the amounts of solid foods you give him to see if that would increase his appetite. Also baby food fruits offer very little nutrition; they are mostly empty calories. I would eliminate them until you are satisfied that he is eating and gaining appropriate weight. This might encourage him to take more formula. Since he is approaching one year of age, I think it is important that you maximize his nutrition now. Make sure that every amount of food he takes in is good nutritious food, as you have done already.

I would advise you to check with your healthcare provider and discuss your concerns regarding his growth and development. A careful examination and analysis of his growth patterns since birth may show reassuring growth.

The description you provided shows a healthy, though small, active baby. Check with your health care provider, discuss these concerns and ask for suggestions to increase his weight gain if necessary. If the healthcare feels that growth and development are appropriate, then relax and let him tell you when he is hungry.

For more information:

Go to the Newborn and Infant Care health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Judy Wright Lott, RNC, NNP, DSN
Associate Professor of Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati