can start bottle-feeding within hours after birth.
Most newborns feed about 6 to 10 times every 24 hours.
Average feeding amounts will vary depending on your baby's age and how hungry
he or she is at that moment.
A baby drinks from a bottle of formula for about 5 to 25
minutes at a time. Pay attention to your baby's nutritional needs and cues.
Don't be concerned if your baby doesn't eat much at one feeding. He or she is
likely eating enough over the course of a day or two. Forcing your baby to
drink more formula than he or she needs can cause tummy aches and spitting up.
But don't ever hesitate to call your doctor if you are worried about whether
your baby is eating enough.
You may have the following
concerns about bottle-feeding your baby:
When do I feed my baby? The length of time between feedings varies depending
on the amount of formula your baby drank during the previous feeding. Most
2-week-old babies drink about every 2 hours. Older babies often drink more
formula at each feeding. They often drink a bottle every 4 hours during the
day. Sometimes they go 8 hours or longer between feedings at night. As you get
to know your baby, you will be able to recognize his or her signs of hunger and
How can I breast- and bottle-feed? You may choose to switch between breast-feeding
and formula-feeding. Supplementing breast milk with formula may decrease your
supply of breast milk. But it will not stop your breast milk production. It is
best to wait until your baby has been breast-feeding well for at least 6 weeks
before you offer your baby formula too.
Are there differences between breast- and bottle-fed babies? Infant formulas take 2 times longer for a baby to digest than
breast milk. As a result, formula-fed babies often take fewer feedings, sleep
longer at night in the first few months, and have smaller, harder,
stronger-smelling stools than breast-fed babies.
When can I start feeding my baby solid foods? Starting at about 6 months of age
(but no earlier than 4 months of age), you can start offering some solid foods
to your baby. Gradually introduce new foods as you reduce the amount of
formula. For more information, see the topic
In an emergency, you can give your baby whole milk for a
short time until you can get more formula.