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When your baby finally arrives, you will probably run into a lot of problems and situations you encounter the first time. Feeding your little one will be one of them for sure, especially if you choose not to breastfeed.
You are left with only one option – the formula.
However, that raises some questions.
How often should you feed your baby?
How can you tell that the baby is hungry?
Well, we’ve gathered some of the most common issues parents have when it comes to formulas, and we hope we helped you answer some of your questions.
The first rule when it comes to feeding newborns is that you should feed them whenever they are hungry. The process is also called demand feeding.
Most newborns are hungry all the time, and you should feed them with formula every two to three hours. Switch to three to four hours as the baby grows.
If your baby doesn’t grow and gain weight enough, make sure you follow formula feeding schedules, even if you have to wake it up. The best thing to do in that situation is to consult your doctor as soon as possible.
How Do You Know That The Baby Is Hungry?
Here’s a list of signs that a baby is hungry:
- It moves its head from side to side
- It opens its mouth a lot
- Making sucking gestures
- Tongue sticks out
- They place hands and fingers in their mouths
Although crying seems like the obvious sign of hunger, it’s the last sign. You should feed your baby before it gets upset and hard to calm down.
You also have to know that a baby cries for a lot of reasons, not only hunger. Sometimes they just need a change of diapers or some cuddling. They also cry when bored or if it’s too hot or cold. If the baby starts crying after being fed, the problem is usually something else.
How Much Should My Baby Drink?
The mix for the first couple of weeks is two to three-ounce bottles. Increase that amount gradually when you get to know your baby’s appetite and eating patterns. Here’s a general look at how much babies eat at different stages.
Newborns drink about 1.5 to 3-ounces on intervals of about two to three hours. It’s just the starting point, so you’ll need to increase the amount as your baby grows.
2 Months Old
When your baby reaches 2 months, you should feed it 4 to 5 ounces of formula every 3 to 4 hours.
4 Months Old
By the time your little one reaches 4 months, it should be taking about 4 to 6 ounces per serve. The interval of the feedings depends on the size of the baby.
6 Months Old
At six months, your baby should intake 6 to 8 ounces of formula every 4 to 5 hours. You can make the intervals even longer by introducing baby food.
Why Does My Baby Seem Hungrier Than Usual?
Your baby will gain weight as it grows, so it should eat more and be able to go longer between feedings. However, some circumstances may cause your child to be hungrier than usual.
It may be experiencing a rapid growth period also known as a growth spurt. That can happen at any time, but in the first couple of months, they usually occur around:
– 8 to 15 days old
– between weeks 3 and 6
– 4 months old
– 6 months old
Your baby will probably seem hungrier at these times, so make sure you keep a close eye on those hunger signals and keep feeding it on demand. You should also increase the amount of formula if your baby is hungry all the time.
How Do I Know If My Baby Is Eating Enough?
Every baby grows at a different rate, so it may seem at times that your baby is falling behind the norm. Babies need many nutrients to develop correctly, so it’s hard to say when and if they are eating enough. That’s why you should take it to the doctor’s office for regular measuring and weighing. Only the doctor can tell you what the baby needs.
However, before you go to the doctors, you can use the diapers as an indicator. Newborns usually need six wet and four poopy diaper changes every day. Follow the formula feeding schedule and you should be fine.
Normal poop is tarry and thick at the first couple of weeks. Later it should become more yellow or even green as your child grows. That’s all perfectly normal so don’t be alarmed. Also, babies that are formula fed have firmer stools than breastfed babies.
Wet diapers should be clear. If you see any orange crystals, you should contact the baby’s doctor right away. They are usually not dangerous, but sometimes they mean that the baby isn’t getting enough fluids and is dehydrated.
Other signs of underfeeding include the baby not gaining enough weight, and if it seems unsatisfied even after being fed.
Getting to know what your baby needs and how to react to all the different signals may seem like a hard task, but you shouldn’t be scared.
Babies need non-stop care, especially during the first year when they are developing and growing the most. It will take you a couple of days to get to know its eating habits and how much formula it needs. No matter what happens, keep feeding it on demand for the first couple of months.
As it grows, you should increase the amount of formula, and it should be able to go longer without feeding. The formula feeding schedule will tell you how and when to increase the dosage.
Remember that you should contact your baby’s doctor if you see any signs of dehydration or underfeeding before you decide on taking any further steps.