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Duration and Frequency of Formula Feedings

Your baby will eat roughly six to eight feedings a day, or every four to six hours, during the first four to six weeks of her life. In general, you can estimate how many ounces per feeding your baby should be eating. Add three to your baby’s age in months, up to a maximum of eight ounces per feeding when she’s five to six months old. You don’t have to pre-warm bottles, although your baby may appreciate it if you do.

Most babies will drink formula at room temperature or even straight out of the refrigerator. To warm a bottle, place it in a bowl of warm water. Allowing bottles to warm at room temperature can promote bacterial growth. Never microwave a baby bottle. Because liquids heat unevenly, what feels lukewarm to you on the outside may have pockets of scalding hot formula on the inside.

If your baby stops sucking, or appears to be falling asleep during feeding, gently wiggle or rotate the nipple in your baby’s mouth to stimulate her sucking reflex. If your baby pushes away from the nipple or falls asleep completely, she’s telling you that she’s had enough. Most babies, with an adequate suck, should be able to finish a feeding in less than 20 minutes. If she usually takes longer than 20 minutes, you may be feeding your baby too much or the nipple may be clogged. Any remaining formula should be thrown away after the feeding.