How Much Formula Should Newborn Drink – As a parent of a bottle-fed baby, you may worry that he is not drinking enough or that he is getting too much. This article explains how to estimate the amount of milk your baby needs and the reasons why some babies need more milk and some less than others.
You may be worried that your baby is not getting enough because they seem to have an insatiable appetite or because they often cry or are awake. However, you may be concerned about possible health consequences if she consumes more or less milk than recommended.
How Much Formula Should Newborn Drink
In most cases, parents needlessly worry about the amount of milk a child consumes. A child takes what it needs for healthy growth. The concern stems from parents not being aware of their changing nutritional needs, so they may have unrealistic expectations about the amount of milk their baby needs at their current stage of development. A healthcare professional’s misjudgment or failure to take into account individual differences – which may cause a baby to need more or less milk than standard recommendations – can be a source of unrealistic parental expectations.
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Of course, in some cases there is real cause for concern. To determine whether or not this is the case, a good starting point is to know how much milk the “average” baby needs at different stages of development. But even more important is recognizing the many reasons why an individual baby needs more or less milk compared to the “average” baby.
Health professionals generally use the following standard calculations as a guide when estimating a baby’s milk needs. (Use ‘corrected age’ if the baby was born prematurely)
Note: The above approximations are based on normal-strength breast milk or infant formula, which provides about 20 calories per ounce, or 67 calories per 100 ml.
There are many reasons why a baby eats more or less than the intended amount. Therefore, the amount of milk required varies considerably between babies.
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Standard calculations are a simplified guide to estimating your baby’s milk needs. They are based solely on the age and weight of the child. Standard calculations do not take into account many variables that affect an individual baby’s milk needs, such as:
As the baby grows, its growth gradually slows down. For example, the “average” baby doubles its birth weight by 4 months of age and triples its birth weight by 12 months. You’ll notice from the table above that the standard calculations reduce the estimated amount in 3-month increments, as a way to keep up with the natural decline in growth rate as the baby grows. However, the baby’s milk needs do not suddenly decrease every 3 months, as the chart shows. It is a gradual process.
When a baby’s growth slows down, it means he needs less milk for his body weight. Because a baby’s weight increases so quickly in the first months, the total amount of milk he consumes each day increases, even though his growth rate slows down. The total milk intake of the “average” infant usually peaks at about 4-6 months of age and then gradually declines over several months. An individual baby may reach the maximum daily amount of milk sooner or later.
The table below, showing the average spectrum of daily milk intake by age, shows the peak amount of milk consumed at 4-6 months of age before it declines.
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Note: If your child does not eat the specified amount, this does not mean that there is something wrong. But this means that further investigation is needed to determine the cause. Read on and you’ll find out why.
One way to estimate an infant’s body fat is to calculate the weight-to-height ratio. This helps the healthcare provider determine if the child’s weight is in a healthy range for their height, or if they are underweight or overweight.
The amount of body fat a baby has is more important than weight when estimating milk needs. For example, three babies of the same age could weigh exactly the same, but one baby could be overweight, another could be underweight, and a third baby could be a healthy weight. The difference refers to the length of each child. Therefore, each baby may need different amounts of milk despite the same age and weight.
Some babies are born with a weight that is too low for their gestational age. Others have nutritional problems that cause poor growth in the first months after birth. When the baby is born or when the feeding problem is fixed, it may show “arrested” growth. During the period of “catch-up” growth, he may consume more than the expected amount of milk for his age and weight.
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At the other end of the spectrum, some babies are born with large amounts of body fat. Others postulate additional body fat storage in the first months due to overfeeding (overfeeding is a common problem in the first months due to the presence of an active sucking reflex and misreading the baby’s behavioral cues and desire to suck for comfort as hunger). When a baby’s sucking reflex disappears at 3-4 months, he has a better chance of regulating his own milk intake to meet his needs. He may then go through a period of growth retardation, when his body begins to burn excess stores of body fat for energy, so that his body weight and shape conform to the genetically predetermined weight and shape. During the growth recovery period, he is likely to produce less milk than he did when he was overfed, and possibly less than the amount of milk estimated by standard calculations. Note: Slow growth is commonly confused with poor growth.
A baby who is genetically predisposed to be tall (usually because parents and family members are tall) may consume more milk than a baby who is genetically programmed to be short (because parents and family members are short) . A baby born to tall parents will gain more weight than a baby born to short parents. Therefore, each baby may need more or less milk than the “average”.
Your baby may have been born “average” size, “large for a date” or “small for a date” due to various factors that affect the baby’s growth in the womb. But that doesn’t mean it will stay that way. After birth, his body shape and size may change as he exhibits catch-up growth or decline until his body adjusts according to his genetic makeup.
Like the rest of humanity, babies vary in body shape. A child’s genetic makeup, which includes ethnicity, affects body shape as well as length. There are three main types of body shapes: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. Ectomorphs have lean body mass. Endomorphs have a large body mass in relation to their height. Mesomorph is somewhere in between.
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Your baby’s genetically programmed body shape affects his appetite and thus the amount of milk he is ready to consume. If you’re worried that your baby isn’t getting enough milk because he’s thin, consider whether he’s genetically programmed to be thin.
Metabolic rate refers to how quickly we burn calories. Some babies burn calories faster or slower than others, just like some adults and children. Therefore, a baby with a faster or slower metabolism may need more or fewer calories compared to another baby of the same age and weight.
The more active the baby is, the more calories it burns. Some babies are very curious and always on the go. They may need more calories than average to fuel their activities. Another possibility is that the child is genetically programmed to be skinny. Other babies are very relaxed, sleep a lot and are happy to sit and watch. They may need fewer calories…or they may not. It also depends on the child’s size, body shape and metabolism.
Acute and chronic diseases can affect the child’s appetite and thus the desire to eat. Some medical conditions affect the amount of calories a child needs to maintain healthy growth; for example, lung and heart disease can increase a baby’s energy needs. Some physical problems and genetic diseases are associated with poor growth and thus negatively affect a child’s appetite or may hinder his ability to feed effectively.
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Standard calculations for estimating milk needs are based on regular breast milk or infant formula, which provides about 20 calories per ounce, or 68 calories per 100 ml. However, high-energy milk containing 22, 24, 27 or more calories per ounce or 75, 82, 90 or 100 calories per 100 ml can be given to the baby.
High-energy formula is intended for babies with high energy needs, such as premature babies (usually only up to the expected due date or a little longer); Babies with lung and heart disease and babies who are too weak to feed effectively. In some cases, high-energy foods are given to healthy infants who may have once needed it but continue to receive it, even though they are now drinking regular-strength milk (and consuming the extra fluids provided by regular-strength milk). .
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