How often do you feed your newborn baby? How much do you feed them? Should you feed on demand or have a routine? After extensive research and chatting with a few friends I opted for a routine and our baby has slept through the night from birth.
Before Amélie was born I was really concerned about whether I would be feeding our baby too much or too little, how often to feed and how I would be able to set up any sort of routine.
It was only an hour and a half after Amélie was born that I was asked whether I was going to bottle feed or breast feed. I had decided that I wanted to bottle feed. I was then faced with the dilemma of which brand of formula do I use. I opted for SMA, not for any particular reason just the fact that it was well known and I had to make a decision there and then.
Amélie is now 5 and a half months old and I have used SMA Gold from birth and she took to it very well. Some babies are hungrier babies and the SMA Gold is not enough for them so they are moved onto SMA White for hungrier babies. I was told by the midwife to try to not move onto this if at all possible as it can make the baby constipated. I cannot comment on Cow and Gate and the other baby formula as I have not used them. I was advised that once I started one brand to stick to it.
The bottles available are vast. There are plenty of different brands, shapes, different teats, it can all be very confusing. We bought a couple of different brands. We bought two Avent bottles, two Tommy Tippee bottles and some Mothercare microwave sterilising bottles. This proved as Alex has mentioned in a previous article to be quite annoying as you have to find the right teats for the correct bottles.
At the hospital I was told to feed the baby every 4 hours. I had read a few books before the birth and was given an idea on routines. Below is a few routines that I used and that seemed to work for our baby and to this day from a couple of days old Amélie has slept through the night.
|Bottle Feeding Chart|
The above measurements may be slightly more depending on how hungry your baby is. You may be feeding them 5oz within a couple of weeks.
As you can see after six weeks I dropped one of the evening feeds I moved the 22h30 to a later time of anywhere between 23h30 and 2am and fed just that once usually just before I went to bed.
You will notice that the above table may vary especially when the baby is having a growth spurt. I found that during those weeks our baby was a lot hungrier and took a lot more milk than normal sometimes an extra 2-3 ounces a day.
|Bottle Feeding Chart|
12 weeks onwards until weaning.
|Bottle Feeding Chart|
|Time||Amount of Formula|
|Sometime between 7:30am and 8:30am|
|Between 11am and 11:30am|
|Between 13h30 and 14h00|
|Between 17h30 and 18h00|
|Sometime between 23h30 and 1am|
Every baby may vary, the above was based on a baby's birth weight of 7lb8. The formula for working out approximately how much your baby should have is to multiply 2.2 by the baby's weight. This is a guideline, your baby in time will let you know whether he/she is getting enough food. If they are finishing their bottle at each feed then you may want to increase the amount given at one or two of the feeds. I did this as I moved from routines so when the baby was taking 6 oz at each feed and she started showing that she may still be hungry I increased her two evening feeds to 7oz to ensure that she slept through the night.
I am not sure as to whether we are just lucky or whether it is the routine we stuck to from day 1 but Amélie has always slept through the night and I have had to wake her for her feeds. She has gone to bed between 18h00 and 18h45 every night since birth and has woken up anytime between 7h30am and 9am. If she has woken up later than the feed time mentioned above I have adjusted the feed times slightly for the morning feeds but by the time the lunchtime feed comes around I have made sure that I have still fed her no later than 14h30 to ensure that she takes her 17h30 / 18h00 feed and goes down to bed in her normal routine. If the baby has woken earlier then the times may have to be bought forward slightly except the evening 17h30 feed.
I have tried to stick to the rough times above and have found that even though I may have fed Amélie at 9am her first feed, by the time 11am -11:30 comes she is already wanting her mid morning feed. I think she may not be fully hungry as sometimes she does not finish the bottle but it is her routine and she seems to know that routine now.
As mentioned above I can only comment on bottle feeding and bottle feeding routines but I do think that getting into a routine however your baby is fed from the beginning is vitally important for you and the baby. My only advice would be to start the way you mean to carry on.