How much formula should a 4-month-old infant take in each day? Find out in this week’s “Ask Amanda,” column. Ask Amanda is our weekly virtual Q and A forum brought to you by Feed to Succeed’s expert Northshore dietitian Amanda Gordon. Submit your questions to Amanda@feedtosucceed.com
Q: How much formula should a 4-month-old infant be taking in a day? In our childcare center, we have a 4-month-old that seems to be hungry all of the time and the teachers could use some guidance on what is appropriate for his age.
A: There is not a true recommended amount of formula for a 4-month-old. A lot of it depends on how much he is growing and also what is going on developmentally for him right now. A good general guideline for a 4-month-old baby taking infant formula is an average of 4-6 feedings in a 24-hour period of time, with the average amount per feeding around 4-6 ounces. However, it is important to remember that a baby won’t necessarily eat the same amount every day. He might be more hungry some days and less hungry others.
As a good practice, instead of focusing on the amount or volume of the feeds, have the teachers watch closely to learn his feeding cues. Crying is often a late sign of hunger. Early signs of hunger can include putting his fingers towards his mouth or rooting. During a bottle, if he is easily distracted and seems disinterested, he is likely finished. However, if he drinks the bottle quickly and seems to want more, he might still be hungry.