How Much Breast Milk in Bottle?
Breast milk is the natural food that a mother provides to her baby. It provides all the essential nutrients that are necessary for the baby’s growth and development. Breast milk or formula milk is the primary source of nutrition for newborn babies. It is essential to learn about the appropriate amount of breast milk that a baby should consume in a bottle.
Knowing the right amount of expressed milk to give your baby in a bottle can be a daunting task, especially if you are a new mother. Let’s discuss how much breast milk should be given to your baby in a bottle.
Factors that Affect the Amount of Breast Milk in Bottle
The amount of breast milk that a baby should consume in a bottle depends on several factors, including:
- Age of the baby
- Weight of the baby
- Feeding schedule of the baby
- The amount of milk you can express
Age of the Baby
The amount of breast milk changes as the baby grows. In the first month of life, babies typically consume 2-3 ounces in each feeding, and the number of feedings per day ranges from 8-12. During the next two months, the baby’s feeding intervals may increase to 3-4 hours, and the quantity of milk may increase to 4-5 ounces per feeding.
Weight of the Baby
The baby’s weight plays a significant role in determining the amount of breast milk they need to consume. Typically, a baby’s milk consumption is 2.5 ounces for each pound of their body weight every day. For example, if a baby weighs 9 pounds, they will need 22.5 ounces of milk per day. However, this is just an average as some babies may need more or less milk depending on their size and appetite.
Feeding Schedule of the Baby
The feeding schedule of the baby may also affect the amount of breast milk consumption in a bottle. It’s essential to let your baby feed on demand whenever they indicate that they are hungry. Babies may require different feeding schedules depending on their appetite and growth rate. Newborns often require more frequent feeding at night compared to during the day.
The Amount of Milk You Can Express
The amount of milk you can express is the number of available milk for you to feed your baby. It is essential to store and refrigerate expressed milk if you’re going to feed your baby at a later time. Breast milk is the best food for your developing baby, and it’s essential to handle it with care.
How to Determine the Amount of Milk to Put in the Bottle
When it comes to feeding your baby, you must measure the amount of milk given in a bottle accurately. Here are some tips on how to determine the appropriate amount:
Read the Indicators
One primary indicator of a baby’s need for milk is their behavior. Babies tend to cry when they are hungry, fussy, or when they have finished feeding. It would help if you observed your baby’s behavior to determine their feeding schedule and the amount of milk they require.
Use the Feeding Guide
Most pediatricians recommend using a feeding guide, which indicates the amount of milk babies will need at specific ages. The feeding guide takes into consideration the baby’s age, weight, and appetite to determine the quantity. Some feeding guides also account for babies at different stages of development.
Weigh Your Baby Before and After Feeding
Weighing the baby before and after feeding at the doctor’s office or using a digital scale can help determine the amount of milk they need. By weighing the baby before and after feeding, it’s easier to calculate how much milk the baby has consumed. This method is also helpful for mothers who suffer from low milk production or those who cannot estimate the amount of milk that their baby needs.
Tips for Storing Breast Milk
When pumping milk for your baby, it’s important to handle and store the milk properly to prevent contamination and ensure that it’s safe for your baby to consume. Here are some tips on how to store breast milk properly:
Use Clean and Sterilized Containers
Always use clean and sterilized bottles or containers to store pumped milk. Make sure to rinse the bottle or container thoroughly before placing it in boiling water for at least five minutes. Avoid using chemical disinfectants or cleaning agents to sanitize the containers as they may leave harmful residues on the bottles.
Label the Container with the Date and Time
Label the container with the date and time of pumping to make sure you use the oldest milk first. It is helpful to use a label with a water-soluble ink to make it easy to remove any residual marks after washing the bottle.
Store Expressed Milk in the Fridge or Freezer
Stored milk can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days at an appropriate temperature of 0-4℃. Alternatively, stored milk can be kept frozen for up to 6 months at a temperature of -18℃ or lower in a separate freezer. It’s recommended to store milk in small quantities to prevent wastage and facilitate fast thawing.
The appropriate amount of breast milk given in a bottle depends on various factors, including the baby’s age, weight, appetite, and medical condition. It’s essential to ensure that the amount given is per your baby’s needs and schedules. Additionally, it’s crucial to store the milk adequately to prevent contamination and ensure the baby’s safety. Properly stored breast milk can satisfy the baby’s nutritional needs while supporting their growth and development.
Q. How much milk does a newborn need per feeding?
A. A newborn baby typically requires 2-3 ounces of milk per feeding.
Q. How often should I feed my newborn?
A. Newborns usually feed every 2-3 hours or 8-12 times a day.
Q. How much milk should I pump to feed my baby?
A. The amount of milk you pump depends on several factors, including a baby’s age, weight, and appetite. Make sure you have adequate milk to cover feedings and potential milk wastage.
Q. How long can I keep expressed milk for my baby?
A. Refrigerated expressed milk can be kept for 3-5 days at the proper temperature of 0-4℃. You can store milk in the freezer for up to 6 months.
1. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. (2012). Pediatric Nutrition handbook.
2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021). Breastfeeding.
3. National Health Service. (2021). Expressing and storing breast milk.