Formula Feeding

Formulas are designed to imitate the nutritional constituents of breast milk as closely as possible. Formulas fortified with iron are universally recommended in order to avoid iron deficiency. Powdered and concentrated preparations are most economical, but care must be taken to follow the instructions carefully when reconstituting. Ready-to-feed formulas are expensive, but very convenient and available at room temperature immediately.

Most babies will self-regulate to 3-4 hour intervals between feedings during the first month of life. You should wake your baby for daytime feedings, but you may let him/her sleep during the night and feed on demand. Initially, feed the baby 1-2 ounces. As tolerated, you may increase in 1-ounce increments until you reach 8 ounces per feeding.

Sterilizing bottles is not necessary unless you are going to store formula for more than 24 hours. Washing bottles and nipples with soap and warm water is sufficient. Open bottles of formula may be left out for 1-2 hours at room temperature and may be stored in a refrigerator for 48 hours (unless they have been drunk from). Bottles should be warmed to room temperature with warm water, and never should be warmed in the microwave.


Storage: Breast milk can be collected by hand expression or by pumping with either an electric or hand pump, and used for bottle feeding. Breast milk can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours or in the freezer for up to 6 months. Plastic bottles or bags are convenient for storage.