Babies have individual variations in their feeding patterns, and there are several factors that can influence why some babies eat a lot while others do not consume as much. Here are some key factors to consider:

  1. Appetite and Hunger Levels: Just like adults, babies have different levels of appetite and hunger. Some babies may naturally have a strong appetite and seem to eat a lot, while others may have a smaller appetite and eat less. These variations are part of normal development.
  2. Growth Spurts: Babies go through periods of rapid growth called growth spurts. During these times, they may seem to be hungrier and eat more frequently than usual. This is a normal part of development, and their appetite often increases to support their growing bodies.
  3. Feeding Method: Breastfed and formula-fed babies may have different feeding patterns. Breast milk composition changes to meet a baby's needs, and breastfed babies often feed more frequently, while formula-fed babies may go longer between feeds because formula takes longer to digest.
  4. Individual Metabolism: Babies, like adults, have individual differences in metabolism. Some may burn calories more quickly and require more frequent feeds, while others may have a slower metabolism and eat less often.
  5. Sensory Preferences: Babies have preferences for taste, texture, and temperature. Some babies may prefer certain foods or methods of feeding over others, which can influence their intake.
  6. Illness or Discomfort: If a baby is not feeling well or is experiencing discomfort due to teething, gas, or other issues, they may eat less than usual. It's essential to monitor for signs of illness or discomfort and seek medical advice if necessary.
  7. Parental Feeding Practices: The way parents or caregivers approach feeding can also impact a baby's eating habits. For example, responsive feeding, where parents pay attention to the baby's hunger and fullness cues, can help establish healthy eating patterns.
  8. Introduction of Solid Foods: As babies transition to solid foods, their eating patterns may change. Some may take to solids quickly and consume more, while others may take time to adjust.
  9. Environmental Factors: The environment in which a baby is fed can also play a role. A calm, distraction-free feeding environment can encourage babies to focus on their meal.

The formula label provides a guide for the frequency and volume of formula for each age range. However, it is important for parents and caregivers to be responsive to a baby's cues for hunger and fullness, rather than trying to force a specific amount of food.

Babies are generally good at regulating their intake when allowed to do so. If you have concerns about your baby's feeding habits or growth, it's advisable to consult a pediatrician or a healthcare professional for guidance and reassurance.

Due to the factors listed above, each baby has a unique appetite. The table below outlines the upper and lower ranges for frequency and volume by age band. We recommend starting with the guided volumes as per the label and then adjusting as required based on your baby’s individual fullness cues.

Table 1: Feeding frequency and volume per feed by age.

Age Range

Feeding Frequency (per day)

Lower Range (ounces per feed)

Upper Range (ounces per feed)

Newborn (0-1 Month)

8-14 feedings (every 2 hours on average)

1-2 ounces

3-4 ounces

1-2 Months

6-12 feedings (every 2- 4 hours)

2-3 ounces

4-5 ounces

3-6 Months

4-8 feedings (every 3 – 6 hours)

4-5 ounces

6-7 ounces

6-12 Months

3-6 feedings (every 4 – 8 hours, will depend on solids consumption)

6-7 ounces

8-9 ounces

1-2 Years

2-3 feedings (every 8 -12 hours, will depend on solids consumption)

6-7 ounces

8-9 ounces

2+ Years

Gradual transition to solids

Gradual transition to solids

Gradual transition to solids

Please note that these are general guidelines and that individual babies' needs may vary. Always consult with a healthcare provider for personalized feeding recommendations for your baby.


August 24, 2023 — Rodney Hyde

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