Breastfeeding A to Z

Introduction Of Formula


If possible use pumped breast milk or breastmilk from a milk bank as a supplement to your breastfeeding.

If Using Formula

3 Kinds:  Be aware of the different kinds and their storage requirements.  Powdered formula is good for one month after opening the container.  If you use ready-to-feed or liquid concentrate formula, they will need to be refrigerated.  Any formula that isn’t used in 24-48 hours (check the information on the container) will have to be thrown away.

Recommendation: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states only give iron fortified baby formula to your baby. (1)

Volume to Feed:  Be aware, based on my years of observation, breastfed babies may take smaller amounts of milk (breast or formula) in a bottle than babies who have only ever been formula-fed do.  This can be, in part, because breastmilk is better utilized by your baby’s system and doesn’t require as much volume as formula-fed babies require for the same growth.  This may be why breastfed infants deposit less fat in their growing bodies than formula-fed babies do. (2)

Water:  If you use powdered or liquid concentrate formula you will need to mix it with water.  Note the information about the source of your water.

Measuring:  Double check bottle or liner ounce marker accuracy by measuring water with glass measuring cup (at least until you know if ounce markers are correct on container you use).  You want to make sure you are preparing the formula correctly.  You don’t want it to be too concentrated or dilute–that changes the nutrition available to your baby.

  1. Kleinman, RE, Greer, FR, Pediatric Nutrition, 7th edition, Elk Grove Village, IL, American Academy of Pediatrics, 2014, p 72.
  2. Lawrence, RA, Lawrence, RM, Breastfeeding: A Guide for the Medical Professional, 7th edition, Maryland Heights, MO, Elsevier Mosby, 2011, p 355.