Formula Feeding

Formula Feeding Topic

Formula Feeding

There is a lot of info out there about the best way to feed your baby, but at the end of the day only you know what's right for the two of you. If you've made the choice to formula-feed, we can help you with the next step—picking a formula that meets your needs.

By milestone
By preferences

How to prepare formula

Getting ready to prepare your baby’s first bottle may seem intimidating—and rightly so, as carefully following the instructions is key to your baby’s health. Good news: once learned, it quickly becomes second nature.
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Formula for your older baby or toddler

Your Toddler is growing and moving quickly, but as their diet begins to include more food and less breastmilk or formula, you may become concerned that your little one isn’t getting all the nutrition they need. Older baby formulas are designed to help support the changing nutritional requirements of babies and toddlers from 9 to 24 months old. They also provide important nutrition if you have a picky eater who isn’t eating a balanced diet.

Formula is still an option.

Feeding a toddler is full of ups and downs. Toddlers are infamous for “food jags,” when they want the same food meal after meal. It's is a way of asserting independence and part of normal development, but it can be very frustrating for parents. Adding a formula for older babies could help them get the nutrients they need.

What's in an older baby formula?

When a formula-fed Toddler is too active to finish meals or picky with their food, older baby formulas are there to supplement iron and fatty acids like DHA. Toddler formulas, similar to infant formulas, are made with different types of proteins and ingredients that are right for your little one's growth right now.

  • Some older baby formulas, like the ones made by Gerber, have gentle proteins that have been broken down to be easy to digest.
  • Calcium to help support growing bones and teeth.
  • DHA and ARA for brain and eye development.
  • 30% of the daily value for Vitamins E, C and Iron in 8 fl. oz.
  • Lactobacillus reuteri (L. reuteri) is a probiotic that has been added to certain infant and toddler formulas for digestive health.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends waiting to introduce cow's milk until your baby is at least one year. When you reach this milestone, ask your pediatrician what would be best for your baby considering their unique growth patterns, eating habits and nutritional needs.

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Newborn Formula

Planning for a positive newborn formula-feeding experience

Snuggle in close; feedings are for nurturing and bonding as well as nourishing your newborn. Creating a feeding plan with your spouse, immediate family and delivery helpers will make it easier for them to support you and your baby. Here's what you should think about and when you should inform others.

You are choosing to nourish your newborn with infant formula. Get as much information as possible about how infant formulas differ and why the first formula you choose may make a difference.


Deciding which baby formula to use before the big day will make for a more successful and enjoyable feeding experience.


  1. While breastmilk offers your baby the best nutrition, baby formula is the only appropriate alternative to offer complete nutrition during the first year. Baby formula is patterned after breastmilk, but not all formulas are the same. Learn as much as possible about different types of formula.
  2. When packing for your hospital trip, pack for your baby too! First call the hospital beforehand to find out what formula they have in stock as some hospitals may only carry one brand of formula. If they don't have your formula of choice, you can bring a supply of 3 fl. oz. ready
  3. -to-feed infant-formula nursers with you to, so your baby will get the same formula during the hospital stay as you plan to use at home.
  4. Before delivery day, learn how to prepare and store formula. Be sure to have purchased at least a two-week supply of formula to have when you come home. 
  5. Let the nursing staff know you would like to feed immediately after birth. Immediate skin-to-skin contact builds a strong bond with your baby and helps keep his temperature and breathing normal. Even with a C-section, try to feed, skin-to-skin, within two hours.
  6. Have the baby in the same room as you and within hearing range at all times so you can quickly learn and respond to his early feeding cues.
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Formula Cues

Paying attention to hunger and fullness cues while bottle feeding

Babies are good at communicating both their hunger and fullness. But many Moms have the tendency, especially when bottle feeding, to feed based on how much they think their baby should drink or how much they can see left in the bottle. Don’t feel pressured to have your baby finish the bottle, but rather pay attention to what they're telling you through hunger and fullness cues.

Hunger signs


  • Will suck on his fingers or hand.
  • Begins fussing.
  • Seems excited to see the bottle.
  • Eagerly sucks on the bottle nipple when it’s offered.



Knowing when your baby is full


Feeding from a bottle, whether it’s formula or breast milk, can increase the likelihood of excessive weight gain, during the first year, because of the natural tendency to have baby “finish the bottle.” To be sure you’re not overfeeding, watch your baby’s fullness cues and stop feeding when they signal that they've had enough.


Fullness signs


  • Stops sucking or slows down the pace.
  • Releases the nipple and turns their head away.
  • Relaxed and may fall asleep.
  • Gets distracted and starts looking around
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Did you know?
Do prepare powder or concentrate formula as needed, or store in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours. Once feeding begins, those formula types as well as ready-to-feed formulas should be discarded within 1 hour. Don't save any remaining formula left in the bottle after an hour. Microorganisms are transmitted from your baby’s mouth into the formula and, if allowed to grow, could make your baby sick.
Formula IQ
What's your Formula IQ?
How much do you know about infant formula? Are they all the same? If not, what’s the difference? And how do you know which one is right for your baby? Take this quick quiz to learn more about infant formula.


Got questions? Chat with Dotti, your personal baby expert! Got questions? Chat with Dotti, your personal baby expert! Got questions? Chat with Dotti, your personal baby expert!

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