Formula feeding hunger & fullness cues

  • When feeding your baby formula, do so until you sense he is full, not necessarily until the bottle is empty.
  • Fully satisfied babies have similar behaviors, such as turning their head from the bottle and falling asleep.
  • Babies tend to drink more volume of milk when bottle fed versus being breastfed.

Knowing when to feed

Babies are good at communicating both their hunger and fullness. But many Moms have the tendency, when formula feeding, to feed based on how much they think their baby should drink.  Don’t feel pressured to have him finish the bottle, but rather pay attention to what he’s telling you through his fullness cues.

Hunger signs
  • He will suck on his  fingers or hand. 
  • He’s fussing or resorted to crying.
  • He seems excited to see the bottle.
  • He’s smiling and gazing at you while feeding.
  • He eagerly sucks on the bottle nipple when it’s offered.

Good to know

53% of Moms believe you should always make babies finish a bottle.

Knowing when he’s 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 he’s signaling that he’s had enough.

Fullness signs
  • He stops sucking or slows down the pace.
  • He releases the nipple and turns his head away.
  • He’s relaxed and may fall asleep.
  • He gets distracted and starts looking around.
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