Bottle-fed infants may be given some formula in hospital. Many parents leave their babies on that formula, but it's perfectly safe to switch.
The formula most parents start with is milk-based, fortified with iron, which is essential for babies. If a baby is not breastfed, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends iron-fortified formula as the alternative. From ages 2–6 months, an infant may drink about 650g to 900g of formula every 24 hours, and young babies will need to drink around the clock, every two to four hours. As long as your baby's growth continues and you see at least six wet nappies per day, baby is getting enough. A formula-fed infant under 6 months should be drinking 140g of formula for each kilogram, or 70g for each pound that baby weighs—in other words, a 10-pound infant needs about 25 ounces a day.
If your baby shows signs of having trouble digesting formula—such as fussiness, petrol, or diarrhea—talk to your pediatrician about switching to a special formula. These symptoms may mean that your baby is sensitive to lactose, a sugar that can be difficult for some babies to digest. Lactose-free formulas are available. If your baby shows signs of a milk protein allergy, such as colic, the doctor may recommend a hypoallergenic formula with no lactose.
If baby is fussy, you may also want to experiment with different bottle types. There is an assortment of bottles on the market, each with a different shape, nipple, and size.
One advantage to formula is that anyone can feed your baby—even an older sibling. Human interaction is an important part of mealtime; it's necessary for emotional bonding, and is safer too. So never prop the bottle up and leave baby.
Our parenting advice is given as suggestions only. We recommend you also consult your healthcare provider, and urge you to contact them immediately if your question is urgent or about a medical condition.