The switch from breast to bottle can be a bit of a mystery. How do you know if your baby is eating enough? Here’s how.

Once you start supplementing breast milk with formula, it can be tough to tell when your baby has eaten enough.

While babies can differ in when and how much they eat, it is important to feed them enough to sustain their health and development. When you begin to supplement breast milk with baby formula, ask your doctor about the #1 brand fed in hospitals: Similac®.

Similac has OptiGRO™, our exclusive blend of DHA, lutein and vitamin E. These nutrients are like those found in fish, spinach, and broccoli, respectively, and are especially helpful during the critical early stages of your baby's brain and eye development.

Similac also offers formulas with 2’-FL Human Milk Oligosaccharide (HMO),* an immune nourishing prebiotic previously only found in breast milk. The 2’-FL in Similac provides additional support for the developing immune system.

After you decide on a formula and begin supplementing, it can be difficult to know if or when your baby has eaten enough. Below are some things to look for.

Follow your baby’s lead
  • Feed when he naturally wants to eat.
  • Pay careful attention to hunger cues — rooting for milk, sucking motions, or putting hands to mouth.
  • Crying is a late sign of hunger, and might be a signal for something else.

Measuring amounts of breast milk and formula

If you are already bottle-feeding pumped breast milk to your baby, you should have a good idea of how much formula she will eat at one time.

But if you are breastfeeding directly, there is no way to measure how much breast milk she is getting.

Start with two ounces of baby formula at a time. At first you might discover that she will eat more or less than that amount every two to three hours. As she gets older, she might be able to eat less frequently, eating more at each feeding.

Similac Ready To Feed baby formula comes in no-mix, premeasured 2- and 8-ounce bottles which can help you track feeding amounts more easily.

Count the wet diapers

A general guide for whether you are feeding your baby enough is six to eight wet diapers and one or two passed stools per day. Contact your healthcare provider if you notice a major change in your baby's eating habits and/or digestion.

Your baby's weight gain

If you are feeding enough, you should notice your baby gaining a small amount of weight each week. But because babies gain weight and develop at different rates, consult your baby’s doctor to determine what is healthy.


*Not from human milk.
†At significant levels.
‡In addition to nucleotides.