What size bottles for breastmilk? — The Bump
August 2015 Moms

What size bottles for breastmilk?

i was talking with one of my colleagues today and she was surprised that we hadn't needed to switch DD to 8 ounce bottles yet. DD is four months old and about three weeks ago we adjusted her bottles from 4 ounces to 5. She's exclusively breastfed but she does still get up once per night. For other breastfeeding mamas out there, what size bottles do you give LO? My colleague formula fed her children so maybe that's why they needed more? I know formula fed babies typically need more ounces. Just wondering if I'm depriving DD with only 5 ounces. LOL

Re: What size bottles for breastmilk?

  • My LO is taking 45-55 oz a day for the last ~3 weeks. So he eats ton. 
    His bottles range from 6-10 oz depending on what he wants. We have to supplement about half of what he eats as I can't keep up, but even his BM bottles are at least 6oz every 3-4 hrs. 

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  • Mine is 17 weeks and he takes 5.5 ounces of breast milk per bottle, except for his last bottle of the night when he likes 6.5-7.5 ounces. For the 5.5 ones, I just make them up that way as I pump, fill it up to the 5 mark then add in another half ounce. There's room at the top for that! For the bigger night bottle I just use two bottles, one with 5 and one with 3 so let him eat what he needs. (I pump for him as he won't nurse during the day, though will nurse in the middle of the night. Crazy kid.)
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  • Mine is 18 weeks and she takes 5 ounces per bottle during the day and 6 at night. She's formula fed. I don't think formula fed babies necessarily drink more, I think it's just depends on each baby. She's 19 lbs and drinks about 30 ounces per day.
  • I should also add that we feed her 6 ounces in the 5 ounce bottle, we jus measure it and fill it to the top. So we haven't bought bigger bottles yet.
  • Breastfed babies typically don't increase their milk intake per feed, the milk changes instead. So you are probably just fine. We use 5oz bottles too. 

  • I have the larger 8oz and 5oz bottles. I just prefer the 5oz for some reason. my LO eats 6.5 oz and I just fill up the 5oz to the top.

  • We have a mix of 4 oz and 9 oz bottles. My LO is 18 weeks and he is taking about 4 oz of BM every 3-4 hours. Kellymom.com says that most BF babies don't need more than 4 oz, ever. That seems low to me. When he shows he is hungry, he gets more milk. My first few weeks back we were giving him 5 oz bottles every 3 hours and he was taking them, now that we are in a routine he seems to do well with 3 four oz bottles in about a 10 hour period. I BF when we are together. 
  • We use 5 oz bottles. My daughter is 18 weeks and just started eating 5 oz of BM per bottle this week (up from 4). She is only given bottles during the day while I'm at work so I know she gets between 12-15 oz in a 9 hour day while I'm gone . The rest of the time she is breastfed. She only wakes up to eat once during the night and it's a quick eating and only on one side now and she is a happy and healthy 15 lbs so I'm not worried she isn't getting enough food. Her pediatrician seemed pretty shocked she was only eating 4 oz a bottle though and said most babies her age eat 5-8 oz a bottle - regardless of formula or breastmilk. If you kid isn't fussing after getting a bottle or acting in any other ways like she is hungry then stick to what you're doing. Every child different.
  • My formula fed baby is almost 4 months and is still on 5 oz. every 3-4 hours. As long as your baby is gaining weight and healthy no need to try to measure up to some other baby's needs. Sometimes i give him 5.5 or 6 and sometimes he eats it, and sometimes he'll go 5 hours and then only eat 2.5 oz. and i have to pitch 3 oz and i cry because that stuff's expensive, much like i used to cry when i spilled my breastmilk. No worries your baby is fine, and you are doing a fine job!
  • My boy is 18 weeks and he eats 4oz (and barely finishes it) when he does get BM in a bottle which is only in the evenings before bed so dad can feed. Otherwise he breastfeeds so it's hard to judge how much he eats. He's 16.8 lbs so I guess he's doing just fine on 4oz!
  • Baby Girl is 16 weeks and is *offered* 5 oz of pumped breastmilk every 3 hours. She will only take the 5 oz for her morning and nighttime feedings. At her other feedings she usually takes between 2-3 oz. She SSTN so no MOTN feedings. At her last appointment (13 weeks) she weighed 12.6 lbs, 23rd percentile.
  • I think it depends on the kid obviously. But also I read that BF babies tend to eat less amounts. My first two were formula fed. First son never ate more than 7 oz his first year, my second son was wolfing down 8 oz by two months. My daughter takes about 4-5 oz in a bottle at daycare. We don't do bottles at home.
  • Bailey1823ABailey1823A member
    edited December 2015

    We use 5 oz bottles. My daughter is 18 weeks and just started eating 5 oz. Her pediatrician seemed pretty shocked she was only eating 4 oz a bottle though and said most babies her age eat 5-8 oz a bottle - regardless of formula or breastmilk. If you kid isn't fussing after getting a bottle or acting in any other ways like she is hungry then stick to what you're doing. Every child different.

    I think when you said every child is different is spot on. My pediatrician said most breast fed babies really don't need more than 4-5 oz at a time since breast milk is always changing for babies needs. In fact some evidence and research shows that giving more than 5 oz to a breast fed baby can stretch his or her stomach and cause them to need more than they would have taken even though they are full. This leads to overeating and can lead to stomach/gi problems. Formula doesn't change and therefore baby needs more oz for the calories and fat content etc. I do know that pediatricians tend not to be as educated on breastfed babies as they should be (in regards to bottle feeding them and growth curves) just as they aren't educated trained on other issues (milk protein soy intolerance or tongue and lip ties). You could always talk to a IBCLC or la Leche league leader with concerns. If your LO is gaining weight and having the correct number of diapers I wouldn't worry. It's good to pace feed babies so they don't just suck milk down (breast or formula). OP Sounds like you are doing just fine momma. Just for reassurance my DD takes 4 oz every 3 hours during the day and 3-4 oz at night when she is up once or twice when I am at work (I work nights). During growth spurts she will sometimes eat 4.5 oz.
  • My dd drinks 4oz in 10 hours at daycare. She is 4 months old, and weighs 13.9 pounds. We just went to the doctor and she said she is doing great. I usually nurse her three times and home, and I'm not sure how much she eats during those feedings. I think it just depends on the baby. I am positive they will let you know if it's not enough.
  • We are at 5.5oz with bottles.
  • DD2 eats 3.5 oz every 3 hours at daycare and nurses on demand at home (usually every 2-3 hours except at night where she does a 6-8 hour stretch, wakes to eat, then sleeps for another 4-6 hours depending on the first stretch). DD1 never went above 4 oz even at a year and she was between the 75th and 98th percentile for weight the entire time. 
    DS1: 8/3/10, DD1: 8/17/13, DD2: 8/13/15
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  • I have big dr Browns and he eats 5.5-6oz for dad. I ebf..
  • 4oz. 19 wks and she only takes 4 oz sometimes less. I've never stopped using the 4oz Dr brown's bottles. During a growth spurt, she'll take 6 or even up to 8 oz. Then go back down. Her weight and height is that of a 7 month old, so I think it's fine that she drinks a tiny amount
  • *Update to my original response* I have a 19 wk little who now takes 5 oz 3 times a day and then a 3 oz at the end of the day, I am usually gone about 10 hours. We were on the 4 oz train but we went to the dr and he dropped from the 25% to the 5% percentile and the doctor was really worried. 

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