Preemies are like tiny little creatures with all ten fingers and toes. With that tiny little body comes a tiny little appetite. Some new twin moms choose to breastfeed and others choose to bottle feed. While breastfeeding is best for preemies and all other infants, in most cases, preemies can get what they need from infant formula so moms should not feel guilty choosing formula over breast milk. I chose formula because taking care of two new infants was stressful enough without trying to learn how to breastfeed my preemies. If you are bottle feeding a preemie – how much formula is enough?
Feedings and Formula Volume
There are tons of estimates floating around for parents of preemies, but the best information I’ve found is a bit of advice from Dr. Sears. According to Sears, an infant should be consuming about 2.5 ounces of formula per pound of body weight. If your preemie weighs 5 pounds, that equates to 12.5 ounces of formula per day. How that formula is consumed depends on the preemie. Some preemies eat every two hours and others every one or three hours. Preemies may consume at little as 1 ounce per feeding, so that would mean feeding at least 13 times per day.
Wait for the Weight
If you’d rather not measure exact amounts of formula every day, wait for the weight measurement at your first checkup. As long as your preemie is gaining weight, wetting plenty of diapers throughout the day and going number 2 – your child is healthy and growing.
Raising a preemie is hard, but they don’t stay that small for long. Preemies grow up, albeit sometimes at a slower rate, and become infants, toddlers, children, teens and eventually adults.