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How Much Formula Should a 9-Month-Old Drink?

By Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell ; Updated September 26, 2017
Formula can meet nutritional needs.

For the next three months, formula should continue to provide vital nutrients for your growing 9-month-old. Your soon-to-be toddler will gradually drink less infant formula and make the switch to regular milk. Meanwhile, it's important to know how much formula your 9-month-old should be drinking.

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General Guidelines

Most infant formula is made with cow's milk that's been modified to simulate breast milk. Pure cow's milk lacks the right balance of nutrients for your growing baby, according to MayoClinic.com. Babies who are allergic to cow's milk might require soy-based or other types of formula. Your baby should drink about 2 1⁄2 ounces of formula per day for every pound of body weight, according to HealthyChildren.org, a website published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Because the typical 9-month-old weighs at least 2 1/2 times her birth weight, she should consume about 20 ounces of formula daily, assuming she weighed 8 pounds at birth.

Be Flexible

Rather than "going by the book," let your baby tell you when he's full -- he might be easily distracted or restless -- rather than worrying about a specific number of ounces consumed. Your baby's probably still hungry if he's smacking her lips after draining the bottle. Keep in mind, however, that some babies have a greater need for sucking and might be satisfied with a pacifier after a feeding.

Going Off Formula

It's generally safe to begin serving your 12-month-old cow's milk unless she's allergic. If you have yet to make the switch, remember that a 1-year-old should consume a maximum of 30 ounces of formula per day, according to Zero to Three, a website published by the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. Babies in general should not exceed 32 ounces of formula in 24 hours. Offer your baby a bottle of water if she's still thirsty.

Solids and Self-feeding

Safe foods for a 9-month-old during the formula-weaning process include small pieces of meat, fruit and egg yolk along with vegetable purees and plain cereals, according to Zero to Three. The typical 9-month-old has developed the fine-motor skills needed to grasp food between the forefinger and thumb so he can begin to feed himself, points out KidsHealth, a website published by the Nemours Foundation.

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About the Author

Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.

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