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How Much Infant Formula Should You Feed Your Baby
Infant Nutritional Requirements,  Baby Care,  Infant Nutrition

How Much Infant Formula Should You Feed Your Baby?

How Much Infant Formula Should You Feed Your Baby?

Nicolas Appert was a French confectioner and inventor who developed airtight food preservation at the beginning of the 19th century. 

In this post, we will discuss Appert’s rule, a simple calculation formula to determine the daily amount of milk to give your baby.

While a breastfed baby gets the right amount of milk for his needs, the question of how much milk to prepare arises regarding bottles. Appert’s rule applies to babies whose diet is not yet diversified until they are 5 months old.

It serves as a practical reference point that should not make you forget to follow the child’s weight curve, an excellent reflection of the infant’s good growth. Let’s see in detail below.

Appert’s rule: what is it?

Appert’s rule allows for the definition of the daily milk ration given to a child taking into account his weight.

It can be used from the baby’s first month until the beginning of the diversification of his diet, which occurs around the 5th to 6th month.

Definition of the Appert rule

Daily milk ration (mL/day) = child’s weight (in grams) / 10 + 250

The calculated amount should then be divided by the number of bottles taken per day, the number of which changes over the months.

On average, a baby daily takes 6 to 8 bottles in the first month, 6 to 7 bottles in the second month, 5 in the third month, and 4 in the fourth and fifth months.

Calculation and adaptation of Appert’s rule

Appert’s rule is a practical way to calculate the milk quantity to give your baby over 24 hours.

It is calculated as follows:

Daily amount of milk in mL = baby’s weight (g) / 10 + 250 mL

Appert’s rule applies until the baby reaches 6 kg, which is around 5 months of age.

Professor Lestradet then adjusted Appert’s rule to be used until a child weighs 10 kg. It is calculated in the same way as within 100 mL of the estimated amount of milk.

Modified Appert’s rule = weight (g) / 10 + 250 ± 100 mL

Appert’s rule in practice

If your baby weighs 4 kg, he should drink per day:

4000 / 10 + 250 or 650 mL of milk per day, 130 mL per bottle if 5 feedings per 24 hours, or 160 mL per bottle if 4 feedings. In order to observe the rule of one dose of milk powder for 30 mL of water, it is better to prepare slightly more, i.e., 150 mL in the first case and 180 mL in the second case.

Here is an example of the rhythm:

  • From birth to 1 month (1st month)

6 bottles of 90 mL + 3 measures of milk

  • From 1 to 2 months (2nd month)

6 bottles of 120 mL + 4 measures of milk

  • From 2 to 3 months (3rd month)

5 bottles of 150 mL + 5 measures of milk

  • From 3 to 4 months (4th month)

4 bottles of 180 mL + 6 measures of milk

  • From 4 to 6 months

4 bottles of 210 mL + 7 measures of milk

Preparing the bottle

How Much Infant Formula Should You Feed Your Baby


Once the quantity of milk has been established according to Appert’s rule, the preparation of the bottle can begin:

First, the mother (or father) must wash her hands with a bactericidal soap.

She will pour the desired amount of water into a sterilized bottle (especially the first few days and carefully washed afterward) which will be heated in a bain-marie, bottle warmer, or microwave.

Once warm, add the appropriate amount of powdered milk, respecting the proportions of 1 scoop of powdered milk for 30 mL of spring water.

Mix well.

Warning: remember to systematically check the temperature of the milk before giving it to your child by pouring a few drops on his forearm (about 37°C).

Appert’s rule: practical advice

Appert’s rule serves as a reference point to reassure parents who may be worried. The quantities calculated should be adapted according to the child’s appetite and healthy growth (see weight curve and BMI), bearing in mind that the child’s recommended daily energy intake is around 90 kcal/kg.

For optimal digestion of the baby, it is advisable to space out the feedings by 3 hours without having to keep an eye on the watch all the time! It is better to let a baby sleep if he needs to than to wake him up to give him a bottle at a fixed time. He will manage to find the right rhythm as he goes along.

In any case, a regular medical visit will allow you to check your child’s diet and ensure that he grows well.

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