How Many Cans Of Formula Per Month Is Needed? (Amount Needed & Frequency)

The number of cans of formula per month can be calculated by knowing the amount of formula needed per feeding and how frequently your baby feeds in a day. It also depends on how old your baby is, and the number of cans might increase as they grow older each month with an increase in their appetite. If you’re buying formula for a baby around 2-4 months of age, you would need about 4-5 cans per month of 35 oz can.

The amount of cans varies if you’re feeding your baby powdered, concentrated liquid, or ready-to-drink formula. Usually, 120-130 ounces of baby formula or 4 bulk-sized baby formula containers are needed. If your baby is drinking more than 32 ounces of formula in a day, you should see a doctor. 

For formula-fed babies, a constant fear in parents is what if they run out of formula in the middle of the night. There’s this constant struggle for parents to calculate how many cans of formula their baby can go through in a month. It also makes them wonder how much are they spending on formula, never knowing how to buy enough for a month. 

As a parent, you’re trying to figure out a lot, but deciding on the amount of formula to buy in a month can also help you have plenty of it and budget things accordingly. So, hopefully, this will help you (especially first-time parents) figure out how many cans you should buy. 

Different forms of formula

Before deciding on how many cans of formula are needed per month for your baby, it’s vital to notice what kind of formula you’re buying. It doesn’t mean which brand but the form of formula.

Infant formula is available in three different forms. Whichever one you decide to buy depends on your convenience level and how much you’re ready to spend on the formula.

  • Powdered formula is the least expensive and is made by mixing the powder in the water.
  • The concentrated liquid formula is also mixed with water.
  • Ready to use formula is convenient and usually better for trips, and you don’t need to mix water with it. But it’s also expensive since it comes as ready to use. 

Depending on the formula used, the cans of formula needed might differ. But other factors also play an essential role in determining the amount of formula you need to buy.

Amount of formula per feeding

A baby bottle is prepared with some formula.

As a newborn, your baby will require a lesser amount of formula than your baby after 6 months of age when they would need more.

When your baby grows, so does their appetite, and they would slowly require more and more formula per feeding. So, you can’t set a particular amount and think that’s what you need to buy every month.

Below is a table to give you an idea about how much your infant requires from birth to turning 6 months old per feeding:

AgeQuantity per feed
Newborn2-3 ounces (60-90 ml)
1 month old4 ounces (120 ml)
2 months old5 ounces (150 ml)
4 months old6 ounces (180 ml)
6 months old7-8 ounces (210-240 ml)

Amount of formula needed also depends on your baby’s weight and growth spurt. There might be some days when they need a little more, but some days when they’re just not that hungry. 

But, the most amount of formula recommended for babies is 32 ounces of baby formula. Anything over that in a day demands your attention, and you should advise your doctor on this. 

Frequency of feeding

The quantity of formula needed in one feeding needs to be calculated, and so does the frequency of feedings required in a day.

It depends majorly on how old your baby is. An infant from birth to 3 months of age would be required to be fed every 2-3 hours, and a baby of 3 to 9 months of age would be hungry every 3 to 4 hours.

So, depending on what schedule your baby has set for themselves, based on how hungry they’re, can help you calculate more accurately. 

Calculating the number of formula cans needed

Whichever brand of formula you buy, they have mentioned on their cans that you need to add one scoop of the powder to 2 ounces of water, and somewhere you end up using 0.3 oz of the formula to make about 2 ounces of a bottle of formula.

According to the above calculations of the quantity per feed required and how frequently your baby needs feeding, it’s safe to say it all comes down to your baby’s age.

A newborn will require 6-8 small bottles of formula milk each day. An infant will need 4-6 medium bottles a day, and an older baby will usually need 4-5 full bottles of this formula milk. It’s just an estimate, and it might defer depending on the weight and appetite of your baby.

Sizes of cans

A lot depends on the size of the can that’s available in the market. Different sizes of the can will change the number of formula milk bottles you can make out of them.

Age group12.5 oz can30 oz can 35 oz can
0-2 months3-4 days8-11 days9-12 days
2-4 months2-3 days5-8 days6-9 days
6+ months2-3 days5-6 days5-7 days

So, the biggest can of formula you decide to buy, the longer it will take your baby to go through it. Suppose you choose to buy a 35 oz can, then you would need three of these cans per month, which should be sufficient for a newborn baby. 

Best formula for babies

While thinking about how many cans of formula your baby can go through in a month is a headache to calculate; another closely related thing many parents struggle with is knowing which brand of formula their little one will prefer.

Of course, there’re many brands and forms of formula which are all FDA approved and meet your baby’s nutritional needs. The issue arises whether your cute little munchkin will approve the taste of a formula you get for them or not.

The biggest issue to tackle here is that many children are automatically allergic to cow’s milk protein, so you know you should steer clear of this type of formula. Then there’s a choice between ready-to-drink liquid, powder, and concentrated liquid formula, and this depends on your budget and convenience.

2 of the top pics below are available on Amazon. We’ve shared a sponsored link to the products. If you visit the website and make a purchase, we will earn a commission. Thank you.

But some of the top picks for 2021 are:

  • Gerber Good Start GentlePro is best overall (it’s 100 percent whey with a portion of the proteins pre-digested or hydrolyzed).
  • Parent’s Choice Milk-Based Baby Formula Powder at Walmart is best budgeted (it’s a safe and appropriate infant formula to use).
  • Happy Baby Organics Formula at Amazon is the best organic formula (made from cows raised on organic farms and non-GMO).
  • Similac Alimentum at Amazon is best for milk allergies (it’s unique for its hydrolyzed, or pre-digested, casein protein structure).

Make sure to look at the formula’s ingredients before you decide to buy one. You should know if a particular brand fulfills your baby’s nutritional needs, such as having a certain percentage of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Some formulas contain prebiotics, probiotics, ARA, DHA, and iron. 


Can you overfeed a formula-fed baby?

Compared with a breastfed baby, it can be easier for the formula-fed bottle baby to overdose on the milk. It can be possible because the flow of the nipple might be too broad. You need to find the right size of the nipple, depending on how old your baby is. 

If you’re unsure how many times to feed your baby, then set a timetable for them. But usually don’t need to do this as your baby has their own time for feeding and will let you know when they’re hungry. 

If the baby isn’t hungry at the time of feeding, then don’t pressurize them to drink the milk, but wait for them to become hungry.

Why is my baby not eating as much formula?

There could be several reasons why your little one refuses the formula. One of the top reasons is that the formula isn’t to their liking. It could mean anything from temperature, taste, or flavor aren’t to their liking.

There’re different types of formulas, such as milk protein, soy protein, and hydrolysate formulas. Again, depending on each unique baby, different formulas might be suitable for each kid out there. 

It could also be that your baby isn’t hungry right now. Or they’re in the weaning process and want to keep on still breastfeeding.

How long should a container of formula last?

A formula might last depending on your baby’s growth, appetite, and likeness of the formula. It also depends on how old your baby is, as their diet grows as they grow.

But an opened can of powdered formula can last a month. If you’re using a concentrated or liquid formula, it can be stored for 48 hours. If you’ve prepared a milk bottle from a powdered formula, it can last 24 hours. More than this time can ruin the formula and isn’t good for the baby. So, prepare a fresh one. 

Is it OK to use the formula after 4 weeks of opening?

Every formula comes with the date of expiry, where it’s mentioned that you shouldn’t use the formula after 30 days of opening it. The formula starts to lose its nutritional value, and it isn’t good for your baby anymore. 

If you’re unsure about a particular formula and how your baby will take to it, then it’s better to buy the smallest size and test to see if your infant likes it. Sometimes, it takes time to find the suitable form and type of formula your baby will want to drink. 

Can babies drink cold formula?

We think that babies always need to be fed warm milk, but that’s not always true. You can even feed your baby cold milk, and they aren’t negatively impacted by drinking cold milk in any way, and they don’t get sick, and neither does it affect them in any way.

If your baby likes drinking cold milk, you don’t need to warm the stored milk every time and feed them the refrigerated milk as it is. 

To summarize

There’s a lot of pressure in today’s time on the new parents, with so many brands and forms of formula available in the market, it becomes impossible to know which and how much is enough.

Although breastfeeding is preferred for the first 6 months, sometimes your baby might need formula too. Or there might be cases where you can’t give your baby breastmilk, so you have to select a suitable formula for them carefully. 

It can become a challenge for parents who like budgeting and knowing how much to buy for a month to deduce how many cans of formula to buy. Whether it’s in powdered, concentrated liquid, or ready-to-drink formula differs. Try a small can first on your baby and see if they like it.

As your baby grows, so will their appetite and the number of cans of formula needed. But you can still come to a conclusion by noticing the amount they need per feeding and how frequently they feed in a day!

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As a writer for 1happykiddo, Saumya wants to help new parents and older siblings help raise the newest member added to the family. Her parenting tips come from her experience of being 15 years older than her youngest sibling. When not writing, you can find her reading novels, traveling, and cooking nutritious meals.

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