Growing Well Comprehensive Guide for Growing Children
About Us
Bringing up a child
Common Problems
Doctors Panel
Ask a Question ?
Mother's Corner
Photo Gallery

Registered Users Login

How old is your child?

Donate for a cause
Support Group



To receive regular updates on this site, enter your email address and press the subscribe button.

Click here 

Infant Feeding - 0 - 4 months



Ideal Food Feeding Pattern Artificial Feeding
Click here Breast feeding
Introduction to bottle
Night feeding
Modification to the formula
Intervals of feeding
Technique of feeding




Though no milk can be a real substitute for mother’s milk, sometimes it is needed to give artificial feeding to the baby even in the first few months of life.

Circumstances under which artificial feedings maybe essential are:

  1. Breast milk has completely stopped or is insufficient to the child.
  2. Mother is suffering from any serious illness, fever or infection.
  3. Another pregnancy intervenes during lactation
  4. If the child is too weak to nurse or cannot because of harelip or cleft palate.
  5. Mother is not available to feed the child.

Factors like lack of suitable information, disinterest, inappropriate health practices may lead to mothers milk being unnecessarily substituted with a milk formula in the early months of life. This should be avoided and the help of a qualified person should be sought before attempting to switch from exclusive breastfeeding to artificial feeding. Also, see common problems during first weeks of breastfeeding

Modification of the formula

Cow’s milk is diluted to provide a concentration of protein similar to that of human milk. And also reduces tension and leads to the formation of a softer, more flocculant curd that can be more easily digested by the infant’s enzymes. The dilution of milk has the advantage of creating a calcium concentration more nearly to human milk but reduces caloric concentration. Sucrose can be added to increase the calories.

During the first two weeks about 15g. sugar is added to the day’s formula. Thereafter, 30 g. is sufficient. Sugar is discontinued at the time the baby is taking appreciable amounts of other foods.

Liquid: At two months the infants takes about 120 ml of formula. This is increased about 30 ml. each month until the infant is taking a maximum of 240 ml. at approximately 6 months of age.


The steps of sterilization are,

    1. Pour measured amount of milk into thoroughly washed bottle.
    2. Put nipple on the bottle and test the flow of the milk
    3. Cover loosely with nipple cover.
    4. Place bottle in a container and add water to halfway level of bottle
    5. Cover it, bring water to boiling, and maintain boiling for 15 - 20 minutes.
    6. Remove bottle as soon as they can be handled, and cool slightly.
    7. Store in refrigerator.

Intervals of feeding

Formula – fed babies should not, as a rule be fed at less than 3 hour intervals since the cow’s milk remains for a longer time in the stomach.

Technique of feeding

The feeding is usually warmed to body temperature or can be fed cold. As with breast feeding the baby should be held in a semireclining position. The hole in the nipple should not be large or too small. The nipple should be filled with fluid and not air. The baby should not be expected to finish the entire amount of formula in the bottle at each feeding. Proprietary formulas are available in dry form. Specified quantity of water is added to make up the volume.


Growth failure due to repeated infections or over diluting the formula, infantile obesity, iron deficiency anaemia, hypernatremia, neonatal hypocalcaemia, amino acidaemais in premature infants and acrodermatitis and enteropathica have all been reported. There is a higher prevalence of allergic disorders, infective morbidity, emotional instability and sudden death syndrome in bottle fed than breast fed infants.

If you have a query and you are a registered user, click here.