Increasing Caloric Concentration of Newborn Feedings

Some newborns need extra calories (carbohydrates, fats, proteins) to grow. Premature newborns, low birth weight newborns, and newborns with feeding problems may need extra calories and vitamins in the first few months to support healthy growth.

Your caregiver wants you to add calories to your breast milk or to mix infant formula in a special way to increase calories for your newborn.

WAYS TO INCREASE YOUR NEWBORN'S CALORIES

Breast milk and standard infant formula preparations contain approximately 20 calories per ounce of liquid. Your caregiver may recommend increasing your newborn's feedings to 22 or 24 calories per ounce of liquid. Higher levels of calories may be appropriate for some newborns.

There are several ways to increase the calories in your newborn's feedings:

  • Your breast milk can be pumped and infant formula can be added to it.

  • Concentrated infant formulas can be offered as feedings in between breast milk feedings.

  • Powdered formulas can be mixed with less water for a concentrated infant formula.

  • Liquid concentrate formulas can be mixed with less water for a concentrated infant formula.

Every newborn is different. Talk to your caregiver or dietician about the specific needs for your newborn and your personal preferences. This guidance will ensure that your newborn gets the mix of calories, vitamins, and minerals that best fits your newborn's needs.

HOW TO INCREASE CALORIC CONCENTRATION IN NEWBORN FEEDINGS

The recipes below tell you how to mix infant formula with breast milk to increase calories.

20 Calorie per Ounce Powdered Formula:

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 22 calorie per ounce

  • Powdered Formula: ½ tsp

  • Breast Milk: 3 oz

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 24 calorie per ounce

  • Powdered Formula: 1 tsp

  • Breast Milk: 3 oz

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 26 calorie per ounce

  • Powdered Formula: 1 ½ tsp

  • Breast Milk: 3 oz

22 Calorie per Ounce Powdered Formula:

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 22 calorie per ounce

  • Powdered Formula: ½ tsp

  • Breast Milk: 3.5 oz

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 24 calorie per ounce

  • Powdered Formula: 1 tsp

  • Breast Milk: 3.5 oz

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 26 calorie per ounce

  • Powdered Formula: 1 ½ tsp

  • Breast Milk: 3.5 oz

*Recipes may differ depending on your caregiver or dietician. Use these recipes unless recommended otherwise.

  • Add the correct amount of breast milk to the bottle.

  • Add the correct number of teaspoons of powdered formula to the bottle.

  • Shake well.

  • Store the concentrated milk in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

  • Ask your caregiver how many concentrated bottle feedings you should offer your newborn per day.

  • Breastfeed your newborn on demand the rest of the time.

The recipes below tell you how to concentrate a 20 or 22 calorie per ounce powdered formula into either a 22, 24, or 26 calorie per ounce formula.

20 Calorie per Ounce Powdered Formula:

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 22 calorie per ounce

  • Powdered Formula: 3 scoops

  • Water: 5 ½ oz

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 24 calorie per ounce

  • Powdered Formula: 3 scoops

  • Water: 5 oz

22 Calorie per Ounce Powdered Formula:

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 22 calorie per ounce

  • Powdered Formula: See Can for Instructions

  • Water: See Can for Instructions

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 24 calorie per ounce

  • Powdered Formula: 3 scoops

  • Water: 5 ½ oz

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 26 calorie per ounce

  • Powdered Formula: 3 scoops

  • Water: 5 oz

*Recipes may differ depending on your caregiver or dietician. Use these recipes unless recommended otherwise.

  • Add the correct amount of water to the bottle. Do not add powder first.

  • Add the correct number of scoops of powder to the water.

  • Shake well.

  • Feed your newborn with a freshly prepared mix each time.

  • Breastfeed your newborn on demand the rest of the time.

The recipe below tells you how to concentrate a 20 calorie per ounce liquid formula into either 22 or 24 calorie per ounce formula.

20 Calorie per Ounce Concentrated Liquid Canned Formula:

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 22 calorie per ounce

  • Concentrated Liquid Canned Formula: 13 oz

  • Water: 10 ½ oz

  • Calorie Preparation Desired: 24 calorie per ounce

  • Concentrated Liquid Canned Formula: 13 oz

  • Water: 10 oz

*Recipes may differ depending on your caregiver or dietician. Use this recipe unless recommended otherwise.

  • Add the correct amount of water to the container.

  • Add the correct amount of liquid canned formula to the container.

  • Shake well.

  • Store in the refrigerator for up to 48 hours.

  • Breastfeed your newborn on demand the rest of the time.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS

  • Prepare newborn feedings as directed by your caregiver.

  • Your newborn may enjoy the bottles at a cool temperature. If your newborn prefers warm bottles, warm the feedings safely, in warm water, and check the temperature before offering it to your newborn. It should be lukewarm, not hot. Do not microwave.

  • Refrigerate prepared newborn feedings as indicated on the manufacturer's label. Generally, powdered preparations should be made fresh. Liquid preparations can stay refrigerated for up to 48 hours.

  • Plain breast milk may be stored at room temperature for 4 to 8 hours, in the back of the refrigerator for 3 to 8 days, or at the back of the freezer for up to 3 months. Keep concentrated milk in the refrigerator for up to 1 day.

  • Monitor expiration dates. Always throw away expired formula.

  • Throw away feedings that have been sitting out too long, as indicated on the manufacturer's label.

  • Keep a record of your newborn's feedings to share with your caregiver.

  • Follow up with your caregiver as directed.