Supporting Oral Nutrition for Formula Fed Infants

Modifications to feed volume, concentration, or formula selection may be required to support an infant’s intake when medical dysfunction, (e.g. prematurity, respiratory disease, neurological impairment, gastroesophageal reflux) is present and contributing to a feeding disorder.

Optimize feed volume using supportive strategies such as modifying the frequency of feeds and volume offered, pacing, changes in nipple flow rate, and positioning. The following can be used as a guide for the approximate amount of formula required by infants at different ages.

Refer to:
Nutrition Guideline: Healthy Infants and Young Children - Safe Preparation and Handling of Infant Formula
How Much Infant Formula to Prepare for Baby

High calorie formula may be needed to support sufficient intake but can contribute to constipation, diarrhea, reflux, increased satiety, and may exceed recommended micronutrient intake. Careful recipe preparation and monitoring is required by a healthcare professional.

Commercial cow’s milk-based infant formulas are the standard choice for healthy term infants who are not exclusively breastfed. A change in formula may be required to manage symptoms of medical dysfunction that may impact feeding and formula refusal, e.g. allergy, malabsorption, pain from reflux. Infant formula selection may be based on age appropriateness, absorptive capacity, fluid allowance, and underlying disease state (Alberta Health Services, 2013a), (NSW Office of Kids and Families, 2016). 

Refer to:
Provincial Nutrition Formulary (AHS Staff Login required)
Nutrition for Healthy Term Infants: Recommendations from Birth to Six Months