should i be concerned that my 4 month old is only drinking 20oz of milk a day compared to nearly 40oz last week. He still seems fairly happy but he is a big boy and i'm worried its not enough. I havent started him on solids yet and dont really want to till he is 6months.

asked 02 Nov '09, 18:06

Phil%20Seller's gravatar image

Phil Seller
accept rate: 9%

You say your baby is "big", how much does he weigh?

(02 Nov '09, 18:32) Kiesa ♦

I last got him weighed at 15 weeks and he was 16.6lb / 7.44kg

(02 Nov '09, 20:44) Phil Seller

Any chance he's teething?

(03 Nov '09, 21:28) ceejayoz

yes your right he is teething, thanks

(06 Nov '09, 18:02) Phil Seller

40 oz seems like a lot of milk/formula for a 4 month old. My baby is 7 months, weighs 19 lbs, eats almost no solids and is just starting to eat 40 oz/day. I remember reading when I first started formula-feeding my baby that babies tend to eat about twice their body weight (in lbs) in ounces. So, a 10 lb baby would tend to eat 20 oz/day. This site also suggests that guide:

  • The average amount of formula (in ounces) that babies take per feeding usually equals the baby's weight (in pounds) divided in half (or equal to the weight in kg).
  • The average ounces of formula the baby takes in 24 hours is the baby's weight in pounds multiplied by 2 (or kg multiplied by 4).
  • A baby's appetite varies throughout the day. If the infant stops feeding or loses interest, the feeding should be stopped.
  • If your baby is healthy and not hungry at several feedings, increase the feeding interval.
  • The maximal amount of formula recommended per day is 32 ounces (1 liter).
  • Overfeeding can cause vomiting, diarrhea or excessive weight gain.
  • If your baby needs more than 32 ounces (1 liter) and is not overweight, start solids.
  • Discard any formula left in bottle at end of each feeding. (Reason: It's contaminated)

(BTW, I hadn't heard that more than 32 oz is bad. My pediatrician didn't seem bothered the last time I told him how much my baby was drinking.)

As Shannon says, if you're worried, definitely talk to your pediatrician about it.


answered 02 Nov '09, 18:31

Kiesa's gravatar image

Kiesa ♦
accept rate: 26%

Oh, and just in case it isn't clear, I'm just talking about formula bottle-feeding above, not breastfeeding.

(02 Nov '09, 18:37) Kiesa ♦

Thanks that site is very useful

(02 Nov '09, 21:00) Phil Seller

I am currently having the exact same problem with one of my 9 month old twins. He was eating 7-8 ounces each feeding and has gone down to 2-3 ounces a feeding. We brought him to the doctor since we were worried about him getting dehydrated, but the doctor said he looked fine and wasn't too concerned.

We have since been to our naturopathic doctor and had some allergy testing done and he has come back with an allergy to his formula (but not an allergy to milk). We are now trying a soya based formula and he is eating a little bit more, but still not as much as we'd like to see. But we are trying to feed him more infant cereal (mixed with his formula) to get more into him, and we are feeding baby food (which I know you can't do yet).

I have read different articles on this issue and it could be related to teething. Some babies decrease their feedings as their mouths are sore and the sucking & the nipple bother their sore gums. Maybe this is the start of teething for your little man.

I would strongly recommend seeing your doctor and watching him closely for signs of dehydration. Things in particular to watch for are a decrease in wet diapers, baby seems lethargic or extremely sleepy, dry stools, pale & sunken face. But if he's not dehydrated, then it could be an allergy or teething.

Good luck!! And if you find out anything else let me know!! I know how you're feeling!!


answered 02 Nov '09, 18:26

Shannon%20B's gravatar image

Shannon B
accept rate: 9%


I just found out my son is starting to get pneumonia and that's why he hasn't been eating. I hope your son has picked up on his eating!

(05 Nov '09, 22:09) Shannon B

yes he has thankyou ive been rubbing teething gel on his gums before feeding, he is now taking 28oz's per day and i'm happy with that.

(06 Nov '09, 18:00) Phil Seller

There are all kinds of reasons why kids fluctuate with drinking so don't worry too much if you have an off day or two. When my daughter was hanging on for dear life last fall, in heart failure, the dieticians at Sick Kids Hospital and Credit Valley Hospital worked very closely with us to monitor how much she was taking in (the only way to get a child out of heart failure is to make them grow and/or surgically repair them). Every day was different and the biggest concern was making sure that she never got dehyrated. In her case, as long as she was getting 10-12 oz per day she would not dehydrate. Most days she would consume between 14-18 oz per day. They had told us that normal kids her age (at the time around 4 months) were drinking about 24-26 oz per day. They also told me that the maximum a child should be getting (BM or formula) is 32-36oz/per day.

If your child is getting 20 oz minimum you don't have to worry. As long as there are no major medical issues, kids will eat when they are hungry and they will never starve themselves. If you are concerned, take your child to a registered pediatric dietician - they are way more knowlegeable than a doctor in this department.


answered 03 Nov '09, 00:00

dreamerisme's gravatar image

accept rate: 8%

I think each child just goes through growth-spurts. This could be a reason that he is drinking less than before, I wouldn't be too worried about it until he refuses to eat at all. Sometimes a baby just doesn't feel like eating!


answered 02 Nov '09, 19:12

Melissa%201's gravatar image

Melissa 1
accept rate: 15%

Your answer
toggle preview

Follow this question

By Email:

Once you sign in you will be able to subscribe for any updates here



Answers and Comments

Markdown Basics

  • *italic* or _italic_
  • **bold** or __bold__
  • link:[text]( "Title")
  • image?![alt text](/path/img.jpg "Title")
  • numbered list: 1. Foo 2. Bar
  • to add a line break simply add two spaces to where you would like the new line to be.
  • basic HTML tags are also supported



Asked: 02 Nov '09, 18:06

Seen: 7,581 times

Last updated: 03 Nov '09, 00:00