How much formula should a 9 month old have on solids?

Quick Answer

At 9 months old, babies should get most of their nutrition from solids but they still need around 24-32 ounces of formula per day. As they eat more solids, formula intake can start being reduced but sudden big drops in formula are not recommended. Gradual decreases in formula while increasing solid foods is best.

How Much Formula Does a 9 Month Old Need?

At 9 months of age, babies still need formula as a main source of nutrition but can start transitioning to more solid foods. Here are some general guidelines on formula needs at this age:

– 24-32 ounces of formula per day is typical for a 9 month old. This provides around 750-1,000 calories.

– Offer the formula in 3-5 feedings spaced throughout the day. Bottle sizes may range from 4-8 ounces per feeding.

– If baby is taking solids well at meals and snacks, total formula intake can start decreasing towards the lower end of the 24-32 ounce per day range.

– Avoid decreasing formula intake by more than 4-6 ounces per day. Drops larger than this can lead to inadequate nutrition if solids are not making up the difference.

– Watch baby’s cues – signs of hunger, weight changes, and diaper output can indicate if formula adjustments are needed.

– Consult the pediatrician if there are concerns about nutrition, growth, or transitioning to solids. They can help determine appropriate formula and solid food volumes.

Factors That Impact Formula Needs

While 24-32 ounces of formula is typical for a 9 month old, the exact needs can vary based on factors like:

– Baby’s size and growth rate – Larger or faster growing babies may need more formula for adequate calories. Smaller or slower growing babies may need less.

– Baby’s solids intake – The more solids baby eats, the less formula they will likely need. But solids should complement formula at this age, not completely replace it.

– Baby’s developmental stage – Babies eating purees may still rely heavily on formula. As they advance to finger foods, formula needs may decrease.

– Baby’s activity level – More active babies burn more calories and may need more formula to meet their nutritional needs. Less active babies may need less.

– Hot weather – Babies may need more fluids in hot weather and intake may increase.

– Illness – Formula intake can fluctuate with illness and recovery.

– Individual differences – Some babies are heartier eaters or more efficient feeders than others. Formula needs can vary.

Paying attention to baby’s hunger cues, weight gain, and diaper output can help determine if adjustments in formula are needed to meet baby’s needs.

Signs Baby May Need More Formula

Some signs that a 9 month old may need more formula include:

– Increased hunger – Fussing for feeds, wanting to feed more frequently.

– Poor weight gain – Falling off the growth curve or not maintaining weight trajectory.

– Decrease in wet diapers – Going longer between wet diapers may indicate inadequate fluid/nutrition.

– Developmental changes – Decrease in energy, activity level, or progress in motor skills.

– Night waking – Waking more frequently at night and needing extra feeds.

– Constipation – Can be a sign baby needs more fluids.

If any of these signs occur, try offering baby an extra 2-4 ounces of formula per day for a few days and see if the symptoms improve. Notify the pediatrician as well, as they can determine if formula adjustments are needed.

Signs Baby May Need Less Formula

Some signs a 9 month old may need less formula include:

– Disinterest during feeds – Turning head away, fighting bottle, limited intake at feedings.

– Spitting up – Frequently spitting up larger amounts after feeds.

– Loose stools – Can indicate too much fluid intake.

– Overweight – Weight gain that accelerates.

– Decreased hunger – Sleeping through night without feeds, going longer between feeds.

– Advanced solids intake – Eating larger varieties and amounts of solid foods.

If any of these occur, try decreasing formula by 2-4 ounces per day for a few days and monitor any changes. Checking with the pediatrician is recommended when making formula adjustments.

Tips for Reducing Formula Intake

When decreasing formula for a 9 month old, follow these tips:

– Make gradual reductions of 2-6 ounces per day versus large sudden decreases. This prevents nutritional deficits.

– Substitute each ounce of formula reduced with increased solids. Aim for baby to get around 150 calories from solids for every 8 ounces of formula decreased.

– Focus first on dropping midday bottles before morning/night bottles so hungry baby has formula when needed most.

– Watch for any signs baby is not tolerating the formula reduction and increase amounts if needed.

– Offer a sippy cup of water between meals if wanting to drink more. This prevents overfilling on formula.

– Make formula as calorie-dense as tolerated if needing to provide adequate nutrition in smaller volumes.

– Ensure solid foods are iron-fortified and high in nutrients to make up for reductions in formula nutrition.

– Check in with the pediatrician if needing guidance on formula adjustments and solid food amounts.

Solid Foods to Increase When Reducing Formula

When decreasing formula intake for a 9 month old, ensure solid foods are increased to provide adequate nutrition. Some nutrient-dense solids to focus on include:

– Iron-fortified infant cereals and purees. Look for single ingredient varieties highest in iron.

– Pureed meats like chicken, beef, pork, lamb. Provide important iron and protein. Can mix into other foods.

– Mashed tofu, beans, and lentils. Excellent meatless sources of iron and protein.

– Finely chopped soft fruits and cooked vegetables. Target vitamin and antioxidant rich choices like squash, peas, bananas.

– Full fat dairy yogurt and cheese. Provides calcium, protein, vitamins.

– Dissolvable teething biscuits and crackers. Ensure they have iron and vitamins but are easy to eat.

– Finger foods babies can self-feed. Pieces of toast, strips of meat, halves of soft fruits, small pastas, puffs.

– Continue giving vitamin D supplement daily.

Sample Schedule When Reducing Formula

Here is a sample schedule reflecting gradual formula reductions and increased solids for a 9 month old:

7 AM – 8 oz formula
9 AM – 1/2 cup iron-fortified cereal mixed with 4 oz formula + 1/2 banana
11 AM – 6-8 oz formula
12:30 PM – 1/4 cup meat puree + 3-4 oz yogurt + supported self-feeding of cracker strips
3 PM – 6-8 oz formula
5:30 PM – 1/4 cup tofu & veggie puree + supported self-feeding of pieces of toast
7 PM – 6-8 oz formula

This provides around 28 oz formula while increasing nutritious solids. Portion sizes and options can be adjusted based on baby’s intake and preferences.

Talking to Your Pediatrician About Formula Needs

When making decisions about formula adjustments for a 9 month old, consulting the pediatrician is key. Here are some tips when talking to them:

– Come prepared with details on baby’s current formula intake, solids intake, growth data, and any concerns.

– Ask for their recommendation on formula amount based on baby’s age, weight, and developmental stage.

– Discuss a gradual plan for reducing formula intake, including expected daily ounce decreases and solid food substitutions.

– Inquire about iron supplementation if concern about iron in diet without formula.

– Ask if formula adjustments are needed for any slow weight gain or other issues.

– See if the doctor prefers sticking with breastmilk/formula or advancing to cow’s milk at this age.

– Request additional blood work or tests if the doctor has any concerns about nutrition or growth.

– Make a follow up appointment within 1-2 months to reassess after formula adjustments are made.

Having open discussions with your pediatrician can help ensure your 9 month old continues getting the formula and nutrition they need during this transitional time.


Is it normal for formula intake to vary day-to-day at this age?

Yes, it’s normal for formula intake to fluctuate slightly from day-to-day at this age as solids are increasing. As long as baby’s total intake averages in the 24-32 ounce per day range, small differences in exact daily volumes are fine. Watch for patterns of decreased intake over several days.

Should formula be given before or after solids now?

At 9 months, offer solids first, then a bottle of formula after. This helps get baby accustomed to eating solids for nutritional needs. The exception is first morning and night bottles which can still be given before solids.

What formula is best at 9 months old?

Standard cow’s milk-based infant formula is still recommended at this age.Speak with your pediatrician before switching to toddler formula, as the iron content and nutrition profile changes. Most babies stay on regular formula until 12 months.

How often should a 9 month old eat solid foods?

At 9 months, aim for 3 solid food meals and 1-2 nutritious snacks. Timed when baby is hungry to complement the formula feedings. Avoid grazing and eating constantly throughout the day.

How do I get baby to drink less formula when they want more?

Distraction with other activities, offering a small snack, or giving a sippy cup of water can satisfy them between bottles. Start reducing midday bottles first while keeping morning/night full. Keeping them on a schedule also helps.


At 9 months old, most babies should have 24-32 ounces of formula per day as they start eating more solid foods at meals and snacks. Gradual decreases in formula by 2-6 ounces daily can be made while increasing nutritious solids and monitoring for signs baby needs more or less. Consulting your pediatrician ensures adequate nutrition is provided through this transition period. With a thoughtful approach, your baby can continue growing and developing optimally.

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