Are Ounces Counted Before Or After Mixing Powdered Formula With Water?


The answer is yes; ounces are counted after mixing the water and powdered formula.  Let’s talk about why.

Calculating accurate total volume intake is important for all babies.

  • Parents need to know how much their baby consumes to be sure they are trending accurately on their growth charts.
  • If a parent is not calculating the formula mixture properly, they may unintentionally overfeed their baby, thinking they need more formula intake.
  • Babies requiring careful intake calculation, such as preemies or medically complex babies, must account for accurate caloric intake for optimal growth and development.

Regarding nutrition, infant formula and human milk have an 87 percent water content, a very important part of your baby’s diet. In a powdered formula recipe, both the water and the powdered formula contribute calories and fluids. 

What Is Displacement

As the powdered formula is added to the premeasured water, there will be a displacement from the solid, even though they mix to form a liquid. The powdered formula is calorically equivalent to RTF and breastmilk AFTER you have mixed it.


Displacement Math

“Every scoop adds (displaces) 0.2 oz or 7 ml to the water, increasing the total volume.

Powdered formula reconstitution recipe examples:

  • 2 oz water + 1 scoop =   2.2 oz prepared formula
  • 4 oz water + 2 scoop =   4.4 oz prepared formula
  • 6 oz water + 3 scoop =   6.6 oz prepared formula
  • 8 oz water + 4 scoop =   8.8 oz prepared formula
  • 10 0z water + 5 scoop = 11 oz prepared formula
  • 12 ounces + 6 scoops = 13.2 oz prepared formula
  • 14 ounces + 7 scoops = 15.4 oz prepared formula
  • 16 ounces+ 8 scoops =  17.6 oz prepared formula

Examples of formula displacement 

Recipie: 24 ounces of water + 12 level, unpacked scoops of powder = 26.4 ounces of formula. (total volume)

  • Daily: If you are calculating 24 ounces instead of 26.4, you are not accounting for 2.4 ounces daily. 
  • Weekly: 2.4 ounces x 7 = 16.8 ounces of formula not accounted for.
  • Monthly:  2.4 ounces x  28 days =  67.2 ounces of formula not accounted for.

Displacement instructions on the formula container.

Additional Infant Formula Education:

Do Parents Need To Boil Water For Powdered Infant Formula Preparation in the United States?

What Kind Of Water Is Safe For Mixing Formula Powder For My Baby?

Why it’s Time to Stop Teaching Parents Paced Bottle Feeding and Teach Responsive Feeding As Recommended by the AAP

The New Seven Letter “F” Word

The Process of Healing from Infant Feeding Trauma, Guilt, and Shame: When You Wanted to Breastfeed, but Couldn’t


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