How Many Scoops Of Formula Per Ounce?

As a first-time mom, everything from nappies to sleep to crying for who knows what reason can be pretty overwhelming. One of the priorities of a first-time mom is to ensure her baby drinks enough milk. How many scoops of baby formula to add per ounce of water?

The ratio for scoops of formula to water is one scoop with two ounces of water. The norm applies to most powdered infant formulas. However, the percentage increases proportionally for more ounces of water. For example, you will mix four ounces of water with two scoops of formula to fill a four-ounce bottle.

Although the norm is one scoop of formula to two ounces of water, there might be confusion around measuring the in-between amounts. These will include varying quantities such as three ounces, five ounces, and seven ounces. In addition, there are different types of formulas on the market – does the rule apply to all of them?

Determining Scoops Of Formula Per Ounces Of Water

scoops of formula needed for 3 oz

With everything else going on, like finding your feet those first few weeks after bringing new life into the world, you need to find a rhythm to keep this bundle of joy alive. A part of this, and quite a big part, is the milk they need to ingest.

There are many formula types on the market; luckily, the ratios stay the same throughout all the brands when using powdered formula. This ease is quite a relief when the last thing you want to do at this stage is math to figure out how much of which brand is needed. 

You might try five different formula brands before your baby is happy, which is perfectly normal. You can choose from many formula brands and types, as each baby has different needs.

Why Are Measurements Of Formula Important?

It is essential to follow the scoop per ounce of water guideline precisely and not stray from it. These guidelines ensure the baby, especially those who are pre-maturely born or underweight, get the proper nutrition. Mixing too much water with the formula will still fill their tummies, but only with water and insufficient nutrition.

Powdered Formula Measurements

The norm for measuring baby formula is relatively straightforward. A scoop of formula equals double the number of ounces of water. All baby formula brands will usually add directions on the can of formula, but not all add the odd numbers. So, how many scoops of formula for 3 oz? 

For a 3 oz bottle, you would need 1 1/2 scoops of formula. No one will suggest that you starve your baby or overfeed them only because there is no guideline for the uneven numbers. You have to feed your baby what they want, and if you start to give two ounces and they show signs of more hunger, you should increase it to three ounces. 

Most parents would skip the three (as they see no indication on the tub) and give four ounces, mostly leading to leftovers or overfeeding. Overfeeding can lead to uncomfortable baby gas, and leftovers can lead to waste since formula only lasts so long and can not be kept for an extended time.

Others may suggest putting it in the fridge and adding a two-ounces serving to that bottle, but others would question the temperature differences. Another issue is how long you can leave the leftover formula in the fridge. So instead, eliminate the confusion and make the uneven numbered bottle.

Scoop Of Powdered FormulaOunces Of WaterAge Of Baby
One scoop2 ounces of waterNewborn
One and a half scoops3 ounces of waterNewborn
Two scoops4 ounces of waterOne month
Two and a half scoops5 ounces of waterTwo to five months
Three scoops6 ounces of waterSix months +
Three and a half scoops7 ounces of waterSix months +
Four scoops8 ounces of waterSix months +

Manufacturers do not mention the half scoops, but with the correlation to water, it is safe to say it will work out fine. The only problem you might encounter is measuring that half scoop. Some brands have a line to show you where the half of a scoop is, and others do not. 

making baby bottles with formula

You might have to guess, or if you want to be exact, measure one scoop on a kitchen scale, divide that number by two, and there you have half a scoop’s weight. Of course, weighing the formula will be more time-consuming, but if it will give you peace of mind, do it.

It is essential to know that these numbers can vary highly depending on many different factors:

  • The age of the baby
  • The baby’s weight
  • The developmental stage they are in (certain leaps may cause more hunger or more fussiness)

During the day, your baby will drink three to five of these bottles. Be vigilant about their hunger queues, and do not wait too long to feed them. Suppose you are concerned about how much your baby drinks; contact your pediatrician for peace of mind.

How To Mix Formula For Babies

Making a formula bottle for your baby is relatively straightforward. A helpful first-time mom trick might come in with your chosen heating option. The formula is perfect for serving from cold to lukewarm. The water quality is essential, so the best would be to boil water and let it cool.

Step 1: add the water to the bottle first. 

Step 2: Use the formula’s scoop, not any random spoon, and measure the number of scoops necessary. You can use a knife to even out the scoop.

Step 3: shake to mix the formula with the water until all the formula combines well.

Step 4: to heat the milk, place the bottle in a bowl of hot water, in a pot with hot water, or use a bottle warmer.

Step 5: Test the milk’s temperature by dripping a drop or two on your hand. If it is too hot, follow step 4, only with cool water and a few blocks of ice.

Other Types Of Formula Measurements

Although the powdered formula is the most popular alternative to breastmilk, there are other types of formula too. These include liquid formulas and ready-to-feed formulas.

The liquid formulas have a one-to-one ratio. You will mix one ounce of formula with one ounce of water to make a two-ounce bottle. The ready-to-feed formulas are most convenient – pour and feed. These are more expensive, and you might have to heat them first.

Feeding Formula When On-The-Go

To plan an outing with your baby, there are specific tips and tricks to make feeding your baby as easy as possible. For example, you can take a thermos with your water to keep it at the correct temperature. Also, many formula dispensers are available where you can add each feeding’s scoops. Finally, remember to pack a clean baby bottle or two.

When it is time for a feeding, add the water (the bottle usually has a measuring chart, so you know how much water you are adding) and one of the formula dispenser cups to the bottle in which you already measured the number of scoops. Shake the mixture, and your baby’s bottle will be ready in no time.


When making a bottle of baby formula, knowing the ratio of formula scoops to water will make your life much easier and keep your baby’s growth and health in check. Too much powder can be dangerous for babies, while too little will not provide enough nutrition. According to the instructions on most baby formula cans, the ideal ratio is one scoop of powder for every two ounces of water.

So, you would need 1.5 scoops of formula for a three-ounce bottle. How many scoops of formula do you need for a four-ounce bottle? Well, simply double the amount of water and powder for a four-ounce bottle, so you need two scoops of formula.

It is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when preparing the formula, as too much or too little powder can cause health problems for your baby. By following the guidelines in this article, you can be sure that you’re giving your baby the perfect amount of nutrition. With a bit of practice, you’ll be a pro at getting the perfect ratio of powder to water for your baby’s bottles.