Short answer: a rounded tablespoon, or about 3.5 teaspoons.
Breasts travel well, especially to the beach. Just one more way in which they're the best. But the true sign that you love your child is that you don't let her starve to death after the breastfeeding stops.
So when we went to the Outer Banks a couple of weeks ago, we didn't want to schlep a giant can of formula with us; we scooped enough for a week into Ziploc box, only we forgot the little scooper. Which we only realized when we went to make K2's bedtime bottle.
No problem, I thought, we'll just look up and see how much is in that proprietary scoop. Yeah, well. Googling around, I couldn't find anything. K2 was getting fussy, and if there's an scenario I'm particularly sensitive to, it's Baby Crying While Daddy Types. Gotta protect the brand, you know.
Finally, I found this finger-wagging bit of advice in Enfamil Canada's FAQ:
If I lose my scoop, what do I do?OK, I may have just heard that last part in my head, but the only thing more annoying than a Costco-sized can of formula in your luggage is buying a teacup-sized can at one-store-island prices--just to get the scoop.
To ensure that your baby receives the proper levels of nutrients and calories, it is best to use the exact measurement provided by the scoop contained within the can. Therefore, if the scoop is missing, it is best to buy another can of the same brand and type of powder and use the scoop from the new can.
Different products may have a different size of scoop. If the scoop is missing or in case of emergency only and as a temporary alternative, one level tablespoon can be used in place of the scoop. As soon as possible, get another can of the same product and use the scoop contained within the can. And put some socks on that kid, you freakin' hillbilly.
So I measured it out three times. On the off chance that different products actually do have different scoop sizes, I'll be clear: this is the unmarked scoop for Enfamil with Lipil. One unpacked formula scoop came out to be 3.5 - 4.25 level teaspoons, which I'm calling a rounded tablespoon. That's with measuring teaspoons. When I did it with tea-stirring teaspoons, it was three level teaspoons, barely.
Which meant we kind of stuffed K2 during the first weekend at the beach, because I was guessing it was like three rounded teaspoons/scoop. The kicker, of course, is that we ended up staying a few days longer, we ran out of formula, so we picked up a dainty little can at Food Lion for, like, $200, with the scoop included absolutely free!
I'd be interested to see if other formula brands really do have different sized scoops. Anyone else mind measuring their scoops? Or if you have any useful tips for measuring formula on the road? I guess you could just not throw away the old scoops; save them instead, maybe make a giant scoop pyramid, right where your beer can pyramids used to be.
[update: Sam suggested that by mentioning taking a Formula Scoop Wreath to a lactivist gathering, this post now warranted an Uma sighting. Uh-uh. Formula posts now officially get a picture of British actress/model/whatever Jordan, who rather famously feeds her babies out of very large cans. So here you go.]