Mom feeding her nine month old baby girl with a spoon at home
Baby Care

A Feeding Schedule for your 9-Month-Old Baby’s Best Nutrition!

Is your baby making the switch from milk to solid foods? Here’s a 9-month-old baby’s feeding schedule and tips on navigating it.

February 07, 2022

Babies grow quickly. Really quickly. 

If you’re following a proper feeding schedule, it’ll seem like a blink of an eye before your newborn morphs into its pre-toddler era. 

You’re probably staring down the next daunting task in the parenthood gauntlet: feeding your baby solid foods. Fortunately, we’ve got some straightforward advice on sticking to a 9-month-old’s feeding schedule, including:

  • A list of safe foods.

  • The amount of food you should feed your baby.

  • Tips on breastfeeding during the transition.

Let’s dive in.

What should a 9-month-old be eating?

By the time your baby reaches the 9-month mark, you should see your little one making the switch from a breast milk diet to one that includes a variety of foods — aided by your loving guidance, of course. Your baby won’t be eating a lot of finger foods, but they’ll be curious about them. 

This curiosity is something you should encourage, so long as your child is bright-eyed, well-supported by baby health supplies, and your pediatrician says that it’s time to make the switch. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the following foods are safe for a 9-month-old baby to eat:

Emphasize color in your baby’s self-feeding habits to engage their interest and catch their eye with these foods placed in front of them. Color stimulates the brain, and food is no exception. Offer them a wide variety of solid foods during mealtime, too, so you can make sure they’re receiving enough nutrients. 

You shouldn’t try weaning your baby before the first year is up, so breastfeeding at 9 months or a formula mix is a must-have. 

On the downside, avoid anything with honey, as bacteria within this ingredient can lead to (https://www.cdc.gov/botulism/general.html#:~:text=Botulism%20(%E2%80%9CBOT%2Dchoo%2D,butyricum%20and%20Clostridium%20baratii%20bacteria.). No unpasteurized dairy products should be consumed either, as they can cause severe digestive issues. Because their digestive systems are still developing, you should stick to these approved whole foods to keep your baby happy and healthy.

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How much should a 9-month-old eat?

How often a 9-month-old should eat depends on your baby’s gender, propensity toward milk or bottle-feeding, and any genetic health concerns. 

If your child grows at an average rate and reaches their major developmental milestones., they’ll be eating in the same manner as they did before: inconsistent and to their moods. As their parent, you must remain attentive to signs of hunger and know what kind of baby foods your little one prefers. 

Although this schedule is on-demand, it means your baby needs breastmilk or formula 4-6 times per day, with at least three solid meals in between. Unless your child is down for the count with their baby sleep schedule, you don’t want feeding gaps to occur, either. 

He’s an example of a baby eating schedule adapted from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

For breakfast

  • Finely diced fruit (between one-quarter to one-half cup).

  • Mashed egg (between one-quarter to one-half cup).

  • Breastfeeding or 4-6 ounces of formula.

For lunch

  • Softly cooked orange veggies, between one-quarter to one-half cup. Don’t feed them raw, hard vegetables, as it’s a choking hazard.

  • You can feed your baby yogurt, cottage cheese, or finely diced meat, between one-quarter to one-half cup. Make sure that all dairy products are pasteurized. 

  • Breastfeeding or 4-6 ounces of formula.

For dinner

  • Cooked green vegetables (between one-quarter to one-half cup).

  • Noodles, rice, potatoes, or pasta (one-quarter cup).

  • Finely diced poultry or meat (one-quarter cup).

  • Finely diced fruit (one-quarter cup).

  • Don’t forget the regular breastfeeding or 4-6 ounces of formula!

Between these semi-scheduled meals, you can offer your baby some snacks. 

Examples of safe, nutritious snacks include

  • Organic baby food.

  • Yogurt or diced fruit.

  • Teething biscuits or crackers.

  • Regular milk feeds or formula sessions.

  • Water.

  • You guessed it: Breastfeeding or 4-6 ounces of formula.

How much milk should a 9-month-old drink in a day? (Or, how much formula is appropriate for a 9-month-old?)

  • At least 4-6 regular feeding sessions.

If you’re worried your baby isn’t eating enough, here are some ways to track their progress

  • Monitor your baby’s weight to see if they’re putting on any extra pounds.

  • Monitor your baby’s bowel movements. Do they require consistent diaper changes?

  • Monitor your 9-month-old baby’s feeding schedule and see how they act toward their food. If a baby is full after breastfeeding, they’ll usually pull back and turn their head away. This practice will continue until they’re at least a year old, and they’ll learn to push their plate away, too.

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What solid foods can a 9-month-old baby eat, and what foods are healthy for them?

Of course, you’ll find specific food groups that are safe for 9-12-month-olds to eat: fruit and vegetables. 

Unlike adult nutrition, you have to take the color of the food into account for babies. There’s a learning aspect to mealtimes. Color plays a part in inducing your child’s interest to investigate the new object in front of them.

  • For orange vegetables and fruit, try cooked sweet potatoes and cantaloupe.

  • Try bananas, bell peppers, and squash for yellow vegetables and fruit.

  • For green vegetables, look at zucchini, peas, and green beans.

  • Other safe-to-eat, brightly colored fruits and vegetables include cooked tomatoes, berries, and beans. 

  • 9-month-old babies can eat bread without the crust, dry cereal, cooked pasta, and soft meats. 

With solid foods, always chop or dice them into tiny pieces. Your baby is developing their pincer grasp and needs food sized to them that they can easily pick it up. The food should be cooked and soft enough for them to gum through it, or it turns into a choking hazard.

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Feed your baby (and don’t fret)

Feeding your baby can seem like a daunting task, and with good reason — children are fragile, and as their parents, you want to do right by them. If you have the proper diet on hand and a list of foods your baby can eat, you can tackle the challenge head-on.

Some final parenting tips

  • Children have food preferences, just like adults. If they reject a particular item, don’t fret. Try out new foods until you find something that your baby enjoys.

  • Eat-in front of your baby so they can see your actions and mimic yours.

  • When your baby becomes comfortable with the idea of “food,” give them baby-safe utensils (such as a spoon) for practice.

  • If your baby is struggling to eat solid foods past the age of 10 months, seek medical advice from your pediatrician.

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