Infant Feeding Chart: Tips For Baby Parents Out There!
Want to make sure your child has enough to eat? Here’s everything you need to know about newborn nutrition, along with a feeding chart for babies.
Introducing a new baby to your family is exciting but daunting. On top of dealing with a massive shift to your own schedule, you must make sure that your baby’s feeding schedule is well-calibrated too. However, what your baby eats will change as they grow.
Here’s everything you need to know about a newborns’ nutrition through their first year, along with a feeding chart for babies as they age.
How often should a baby eat?
To meet their weight milestones, your baby will require nutrients via breast milk and formula feeding, and then with the introduction of solid foods. Although these nutritional requirements frequently change as a baby grows, you’ll find several age groups where you can easily gauge how much your baby should be eating.
Those groups are:
1-3 months old
4-6 months old
6-9 months old
Make sure to feed them within one hour of birth. Afterward, feed your baby 8-12 times per day for the first month, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Make sure your little one feeds every 2-3 hours with breastmilk or 3-4 hours with formula for those first days.
For 1-3 months old
For breastfed babies, nurse 7-9 times a day. If your child relies on baby formula, they should be eating every 3-4 hours.
For 4-6 months old
If baby feeding involves breastmilk, make sure your schedule is timed to every 3-4 hours, or when your baby is hungry. Breastmilk is easier for the body to digest, allowing it to pass through the system faster. Bottle-feeding babies who rely on formula will need to eat every 4-5 hours.
For 6-9 months old
After reaching six months, breastfed babies can be fed every 3-4 hours, so long as you’re starting solid foods by this mark. For formula-fed children, it’s every 4-5 hours, combined with puréed or solid meals. Similar rules apply if you feed your child organic baby food.
Breastfed babies will eat more than formula-fed babies, so having a consistent milk supply is essential.
Each baby adapts to their diet at a different speed. Contact your pediatrician if you’re worried about underfeeding your baby.
Always prioritize an on-demand feeding schedule; let your baby eat when its hungry.
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How to start solids
Babies can be introduced to solids around the 6-month mark, so long as they meet the weight milestones for that age group (13 pounds). Your baby will need to continue their diet of breastmilk or formula alongside their solid food options until their first birthday (it’s an essential component of baby-led weaning).
Alongside the weight goals, your baby needs an interest in solid foods. They require reasonable head control and sitting upright in a highchair. You can’t swap breast milk for cow’s milk or add juice to their diet until after the one-year mark: neither have the proper nutrients.
When introducing your baby to a new food, the AAP recommends that you let your baby try this new food for 3-5 days before switching. This will allow you to gauge their interest in the meal while introducing them to a variety of foods and help you keep an eye out for allergic reactions.
More parenting tips:
Never add baby cereal to the bottle. Never give your baby nuts, hard fruit, popcorn, peanut butter, or large cubes of food. They’re all choking hazards.
Never give your baby honey before their first birthday. It causes infant botulism.
Don’t add salt or sugar to your purées if you’re making your own baby food.
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How much should a baby eat?
Your baby’s feeding schedule is constantly changing depending on their age group. However, you’ll find some commonalities between each feeding stage.
Putting their fist in their mouth when they’re hungry.
Whimpering or squirming as their hunger cues.
Exhibiting “rooting” behavior as they search for a breast.
Turning their head away from the bottle, breast, or spoon if they’re full.
Your newborn should feed for 15 minutes on each breast during every feeding session. If they’re formula-fed, they need 1-3 ounces of formula per session. No solid foods are allowed.
1-3 months old
Breastfed babies can eat faster and feed on both breasts for 10 minutes every feeding session. Formula-fed babies require 4-6 ounces per feeding session.
4-6 months old
Your baby will be going through a significant growth spurt at this age, made possible by introducing small amounts of solid food. You’ll have to keep up with breastmilk or formula, though. For breastfed babies, it’s roughly 10 minutes per breast at each meal. How many ounces of formula for babies is appropriate at this age? 4-8 ounces per feeding session.
6-9 months old
Breastfeeding babies require roughly 10 minutes per breast per feeding session — but pay attention to your baby’s hunger cues. They may want more or less. Formula-fed babies should have at least 6-8 ounces of formula per feeding. Solid foods can be fed at least 2-3 times per day, including finger foods, and mashed or puréed vegetables.
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An essential baby feeding guide
Please note: This feeding schedule is just meant to offer general guidelines. Alongside this chart, we recommend clarifying your baby’s specific needs with your pediatrician or healthcare provider and keeping up to date with AAP feeding guidelines. Track your baby’s growth, weight gain, and usual signs of hunger through their first few months.
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