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How to Feed Your Baby Step by Step

This is a general guide for feeding your baby. Don't worry if your baby eats a little more or a little less than this guide suggests.

0 to 4 months

Breast Milk

  • Nurse on demand, 5 to 10 minutes per breast.

Formula

 
Age              # times/day       serving size            
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0 to 1 Month      6 to 8 times      2 to 4 oz
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1 to 2 months     5 to 7 times      3 to 5 oz
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2 to 3 months     4 to 6 times      4 to 7 oz
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3 to 4 months     4 to 6 times      5 to 8 oz
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  • Never prop a bottle. Always hold the baby to feed.
  • Don't microwave bottles.
  • Don't force a large feeding amount. 4 to 6 wet diapers is a good sign your baby is getting enough.

4 to 6 months

Breast Milk or Formula

4 to 6 times per day, 6 to 8 oz at each feeding

  • Don't prop the bottle.
  • Use a pacifier if the baby wants to suck.

Grains

Rice cereal 1 to 2 times per day, 1 to 2 tbsp. servings

  • Start cereal if baby is taking over 32 oz per day.
  • Don't put cereal in a bottle.

6 to 8 months

Breast Milk or Formula

3 to 5 times per day, 6 to 8 oz servings

  • Give breast milk or formula before giving solids.

Grains

Rice Cereal 3 to 5 times per day, 2 to 4 tbsp. servings

  • Don't heat in microwave.

Fruits & Veggies

Strained fruits and vegetables, 2 to 4 times per day, 2 to 3 tbsp. servings

  • Keep solids refrigerated.
  • Start one fruit or vegetable at a time.
  • Do not give foods in chunks.

8 to 12 months

Breast Milk or Formula

3 to 4 times per day, 6 to 8 oz servings

  • Baby can hold a bottle but don't give a bottle in bed.
  • Try using a cup.

Grains

Baby cereal, crackers, bread, or dry cereal, 1 to 2 times per day, 2 to 4 tbsp. servings

  • Start with soft finger foods.
  • Be patient.
  • Feed your baby in a high chair.
  • Feed only foods that will dissolve in the mouth.

Fruits & Veggies

Strained or mashed fruits or vegetables, 3 to 4 times per day, 3 to 4 tbsp. servings

Fruit juice (not orange) 1 time per day, 4 oz in cup

  • Juice does not replace milk.
  • Give juice in a cup.

Meat

Strained chicken, beef, or dried beans, 1 to 2 times per day, 3 to 4 tbsp. servings

  • Do not give hotdogs or pieces of meat that need chewing.

Age 1+ years

  • You may give whole milk instead of formula. Your child may also have citrus juice, honey, and whole eggs after 1 year of age.
  • Continue to have meals in a high chair or at the table.
  • DO NOT allow your child to walk around and eat small amounts of food frequently (grazing).
  • Do not add peanuts, treenuts or shellfish to your child's diet until 2 or 3 years of age.
  • Give your child snacks at the table. Snacks are important for baby's increasing energy needs.

Other Dairy Foods

Yogurt, 3 to 4 times per day, 1/4 to 1/2 cup servings

Offer cottage cheese, 1 to 2 tbsp. servings

Robert Brayden, MD. Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Published by McKesson Provider Technologies.
Last modified: 2006-09-12
Last reviewed: 2006-04-27
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright 2006 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All Rights Reserved.
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