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3 Bee’s & Me Guide: Feeding schedule for infants

As a new parent, caring for an infant can become a bit overwhelming. Your knowledge of caring for your infant will be gained through experience. However, it is always nice to have tips and guides to help you along your way.

Feeding your baby is very important, and during the first year they are growing a lot. Here is a suggested feeding schedule for infants that will help you through the first year.

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These are only suggestions, as you will learn how your baby eats as time goes on. Remember, no two babies are alike. Therefore, there is no exact science telling you a true schedule for your baby’s eating habits. You will learn when and how much your baby will eat.

Some days they will be hungrier than others, and you will gain the knowledge of what satisfies your baby. Also, consult your pediatrician before introducing solid foods, but always remember you know your baby best.

There is no exact order that food should be introduced. While cereal is typically introduced first, it is also okay to begin with mashed fruits or veggies in its place.

 

Birth to 4 months

At this stage, your baby is getting used to eating on their own. They have no teeth, and are just learning how to suck. It is recommended that your baby only be introduced to breast milk or formula. Rooting is a natural behavior for infants, even if they are not breastfed. You will still notice your infant searching for food. This is a big clue that they are ready to eat.

How much per day

Feeding will vary at this stage, and you will have to adjust according to how much your baby can handle. Your infant will be a feed on demand, until you get them on a regular schedule.

  • Breast Milk: Typically, an infant will eat every 2 to 3 hours (about 8 to 10 times per day). 2 to 3 fluid ounces per feeding. Your baby will begin to sleep more through the night, as this begins to happen, you will see that feedings will space out to 6 to 8 feedings a day.
  • Formula: Typically, an infant will eat every 3 to 4 hours (about 6 to 8 times per day). 2 to 3 fluid ounces per feeding. Your baby will begin to sleep more through the night, as this begins to happen, you will see that feedings will space out to 5 to 6 feedings a day, 4 to 6 fluid ounces per feeding.

4 to 6 months

  • Breast milk: Your baby will be taking breast milk on an average of 6 times a day. Plus, you will begin introducing solid foods at this stage. See the solid food schedule below.
  • Formula: Your baby will be taking formula on an average of 4 to 5 times a day, 6 to 8 ounces per feeding. Plus, you will begin introducing solid foods at this stage. See the solid food schedule below.

Feeding schedule for infants

  • Pureed food: Sweet potatoes, squash, apples, bananas, peaches, or pears. You can also introduce semi-liquid iron-fortified cereal.

How much per day

You will want to introduce solid foods slowly. Your baby will have to get used to eating from a spoon, as well as trying different flavors and textures. It is all new to your infant, so it will take some time for them to get used to it.

Start out by using one teaspoon of pureed food or cereal. Combine this with 4 to 5 teaspoons of breast milk or formula. It will be very liquidy. As your baby gets used to the taste, you can slowly increase the amount of pureed food or cereal. Your feeding schedule for infants will now include solid foods twice a day. You can make your baby cereal thicker as they get used to it.

6 to 8 months

  • Breast Milk: Your baby will be taking formula on an average of 4 to 6 times a day. As your babies solid food intake increases, you will see a reduction in the number of feedings.
  • Formula: Your baby will be taking formula on an average of 24 to 30 ounces a day. As your babies solid food intake increases, you will see a reduction in the number of feedings.

Feeding schedule for infants

As your baby progresses, you can change the stage of baby food they are receiving.

  • Fruits: Banana, pears, applesauce, peaches
  • Vegetables: Avocado, well-cooked carrots, squash, and sweet potato
  • Pureed Meat: Chicken, pork, beef
  • Yogurt: Introduce in small amounts. Use unsweetened yogurt that is not made from cow’s milk.
  • Pureed legumes: Black beans, chickpeas, edamame, fava beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, and kidney beans
  • Iron-fortified cereal: Oats, barley, rice

How much per day

You may not feed all these foods to your baby in a day, but here are some suggestions. You mix and match according to your babies eating habits and taste.

  • Fruit: 1 teaspoon, increased to 1/4 to 1/2 cup in 2 or 3 feedings
  • Vegetables: 1 teaspoon, increased to 1/4 to 1/2 cup in 2 or 3 feedings
  • Cereal: 3 to 9 tablespoons in 2 or 3 feedings

8 to 10 months

  • Breast Milk: Your baby will be taking formula on an average of 4 to 6 times a day. As your babies solid food intake increases, you will see a reduction in the number of feedings.
  • Formula: Your baby will be taking formula on an average of 24 to 30 ounces a day. As your babies solid food intake increases, you will see a reduction in the number of feedings.

Feeding schedule for infants

Foods can now be mashed, rather than pureed. As your baby progresses, food will become more solid. Your baby will begin loving finger foods, which includes tiny bits of ripe banana; scrambled eggs; well-cooked and cut up yellow squash, peas, and potatoes; well-cooked spiral pasta; teething crackers, and low-sugar O-shaped cereal.

  • Fruits: Banana, pears, applesauce, peaches
  • Vegetables: Avocado, carrots, squash, potatoes and sweet potato
  • Yogurt: Introduce in small amounts. Use unsweetened yogurt that is not made from cow’s milk.
  • Pureed legumes: Well cooked black beans, chickpeas, edamame, fava beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, and kidney beans
  • Iron-fortified cereal: Barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals
  • Cheese: Small amounts of soft pasteurized cheese and cottage cheese
  • Protein: Eggs; pureed meats, poultry, and boneless fish; tofu

How much per day

  • Dairy: 1/4 to 1/3 cup dairy or 1/2 ounce cheese
  • Grain: 1/4 to 1/2 cup iron-fortified cereal
  • Fruit: 1/4 to 1/2 cup
  • Vegetables:1/4 to 1/2 cup
  • Protein: 1/8 to 1/4 cup

Age: 10 to 12 months

  • Breast Milk: Your baby will be taking formula on an average of 4 times a day. Milk intake decreases, as solid food intake increases.
  • Formula: Your baby will be taking formula on an average of 24 ounces a day. Milk intake decreases, as solid food intake increases.

Feeding schedule for infants

As your baby progresses, you can change the stage of baby food they are receiving.

  • Fruits: Any fruits, cut into cubes, strips, or mashed
  • Vegetables: Any veggies, cut in bite sized pieces and cooked till soft
  • Combo Foods: Introduce dishes such as macaroni and cheese or casseroles
  • Yogurt: Introduce in small amounts. Use unsweetened yogurt that is not made from cow’s milk.
  • Pureed legumes: Well cooked black beans, chickpeas, edamame, fava beans, black-eyed peas, lentils, and kidney beans
  • Iron-fortified cereal: Barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals
  • Protein: Eggs; pureed meats or finely ground meats, poultry, and boneless fish; tofu
  • Finger foods: Lightly toasted bread or bagels, small pieces of ripe banana; scrambled eggs; well-cooked and cut up yellow squash, peas, and potatoes, spiral pasta, teething crackers, and low-sugar O-shaped cereal.

How much per day

  • Dairy: 1/3 cup dairy or 1/2 ounce cheese
  • Grain: 1/4 to 1/2 cup iron-fortified cereal
  • Fruit: 1/4 to 1/2 cup
  • Vegetables: 1/4 to 1/2 cup
  • Protein: 1/8 to 1/4 cup

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