Baby

Feeding Guide

Feeding Guide

What to feed, and when to a feed a baby is usually one of the many things most parents worry about, and it is an important concern as more growth occurs during the first year of a child’s life than at any other time. 

It is very important to feed your baby a variety of healthy foods as they grow, this helps create good eating habits at an early age and will help set healthy eating patterns later on in life.

Below is a guide on what and how much to feed your child in their first year of life. Remember that this is only a guideline and so you shouldn’t be bothered if your baby eats a little or more than is suggested.

Age Breast milk Formula Solid food
First few days Feed on demand. Make sure baby feeds every 3 hours Feed on demand. About 1-2 ounces every 2-3 hours.  None
1-2 months Feed on demand. Most babies feed 8-10 times a day Make sure baby wakes to eat. 2-4 ounces, every 3 hours None
3-5 months Most babies feed about 8 times a day. As babies tend to sleep for longer during the day, make sure baby wakes to get fed 6-7 ounces every 5 hours None
6-8 months Some parents introduce solid foods at this time. Babies still feed about 6 times a day.  Follow your baby’s cue. As your baby gets introduces to solid food, you can start reducing the amount of formula You can start with a few teaspoons of puree fruits like apples, bananas or soft food like pap, potatoes, mashed fish, chicken, meat, 
9-11 months Feeding pattern starts to vary here, as solid food is introduced. Breast milk still provides relevant nutrition, so feed before giving solid food. As you see fit As your baby gets used to solid foods, formula can still be given like 5 times a day but the quantity depends on how much you feel your child needs to supplement the solid food You can increase the quantity to about half a cup of food, 2-3 times a day. Small amount of unsweetened yoghurt can be given as well
12 months Breastfeeding can stop now, but you can still breastfeed in between meals and then switch to cow’s milk You can switch to cow’s milk even as you transition fully to solid food Mashed food, 3 times a day and snacks in between meals

 

Some helpful tips

  • Give your baby one new food at a time, not a mixture of different foods. Also, give the new solid food for at least 4 days before introducing another new food. This helps you keep track of what your child may be allergic to.
  • Do not force feed your baby or give too much of any particular food. Start by giving a teaspoon, then a tablespoon and so on.
  • Do not use sugar or salt when cooking for your newborn.
  • First introduce a dry infant cereal, then you can move on to vegetables, fruits, and then meat and fish.
  • Do not force a strict feeding schedule, let your baby decide and watch out for signs that your little one is hungry.
  • When giving your little one fruits or veggies, make sure it is washed thoroughly and peeled. 
  • Foods like nuts, seeds, honey shouldn’t be given to children in the age group.
  • Feed your baby solid food with spoon.
  • Offer your child a variety of foods and remember to be gentle on yourself and your baby if he or she doesn’t like specific foods.
  • Speak with a licensed pediatrician if you have concerns about your baby’s eating habits

 

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