Age-wise Baby’s Feeding Guide

Baby’s Feeding Guide

What and how much to nurse your neonatal is quite a tough decision to make. Each baby comes into the world with his own eating habits. But mostly, feeding routines of the baby in the first year are more or less similar. Feeding your baby in the first year plays a crucial role. Because most of the developments occur in this year, making healthy and right choices can create a huge difference. Your baby’s good eating habits at this age will aid in setting up the right or healthy patterns of eating for life.

We know that infants require feedings all the time. But the question is how frequently the baby becomes hungry and how much does he need? Karyn-grace Clarke, a lactation advisor states: Mostly infants, when born, will require nursing every hour, then after a day or two they require a feed every two to three hours. But there may be individual differences.

Clarke also states that infants should be fed on demand also known as cue feeding; so as to develop the instinct of control of eating. The number of feedings a day also depends on the warehouse of the mother’s breast. When serving size given by the mother is small, babies are more likely to demand feed.

Here we are going to provide you with some guidelines which answer your all questions.

Birth to 4 Months: 

This stage is marked by frequent feedings. It is known that infants tend to double their weight by five months as compared to when they are born that’s why they need frequent feeding at least every 2 to 3 hours. The only source available at this stage for their nutrition is breastfeeding or formula milk.

Physical Milestone:

  • Infants naturally turn towards the nipple to get nourished by using rooting reflex.
  • Swallowing and Slurping

Social Milestone:

  • By 10 weeks, babies tend to identify the provider of the milk.

Type of feed:

  • Formula or breast milk are the only option. 

Quantity per day:

  • Neonatal feeds 8 to 12 times in a day if breastfed whereas babies on a formula milk feed need feed every 3 to 4 hours and consumes up to 2-3 ounces per feed. 

Tip:

Avoid giving any solid food to your newborn, as his digestive system is not still fully developed. It is unable to swallow or digest solid food.

Baby’s Feeding

4 to 6 months:

Physical Milestone:

Most of the babies start intaking solid food by 5th or 6th month. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics following are some of the signs that indicate when your baby is ready to intake solids foods. 

  • When a baby is able to sit upright with a lifted head. 
  • When the weight of the baby is double, then when he born.
  • Able to hold a spoon in his mouth
  • Able to move food in the right direction of the mouth. 
  • Starts opening mouth to receive the food

Social Milestone:

They began to socialize while feeding.

Type of Feed:

Type of foods that are usually introduced differs from family to family or culture to culture. Below are some of the most common feeds that are usually presented first to the baby. 

  • Formula or breast milk
  • Puree of vegetables (potato, carrot)
  • Puree of fruits (banana, apples, pear, peaches)
  • Minced Meat (beef, mutton, pork, chicken)
  • Iron-rich cereals (lentils, legumes, oat, wheat, barley)
  • A small serving of yogurt. 

Quantity per feed:

At the start, 1 teaspoon of food puree or cereal would be enough. Gradually increase the quantity i.e. 1 tablespoon of food or cereal twice a day. 

Tip:

Present your baby with one type of food at a time. Avoid giving them mixtures, for example, banana puree at breakfast, potato puree at lunch or dinner. Present the new type of food after 3 to 6 days. Doing this will let you know if your baby is allergic to any food. 

Begin with small quantity and then gradually increase it. 

If the baby is showing resistance when you first time presents the food, try offering after few days. 

Avoid using salt, sugar or any other spice while making puree or cereal. 

Always use washed fruits and vegetables. 

6 to 8 months

Physical Milestone:

  • By the 6th month, the baby is able to hold the food and take into the mouth.
  • By the 7th month, they are able to hold a spoon with palm. (palmar grasp)

Social Milestone:

  • Babies like to be at the dining table for mealtimes
  • They start to express liking or disliking regarding certain foods.

Type of Feed:

  • Formula or breast milk
  • Vegetables and fruit puree
  • Strained fruits and vegetables
  • Minced meat
  • A small serving of yogurt
  • Legumes Puree
  • Iron-rich grains
  • Mashed/over-boiled rice

Quantity per day:

  • 2 to 3 tablespoon in four servings
  • 3 – 9 tablespoons of cereals in two or three servings

Tips:

Same instructions as for 4-6 months, including

  • Follow your baby’s feeding cue, and feed on demand.
  • Give different textured food to your baby e.g. lumpy, mashed, pureed, minced, or tender cooked. 
  • If the baby is not on the mother’s feed any more, start giving them small servings of water.
  • If you want to give juice, make sure it is fresh and sugar free.
Baby’s Feeding

8 to 10 months:

Physical Milestone:

  • Baby is able to hold the food and take in to the mouth.
  • Able to hold spoon
  • Capable of grasping things with forefinger ad thumbs.
  • Can move things from one hand to the other.

Social Milestone:

  • They begin observing others.
  • Babies tend to eat as their elders do.

Type of feed:

  • Formula or breast milk
  • Small servings of cheese, yogurt 
  • Mashed fruits and vegetables
  • Finger foods that include small pieces of scrambled eggs, spiral pasta, small bites of bagel, teething crackers, pieces of cooked potatoes. 
  • Rice
  • Shredded meat, boneless fish, beans, peas, lentils
  • Iron rich cereals

Quantity per day:

  • Milk: 1/4 to 1/3
  • Cereal: 1/4 to 1/2 
  • Fruit: 3/4 to 1 cup
  • Vegetables: 3/4 to 1 cup
  • Protein rich food: 3 to 4 tablespoons

Tip:

Present your baby with one type of food at a time. Avoid giving them mixtures, for example, banana puree at breakfast, potato puree at lunch or dinner. Present the new type of food after 3 to 6 days. Doing this will let you know if your baby is allergic to any food. 

10 to 12 months:

Physical Milestone:

  • Can swallow food
  • Teeth help in chewing
  • Able to eat with the spoon by himself

Social Milestone:

Babies like to eat what others are eating.

Type of feed:

  • Milk
  • Yogurt, cheese
  • Mashed, chopped, cubes fruits
  • Cooked vegetables (bite-size)
  • Combo foods
  • Shredded meat, chicken, boneless fish
  • Finger foods
  • Cereals

Quantity per day:

  • Milk: 1/3 cup
  • Cereal: 1/4 to 1/2 cup
  • Fruit: 3/4 to 1 cup
  • Vegetables: 3/4 to 1 cup
  • Combo Foods: 1/8 to 1/4 cup
  • Protein Rich food: 3-4 tablespoons

Additional Tips:

  • Follow the baby’s feeding cues.
  • Don’t force your baby to finish every piece of food.
  • Don’t make a comparison between your and other’s baby. Understand the fact that individual differences exist.
  • Don’t worry if your baby is spreading mess more than the eating. It is a part of their learning experience.
  • Avoid using sugar and spices while preparing the meal and make sure to provide healthy and nutritious food.  
  • Avoid using processed or commercial foods.
  • Offer a variety of food having different textures, colors and tastes.
  • Try to develop good and proper eating habits from the start.

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