Baby feeding charts: See what our pediatricians recommend

Tips for parents / Sanitas Medical Center

Date: January 4, 2022
Baby feeding charts: See what our pediatricians recommend

The joy of having a baby is an unbelievable adventure full of challenges, either if it is your first child or if you already have experienced it. Sanitas is here to join you in this adventure.

One of the most challenging aspects of having a new baby is nutrition. Whether your baby is a newborn or a 6- to 12-month-old, or if you are breastfeeding, using formula or introducing solid food, a lot of questions are always in mind.

How frequent should I feed my baby? How many ounces of formula or breastmilk should my baby take? Should I wake up my baby to eat? When can my child start solids? Educating yourself as a parent and knowing some tips can help make your parenthood easier and your baby healthier.

A newborn baby has a very small stomach. Its size is like that of an olive, and only can hold up to 1.5 teaspoons of liquid at a time. By the second day it can hold almost 1 ounce. By the first week, 1.5 to 2 ounces, and by the first month 2.5 to 5 ounces. You can see as your baby gets older, their stomach stretches and grows.

The breastmilk or formula is enough for them in the first 4 to 6 month of life. It has all the required nutrients for a baby. When time comes to introduce solids, it should be done slowly and making sure that the new food is safe for your baby.

How often should I nurse my baby?

Although every baby is unique, there are some points and recommendations that are common for all of them:

  1. It’s hard to know how much milk your baby is taking in while breastfeeding.
  2. Breastfeeding babies eat more frequently than bottle-fed ones, because breastmilk is easily and quicker digested than formula milk.
  3. A newborn baby needs to be feed 8-12 times daily. As they age and gain weight, they start to take in more milk at one time and need less feed times per day. You might start to notice a pattern in your baby feeding needs.
  4. Don’t give liquids other than formula or breast milk to babies under a year old. That includes juices and cow’s milk.
  5. Water can be introduced around 6 months old by very small takes; however, it is best to avoid it unless they are very thirsty or the weather is very hot.
  6. Never mix any other food (for example, cereals) in your baby’s milk formula.

You can find a guide for a daily chart and schedule for breastmilk or formula below:

 

AGE

HOW MUCH?

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I NURSE THE BABY IN A DAY?

1 day - 2 weeks 

0.5 ounces the first day.

Then 1 - 3 ounces

Breast milk 8 - 12 times

Formula every 2 - 3 hours

2 weeks - 2 months

2 - 4 ounces

Breast milk 7 - 9 times

Formula 3 - 4 hours

2 - 4 months

4 - 6 ounces

Breast milk 6 - 8 times

Formula every 4 - 5 hours

4 - 6 months

4 - 8 ounces

Breast milk around 6 times

Formula every 4 - 5 hours

6 months or more

8 ounces

Breast milk 6 or less times

Formula every 4 - 6 hours

 

How to start solids?

First you have to know when your baby is ready to eat solids. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and La Leche League International recommend starting solid food at 4-6 months old only if the baby has good head control and weighs 13 or more pounds. At this point you may notice that the baby stars reaching for food and seems interested in what you are eating.

But how and which food should I start feeding my baby? The AAP says that it doesn’t matter in what order you introduce foods. What you should do is to stick with one food for 3 to 5 days before introducing another kind of food. If there’s an allergic reaction (rash, diarrhea, vomiting), you can know which food is causing it.

Follow the next recommendations to start solid foods in your baby:

  1. Don´t give your baby sugars, honey or salt during their first year
  2. Star with pureed food as mashed banana, cereal or soups
  3. As your baby grows, the food can have more texture
  4. Cook or chop hard fresh fruits like apples into very small pieces to soften them
  5. By 8 months, babies are taking in about 30 ounces a day between solid and breastmilk or formula
  6. For nuts food as peanut butter, it is better to wait until the first year to introduce them
  7. Avoid food than could be a choking hazard for your baby, such as:
    • Popcorn or nuts
    • Any meat that isn’t well cooked and very well chopped
    • Cheese cubes
    • Peanut butter
    • Not cooked beans or peas

See this daily chart and schedule to start solid food:

 

AGE

WHICH FOOD?

HOW MUCH?

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I FEED THE BABY IN A DAY?

4 - 6 months

Soft Pureed food

Infant cereal

1 - 2 tablespoons

5 - 6 feedings

6 - 9 month

Infant cereal

Mashed Fruits or vegetables

Mashed Meats or beans

2 - 4 tablespoons

4 - 6 feedings

9 -12 months

Infant cereal

Mashed Fruits or vegetables

Mashed Meats or beans

Dairy such as cheese or yogurt

3 - 4 tablespoons

4 - 6 feedings

 

As your baby reaches the first birthday, he/she should be eating a variety of foods and taking in about 4 ounces of solids at each meal. Always continue to offer breastmilk or formula.

How to get on a feeding schedule

It is very important for you stay calm. Your baby will naturally start to fall into a feeding pattern as he/she grows and can take in more food at one sitting. This may begin to happen between 2 and 4 months of age. By that time parents may be able to introduce a sleep/feed schedule.

At Sanitas, we offer well child visit and pediatrics. Our staff is ready to solve all your doubts regarding your children nutrition and health.

At Sanitas we care about you and your baby!

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