Baby Feeding Guide: The First Year
You are wondering how much breast milk, formula, or solid food to give your child? Remember that every infant requires a different amount according to age, hunger, and body weight. It is important to give your infant the appropriate nutrients during the first year during their feeding schedule.
Breast milk or formula is the only food your baby needs for the first 4 to 6 months. Once your kid shows signs of readiness, you can next introduce solid foods. Check out the recommended feeding schedules for babies by age.
Recommended Feeding Guide for the First Year
Breast milk and formula are the two primary sources of food throughout an infant’s first year of life. Before introducing solid foods to your baby, consult a healthcare professional. Breast milk or formula contains all the nutrients your baby needs, and solid food shouldn’t be introduced before the age of four months for the following reasons:
- Your baby isn’t physically ready to eat solid food from a spoon;
- Giving your infant solid food too early might lead to uncomfortable feedings and more weight growth during infancy and the early years of childhood.
All the calories new-borns receive should come from breast milk or formula. Here is a tentative breakdown.
Feeding Schedule for Breastfed New-borns
From birth, support your baby’s growth by providing nutritious food. You need to feed your baby frequently to make sure they get enough. Be prepared to nurse every two to three hours or so. If you’re breastfeeding, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Each feeding involves 1-2 ounces of breastmilk for the baby. This amount will rise to 2-3 ounces by the time your baby is two weeks old.
- Check that your baby latches on properly. Infants who are frustrated or preoccupied may have trouble latching on.
- A growing baby nurse more frequently.
- When feeding, alternate breasts during each feed.
- Keep an eye out for your baby’s fullness signals. The baby may turn away from the breast, feed more slowly, or stop taking milk.
- Add vitamin D oral supplements to your baby’s diet.
Feeding Schedule for Formula-Fed New-borns
Standard infant formula is a suitable substitute for healthy full-term infants when breast milk is unavailable. Observe the following tips if your infant is formula-fed:
- Formula-fed newborns will initially require two to three ounces (60 to 90 milliliters) of formula per feeding.
- The baby will need at least four ounces of food per feeding to meet the nutritional requirements by the one-month milestone.
- The caregiver should hold the baby and the bottle during interactive bottle-feeding.
- Watch for signs of hunger and fullness to decide when and how much to feed.
- As a baby consumes more solid meals, the formula they consume will decrease.
- There are some variations among brands. Ask your doctor for a suggestion.
- Consult your doctor before switching a baby under a year old from formula to cow’s milk or a cow’s milk substitute.
1-3 Months Old
Your baby will grow more vocal about notifying you when they are hungry between 1 and 3 months of age. When the baby is 1-3 months old, they need to consume:
- According to the AAP, a 2-month-old baby will typically consume 4 to 5 ounces every three to four hours.
- If you feed formula, you might want to search for a brand like Similac Pro-Advance that has 2′-FL HMO added as a supplement.
Even though numerous studies have not revealed any definite advantages, the prebiotic is naturally present in breast milk and improves intestinal health.
4-6 Months Old
Around 5 or 6 months old, most infants are ready to begin solid foods. Never introduce solids before 4 months of age. Milk should still be the primary source of nourishment. When the baby is 4 months old, they need to consume:
- 4-6 ounces per feeding when they’re 4 months old.
- 24 to 36 ounces of formula over 24 hours.
- 1 to 4 tablespoons of cereal once or twice a day.
- 1 to 4 tablespoons of fruit and vegetable once or twice a day.
6-9 Months Old
This schedule assumes that your 6 and 9 month baby is taking three naps, and you’re introducing solid foods by spoon-feeding purées.
- 32 ounces of formula each day.
- 1 to 6 tablespoons of protein each day, such as yogurt, cottage cheese, or egg whites that have been crumbled.
- Provide foods like single-grain baby cereal with added iron and pureed fruits, vegetables, and meats.
9-12 Months Old
About half of your baby’s calories should come from food by the time they are 9 to 12 months old, with the other half coming from breast milk or formula.
- Use yogurt or oatmeal as a dip for vegetables or whole-grain crackers.
- 16 to 30 ounces of formula or milk over 24 hours.
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup each of grains, fruit, and veggies twice daily.
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of dairy foods every day.
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of protein-packed foods every day.
After 12 Months
Serve whole milk in a sippy cup with meals and snacks to meet calcium requirements. 2 to 3 cups should be consumed daily by toddlers. They will be more ravenous and open to trying new things if you aim for a set meal and snack times.
Never forget to ask your paediatrician for advice if you have questions about the recommended feeding schedule for babies.