Mother Feeding Baby Sitting In High Chair At Mealtime

Baby Feeding Chart

Are you worried about what and how much to feed your baby? This article presents a feeding chart by age which includes signs of progress too. It will help you design a healthy diet for your baby up to one year.
As you know, breast feeding is best for the newborn babies. Many new moms, by choice or out of necessity, choose a baby formula instead of breast feeding, or in addition to breast feeding. Up to nearly 4 months, breastfeeding is the best option to make your baby strong and healthy. The first milk your breasts produce is known as colostrum, and it is full of antibodies and immunoglobulins, which not only help protect newborns as they come into our world of bacteria and viruses, but also has a laxative effect that helps them expel the tarry first stools called meconium. Colostrum can be named as "first vaccination" of the baby.

Feeding up to Four Months

Up to 4 or 5 months, you should not introduce solid food in your baby's diet. If after breast feeding, your baby seems relaxed and satisfied, and if your baby continues to gain weight, then it is clear that the baby is getting adequate nourishment through breastfeeding.

Following can be a rough guideline to judge whether your baby is getting enough nourishment: In the first month, your baby should gain 5 to 10 ounces a week, in months 2 and 3, she should gain 5 to 8 ounces a week, in months 3 to 6, she should gain between 2.5 and 4.5 ounces a week, and from 6 to 12 months, she should put on 1 to 3 ounces a week.

Keep it in mind that babies eat when they're hungry, and naturally stop when they're full. Different babies will have different appetites. The nutritional needs of your baby may vary from day to day. Hungry babies usually smack their lips or suck, root (turn their heads toward your hand when you stroke their cheeks), and put their hands into their mouth.

Feeding Chart

AgeSigns of ProgressWhat to FeedHow Much to Feed
4 to 6 Months
  • Can hold head up
  • Can roll-over
  • Makes chewing motions
  • Shows interest in food
  • Seems hungry after 8 to 10 feedings of breast milk or 40 oz. of baby formula in a day
  • Baby teething
  • Breast milk
  • Baby Formula after consulting the pediatrician
  • Iron fortified rice cereal in liquid form
  • You can also give other grain cereals like oats and barley in liquid form.
  • To start with, you can give about 1 teaspoon dry rice cereal mixed with 4 to 5 teaspoons breast milk or formula.
  • By thickening the consistency gradually, you can increase the quantity to 1 tablespoon dry cereal, mixed with breast milk or formula, twice a day.
6 to 8 Months
  • Starts communicating using her own language
  • Becomes aware of the moving objects.
  • Tries to move ahead
  • Starts responding to lullabies and play songs.
  • Breast milk or formula
  • Iron fortified cereals of rice, barley, oat in semi liquid form.
  • Pureed and strained fruits like banana, pears, kiwis, mangoes, etc.
  • Pureed and strained vegetables like carrots, sweet potato, spinach etc.
  • 3 to 9 tablespoons cereal, in 2 to 3 feedings
  • Initially feed 1 teaspoon fruit, and gradually increase the quantity to ¼ to ½ cup in 2 to 3 feedings
  • To start with, give 1 teaspoon vegetables, then you can increase the quantity gradually to ¼ to ½ cup in 2 to 3 feedings
8 to 10 Months
  • All the above signs plus
  • Baby can pick up objects with thumb and forefinger
  • Whatever the baby picks, puts it in mouth
  • Baby can transfer the items from one hand to another
  • Proper motion of the jaw for chewing the food
  • Tries to crawl
  • Breast milk or formula
  • Iron-fortified cereals (rice, barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals) in semi liquid form
  • Mashed fruits and vegetables like beets, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage, bananas, potatoes, carrots, peaches, and pears
  • Very small amounts of soft pasteurized cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese
  • Finger food that your baby can pick up and eat by itself like well cooked pastas, teething crackers, etc.
  • Very small amount of proteins like egg, boneless fish, tofu, mashed beans, pureed meats, etc.
  • Naturally sweet fruit juices like apple juice
  • ¼ to ⅓ cup dairy (or ½ oz. cheese)
  • 3 to 4 oz. fruit juices
  • ¼ to ½ cup fruit
  • ¼ to ½ cup iron-fortified cereal
  • ¼ to ½ cup vegetables
  • ⅛ to ¼ cup protein foods
10 to 12 Months
  • Same as 8-10 months and
  • Easily swallows the food
  • Baby has more teeth
  • Baby tries to use a spoon
  • Breast milk or formula and
  • Iron-fortified cereals of rice, barley, wheat, oats, mixed cereals, etc.
  • Mashed fruit or cubes or strips or fruit
  • Naturally sweet fruit juices
  • Soft-cooked vegetables like cauliflower, carrots
  • Some food combinations like macaroni and cheese
  • Lightly toasted bread or bagels, teething crackers
  • Pureed or finely ground meats, mashed beans, boneless fish, etc.
  • ½ oz. cheese
  • 3 to 4 oz. fruit juices
  • ⅛ to ¼ cup protein foods
  • ¼ to ½ cup fruit
  • ¼ to ½ cup iron-fortified cereal
  • ¼ to ½ cup vegetables
  • ⅛ to ¼ cup combo foods

The chart is just an example. It is perfectly alright if your child eats more or less than the amounts shown in the chart. It is not at all necessary that you introduce new food to your baby in a particular order. It is possible that your baby won't show all the signs of progress expected - don't worry, it is perfectly normal. The signs of progress, mentioned above, are just clues to watch for. Don't panic, if your baby does not eat the cereal on the first try, offer it again in a few days. Remember, you should introduce new foods, one at a time, after consulting the doctor. There should be at least three days gap in between, to make sure your baby is not allergic, and is able to digest the food easily.

Do you know that finger foods are fun for babies? It can be an important early step towards independence. Finger food can be considered as means to develop baby's fine motor skills and coordination. It may get messy but let the baby enjoy this learning experience. So don't be too quick with the washcloth! You too should enjoy baby feeding!

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.
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