Infant Feeding Schedule

In the first year of a baby's life, he or she will go through many diet changes. Although each child may follow a different diet, there is a standard feeding schedule recommended for all infants. Establishing a healthy feeding schedule is also important in teaching your child good eating habits for the future.


An Overview of the Feeding Schedule for Infants

Never will a person go through more changes in their diet than they do in their first year of life. An infant's diet starts out as complete liquid. It then moves into some solids (albeit pretty mushy) with liquids. By the end of the first year, 50 percent of an infant's nutrition will come from complementary foods; the rest from breast milk or formula.
 
Infant nutrition goes beyond just satisfying nutritional needs, though. This is also an important time, because research has shown that eating habits established during the first two years of life carry through into adulthood. That is why establishing good eating habits from the start is critical.
 

Feeding Chart for Healthy Infants

The chart below illustrates a typical infant feeding schedule for the first year of life.

Foods
Birth to 3 Months
4 to 6 Months
6 to 8 Months
8 to 10 Months
10 to 12 Months
Human Milk
Month 1:

Frequent feedings; about 10-12 feeding per 24 hours

 
Month 2 and 3:

About 8-10 feedings per 24 hours

Frequent feedings; about 7-9 feedings in 24 hours

On demand; will be about 4-6 feedings in 24 hours

On demand; will be about 4 or more feedings in 24 hours

On demand; will be about 3 or more feedings in 24 hours

Iron-Fortified Formula

(see Baby Formula Feeding for more details on how to calculate amounts and the number of feedings)

0 to 1 month:

18-24 ounces

 
1 to 2 months:

22-28 ounces

 
2 to 3 months:

24-32 ounces

4 to 5 months:

25-40 ounces

 
5 to 6 months:

25-45 ounces

 

24-32 ounces; offer cup

24-32 ounces; offer cup

16-24 ounces; offer cup

Cereals and Breads
None

Iron-fortified infant cereal (by spoon)

 

Start with 2-3 teaspoons. Mix with breast milk, formula, or water. Feed twice a day.

  • All varieties of plain, box infant cereal; 1 to 4 tablespoons twice a day
 
  • Slowly introduce crackers or dry, unsweetened cereals; 1 serving, twice a day
  • All varieties of plain, box infant cereal; 2 to 3 tablespoons twice a day
 
  • Soft breads (such as plain bagels or rolls) or dry unsweetened cereals; 2-3 small servings

Toast, crackers, bread, bagels, rolls, plain muffins, rice, noodles, and unsweetened, dry cereal;

4 small servings per day

Fruit Juices
None
None

100 percent fruit juice with vitamin C; offer child-size cup (1-2 oz) twice a day

100 percent fruit juice with vitamin C; offer child-size cup (1-2 oz) twice a day

100 percent fruit juice with vitamin C; offer child-size cup (1-2 oz) twice a day

Protein Foods
None
None
  • Pureed meats; 1-2 tablespoons, twice a day
 
  • Plain yogurt (can be mixed with soft fruit or applesauce); 1-2 tablespoons per day

2- 3 tablespoons per day of:

 
  • Well-cooked, bite-sized pieces of meat, poultry, or fish
 
  • Mild soft cheese
 
  • Cooked beans, egg yolk, and cottage cheese

1 ounce or ¼ cup, twice a day of:

 
  • Small, tender pieces of lean means, chicken, or fish
 
  • Ground or chopped meats
 
  • Cheese strips
 
Fruits
None
None

Mashed bananas, applesauce, or jarred fruits; 2 tablespoons, twice a day

3-4 tablespoons, twice a day of:

 
  • Peeled, soft, fresh fruits or fruits canned in water or juice
 
  • Soft bite-sized pieces, no seeds

¼ cup, twice a day of:

 
  • Peeled, soft, fresh fruits or fruits canned in water or juice
 
  • Soft bite-sized pieces, no seeds
 
Vegetables
None
None

Strained or mashed vegetables (jarred or cooked); 2 tablespoons, twice a day:

 
  • Squash
  • Peas
  • Green beans
  • Carrots
  • Spinach

3-4 tablespoons, twice a day of:

 
  • Cooked, mashed vegetables
 
  • Soft, bite-size pieces
 

¼ cup, twice a day of:

 
  • Cooked, mashed vegetables
 
  • Soft bite-size pieces
 
Water
None
None

2-4 ounces, twice a day

2-4 ounces, twice a day

2-4 ounces, twice a day

Adapted from the Massachusetts and Maine WIC Programs.
 
Baby Milestones You've Never Heard Of

Guide To Feeding Infants

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