Baby Feeding Schedule: A Guide for the First Year

Sleep, eat, pee and poop, repeat. These are the highlights of the daily life of a brand new baby.

And if you're a new parent, the source of a lot of your questions and worries might be the diet part.

How many grams should my baby take?

Should I feed him even if he is sleeping?

Why does he always seem to be hungry?

When can my child start eating solid foods ?

The questions abound and the solutions have changed since you were a little boy, despite Grandma's insistence. It is now recommended that newborns eat on demand , even those who are formula fed (which is good for adolescence) and that babies wait until they are 4-6 months old to start eating solid foods.

Baby feeding schedule by age

A baby's stomach is the size of a marble on the first day of life and can only hold one teaspoon of liquid at a time. Baby's belly stretches and expands as it grows.

It's hard (or impossible, actually) to know how much milk your baby is getting while breastfeeding. But it's a little easier to calculate if you're bottle-feeding her for a variety of legitimate reasons.

Here is a standard feeding plan for bottle-fed babies, developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

Age Volume of food solid food
Up to 2 weeks 1.5 cl the first few days then 3 to 9 cl No
2 weeks to 4 months 6 to 12 cl No
2 to 4 months 12 to 18 cl No
4 to 6 months 12 to 25 cl Possible, if your baby can hold his head up and weighs at least 6 kg. But you don't need to introduce solid foods yet.
6 to 12 months 25 cl Yes, start with soft foods, like single-grain cereals and pureed vegetables, meats, and fruits, then move on to mashed and chunky foods. Give your baby one new food at a time. Continue to breastfeed or bottle feed.

How often should your baby eat?

Every baby is different, but in general: breastfed babies eat more often than bottle-fed babies. This is because breast milk is quickly digested and empties from the stomach much faster than formula milk. Discover in this article the best positions to feed your baby with a bottle.

Breastfed children

Even if you are tired, there is no rest. You should start breastfeeding your baby within an hour of birth and give him around 8-12 feeds a day for the first few weeks of his life (yes, we're exhausted for you).

At first, it is important not to leave your baby without a feed for more than 4 hours. If possible, you will eventually need to wake him up at least until breastfeeding is well established and he is gaining weight properly.

Your baby will be able to take in more milk in one feed as he develops and your milk supply increases. This is when you might start to see a more regular and predictable pattern.

  • 1 to 3 months : Your baby will be fed 7 to 9 times a day.
  • 3 months : Breastfeeding takes place 6 to 8 times a day.
  • 6 months : Your baby will be fed about 6 times a day.
  • 12 months : Breastfeeding can be reduced to about 4 times a day. Introducing solid foods at around 6 months helps meet your baby's additional nutritional needs.

Keep in mind that this scheme is only one example among many. Every baby has different rhythms and preferences, as well as other factors that influence feeding frequency.

Bottle-fed babies

Like breastfed babies, bottle -fed newborns must eat on demand. On average, it's about every 2 or 3 hours. A typical feeding schedule might look like this:

  • Newborn: every 2 to 3 hours
  • At 2 months: every 3 to 4 hours
  • From 4 to 6 months: every 4 to 5 hours
  • From 6 months: every 4 to 5 hours

For breastfed and bottle-fed babies

  • Do not give liquids other than formula or breast milk to babies under one year old. This includes juices and cow's milk. They don't provide the right nutrients (if any) and can upset your baby's tummy. Water can be introduced around 6 months when you start giving him a cup.
  • Do not add baby cereal .
    • This can create a choking hazard.
    • A baby's digestive system isn't mature enough to handle cereal until about 4 to 6 months of age.
    • You risk overfeeding your baby.
  • Do not give honey to your baby before his first birthday. Honey can be dangerous for a baby and can sometimes cause what is called infant botulism.
  • Adapt your expectations according to your baby and his particular needs. Premature babies are likely to follow age-appropriate feeding patterns. If your baby is having difficulties, such as reflux or growth failure, you may need to work with your doctor to determine the rate and amount of food he should eat.

How to set a baby feeding schedule

Schedules are every parent's holy grail. When her tummy expands, your child will eventually get into a feeding routine and she'll take in more breast milk or formula at one time. This can start to happen between 2 and 4 months of age.

For now, focus on learning your child's hunger cues, such as:

  • Look for a nipple, search your chest.
  • Place a hand in his mouth
  • Their lips smack or lick each other
  • Worries that can easily escalate (don't wait until the baby is angry to feed him)

You can set up a sleep/feeding routine that works for you until your baby is a few months old. Discover here the typical day of a baby to combine sleep and food.

Let's say, for example, that your four-month-old wakes up every five hours for a meal. If you eat at 9 p.m., that means your baby wakes up at 2 a.m. But if you get up and feed him at 11 p.m., just before you go to bed, he won't wake up until 4 a.m., giving you plenty of sleep.

And if baby is still hungry, what to do?

If your baby is still hungry, feed him. During growth spurts, which usually occur around 3 weeks, 3 months and 6 months, your baby will naturally feed more frequently.

Many infants will feed in grouped periods , which means that at some times they feed more often and at others less. Your baby may feed in bulk in the late afternoon and evening, for example, and then sleep longer at night (yay!). It is more common in breastfed children than in bottle-fed infants.

When and how to give solid food to baby?

Your baby is probably ready for solid foods if he is between 4 and 6 months old and:

  • That he has his head under control
  • Seem interested in what you eat
  • search for food
  • Weighs 6kg or more

What are the best foods to start with?

The order in which you add the foods doesn't really matter. The only real rule: stick to one food for 3-5 days before offering another. You will know the food is the cause if there is an allergic reaction (rash, diarrhea, vomiting are typical first signs).

As baby grows, mash up pureed foods for those with more texture (eg, mashed banana, scrambled egg, or well-cooked, chopped pasta). This usually happens around 8 to 10 months of age.

Your store offers a whole range of baby food. If you want to make them yourself, you don't need to add sugar or salt . Also, do not give your baby any foods that could pose a choking hazard, including:

  • Hard foods, such as popcorn or nuts
  • Fresh and hard fruits, such as apples; cook to soften or cut into very small pieces
  • Any meat that is not well cooked and very well ground (including hot dogs)
  • Peanut butter (but talk to your pediatrician about this and the benefits of introducing diluted peanut butter before age 1)

As her first birthday approaches, your baby needs to eat a variety of foods and get about 100 grams of solids at each meal. Continue to offer breast milk or formula. At 8 months, babies drink about 800 milliliters a day.

Other Baby Concerns

Babies are not cookie cutters. Some will gain weight easily, while others will have problems. Things that can affect a baby's weight gain include:

  • Have a congenital condition such as a cleft lip or palate, which creates feeding problems
  • Have a milk protein intolerance
  • To be premature
  • Being bottle-fed rather than breast-fed

A 2012 study of more than 1,800 babies found that bottle-fed infants, whether containing breast milk or formula, gained more weight in the first year than exclusively bottle-fed babies.

Your baby's doctor is the best person to advise you on your baby's healthy weight range.

Parents' biggest concern is knowing when, how, and what to feed their baby , but there's good news: most babies know when they're hungry and when they're full, and they'll let you know. , Don't worry.

You just need to present them with the right products at the right time and pay attention to the signals. If you have any questions or concerns, your pediatrician is there to help.

Leave a comment

This blog is moderated.