Infant Feeding Schedule - A Look At The First 12 Months

Infant Feeding Schedule – A Look At The First 12 Months

By: - Babies - July 13, 2011
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Infant feeding schedules can often be unpredictable. However, during the critical early months of infant development, finding an infant feeding program that works best for you and your baby is vital for healthy living and development.

While breast milk is the ideal food for babies, formula can also be used. Do not give babies water, juice or any other liquids that can interfere with a baby’s desire for milk or lead to malnourishment. An infant feeding schedule typically follows a one-year guideline and is designed to feed a baby whenever he or she is hungry.

For the first month of the baby’s life, an infant feeding schedule typically recommends feeding the baby every two to three hours, or eight to ten times a day. If using formula, feed the infant every three to four hours, or six to eight feedings a day at two-three ounces per feeding.

From one to four months old, infants should be fed breast milk six to eight times a day, though these numbers will slightly decrease as the infant begins sleeping more at night. If using formula, feed your baby four to six ounces per feeding, five to six times a day, or every four to five hours.

At around four to six months, babies can safely be introduced to solid foods. If you are still breastfeeding, your child should be eating every three to four hours. If you are using formula, the baby should be eating six to eight ounces every four to five hours. At this point of a baby’s development and infant feeding program, it is safe to introduce rice cereal or strained fruits or vegetables, but pay attention to any signs of food allergies in the form of rashes or diarrhea.

During the six to nine month period, babies are usually fed four to six times a day, but this number will decrease as your baby begins eating more solid foods. If you are using formula, a baby should be consuming anywhere from 24-30 ounces per day. This stage is a good time to begin to introduce juice into your baby’s diet. At seven months, babies can consume yogurt, and at eight months, they can begin to eat finely milled meat.

At nine to 12 months of age, babies are typically eating a majority of solid foods and may only require around four feedings a day, and formula intake will generally fall to around 24 ounces a day. At this stage, children may be eating a variety of solid foods including pasta, fruit and vegetables, scrambled eggs, or soft cheeses. Avoid round foods that could pose a choking hazard such as nuts or grapes.

Educating yourself about an infant feeding program that works best for you and your baby’s lifestyle is the best way to ensure your baby is receiving the nutrients he or she needs. Following an infant feeding schedule can help ensure healthy growth and development for your baby.