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When to start Solid foods for baby and Baby Feeding Schedule

Updated on March 1, 2012

Starting solid foods for babies

 

Starting your baby on solid foods is the beginning of lifelong eating habits that contribute to your baby's overall health. Here are general guidelines that can help you start your baby out on the right track to a healthy life. Starting baby solid foods and feeding schedule too early can cause your baby to develop food allergies.

when to start baby on solid foods
when to start baby on solid foods

Feeding your baby

baby food
baby food

When to start baby on solid foods

Your baby's intestinal tract is not as fully developed during the first few months and introducing solids at this time can be too much to handle. Waiting until six months to introduce solid foods into your baby's diet will help minimise the risk of her developing adverse reactions to foods and allergies. This is particularly important if you have a family history of allergies, as the incidence of adverse food reactions, allergies and celiac disease does decrease if you delay weaning until this time.

Another reason for holding off on solids is your baby's inability to swallow solids correctly before 4 to 6 months of age and this can potentially cause choking. And contrary to the popular myth, starting solid foods and feeding schedule early will not help your child to sleep through the night. If you feel your baby needs to start solid foods before five months, do discuss it with your health care provider first. This is particularly important if your baby was born prematurely. Doctors state that starting solid foods for baby and feeding schedule should not be introduced before the end of your baby's fourth month. If you do decide to wean your baby onto solids before five months, there are a number of foods that need to be avoided. Make sure you pay attention to the ingredients, try to avoid anything containing gluten, eggs, cheese, dairy products, fish and shellfish as they could provoke an allergic reaction.

Baby feeding schedule and feeding chart is also discussed in detail below and in a picture form. Please refer to the baby feeding chart picture below for a quick recap.

Here are some signs to tell when to start baby solid foods

  • He or she is at least 4 or 6 months old.
  • Doubles birth weight and weighs at least 13-15 pounds.
  • Seems hungry after 8 to 10 breastfeedings a day or drinks 32 ounces of formula a day.
  • He or she can sit with support, allowing her to lean forward when she wants another spoonful and backward to refuse.
  • He or she is drinking at least 32-40 ounces of formula per 24-hours and still wants more.
  • He or she is breast feeding at least 8-10 times per 24-hours (after the first few weeks), empties both breasts at each feeding, and still wants more.
  • The time between feedings becomes shorter and shorter over a period of several days Baby can bring object in their hand directly to their mouth.
  • Shows interest in others eating around them.
  • Baby becomes fussy in the middle of the night, whereas before the baby slept with no problem. Or sleep periods becoming shorter and shorter instead of longer.

This will help determine when to introduce solid foods to your baby and also the baby feeding schedule.

Baby feeding schedule
Baby feeding schedule

Baby Feeding Schedule

Baby solid foods for 4-5 months baby:

At this age, breast milk or formula is the only food that your baby needs and he should be taking 4-6 feedings each day (24-32 ounces), but you can start to familiarize your baby with the feel of a spoon and introduce solid foods.

When to start baby on rice cereal?

Rice cereal is the first baby solid food you should give your baby and you can mix with it breast milk, formula or water. Always start with iron fortified rice cereal or oatmeal. Feed your baby solid foods from an infant spoon, not a bottle. Start with a thin mixture and gradually make thicker as the baby learns to handle solid foods. Build up the amount, as the appetite demands, usually 3-4 tablespoons of dry cereal. This can be given in one or two meals. Do not give mixed cereal until you are sure the baby can tolerate rice, oatmeal and barley alone. If your baby pushes the spoon out with their tongue, try to be patient. You can wait a day or two and then try again. There is not rush to get them to eat solid foods.

Feeding schedule for 6-7 months baby

When to start baby on vegetables?

While continuing to give 4-5 feedings of breast milk or formula (24-32 ounces) and 4 or more tablespoons of cereal each day, you can also start yellow or orange vegetables first. Carrots, squash and sweet potato are good choices to start. You can give the step 1 baby solid foods, or you can puree your own vegetables at home. You can also try mild tasting vegetable such as green beans and peas and gradually increase to 4-5 tablespoons one or two times each day. After 3-4 days, introduce another vegetable, and then try a green. If the baby does not like green veggies, mix in a yellow one. Always start with just a few teaspoons and work up to more at your baby's own pace.

When to start baby on fruits?

Start fruits about a month after starting vegetables and again, gradually increase to 4-5 tablespoons one or two times each day. Always start with applesauce, pears or bananas. You can try one fruit for 3-4 days. Then introduce another fruit if your baby has no reactions. Remember to buy fruits without tapioca or starches added. Once your baby gets used to different textures you may mash up a banana or other soft fruit on your own.

You can also begin to offer 2-4 ounces of 100% fruit juices. Start by mixing one part juice with two parts of water and offer it in a bottle.

Feeding schedule and sample meal plan for 6-7 months baby

Breakfast: 4-6 tablespoons baby cereal, 6-8 oz breast milk feeding or formula

Mid-morning: 2-4 oz breast milk feeding or formula

Lunch: 2-4 tablespoons cooked strained vegetables (carrots, squash, green beans), 6-8 oz breast milk feeding or formula

Mid-afternoon: 4-6 oz breast milk feeding or formula

Evening snack: 2-4 tablespoons cooked fruits (applesauce, pears or bananas)

Dinner: 2-4 tablespoons cooked strained vegetables or rice cereal, 6-8 oz breast milk feeding or formula.

Baby Feeding Chart

Baby Feeding Schedule
Baby Feeding Schedule

Solid foods for 8-9 months baby

While continuing to give 3-4 feedings of breast milk or formula (24-32 ounces) and 4 or more tablespoons of cereal, vegetables and fruit one or two times each day, you can now start to give more protein containing solid foods. These include well cooked, strained meats (chicken), mild cheese and egg yolks (no egg whites as there is a high chance of allergic reactions in infants less than 12 months old baby). You can also give cheese, yogurt, cooked mashed beans and lentils.

You can also begin to offer 3-4 ounces of formula or 100% fruit juice in a cup at this time.

Solid foods for 10-12 months baby:

Your baby's diet will begin to resemble that of the rest of the families, with 3 meals and 2 snacks each day and will include 3-4 feedings of breast milk or formula, iron fortified cereal (1/4 - 1/2 cup at breakfast), vegetables and fruits (1/2 cup/jar at lunch and dinner), protein foods (2-4 tablespoons each day), 100% fruit juice (2-6 ounces in a cup each day), and some finger foods.

It is important to offer a variety of foods to encourage good eating habits later.

When to start baby on table foods:

You can also start to offer soft baby table foods and finger foods at this age. You can give table foods like dry cheerios, soft table vegetables, some fresh fruit, cottage cheese, pasta, graham or saltine crackers, but do not give these foods if the child is going to be unattended in case of choking.

How do you know if your baby is food sensitive?

Severe diarrhea or vomiting, a rash, or wheezing may be symptoms of sensitivity to a specific food. On the other hand, they may just be coincidence. If you think your baby reacts to a food, stop feeding that food. Try it again in a few weeks. Always call your health care provider for any information.

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    • moonloh profile image

      moonloh 8 years ago from Singapore

      very details information here! I have posted similar topic at my blog and great to learn more from you. =)

    • Kat07 profile image

      Kat07 8 years ago from Tampa

      Thanks for the great info! Love the timeline!

    • profile image

      KrisZara 8 years ago from El Centro, CA

      Excellent advice. Also remember when offering finger foods to cut foods into chunks or quarters to minimize choking hazards. No carrot "pennies" or whole grapes.

    • Sarah Songing profile image

      Sarah Songing 8 years ago

      Great hub, Blessedmom. Very well researched, informative, and detailed. Good work!

      I would like to contribute a list of a few foods to avoid at this age: hot dogs, nuts, grapes, raw carrots, peanut butter, apple chunks, and popcorn. A good rule of thumb is to avoid foods that are hard, chunky, or need to be chewed. Wait until your child is at least two years old to reduce the risk of choking.

      If any new moms are reading articles like this and feeling overwhelmed- I want to encourage you to relax and take it one day at a time. Mothers have been introducing their infants to solid food for thousands of years- you can do this! Simply follow the basic guidelines above: start with baby cereal, add new foods in at least three to four days apart and watch for any reactions.

      I would also encourage all parents to know the basics of infant and child first aid. Choking is preventable, but also easily remedied if you are calm and familiar with these techniques.

    • profile image

      Ashley 8 years ago

      I am getting ready to start my son on solid foods. This topic is the one thing that wasn't outlined? I any of the books I've read. This article was very helpful. I'd ask my family how they did it, but they are so far away so I'm kind doing it by ear, instinct, suggestions, and books.

    • profile image

      simran 8 years ago

      good information from u,i would like to know growth chart of 15-18 months baby

    • Hendrika profile image

      Hendrika 7 years ago from Pretoria, South Africa

      Very good info. It is so, though, that some babies refuse vegetables and prefer soft fruit. My son was like that and now we have the same with our one grandson. He is HUGE and strong at 7 months, but he refuses all vegetables and rice cereal while he loves his fruit and baby oats! He is really big and there is no way of getting him full with his formula, so fruit and oats its is.

    • Chin chin profile image

      Chin chin 7 years ago from Philippines

      My 5th child is now 9 months old. Though she's the 5th, this hub is still a good read, reminds me of the essentials in feeding baby's first solid foods.

    • Lana Helmy profile image

      Lana Helmy 7 years ago

      Very detailed information:o) My baby girl is 1 year old,and it's was good to remember our milestones.

    • MaggieKubicko profile image

      MaggieKubicko 7 years ago

      Very detailed. I have a four year old and a three month old, but it is good to read as a reminder for what is to come with our little guy.

    • profile image

      Baby foods and feeding  6 years ago

      Thanks for the interesting Post..It will helps a lot to all Parents..Keep sharing..

    • profile image

      Baby Food 6 years ago

      Excellent post and very detailed information about the solid food for babies. A proper diet plan or natural food is necessary. I appreciate your views and particle approach. Thank you so much for sharing this detailed article.

    • profile image

      Kim 6 years ago

      My son bypassed that all together. He started eating solid foods that were ground up at 2 months old. Then he finally switched to eating entire whole food chunks at about 6 months to a year.

    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 6 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Thanks this answers some questions for my wife and I, and it all seems to jibe with our Doctors' advice.

      Ben

    • profile image

      Naeem Jan Amin 6 years ago

      I have an observation regarding holding back solid food till the infant is six months old. My grand daughter who was born 4 weeks premature started crying at night, and gave signs of being hungry, but when given her bottle she would drink more and then regurgitate all of it, and resume crying. It was only when I gave her a soft banana,(against her mother's wishes) that she felt satisfied and dozed off to sleep the whole night. So the sleeping part is NOT a myth, in my grand daughter's case it was a FACT.

    • profile image

      Shama 6 years ago

      Thanx a million. It's been a great help. Being a mum n looking after the lilltle one all alone is so difficult. Ur information have helped me a lot .

      Thanx again

    • Gemma Sidney profile image

      Gemma Sidney 6 years ago from Co Clare, Ireland

      Very useful hub! Thanks!

    • profile image

      uma 6 years ago

      thanks for these wonderful info

    • mabmiles profile image

      mabmiles 6 years ago

      Great information, Great job.

    • profile image

      lhalha  6 years ago

      I love this hub!

      God bless

    • profile image

      sonia 5 years ago

      thank u very very much. your information is very helpful to me. Thank a lot once again........

    • asmaiftikhar profile image

      asmaiftikhar 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Very very informative hub.Actually your hub is a solution of all the problems which new parents face.Thanks a lot.

    • profile image

      ayesha 5 years ago

      thanx for the superb tips for babies!

    • profile image

      sanchita 5 years ago

      is helpful for worried mom like me but always I have query for other things

    • profile image

      Christy 5 years ago

      Great info. Can't find a lot of detailed info on the web, this article has a lot of useful info.

    • profile image

      Tanmayee 5 years ago

      Very helpful tips for the kids

    • profile image

      pooja 5 years ago

      tanks for good information.your information is very helpful to me.

    • profile image

      jamuts 5 years ago

      I agree with sanchita ,am also worried,i wish i had the money to buy all that for ma twins

    • profile image

      bishnupriya 5 years ago

      information is not sufficient indeed helpful for a new mother

    • profile image

      vanithasaravanan 5 years ago

      thank u 4 ur great advice . but i sit need e clear timeings to feed my baby in rite propotions

    • profile image

      Madinny Mohale 5 years ago

      Thanx for the advice. I have a seven month old baby girl and I wasn't always sure of the solid food she can eat.

    • profile image

      kezia 5 years ago

      thanks for the information that u have given for my child about meal plan for 6 to 7 month baby

    • profile image

      shantee 5 years ago

      thanks for valuable advice! now i know what is good to eat for my 6 mths old son!

    • profile image

      Emily 5 years ago

      Great article, very helpful comments too!

    • profile image

      Idayat Briggs 5 years ago

      Thank you for the information, very helpful

    • profile image

      Mubina Tabrez 5 years ago

      grt post! m gonna follow schedule.Was luking for a schedule n quatity to be fed when starting solids.My gal is cranky d whole nite guess its high time to start solids-shez already 6 mnths.

    • profile image

      Juanita 5 years ago

      I have 10 months old baby boy and he had bad eczema since he was 2wks old. Just glad that eczema abates or his skin has been clear for months now..but unfortunately, we still using the hydrocortisone ointment on his face & celestone on his body when times he starts scratching his skin again. I came to this website because he was scratching his whole body after i fed him a mango. OMG, i found mango that really cause allergy..I felt so guilty for what i have done..He was fascinated with the mango but after 30mins, the reactions started. i almost taken him to his doctor. Goodness, i swear promise i would never give mango to him anymore.. Thanks for the info..it wasn't too late to learn. Keep it up!

    • profile image

      Tee 5 years ago

      Great info, except for the "4 months" part.

      "Solids readiness depends on both the maturity of baby’s digestive tract and baby’s developmental readiness for solids. Although the maturity of baby’s digestive system is not something that we can readily observe, research indicates that 6 months appears to be ideal for avoiding the allergies and other health risks of too-early solids. After this point, different babies are ready for solids at different times -- developmental readiness for solids cannot be determined using a calendar. Most babies are developmentally ready for solids somewhere between 6 and 8 months." NOT 4 months.

      Also, @Naeem Jan Amin it IS a myth. The reason your granddaughter slept through the night is due to the fact that her digestive system was struggling to digest the food you gave her (against her mother's wishes, I might add!!)Solids requires a baby's digestive system to work overtime as baby tries to digest something not specific to the human body. They are harder to digest than human milk; thus early solid fed babies tend to go longer between feedings. While this may seem like a benefit, it's probably not something we want for our babies' bodies. Along with the under developed digestive system, you're setting your child (grandchild) up for a potential future of issues.

    • profile image

      chris 5 years ago

      This really helped with my school work, thanks.

    • profile image

      Sonu rana 5 years ago

      Thax 4 superb information hub

    • profile image

      prince aineezyah 5 years ago

      thanks for the helpful tips.it is a great help for us moms.

    • profile image

      janvi 5 years ago

      Thanks a lot for giving helpful tips.

    • profile image

      shabnam 5 years ago

      thanks for information about solid foods for babies my baby girl is 3 months old i have started rice cereal and cerelac and some very soft and digest able food on my baby and i have seen no problem in my baby all babies are not the same so you can try these things from early months with no problems

    • profile image

      Nargis 5 years ago

      Very nice information thanx

    • profile image

      Naeem Jan Amin 4 years ago

      Thought I would add some input regarding my grand daughter who is now a healthy toddler. The early start with bananas has not caused any untoward effects as mentioned by Tee (19 months ago) and in fact she has a healthy appetite unlike her 5 year old brother who is fussy. Believe me the ability to get an infant to sleep at night is a blessing for any mother of two (my daughter in his case) who was quite grateful for her ability to rest at night...

    • profile image

      arena 2 years ago

      i like the post very much it really great deal with the baby hoope they willl enjoy.thanx for the post sharing with us.

    • profile image

      naheed mutahhar 2 years ago

      It is great help for me. thank you for tha information ,very helpfull

    • profile image

      kola Nigeria 18 months ago

      This is a research that is helpful

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