Feeding Schedule for a 5-Month-Old

Russian baby drinking from bottle
Baby drinking a bottle (Image: Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images)

According to Babycenter, a baby about 5 months of age needs 12 to 36 ounces of formula or breast milk in a 24-hour period. It can be difficult to know if your baby is eating enough, especially if you are breastfeeding and unable to measure his intake. A feeding schedule can help you to make sure your baby is getting what he needs each day. Since every baby is different, you may need to adjust any schedules to his cues.

Bottle Feeding

Step 1

Give your baby a 4- to 6-ounce bottle when she wakes up in the morning.

Step 2

Feed your baby whenever he seems hungry throughout the rest of the day, as recommended by Kids Health. Some signs can help you determine if he is hungry, such as sucking on his hands, sticking out his tongue or appearing fussy.

Step 3

Continue feeding your baby formula or expressed breast milk until she has had at least 12 to 36 ounces of formula in a 24-hour period. At this age, she will eat about every four to six hours.

Step 4

Give iron-fortified rice cereal to your baby once or twice a day as long as his doctor says it is okay to do so. You can choose to offer the cereal in the morning, around lunch or dinnertime. Babycenter suggests mixing 1 tsp. of dry cereal with 4 to 5 tsp. of breast milk and then gradually thickening the consistency each day.

Breastfeeding

Step 1

Breastfeed your baby when she wakes up in the morning. Start with nursing her on one breast.

Step 2

Offer the other breast when he is finished nursing from the first one. At 5 months of age, your baby will likely nurse about 5 to 10 minutes on each breast.

Step 3

Continue to nurse your baby whenever she seems hungry throughout the day. According to Kids Health, breast milk digests easier than formula, meaning your baby may need to eat every two to three hours.

Step 4

Give iron-fortified rice cereal to your baby once or twice a day with his doctor’s permission. You can choose to offer the cereal in the morning, around lunch or dinnertime. Babycenter suggests mixing 1 tsp. of dry cereal with 4 to 5 tsp. of breast milk and then gradually thickening the consistency every day.

Things You'll Need

  • Bottle

  • Formula

  • Iron-fortified rice cereal

Tip

It can be difficult to know if your baby is getting enough formula or breast milk, but you can know she is getting enough if she seems satisfied after feedings, wets four to six diapers a day, has regular bowel movements and is gaining weight consistently.

Your baby may be ready to try eating cereal if he can hold his head up, sit well in a highchair, move food from the front to the back of his mouth and shows an interest in solid foods.

Be sure to include times for playing, reading and sleeping in your baby’s day. According to Babycenter, your baby will sleep about 14 to 15 hours in a 24-hour period. Those hours consist of two to three naps and a stretch at nighttime.

Burp your baby after a bottle or between nursing on each breast. If she seems to spit up a lot, talk to her doctor about how often you should burp her.

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