When feeding your infant, you want to make sure that he gets enough food that he’s full but not too much that he becomes overweight. This can prove challenging as some babies like to eat more than others, especially when it comes to larger babies. It may seem like a nine pound baby would need to eat more than a 6 lb baby but not necessarily. Caloric needs are the same as they perform the same general activities once they reach a certain ages.
Birth to Four Months
Newborns generally require more feedings per day as their stomach isn’t large enough to hold an adequate amount of food for a long period of time. Newborns typically feed eight to 12 times per day if breastfed, according to MedlinePlus. Formula-fed newborns will feed about six to eight times per day, starting with two to three ounces of formula per feeding or approximately 16 to 24 oz of formula per day. When your infant approaches four months of age, she will begin to eat fewer times per day but the quantity of formula or breast milk consumed will begin to increase. She may only feed about four to six times per day but the amount of formula will increase to roughly 6 to 8 oz. per feeding.
Four To Six Months
Once your baby has reached his fourth month, he should now have doubled his birth weight. By the time he’s four months old, he should be consuming around 28 to 45 oz of formula per day. This may be broken into six or eight ounce bottles, depending upon how much he eats during each feeding as his stomach is becoming a little larger. Also around this time frame, you may begin to introduce solid foods, according to MedlinePlus. You can transition into solids by introducing iron-fortified baby rice cereal by mixing it with his formula. Begin to introduce the rice cereal by mixing one to two tablespoons with his formula or breast milk. You can gradually increase the amount of rice cereal to 3 to 4 tbsp. when feeding it to him. Do not introduce the rice cereal until his pediatrician has given approval to do so. Introducing solid foods too early can cause food allergies.
Six To Eight Months
Once your infant has reached six to eight months of age, her formula or breastfeeding should decrease to three to five times per day, according to MedlinePlus. The solid foods she’s been eating will help keep her fuller longer which will decrease the need for nursing or bottle feeding. At this time, you can now begin to introduce strained, or mashed, vegetables. Only introduce one new vegetable to her every three days or so to ensure she has no food allergies. She should consume two to three tbsp. of vegetables about four times per day. You may also begin to introduce her to fruits as well, although some dieticians recommend introducing vegetables first as fruits are naturally sweeter and fruits may make vegetables less appealing to your baby. You may also begin to introduce a few new finger foods to her such as cut up noodles, soft, peeled fruits and toast.
Eight to 12 Months
Formula and breast milk should only be offered three to four times per day, according to MedlinePlus. At this age, your baby should be eating mostly solid foods and using the formula or breast milk as a drink with meals or in between meals. Cow’s milk isn’t recommended for him until after his first birthday, according to MedlinePlus. By eight months, you can begin to introduce strained or finely chopped meats to him. He should only eat one new meet each week to ensure he does not have an allergic reaction. Only give him three to four tbsp. per serving about four times per day when introducing new meats. He may also eat egg yolks but not egg whites until after his first birthday as some babies are sensitive to egg whites. After his first birthday, he should consume whole milk only and never low-fat milk as his body needs the nutrients and calories that whole milk provides.