What and how much to feed your baby

Here’s a guide to help you navigate what and how much to feed your baby at each stage of development, from birth to 12 months:

Zero to Six Months:
During this period, breast milk or commercial formula is the best food for your baby as it meets all their nutritional needs. Breastfed babies typically feel hungry every two to three hours due to the easy digestion of breast milk, while formula-fed babies may not feel hungry as frequently. It’s essential to feed your baby frequently if they’re not gaining weight in the first weeks after birth.

After Six Months:
Around six months, you can begin introducing semi-solid foods alongside continued breastfeeding or formula feeding.

Timing the Introduction of Solid Foods:
The timing for introducing solid foods can vary from baby to baby. Signs that your baby is ready for semi-solids include increased hunger between feedings and the ability to swallow and digest food properly. Introducing new foods should complement breastfeeding rather than replace it. Semi-solid foods should be mashed or pureed, and single-ingredient baby cereals are suitable options. Feeding your baby at this stage can be messy, with more food ending up on the baby than being eaten.

Go with the Flow of the Baby:
Use a bib and a small, narrow spoon while feeding your baby. Be prepared for your baby to initially consume only a few spoonfuls or even refuse food altogether. Avoid pressuring the baby to eat and try again after a few days. By six months, your baby should be having three meals a day in addition to milk feeds, and you can start introducing fruits and vegetables.

Six to Nine Months:
Between seven to eight months, you can transition to lumpy and chunkier foods to encourage your baby to explore different textures. Around eight or nine months, introduce finger foods to encourage self-feeding, but always supervise to prevent choking. After nine months, you can introduce poultry or meat in small, manageable chunks.

Nine Months to One Year:
Continue offering three meals a day to your baby. At around one year, you can introduce cow’s milk. Provide a variety of healthy food options and encourage self-feeding while supervising. Solid foods may increase your baby’s thirst; consider offering a sipper cup after the age of one.