More About Feeding Your Baby
your baby in a healthy and loving way helps him have positive
feelings about himself and about food. When your baby
is hungry and you feed him promptly and lovingly, he feels
secure. And over time, as you help your baby learn to
feed himself, he will gain confidence and be proud of
his new skills.
Infants Need Only Breastmilk or Formula
Birth to about 6 months
Newborns need to be fed and burped every 1 to 3 hours.
All they need is breastmilk or formula.
Before she starts to cry, your baby will show that she
is hungry by sucking her hand or trying to nurse. Follow
your baby’s signals and feed her when she is hungry,
not by the clock.
It is normal for your baby to get hungry at night and
wake you. As she gets older, she will wake less often
and start sleeping through the night.
Starting Solid Food
About 6 months
Breastmilk or formula is still your baby’s main
food. Ask your doctor when your baby can begin to eat
Your baby shows he’s ready by watching you eat,
opening his mouth or reaching for the food. He should
be able to sit with support, hold his head steady, keep
food in his mouth and swallow it.
Start with baby cereal mixed with breastmilk, formula
or warm water. Or start with puréed vegetables
or fruit. Then add puréed meat. Give one new
food at a time and try it for a few days to see how
your baby does with it.
Things You Can Do
Where to Find Help
Finger Foods, Utensils and Cups
About 6 to 12 months
Your baby can begin to eat cereal and finely chopped
meat, cheese, cooked vegetables and fruit. Don’t
add salt, sugar or spices.
Include your baby in family meals. Let him touch the
food and make a mess—it’s how he learns
about food. Give him child-sized utensils and a sippy
cup. Praise him for learning to feed himself.
As your baby grows, he may begin to lose interest in
the bottle or breast. He still needs breastmilk or formula.
But too much takes away his appetite for solid food.
Most kids don’t need more than 3 cups (24 ounces)
Too much juice also takes away your child’s appetite
for solid food. Give no more than 1/4 cup a day and
mix it with 1/4 cup water. Don’t give citrus juices.
The acid can upset your child’s stomach.