More About Feeding Your Baby

Feeding 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.

More About Feeding Your Baby

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 solid food.
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.

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Finger Foods, Utensils and Cups

  • 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) a day.

    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.