Baby Feeding: A Complete Guide for the first year

Help other Parents by sharing this Article

As a new parent you really know how important it is for you to feed your baby from time to time. Babies have a really small stomach that doesn’t able to hold much of milk at one time. This is the reason newborn babies need to be fed after every 2-3 hours.

Feeding and nutrition is the most important part of a baby’s daily routine. And as a new parent, you have many questions and worries about eating and feeding your little champ. What is the schedule for baby feeding? How many ounces your baby take? Should I wake up my baby to feed him? When to start solid food?

Well in this article we will try to answer most of your question and worries you have on baby feeding

Baby feeding Schedule by age

On the day of birth your baby’s stomach is very small and can take 1 table spoon of liquid at a time. But as your baby grows his stomach stretches and grow big and similarly he will be able to take more milk at one feeding.

While breastfeeding it is difficult to measure how much milk baby is taking. But if you are using formula then measuring the amount of each feeding becomes bit easier

According to the American Academy of pediatrics here is a feeding chart of a breastfeed and bottle fed baby:-

Baby feeding chart for first year

How often should I feed my little one?

Every baby is unique and similarly all have different feeding patterns. But the point to be noticed is that breastfed babies eat more than formula fed. this is because breastmilk is easy to digest.

For Breastfed baby

After 1 hour of birth, you start nursing your baby. Be consistent in feeding your baby as newborns need to be fed about 9-12 times a day for the first few weeks.

In addition, you must always make sure to feed your little one every 3-4 hours. As a newborn, your littleone will take about 2-3 ounces each time but as he grows bigger he can take more milk at one time and require lesser feeding sessions than earlier.

According to us, these are the number of feeding sessions your little one may require.

  • 1-3 month- Feed your baby abound 9-10 times a day
  • 3 months- At this age, your baby’s stomach grows bigger and he may need only 6-8 feeding sessions a day
  • 6 months- Solid food must not be introduced at this age but a few tablespoons of water can be introduced. At this age, the baby must take at least 6 feedings a day
  • 6-12 months- You can now introduce your baby to solid food as an extra source of nutrients. But make sure to give soft eatables. Feeding sessions must be at least 4 times a day

Remember these are just assumptions your baby may require more or less feeding than this example. Different babies have different feeding patterns and different preferences. Just follow your baby’s cues and feed your baby accordingly. Your motherly instincts will also help you with timely feeding and proper infant care.

For Bottle-fed babies

Similar to breastfeeding, bottle feeding is also done on demand when the baby is hungry. The normal feeding schedule of a bottle feed baby is:-

  • At 1 month of age- every 2to3 hours
  • At 2-3 month of age- every 3-4 hours
  • At 4-6 month of age- every4-5 hours
  • At 6month plus – Every 5 hours plus you can start soft solid

Some Tips while feeding your baby

  • For newborn babies stick to breastmilk as it is the natural source of food for babies. If due for some reason mother’s milk is not provided formula feeding should be encouraged. Do not include cereals, Juices, or any other liquid in your newborn baby diet
  • Do not let your baby starve on hunger instead follow your baby cues. Look for early signs of feeding like sucking the finger and fist and smacking the lips. Crying is the later cue. The sooner you feed your little one the lesser you have to deal with a fussy baby.

Related post:- 8 reasons why baby cry and how to deal with them

  • Trust your baby and do not overfeed them. Babies know how much food they need. If you are still not sure track your baby. if he is gaining weight, produces about6-8 wet diapers a day and is fit it means that he is getting the right amount every feeding sessions.
  • Be consistent in feeding your baby. This will help you build a proper schedule for your little one. If any other member of a family or a caretaker is taking care of your baby tell them that to follow the same pattern of feeding.
  • Always burp your baby during and after every feeding sessions. Babies often swallow air during feeding and that’s why burping after and while feeding session is necessary.

How to get your baby on a feeding schedule

A proper baby schedule is a holy grail to parenting. It encourages healthy development in the baby and your baby will also develop a sense that a particular thing is about to happen whether it be feeding massaging or bathing.

As a result your little one will naturally fall into feeding and will take more milk at one sitting. But this schedule develops between 2-4 months of age. Till then try to find your baby cue, such as:-

  • Smacking and licking his lips
  • Sucking his finger and fist
  • Trying to feed when you hold him to cuddle
  • Becoming fussy and crying is a later cue of hunger

Should I wake up my baby to feed him?

Being a newborn feeding is very essential for your little one. He has a very small stomach that needs feeding almost 9-12 times a day. So it is clear that you should wake your newborn to feed him if he is sleeping.

But as your baby grows, his stomach becomes bigger and becomes capable of holding more milk. Around the age of 4 months, you can introduce him to a sleep feed schedule.

For example:- Your 5 months baby needs to be fed after 5 hours. So let’s assume you feed your baby at 9 pm just before he slept. Now according to his hunger timing, he needs milk at 2 am. But if you feed your baby at 11 pm he will not arouse at 4 am. This will help him and as well as you to sleep peacefully all night.

How to wake up baby to feed him

There are plenty of methods you can adapt to wake a sleeping baby. Some of them are-

  • Dim the lights– babies are sensitive to light, diming the lights of the room can help you to wake your baby
  • Gently tingle him on face, legs and palms– Tingling gently on legs and palms can also help you to wake him up
  • Holding him in upright position and calling him by his name also help in waking up the sleeping baby

When should I start solid foods?

Introduce solid foods for your baby only between 5-6 months and not less than that. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics stick to one food for 3-4 days before offering another. The advantage of this is you can check if a particular type of food is allergic to your baby or not.

Additionally don’t introduce baby to such solid food that can cause a choking hazard. As your baby grows to 1 year of age he starts taking a variety of food. At this time encourage 4 ounces of solid food in every meal. Make sure to continue offering milk and formula.

Happy parenting!

Leave a Reply