A baby feeding chart is the perfect tool for any parent who wants to know exactly how much to feed their baby during the first year of their development. We know that it’s seriously challenging being a parent, and the last thing you need is to worry about how to feed your baby safely and effectively.
This is why we’ve taken all of the guesswork out of the process with our super easy to read baby feeding chart. If you’re ready to find out exactly how to safely structure your infant’s feeding times, simply read on.
What Is an Infant Feeding Chart?
As you might have guessed, an infant feeding chart is designed to tell you exactly when to feed your child, what to feed it, and it also provides you with specific information on quantities and food types for certain age ranges (in months). This usually spans over a period of one year (12 months) because past this point, things get a little easier to predict.
The reason why a baby feeding chart is vital is because it takes all of the guesswork out of exactly what feeding times should look like. Any parent will tell you that providing your baby with effective nutrition during the vital first year can be an anxiety inducing task.
As such, extensive research has been performed to provide mothers and fathers like yourselves with the vital information needed to make feeding times as easy as possible. At a quick glance, you can get all of the information you need without having to worry whether or not you’re getting it right.
Provided you’re regularly monitoring your babies development alongside a pediatrician, a feeding chart like this serves as the ultimate “cheat sheet” for delivering effective nutrition to your infant.
Feeding Chart in The First Year of Life
Use this newborn feeding chart to provide effective nutrition for your child:
0-4 Months Old
At this stage, no solid food should be ingested. Instead, your infant needs to have liquid meals only spaced between 1.5 to 3 hours apart. The reason why solid foods aren’t possible at this point is because your infant’s digestive tract hasn’t developed enough to process them.
Not only that, but the all of the important muscles used to stabilize the head and jaw for safe eating aren’t at a stage where they can effectively control food without your baby choking. They’ll need around eight to sixteen liquid meals per day in total at an intake of roughly 5 ounces per meal.
4-6 Months Old
At four to six months, meals will need to be spaced around 2.5 to 3 hours apart on average. There should be between nine to ten meals per day and solid food should start to be introduced if your baby is showing signs that they are ready (you’ll find further information on this in the solid food section).
Aim to provide them only with pre-prepared baby food or mashed up root vegetables at this stage. Remember that until they are 6 months old, it is completely normal for them to remain on liquids only should this prove viable, too.
Serving sizes should still be about 5 ounces per meal. Where possible, try to ensure that the solid food given to your child doesn’t take them over their daily calorie total with the 5 ounce liquid food intake per meal being kept in mind.
6-8 Months Old
At six to eight months old, your infant will be having a meal on average every 3 hours. They’ll need to take in between 6-8 ounces of food with every sitting. At this age, it’s possible to explore solid foods more extensively, though the options must be restricted.
Some of the most effective choices to boost your baby’s health whilst guaranteeing safety are pureed meats, vegetables and fruits along with fortified cereal options that can enhance their vitamin and mineral intake. Try to only introduce one food type at a time and please keep in mind that citrus fruits should still not be introduced at this stage.
8-10 Months Old
At eight to ten months old, your child will need an even combination of liquid and solid meals. They should have roughly 3 of each and these meals will need to be spaced out roughly every 3 hours. Serving sizes should be 8-10 ounces.
You can start to add in more solidified varieties of food at this age because your baby’s physical development will mean that they can effectively grab and hold rigid food types. In conjunction with the options listed in the previous section, try to add in crackers and solid vegetables for them to dip into pureed food varieties. It’s important that you finely chop and rigid food types to avoid blocking their airways.
10-12 Months Old
At ten to twelve months of age, your child will require 1-2 liquid meals and 3-4 solid meals throughout the day spaced out around 3 hour intervals. Serving sizes should be 8-10 ounces.
In conjunction with all of the other food types listed, it’s now safe to add in citrus fruit and green, leafy vegetables. Combining several food types at once is now also safe provided that your child has no digestive issues in relation to the options provided.
Baby Feeding Chart in a Glance
To make things as easy as possible, we’ve created an accessible table that visually lays out all of the information necessary in relation to your baby’s daily food intake:
Liquid only. Formula and/or breast milk.
5 ounces per meal. Eight to sixteen meals per day.
Every 1.5-3 hours.
Mainly liquid, but some solids allowed. Solids should ideally be pureed root vegetables or specially engineered formulas for the age range.
5 ounces per meal. Nine to ten meals per day.
Every 2.5-3 hours.
Breast milk and/or formula plus pureed root vegetables, fruit (not citrus), meats and fortified cereals.
6-8 ounces. 6 meals per day. Roughly three solid and three liquid.
Every 3 hours.
At least half solid, but as much as 80% solid should your child be ready. In conjunction with previous food types add in diced rigid food types including vegetables and crackers. Ensure they’re smaller than your child’s airway.
8-10 ounces. Roughly 3-4 solid meals and 2-3 liquid meals.
Every 3 hours.
Almost all solid, albeit with one serving of whole milk with every meal. Use the previous food type examples listed.
10 ounces. 5-6 meals per day with either all or all but one being solid food.
Every 3 hours and in line with your infants daily calorie intake.
How Often Should You Give Solids to Your Baby?
Understanding when to give your baby solids and exactly what type can be one of the most daunting parts of being a new parent. We want to try to guide you in the right direction so that you can take all of the guesswork out of this part of your baby’s eating regimen. Typically, a baby won’t be ready to eat solids until they are around 4-6 months of age.
You can tell when they’re on the verge of being ready because they can fully grasp objects with their hands, you won’t see them repeatedly pushing their tongues out of their mouths (this is a natural reflex, and as their jaw muscles develop, they can hold their tongues in place), and they will more or less have full control of their neck and head.
You should try to adhere to the following information from months 4-6 and onwards in conjunction with the guidelines provided in the feeding chart for the first year of life section above:
4-6 Months Old
Two tablespoons of solid food per day will prove to be adequate for a baby of this age. Most of their food should still come from formula, however.
6-9 Months Old
At this age, anywhere from one solid food meal every other day to two solid food meals per day is completely normal based on their current stage of development. Solid food meals should be roughly two to four tablespoons in size during the 6-9 month age range.
9-12 Months Old
It’s normal at this stage for half of the daily food intake of your infant to come from whole food and half from formula or milk. It’s crucial that the food you provide for your baby at this age has been finely diced so that it’s small enough to safely pass through your child’s digestive tract.
Portion sizes can vary, but provided that your infants whole food calorie intake is exactly half of the stated calorie limit based on their age, then you should be absolutely fine.
12 Months Onwards
From 12 months and up, the majority of your baby’s food intake should come from whole food albeit with one cup of whole milk being served at meal times to boost their intake of calcium. Again, base portion sizes on the daily calorie intake for a 12 month+ infant to ensure that you do not overfeed them.
It can be hard to give information that’s going to be exactly right for every baby, but the guidelines in our chart are definitely accurate for the different stages of development during the first year. Try not to overthink the process.
If your baby is crying and it has been a couple of hours since their last meal, it’s probably time for another meal. Provided you’re only supplying them with the above options, you’re sure to have safe and effective eating times.