Portion Guide for Feeding Baby in the First Year
How Much Newborns Should Eat
Breastfed babies need to eat eight to 12 times a day and usually consume about 90 percent of your breast milk in the first 10 minutes of feeding. Formula-fed babies generally need to eat every three to four hours and usually eat about 2-3 ounces of formula per feeding. During the first few weeks, if Baby does not wake himself up in the middle of the night to eat, your pediatrician may recommend waking him for feedings.
When feeding your newborn, pay attention to his hunger cues to tell when he has had enough to eat. Most babies will become disinterested in the bottle or breast when full. He may turn his head, or even push the bottle or breast away. On the other hand, if Baby finishes his bottle but is still hungry, he may smack his lips or cry as a signal for more.
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Between 1 and 3 months, your baby's appetite will increase and she'll become more vocal about telling you when she's hungry — especially since she's likely on a pretty regular feeding schedule by this point.
By the time she reaches 3 months of age, she should be eating about 4-6 ounces of milk about six to eight times a day. If you are breastfeeding, breast milk production will naturally increase or decrease based on the need of your baby. If you are feeding formula, look for one that is supplemented with 2’-FL HMO, like Similac Pro-Advance. The prebiotic is naturally found in breastmilk and supports gut health.
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Between 4 and 6 months, your baby may start to sit up and grab for objects on his own. As he masters that grabbing skill, develops good head and neck control, and loses the tongue-thrust mechanism that automatically pushes food out of his mouth your pediatrician may recommend starting to introduce solid foods into his diet, such as baby cereal or pureed fruits, vegetables, or meats.
Baby should eat 1-2 tablespoons of food twice a day—he will probably not need more than an ounce or two when he is just starting out. The food is a snack and should not take the place of milk as the main source of nutrients. Most babies are ready to start solids between 5-6 months.
Again, Baby will signal to you when he is full. Most babies top off at 32 to 36 ounces of milk in a 24-hour period. If he seems to have an insatiable appetite or doesn't seem to be eating enough, contact your pediatrician.
Between 8 and 12 months, Baby will start to eat more solid food. Try mixing up his diet to include a wide variety of soft foods along with breast milk and formula.
Breast milk and formula are still the primary sources of nutrition for Baby. Baby should drink 4-6 ounces of milk per snack or meal. Before bed, he may drink another 6-8 ounces.
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