28 answers

How Much/often to Feed 6 Month Old

Hey moms, I need some advice. I am in the process of introducing various solids to my 6 m.o. I am making my own baby food as well as nursing him at various times throughout the day. My ideal feeding schedule that I attempt to follow is:
Nurse him first thing in the morning upon waking (partially for my own comfort)Breakfast - 1 to 2 oz. of the "flavor of the day" (since we are still introducing new solids, I repeat a food throughout the day or give something we have already tried).
Offer to nurse before and after morning nap
Lunch - 1 oz. of fruit/veg (sometimes whatever is left-over from breakfast)
Offer to nurse before and after afternoon nap
Dinner - 1 to 2 oz of fruit/veg
Nurse before bed and once more during the night, usually between 2:00-4:00 am. (I thought he would be sleeping through the night by now, but that is a different issue).
I also nurse him on demand as needed throughout the day.
This sounds so simple written on paper but is not that easy for me to follow in real life. Nothing ever seems to go on a schedule anymore. Some days he nurses more than others. Other days he is not so interested in solids. However, I don't ever try to force either one on him. I do feel that there is more nutrients in breastmilk vs. solids, so if I had to choose one over the other it would be breastmilk. He is not a skinny or a chubby baby...he has always been quite average for his age. I become concerned when I read that a baby his age should be eating a 1/2 cup of solids throughout the day. I don't feel he eats nearly this much. His doctor said by 9 months he would like for Adam to have breakfast/lunch/dinner with a snack in between each meal and before bed. My question is should I be giving more solids and not focusing so much on the breastfeeding aspect? How much solids/breastmilk (or formula) do your babies get? How often should I be nursing him? How much should I be feeding him?

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

You are doing JUST FINE.
There is nothing written in stone about this.
Don't believe all you read or hear.
Do what feels right to you.

Food at this stage is more for exploration than the actual nutrients. My daughter is almost 18 mos old and I swear, she lives on air! There are days when she just doesn't want to eat. I've learned that I can't force her and the more I try, the more she refuses. It sounds to me like you're doing just fine with the solids. The only thing I would suggest is varying what you feed him throughout the day. Maybe for breakfast offer food A, then for lunch food B, then for dinner leftover food A and B. That way he's getting a little variety. I know that I wouldn't want to eat the same food all day long. It seemed to help with my daughter, but all kids are different. Just keep offering the solid food to him.

More Answers

Unfortunately I'm not a SAHM (sigh!) But your ideal schedule seems pretty similar to my 6mo old DD's, though you didn't mention cereal. She gets about an oz of cereal at each meal along with an oz of fruit; dinner adds an oz of veggies. Mid-morning and afternoon she takes about 1-2 oz from a sippy cup (she wasn't interested in a bottle once she started solids so we tried a cup). When I get home, I nurse before dinner (probably just for my comfort and her wanting to be close). She nurses before bed but over the course of the night it turns into her getting nursed on demand - I think it's more of a comfort thing with her especially since she's teething. [My DS is almost 5 and I now know from experience that this too shall pass!]
I hadn't heard about the 1/2 cup rule but that's probably about what she eats. Your pediatrician should be able to give you an idea of how much, etc. Our pediatrician had us start a very small amout of cereal (very soupy), then add the fruit (we did the same one for 4 days to watch for allergies, etc.) and finally add the veggies at dinner. I know this is much easier said then done, especially as a SAHM, but do you pump at all? I pump at work - down to one time a day :( and the sitter uses the milk to make the cereal and put in her sippy cup. I don't know if this is bad or good, but since I'm with her all day on the weekend I let her nurse on demand so we end up supplementing with formula on Monday at the sitter's. Did your pediatrician say what he wanted him eating for the three meals and snacks?
Many people will tell you what you should and shouldn't do but my advice is to do what works for you and your baby! Hope this helps - good luck!

Hi D.,
Our pediatrician had recommended introducing only one new food a week so we could look out for allergic reactions, and I believe also so the baby could gradually become accustomed to solids. So breastfeeding should definitely still be the main source of nutrition for a 6-month-old. How much food a day to feed your baby is something your pediatrician can recommend, but I learned not to go to that person for breastfeeding advice, as this is not their domain and you may be led astray. Instead I always called a lactation consultant and went to a breastfeeding support group (at the Elizabeth Blackwell Center in Columbus), which was guided by a lactation consultant. I would just keep breastfeeding on demand at this stage and always nurse before feeding solids so your baby gets the best nutrition possible and does not prematurely wean. As for sleeping through the night... No matter what anyone tells you, even the doctors, many babies biologically cannot do it consistently until 2 years of age. Teething, developmental milestones, changes in routine, etc... Just about anything can influence a baby's sleep patterns. Read Dr. Sears on this issue and others of attachment parenting, and you will get a good idea of why crying it out is harmful to babies, so please don't resort to that! Congratulate yourself on breastfeeding and being a wonderful, loving mother! It is the hardest job in the world, and you are doing just fine from the sound of it!! Good luck!

When my son turned 6 months we started him on a more strict schedule. For numerous reasons. It helped us plant the day around his feeding times. It helps him know what to expect. So when he turned about 6 months I was nursing him when he first woke up in the morning, rice cereal mixed with fruit and a 3 oz bottle of pumped milk (because at the sitter's) between 7-9, lunch with a stage 2 Gerber food and a 3 oz bottle at around noon, a 5-6 oz bottle for a snack at 3, dinner with a Gerber stage 2 and 3 oz bottle at 6 and a 6 oz bottle before bed at 9. Just within the last few weeks I have cut out his night time feedings. So when he gets up in the middle of the night I just comfort him and put him back to bed. It has worked out beautifully for us. He is incredibly healthy and loves his food. Now that he recently turned 9 months I am trying to introduce juice and snacks to him, such as yogurt bites, but the rest of the schedule is the same. I also cut out the feeding right when he wakes up. We are trying to get him on a more mature schedule, trying to make him get used to the fact that he doesn't have to eat the second he wakes up. Though he needs his nutrition from milk/formula, he needs to learn how to use his tongue and learn how to swallow thicker foods. Unfortunately they are both important. Your son will let you know how much he wants to eat!
Good luck.

The APA, and World Health Organizations both state that Breastmilk/formula should be the main source of nutrition for the first year. That said, my 9 month (almost 10 months) old eats 3 tbs at breakfast, and 2-3 tbs of food at dinner. I may give him a small snack of a cracker or fruit pieces once in a while. I am nursing him 6 times a day on a regular basis and add in a few on-demand sessions. My ped would like to see him eat more, but then he cuts back on nursing, but I have decided to follow his cues with solids.

I truly recommend the book Superfoods for babies and Children by Annabel Karmel since you are making his foods. I am doing the same for our dtr & it gives a complete breakdown of foods all 3 meals & milk in btwn. The good thing is that you can freeze the left over food in ice-cubes & have it for @ least 2 wks b/c I usually make about that much. Three diffrent choices for lunch & dinner, oatmeal w/ a fruit for breakfast & then for supper. There is no set rule on how much food/milk your baby should receive, it totally depends on the child. Seems like you are already doing a great job, continue to feed on demand. Also the older your child gets the more he'll eat.

My schedule now for our 35 wks old is:
Breakfast: 8:30am Oatmeal w/ fruits
Lunch: 12:30-1:00 veggie mix e.g.mashed potato & carrot w/broccoli & cheese & a fruit
Dinner 3:30-4:00 Carrot, Cheese & tomato risotto/spinach w/ potato & a fruit.

She usually drinks milk on demand. Breastfed about 6 times a/i 24 hr period along w/ water. She hates juices that is why I push fresh fruit. She usually eats about 2-3 ice cubes of food , but mostly 2 on avg. Hope this helps.

I too have a six month old (as well as a two year old) who just started solids 2 weeks ago. He is currently nursing 6-8 times per on a schedule similar to the one you mentioned. We usually do cereal and fruit in the morning and then veggie or more cereal in the evening. It depends what I have available in the fridge. I also make most of my own babyfood and follow alot of what they say in the book Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron. I used it for my older son and it is such a great resource and has guidelines on what foods and portion sizes are appropriate for a child based on their age. Plus there are lots of great easy and yummy recipes in the book. Something else that might come in handy is to have the appliance called the Magic Bullet. It makes pureeing food so easy and is much easier to clean up than a food processor or blender. Good luck and keep following your sons cues for breastfeeding. That is the best thing you can do!

You are doing JUST FINE.
There is nothing written in stone about this.
Don't believe all you read or hear.
Do what feels right to you.

I also have a six month old to be exact dec 21 our x mas present. She is my third girl. I too was hoping she would sleep thru the night by now. ( no luck)
she usually goes to bed by 9/930 wakes between 2 and 3 i give her a bottle. Then she get cereal when she wakes and i put 1/2 container of fruit in it.
Then bottle about 1 hour later. I give her water during mels to wash down food in a sippy cup also to help her get use to using one.
Then lunch a whole jar of fruit size 2, with water.
Same a bottle about an hour later
dinner veg or veg and meat ,water.
Followed by the bottel before bed.
I have tried giving cereal before bed or another jar of food just to try and get one solid night of sleep.
My husband is no help during the night.
Sometimes she wakes like every hr just to have her music turned back on or her pacifer.
This is just food for thought,i am sure you are doing a fine job.
Just thought you might want to here from someone in your same shoes. Good luck to you !!!!!

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