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Baby Feeding Guidelines- First Twelve Months Feeding Guide

 

 

A baby grows very fast during the period of the first twelve months after birth. During this period, it is very important to take into account that the baby is getting the right kind of food, at the right time and the right quantity. By doing so you help the baby grow and develop well.

Baby feeding guidelines consist of various recommendations and tips necessary for feeding an infant. In this article we are going to look at different kinds of foods as well as quantity that the baby is required to consume at various months during the period of the first year since birth, as follows;-

1 Month

During this period feed a baby 2-4 ounces of milk 6-7 times per day. Only breast milk or formula is recommended to feed a baby at this period.

2 Months

Feed a baby 4 ounces of milk or formula 6-7 times a day. Also, this is the period of exclusive breast milk or formula.

3 Months

In this period feed a baby 4-5 ounces of milk or formula 6-7 times a day. In this period you will experience a very fast growth to your baby.

4-5 Months

In this period feed a baby 5-6 ounces of milk or formula 5 times a day. UNICEF and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months. This means during this period you are advised to feed a baby with breast milk or formula only. There fore it is recommended to feed a baby with breast milk or formula only in this period due to the following reasons;-

  • A baby is not well-developed hence can not consume or eat solid foods.
  • Nutrients found within breast milk and formula are sufficient for the growth of your baby. This means breast milk and formula alone meet all nutritional and energy needs of your baby.
  • Further more, introduction of baby food before the age of six months is harmful to your baby because a baby can not properly digest the food.

6 Months

This is the right time to introduce baby food. During this period feed a baby 6-8 ounces of breast milk or formula 4-6 times a day plus baby food. At this age breast milk or formula continue to be important source of energy and nutrients for the baby. However, breast milk or formula alone is not enough, you need to introduce baby food to keep up with baby’s growing needs.

Your baby’s first food should be very soft. The soft food is easy to swallow. Feed a baby when you see the signs that he or she is hungry, foristance when a baby put his or hands to the mouth. Also introduces a new food at a time. Wait for about 3 to 5 days before giving a baby another food. This will help you understand the foods your baby may be allergic to.

In this period you can feed the baby with Semi-liquid iron cereals, pureed vegetables as well as pureed fruits. Start with 1 tea spoon of cereals. Mix with 4 tea spoons of breast milk or formula. Here the baby’s stomach is too small hence a baby can only consume a small amount of food. The flavor of the new food may surprise your baby so don’t force the baby to eat too much.

As your baby grows his or her stomach grows too hence a baby can eat more food. Increase the amount to 1 tablespoon of cereal or pureed food mixed with formula or breast milk. The cow milk is not allowed at this period. Always mix the baby’s food with breast milk or formula.

7 Months

In this period feed your baby 7-8 ounces of breast milk or formula 4 times a day. In addition to the breast milk or formula you may feed a baby 3-5 tablespoon of infant cereals or 2-3 tablespoon of pureed vegetables 2 times a day mixed with breast milk or formula.

But in this stage the amount of breast milk or formula mixed with the baby’s food should be reduced in terms of amount in order to make food with thicker texture. A baby can eat variety of soft foods at this stage except honey. A baby is allowed to eat honey at the period of one year.

8-9 Months

Feed a baby 8 ounces of breast milk or formula 3-4 times a day. Also, feed a baby 5-8 tablespoon of a single grain cereal mixed with formula. Fruits, meats and vegetables are also the good foods to a baby. In this period you may gives a bay solid foods.

10-12 Months

Feed a baby 8 ounces of breast milk or formula 4 times a day. Give a baby 8 tablespoons of dry infant cereals mixed with formula.Also gives a baby fruits between the meals. A baby should be given variety of foods as this is very important for the baby’s growth and development.

At this stage a baby may change to a table food. He or she can use spoon to feed himself or herself. Give a baby the foods rich in nutrients. Furthermore gives a baby grain, potatoes, legumes, seeds, animal foods for example meat, fish, poultry and eggs.

Feeding Tips for an Infant

  • Avoid using sugar or salt when making an infant food. Salt and sugar are not good to the health of your baby
  • Do not add cow milk to an infant diet. Cow milk is very harmful to a baby before one year. This is due to the fact that cow milk has great amount of fats.
  • Feed your baby variety of foods. Do not limit your baby to the foods you like only. Eating variety of foods gives your baby the best chance of getting all the nutrients needed for the growth.
  • Remember to feed your baby with spoon except for formula. By doing so you help a baby learn to use a spoon when eating food.

Final thoughts

baby’s growth is dependent on the quality of the food he or she receives. If you will focus on feeding your baby the foods rich in nutrients, he or she will grow well. A poorly nourished baby becomes physically weak and is often prone to diseases and infections. It is important to take care for and love our babies by ensuring that we provide them with healthy foods for the growth and development of their bodies.

Thank you very much for reading this article, if you have any comments or questions be free to leave them below and will be more that happy to help you out.

 

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Baraka

23 Comments

  1. Being an expecting mom myself, I found this article to be very insightful and helpful and would surely come in handy to me over time. I have been searching for more information to gather concerning baby feeding since this is my first time and I’m super excited. Thankfully this article has pointed out all the things I need to know and I am glad I came across this post. Thanks and I’d bookmark it

  2. I must say baraka that having read your post now, I am more informed about what to feed babies while they grow. I have to agree that the first few months are the most crucial because as you have said, this is the time when the child grows rapidly. For me, I think this post should go round and I will most definitely do my part to that. My sister who just had a baby a few weeks ago should learn from this too. Nicely written here.

  3. This is very helpful baby feeding guidelines for the first 12 months of development. It is essential and helpful that you have pointed out to not add cows milk to the infant’s diet. 

    You didn’t mention the reason, but honey needs to be avoided not because they would physically have trouble eating it, rather it should be avoided by babies due to the risk of botulism from ingesting spores that a baby’s immune system is not yet ready to handle. 

  4. Hello there, thanks for sharing such vital information. The feeding of our babies should be taken with all seriousness as most nursing mothers do not really know the basics of feeding babies especially when they are in thier early months after delivery. I must commend the way at which you have given a detailed explanation of how the feeding process should go. I’ll inform my kids about this post as well. Best regards

  5. Wow what great information for new parents! Parenthood is one of the most important and challenging aspects of anyone’s life, so it’s always good to have solid resources and information out there. I like how you pointed out that babies grow so fast, as this seemingly simplistic information can sometimes be overlooked especially when emotions come into play. This really is a comprehensive and thorough list that I’ll be sharing with some friends who are expecting, well done!

  6. I remember those early days when the baby needed to be fed so frequently. That was a busy time! Back then, the advice was to feed the baby every two hours, and I was up day and night feeding the baby and washing bottles and nursing equipment. Not. Fun. 

    If I had a second baby, I’d do things very differently – I’d be more relaxed and I’d let the baby sleep. 

    Hey, thank you for this information. I’m sure it will be helpful to many parents out there. 

  7. Thank you very much for this guide. I have noted that which you have mentioned for 3 months: a very fast growth. I had been expecting this growth to be slower and it has pleasantly surprised me. I was a bit worried that the problem would be that our baby was overfed but it’s refreshing to see we’re in harmony with 4-5 ounces of milk 6-7 times a day.

  8. Thank you so much for this vital information on baby feeding guidelines for the first 12 months. My nephew just became a first time daddy and he wants to help out as best as he can with his son. My nephew, my older sister’s son, did not have his father around when he was growing up and he really wants to play a loving and supportive role other than the money maker of the family. This information will greatly help him to help his wife feed their son.

    I am going to share this post with him. I really like how you carefully explain what and what not to feed an infant and you broke it down into a month by month approach. This makes it much easier to follow. I found it interesting that when starting soft foods like cereal, pureed vegetables and fruit, that one teaspoon to one tablespoon is enough for month 6 but then it quickly increases to three to five tablespoons by month 7. Growing babies are amazing.

  9. What a great topic you chose to promote. When I had my last child the nurses at the hospital advised me to feed her every 4 hrs but I thought that was kind of crazy myself so I fed her when she was hungry only. I wasn’t waking her up to feed her and messing with her schedule. She turned out fine too. Lol So at times I think it’s up to the parent on what they should do with their child because every child is different.

  10. What a baby eats do the first 12 months really should be taken proper care of,  we need to make sure the right quality and quality is given to the baby to ensure proper development and stabled kind of growth. This is a very sensitizing article and its gonna help nursing mothers to know the kinds of food beneficial to their infants (some are recommended in the article), the quantity appropriate for intake at every particular month. I’ll make sure I share this post to my aunt, she just delivered a baby girl a week ago. 

    please, does this apply to all babies? If not, please state what kind of babies are exceptions to this.? Thanks for sharing, its really helpful.

  11. This is a very detailed post on baby feeding. I’m not a dad yet, but when and if it comes, I’ll certainly look back to this post to see what I can and should do when I have a newborn. I do have a question, though. Do you know what kind of difference a baby may have being brought up with formula instead of breast milk? I heard about some studies saying formula is good and other people talk about how all natural is better. What’s your opinion?

    • Thank you for visiting my website Kelvin. Both Breastfeeding and Formula are good. But Breast milk is better than Formula. 

  12. Hello Baraka,

    Excellent guide to properly feed our babies. I like to know better now according to the months since its birth the foods that I should give it. 

    I have a sister who is pregnant missing a month for childbirth, everything is going very well. 

    I will give her your place, she will surely love it and be more prepared to feed her baby very well.

    Thank you so much! Claudio

  13. Hi your post is very good. I have had four breastfed babies and three girls that ate very well and my son that i fed for almost eighteen months. Some babies are hungrier than others so if they are on the formula the midwife may advise that you add a little extra to benefit the baby. Thank you very much. All the best

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