Two Months |
Your baby will get all of his nutrition from breast milk or an iron fortified infant formula until he is four to six months old. There is no need to supplement with water, juice or cereal at this time. He should now be on a more predictable schedule and will probably be nursing or drinking 5-6 ounces of formula every 3-4 hours. Feeding practices to avoidare putting the bottle in bed or propping the bottle while feeding, putting cereal in the bottle, feeding honey, introducing solids before 4-6 months, or heating bottles in the microwave.Also, avoid the use of low iron formulas, which are nutritionally inadequate to meet the needs of a growing infant. These types of infant formula do not contain enough iron and will put your child at risk fordeveloping iron deficiency anemia (which has been strongly associated with poor growth and development and with learning disabilities). Iron fortified formulas do not cause colic, constipation or reflux and you should not switch to a low iron formula if your baby has one of these problems. |
Four Months |
At this age, breast milk or formula is the only food that your baby needs and he shouldbe taking 5-6 ounces 4-6 times each day (24-32 ounces), but you can start to familiarize your baby with the feel of a spoon and introduce solid baby foods. See the Guide to Starting Solids for more information, especially if your child is at risk for developing food allergies. Cereal is the first solid you should give your baby and you can mix it with breast milk, formula or water and feed it toyour baby with a spoon (not in a bottle). Start by feeding one tablespoon of an iron-fortified Rice cereal at one feeding and then slowly increase the amount to 3-4 tablespoons one or two times each day. This is a very important source of iron for your growing infant (especially if you are breastfeeding). You can then start with vegetables at about six months of age.Your baby will probably havegiven up middle of the night feedings by this age. If not, slowly reduce how much you are putting in the bottle each night and gradually stop this feeding all together.Feeding practices to avoid are putting the bottle in bed or propping the bottle while feeding, putting cereal in the bottle, feeding honey, using a low-iron formula or heating bottles in the microwave. |
Six Months |
Whilecontinuing to give 4-5 feedings of breast milk or formula (24-32 ounces) and 4 or more tablespoons of iron fortified cereal each day, you can now start to give well-cooked, strained, or mashed vegetables or commercially prepared baby foods. Start with one tablespoon of a mild tasting vegetable, such as green beans, peas, squash or carrots and gradually increase to 4-5 tablespoons one or two times eachday. Start fruits about a month after starting vegetables and again, gradually increase to 4-5 tablespoons one or two times each day. You can use peeled, cooked, or canned fruits (but only those packed in light syrup or water) that have been blenderized or strained. You can also begin to offer 4-6 ounces of 100% fruit juices. Start by mixing one part juice with two parts of water and offer it ina cup only. Delay giving finger foods or meat and other protein foods until infants are eight to nine months old.To avoid having to supplement with fluoride, prepare powdered/concentrated formula with fluorinated tap water. If you are using ready-to-feed formula, or bottled or filtered water only, then your baby may need fluoride supplements.Your baby will probably have given up middle of thenight feedings by this age. If not, slowly reduce how much you are putting in the bottle each night and gradually stop this feeding all together.Feeding practices to avoid are putting the bottle in bed or propping the bottle while feeding, putting cereal in the bottle, feeding honey, using a low-iron formula, offering juice in a bottle or heating bottles in the microwave. |
Nine Months |...