Your Baby's Feeding Schedule.
Having a regular feeding schedule is important for your baby. When babies are well fed, they are happier and sleep better.
Having a regular feeding schedule is important for your baby. When babies are well fed, they are happier and sleep better. A good feeding schedule also ensures that the baby gets enough nourishment to aid their rapidly growing bodies.
When your baby is very young, they will need to be fed very frequently, whether you are bottle feeding or breast feeding. All babies need feeding every few hours, but each baby has a unique pattern, and you will come to learn when your baby is hungry. It is important to note that babies have very small stomachs, so can only cope with a couple of ounces of food at a time. This is why they feed more frequently than fully grown adults. Your baby will need to be fed every 2-3 hours during the first few months, breastfeeding babies particularly need to be fed often. As your baby grows, the feeding intervals will stretch to three or four hours and your baby will be able to sleep for longer without waking for a feed.
When your baby is aged six months, they will usually be ready to try solids. Breast milk or formula will continue to be their main food source, but they can try baby cereal at this stage, followed by vegetables like carrot, squash or peas. It is important to try foods one at a time, so that you can readily identify if your baby cannot tolerate a food. Babies have very sensitive digestive systems, so don’t despair if your baby does not seem to tolerate many foods; their system will not always be so sensitive. By the time your baby is aged eight to nine months, they will be able to hold food themselves and place it in their mouth. This is the time to move onto finger food. Finger food includes dry cereal, grapes, cooked rice or pasta, crackers and bread. After finger foods, you can move onto cheese cubes and yogurt. Babies should not be offered the following foods during their first year:
- Cow’s milk
- Egg whites
Many of these foods are allergenic, which means that people can develop allergies to them. Therefore, it is thought to be safer to introduce these foods when the child is older. By the time your baby turns one, they are usually able to eat the same food as the rest of the family.