General feeding schedules: What to feed your baby the first year

When to feed your baby the first year (breastmilk or iron-fortified formula)

  • 0 to 4 months: five to 10 feedings
  • 4 to 6 months: four to seven feedings
  • 6 to 8 months: four to five feedings
  • 8 to 10 months: four to five feedings
  • 10 to 12 months: three to four feedings

When to give your baby solid foods

You can give your baby solid food when he is between 4 to 6 months after you talk with your health care provider. The schedule is as follows.

  • Start with a one-grain cereal, such as infant rice cereal.
  • Introduce one new food.
  • In three days, introduce another new food.
  • Within two to three months, your baby should get breastmilk or formula, cereal, vegetables and fruits every day.
  • You can introduce meat and other proteins after you talk with your health care provider.

Waiting three days between new foods will let you see if your baby has a food allergy. The new foods will also create different colored stools. You only need to call your health care provider if you see blood in the diaper or if your baby is in pain while having a bowel movement.

When to give your baby cereals and bread

  • 0 to 4 months: none
  • 4 to 6 months: 2 to 3 teaspoons of iron-fortified boxed cereal(oatmeal, rice or barley) mixed with formula, water or breast milk(for spoon feeding)
  • 6 to 8 months: 4 to 6 tablespoons of all types of boxed infantcereal except cereal with honey
  • 8 to 10 months: 6 to 8 tablespoons of infant cereals, toast,bagel or crackers
  • 10 to 12 months: 6 to 8 tablespoons of infant or cooked cerealor unsweetened dry cereal, bread, rice noodles or crackers

When to give your baby fruit juices

Your baby does not need juice. Real fruit is better when your baby is at least 6 months old. (See below.)

  • Do not give juice to your baby before 6 months old.
  • If you choose to give your baby juice after 6 months, do not give more than 2 to 4 ounces each day.

When to give your baby vegetables

  • 0 to 4 months: none
  • 4 to 6 months: talk with your health care provider
  • 6 to 8 months: up to 3 to 4 tablespoons of strained or mashedvegetables that are dark yellow, orange or green. Don't give yourbaby tomatoes.
  • 8 to 10 months: 4 to 7 tablespoons of cooked, mashedvegetables. You can give tomatoes at this age.
  • 10 to 12 months: 6 to 8 tablespoons of cooked vegetable piecesand some soft vegetables. Be sure to cut up all vegetables intosmall pieces due to choking risk.

When to give your baby fruits

  • 0 to 4 months: none
  • 4 to 6 months: talk with your health care provider
  • 6 to 8 months: up to 3 to 4 tablespoons of fresh or cooked fruitssuch as banana, applesauce or strained fruits. Don't give yourbaby oranges.
  • 8 to 10 months: 5 to 7 tablespoons of strained or peeled softfruit pieces such as bananas, peaches, pears, apples or oranges. Besure to cut up all fruits into small pieces due to chokingrisk.
  • 10 to 12 months: 9 to 12 tablespoons of all fresh fruits(peeled and seeded) and canned fruits packed in water. Don't giveyour child grapes due to choking risk.

When to give your baby meats and protein

  • 0 to 4 months: none
  • 4 to 6 months: none
  • 6 to 8 months: talk with your health care provider
  • 8 to 10 months: up to 4 to 6 tablespoons of strained, chopped orsmall pieces of lean meat, chicken and fish, egg yolk, mild cheeses(cut into small pieces), yogurt and cooked dried beans. Do not giveyour baby whole nuts due to choking risk.
  • 10 to 12 months: 4 to 6 tablespoons of small, tender pieces ofchicken, fish, cheese, yogurt or dried beans.

Additional notes

  • Give your baby only one new food at a time, about two to five days apart.
  • Start with one teaspoon and slowly increase to the amounts listed above.
  • Talk with your health care provider if you have questions or concerns about feeding your baby.

Source: Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, seventh edition, ob-ah-90026
First Published: 10/04/2002
Last Reviewed: 12/02/2015

Tips
  • Research shows that babies who drink large quantities of juice often are overweight as toddlers.
  • Fish (including tuna) contains heavy metals. Don't give fish to your baby more than two times a month.