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The growth and development of the baby start to take an exciting turn when they reach the age of 6 months, especially in terms of providing nutrients.
The journey of introducing solid foods alongside breastfeeding or formula feeding is a crucial phase in your baby’s early years.
After completing 6 months, your baby starts to get ready to intake solid foods in their body. This solid food can include many food items like mashed potato, banana, and boiled vegetables (carrot, broccoli).
But most of the parents know what to feed but lack the knowledge of when to feed.
Keeping this challenge in mind, we brought you a 6-month-old feeding schedule. This will take care of your baby’s health and also will provide them with the nutrients and the quantity of food required for a baby.
Introduction of Solids
You cannot start giving solid food to your baby just like that. For that, you need to confirm certain signs of readiness. If you are sure that your baby is showing those signs of readiness, then surely you can introduce solid food to them. The signs of readiness are:
- They have good control over their head
- See if your baby is interested and lean forward when you are feeding them
- They can sit straight with no or little assistance
- They no longer have the habit of taking the food out with their tongue, which is also called tongue thrust. This happens because babies are not ready to take anything except breast milk.
- They have the power to hold their heads for a longer period
- If your baby seems to be hungry even after nursing or bottle feeding, then that means they require more nutrients.
After you see all these signs, that means your baby is ready. But start with a very small amount, like 1-2 spoons, and increase the quantity with some amount of time.
If the baby starts enjoying these foods, then you can increase the food quantity little by little from time to time. But remember that breast milk is still important to provide all the nutrients; solids are just an addition to their diet.
If you are confused about what solid food you must start giving them, then it is a good way to start with 1-2 table iron-fortified cereal or fruit or vegetable puree every feeding.
What to Feed a 6-Month-Old?
Start by feeding cereal to your child, but make sure that you stick to only one feeding for at least two weeks; after that, you can increase it to two and add some new varieties to their diets. You can even add finger food, but after taking some time, include finger food that is soft, cooked, and small in size.
Most of the kids go with orange or yellow-colored fruits and vegetables, but you can include bananas or cooked avocados. Make sure to cool down the food a little bit before feeding them.
Take a proper consultation with a pediatrician so that you will get to know any allergies your baby has from the below food items. The food that you can include in your baby’s diet are:
1. Fruits or Vegetables
There are certain limits to fruits and vegetables that you can feed your child
- Watermelon (remove all the seeds)
- Tofu or Sautéed Cottage Cheese
- Boiled Beans
- Mashed Sweet Potatoes
- Mashed Pumpkin
If you want your kid to have some non-nonvegetarian food, then there is nothing wrong with it. Animal food is said to be a great source of iron, protein, amino acids, and other important nutrients. So, the animal food that you can include in your child’s diet is eggs (scrambled).
3. Other Food Items
The food items that you can include in your kid’s diet are:
- Sugar-free, Lactose-free yogurt
- Plant-based cheese
- Plant-based butter
- Vegetable or animal broth, or lentil soup
4. Breast Milk and Formula
- Even after the introduction of solid food, breast milk or formula-based food remains an important aspect of their diet. On one hand, the breast can be said to be the powerhouse of all the essential nutrients for a baby. It has many benefits, like antibodies that boost your baby’s immune system and help them fight many diseases and infections. The composition of breast milk changes with time to suit your baby’s growing needs. Also, it is easy to digest, which makes it an ideal source of nutrition.
- On the other hand, we will talk about the formula, which can only be suitable if there is no one to feed breast milk. The formula is a dependable and decent replacement for breast milk. An infant formula is made in such a way that it can have all the essential nutrients that are found in breast milk, ensuring that your baby receives the essential vitamins, minerals, and calories they need.
- Make sure that the amount you are giving to your baby is sufficient and not overly dose. Before you introduce solid food to your baby, make sure that the baby is fed properly with breast milk and formula. This will help satisfy their primary nutritional needs and will ensure that they are not hungry when you introduce new food to them. And when you add solid, make sure to increase the dose gradually. Also, even after introducing solid foods, continue with the breast milk or formula for the required nutrients.
Tips and Things to Consider
If you are feeding your baby, then it is important to consider some tips that will help you and must be followed in the feeding process. So, let’s dive in!
- When you start feeding your baby, make sure to start to slow with the solids. Because babies love to explore and play with food, this tip will help them to learn. You can start with boiled or mashed fruits and vegetables. The decent quantity that can be given to the child is 1-2 spoons daily.
- Confirm that your baby is ready for the introduction of new food. Notice the signs of readiness closely and start feeling the new food items when you see them ready. Some signs of readiness are an interest in food, proper control of the neck and head, and sitting properly with no or little assistance.
- Take some consultation from a pediatrician and get to know about any allergies your baby is having. This will help you to understand what you have to include in the list of ingredients or what you have to avoid.
- Even after introducing some solid food to your baby, make sure to feed them the liquid that they were getting before. The quantity may decrease compared to the earlier dose but do not stop providing them. Even after eating various foods, breast milk or formula is still their main source of nutrients.
- Be patient with the feeding process, as some of the fruits and vegetables can be likable to them, and some of them may not.
Food that Must Be Avoided
Most parents do not know what to feed and what to avoid. Certain solid foods must be avoided and given to babies for their health. The food that must be avoided are:
- Solid food includes big chunks such as carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower. This can lead to serious choking.
- The other food item is raw milk, which contains lactose, and the baby’s digestive system has not developed enough to digest milk proteins.
- Fruit juices as they do not contain any fiber and have concentrated sugar.
- Honey contains spores or, you can say, microorganisms, which are, again, difficult to digest for the baby.
Sample Baby Schedule Suitable for 6 Months
Now, if you are confused about how you can plan a feeding schedule for your baby, then below is a sample that will help you out with the feeding.
6-Month-Old Feeding Schedule for Breastfeeding Baby
- 7 AM- Nursing the baby for 20 minutes after they wake
- 8:30 AM- An oatmeal meal with a portion of fresh fruit
- 12:30 AM- Breasts feeding
- 3 PM- Boiled Vegetables
- 5:30 PM- breasts feeding
- 8:15 PM- Mix 2 ounces of breast milk with cereal; also include 2 ounces of pureed veggies
6-Month Feeding Schedule for Formula-Fed Babies
- 7 PM- 6 ounces of infant formula
- 10 AM- Fresh mashed fruits or fortified cereals
- 2 PM- a bottle of formula and fruits and vegetables
- 5:30 PM- 2-3 servings of fruits or vegetables
- 7 PM- formula
How to Handle Breast Feeding After Introducing Solids
As mentioned above that breast breastfeeding is still an important source of nutrients for babies. So, even if you are providing them with other food items, breast milk must not stop till the two years of age of your child.
Not only essential nutrients but breast milk also fulfill a baby’s hunger and hydration needs. So, after you introduce your baby to solid food, then the routine for feeding them may shift. Breast milk being vital, you can gradually increase the frequency of solid meals.
Start with a small portion of one meal a day, and after some days and weeks, you can increase the portion. This can be of 2-3 meals a day as a baby has now accepted the food.
Mainly focus on the nutrient-rich options that offer essential vitamins and minerals when babies start eating solid food. This will confirm that even though solid meals are becoming a part of their diet, your baby’s nutrition will meet the requirements.
In this diet, you can eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein sources, which will promote the healthy growth of your child.
Lastly, remember that babies are very sensitive and need much care and nutrients. Make sure you are providing them with the necessary nutrients they need. Craft a proper schedule and balanced schedule that provides the necessary nutrients.
Do not forget that even if your baby starts eating solid food, to fulfill their nutrient satisfaction, they need breast milk or formula. Take a proper consultation and confirm the allergy your baby can have from the solid food so that you can avoid feeding your baby.
Have you made a 6-month-old feeding schedule for your baby? Tell us in the comments the most interesting part of your journey as a parent in the comment section below.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Many Times a Day Should I Feed Solids to My 6-Month-Old?
Till 6-8 months of birth, feed your baby almost half a cup of soft food at least two to three times a day. Most of the babies start growing teeth after the age of one, due to which giving them soft food is the only option. But make sure not to give them honey until they grow 12 months old.
What Foods Can I Give to My 6-Month-Old?
You can try blended, mashed, or soft-cooked food like broccoli, banana, potato, sweet potato, apple, carrot, or pear. You can also try some fusion, like rice with milk. But do not forget to cool it down before feeding it to the baby.
How Much Does a 6-Month-Old Weigh?
When babies are born, they weigh 5 pounds and 8 ounces (2500 grams). This weight grows by each pound every month for the first six months. It is about 16 pounds 2 ounces (7300g) for girls and 17 pounds 8 ounces (7900g) for boys.
Which Milk is Best for Babies After 6 Months?
If it is possible, then try to feed your baby only breast for at least the first six months. The first 6-12 months are very crucial, so make sure to provide or feed them with breast milk or iron-fortified formula. But if you want to add solids, then you can start it after 6 months.