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The First Year: What to Feed Your Baby and When

Dear New Mom,

Your new job can seem overwhelming.  You’ve got a brand new human being in your care.  You want to do what’s best for them, love them and protect them from any harm possible.  But sometimes all the new information can seem overwhelming, and where do you even start?

Today we’re going to make feeding your babies the appropriate foods at the right age easier for you.  The amounts below are general recommendations, and all the information comes from


Birth to 4 Months

Infants age birth to 4 months should be eating breast milk or formula only.  The digestive tract of your baby is not quite developed fully making solid foods a no-no.


4 to 6 Months

There’s no rush to start your baby on solid foods, and in most cababy eatingses pediatricians recommend babies should be exclusively breast or bottle fed for about the first 6 months.  However, if you’d like to introduce solid foods earlier, look for a few of these readiness cues:

Can your baby hold his or her head up?

Can your baby sit well in a highchair?

Does your baby make chewing motions?

Has your baby doubled his or her birth weight (and weigh at least 13 lbs.)?

Does your baby show interest in food?

Can your baby close his or her mouth around a spoon?

Can your baby move his or her tongue and food back and forth?

All food you feed your baby at this point should be in combination with breastmilk or formula and should be pureed (such as vegetables, fruit, or meat).  You can also feed your baby cereal that’s fortified with iron and semi-liquid.


6 to 8 Months

At this age, babies should still be eating breastmilk or formula but solid food should be added in.  These include the foods listed under the 4 to 6 month category as well as small amounts of yogurt (not made with cow’s milk!) and pureed legumes.


8 to 10 Months

By this age, you may start adding in small amounts of:

Pasteurized cheese and cottage cheese (no cow’s milk!)

Mashed vegetables

Mashed fruits

Finger foods

Small bits of protein such as meat, fish, tofu, or well-cooked legumes


Age 10 to 12 Months

By this age, you may start adding in:

Fruit mashed or cut into cubes or strips

Bite-sized, soft-cooked vegetables

Foods like macaroni and cheese or casseroles


We hope this information has proven to be helpful to you and made your life as a new mom a little easier.  If you have questions or would like to speak with any of our nurses, please feel free to call us at 304-344-4511.