This page answers these questions on the infant feeding schedule for introduction of solids, which is called weaning.
Babies are ready for weaning once they are over 4 months of age and they have a relatively straight back and are reaching for food. This may be at 4 months in some babies but others may not be ready until 6 months of age.
There is a new movement in the United States called WhiteOut which is encouraging parents to restrict the amount of unrefined carbohydrate (like white baby cereal) given to babies. It is believed that we are programming our children to obesity by teaching them from an early age to like unrefined carbohydrates. Read more.
If you have a specific question in the list below, you can click on the link to go there directly, otherwise read on.
To read about the baby feeding schedule for babies under 6 months of age, click here
To read about food for infants over 12 months of age, click here
To read about the nutritional requirements for children, click here
The infant feeding schedule changes over the first year and solid food is introduced as well as the milk. Solids should not be introduced until your baby can hold up his head himself and is reaching out for food, which is usually between 4 and 6 months of age.
Never give your baby solids before 4 months of age, and some babies can wait until they are 6 months of age. Solids being introduced into the diet is referred to as weaning.
There are a few key points to remember for the infant feeding schedule when solids are first introduced:
It's important to start with small amounts of solids given after the milk feed.
First foods in the infant feeding schedule need to be soft, smooth and plain. Try the following:
Make sure the food is smooth - use a blender or push the food through a fine sieve with a wooden spoon. Use milk, either expressed breast milk or formula to make the food more liquid and easier to digest for your baby.
Once your baby tolerates pureed food well, you can start offering mashed food and finger food and then after that, lumpy food.
Introduce one food at a time and try a new food every 5 days, according to what your family normally eats.
Introduce a food at least 10 times before deciding that your baby doesn't like it. If you give a spoonful of a food you believe your baby doesn't like at the beginning of the meal daily for at least a week, your baby will start to enjoy this food. You don't need to insist your baby has more than a spoonful when you start.
By a year of age, your baby should be having much the same food as the rest of the family, so the infant feeding schedule in the second six months of life is preparing your baby for your family food.
Finely pureed meat and chicken can be given from 6 to 7 months of age once your baby is used to solids.
Mashed food and finger foods, like a rusk or toast, can also be given at 6 - 7 months of age. Always watch your baby when he is feeding finger foods as he could choke.
By 8 to 9 months of age, your baby will be able to have lumpier food, so that finely chopped, rather than pureed, meat and vegetables can be added to the infant feeding schedule.
You can also start giving drinks in a baby cup at about 8 - 9 months of age.
Once your baby is 8 or 9 months, you can give solids first before milk. Give finger foods as this will encourage him to learn to feed himself.
Yes. Foods that should be avoided in the infant feeding schedule include:
Dairy products include cheese, yoghurt and ice cream. They can be started after your baby is weaned so after 6 months of age.
If there is a history of allergy in the family, it has been previously suggested that the introduction of some foods, like eggs and cheese, should be delayed even up to 12 months of age. However, studies have not shown that there is clear benefit in doing this and we now advise that these foods are in the diet well before 12 months of age.
So if you are concerned about your baby getting eczema, avoid dairy (cheese, yoghurt, ice cream) products in the first 6 months of life completely, and gradually introduce them after that.
For more information on food allergies, click here.
Remember, do not give normal cow's milk before 12 months of age.
Egg yolk (yellow) can be started once your baby is having a variety of foods, so usually by 7-8 months of age.
If there is a history of allergy in the family, it has been previously suggested that the introduction of some foods, like eggs and cheese, should be delayed even up to 12 months of age. However, studies have not shown that there is clear benefit in doing this.
So if you are concerned about your baby getting eczema, avoid eggs in the first 6 months of life, and start with egg yolk (yellow) after 7-8 months of age but before 12 months of age.
For more information on food allergies, click here.
If there is no history of allergy, then introduce peanut-containing foods once your child is weaned and it is appropriate for your family
If there is a history of allergy, or your child has eczema or egg allergy, current advice is for early introduction of peanut to try and prevent your child developing allergy.
In summary, the infant feeding schedule in the first year is
Last reviewed 18 March 2016
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