Child’s life is mostly consisting of eating, sleeping and wetting diapers in the first few months. There is always a question in the mind of a mother that whether breastfeed or bottle is better for the child. Breastfeeding is the best, but formula feeding is also suggested by the doctors when needed. Important decision is to make a right schedule of feeding for the proper growth of infant.
Here are standard feeding schedules for infants according to their age groups:
Newborn Breastfeeding Schedule- Two hours intervals
First breastfeeding to a newborn baby should be given just after birth. Because mother’s first breast milk is a natural gift to the newborn baby. This first breast milk is very nutritious and healthy. It contains so many natural vitamins, minerals and proteins which protects the baby from various infections and diseases at the initial age of newborn.
Normally a newborn baby needs breast feeding within maximum two hours. For any reason, if the baby is unable to get the breast milk, then he should be fed with the bottle milk, within the intervals of two hours maximum.
Four To Six Months- Introduce cereals
Baby should be started feeding with rice cereal or oatmeal. Breast milk or formula milk may be added in the cereal till it becomes soupy to feed the child with spoon. The child may drink four to eight ounces of breast milk or formula milk up to four to fives times daily and one to two spoons of cereal two to three times daily. The moment when food is added over next few months, breast or formula milk will get reduced in quantity.
Six To Seven Months- Variety of solid foods
First foods namely peaches, pears, green beans, carrots and squash may be added in the feeding. Any fruit or vegetable can be started after waiting for five to seven days. The child is made to drink four to eight ounces of breast or formula milk for four to five times daily, one to two tablespoons of cereal two to three times daily and one to two baby jars of food two times daily.
Seven To Nine Months
The same feeding routine may be followed which was going on for the last couple of months. Along with this, jarred meats can be included after waiting for five to seven days. Just to make sure that the new food is not allergic to the child.
Nine To Twelve Months
The same feeding may be continued as before but try to decrease the cereals and increase the meats. The table foods and sippy cups can be added at this time, but should be given in small bits and precautions must be taken to avoid choke the throat. The finger foods can be given which can melt in the mouth quickly. For this, some training has to be given to the child to grab the foods with fingers.
One Year Onwards
Child‘s feeding can be increased and bottle feeding can be continued along with vegetable and fruits. The breast milk will start to decrease if the child uses less milk, but breast milk in the morning and evening will be sufficient for the child. The moment as the child get older, any types of foods can be given and the time must be decided when to stop the breast milk. The longer the breast milk, the better it will be for the child. The formula milk can be continued along with other foods items in different tastes and variety to fulfill the needs of growing child. It should be healthy and easily digestible foods, while fast foods must be avoided.