Q:

What is a standard feeding schedule for a 6-month-old child?

A:

There is no standard schedule for feeding a 6-month-old baby. As long as the baby is meeting recommended nutritional requirements, the exact schedule should depend on what works for the baby and the caregiver.

Baby Sleep Site recommends four to six feedings of breast milk or formula totalling 28 to 32 ounces per day, 1 to 2 tablespoons of plain strained fruits and vegetables each once or twice per day and 3 to 5 tablespoons of iron-fortified infant cereal per day.

An appropriate feeding schedule can be rigid, flexible or on-demand and should include breakfast, mid-morning, lunch, afternoon, dinner and nighttime feedings. Six months is the earliest a parent can expect a baby to adhere to a rigid, clock-based feeding schedule.

Not all babies can adapt to a clock-based schedule. Some babies need to be fed more often at night, especially during a growth spurt. With a more flexible schedule, a caregiver can have blocks of time when the baby can expect to be fed, which the caregiver can adjust depending on the daily needs of the baby, including daily sleep habits. On-demand feeding means the baby is fed whenever he or she is hungry throughout the day and night.


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