It’s a common question from moms everywhere – How many times a day should I feed solids to my 6 month old?
Starting to feed your baby solid food is an exciting milestone! Many parents can’t wait to get started.
But how do you begin? When should you start introducing? How much should they be eating?
While it can all seem overwhelming, it certainly doesn’t have to be. While introducing can be fun, at this age most of your baby’s nutrition is still coming from milk (whether it be formula or breast milk).
We’ll go over some of the most frequently asked questions to get you started.
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How Many Times a Day Should I Feed Solids to My 6 Month Old?
Most 6 month old babies eat solids once or twice per day.
This depends on several factors, including when you introduce solids and how well your baby takes to them. Typically, solids are introduced at 1 meal per day, so if you are starting solids at 6 months, you’ll start there. If you began solids earlier at 4 or 5 months, your 6 month old may be eating twice in a day.
At 6 months old, your baby is still getting their nutrition primarily from formula or breast milk.
Also, it’s generally recommended to introduce foods one at a time and repeat them for a few days so you can pinpoint the source if your baby has an allergic reaction. So starting out with one feeding per day makes this easier.
How Much Solids Should I Give My 6 Month Old?
At 6 months of age, your baby can eat 2-4 tablespoons of solid food per day.
They still have tiny stomachs at this age, they don’t need much. And you want to leave room because their nutrition is still coming primarily from formula or breast milk at 6 months old.
Try the same food for three days in a row before introducing something new. This makes sure your child doesn’t have any allergies or sensitivities to the food that has been introduced.
When Should I Introduce Water to My Baby?
You may start giving your baby water at 6 months old, however it isn’t necessary at that point.
Many moms like to introduce small sips of water during meal times with a miracle cup, straw, or sippy cup. At this age, don’t let them drink more than one ounce during a sitting, and max two ounces throughout the day.
Even on hot days, as long as your baby is regularly drinking their formula or breast milk, they don’t need additional water at 6 months old.
What Finger Foods Can I Give My 6-Month-Old?
Think soft, chewable feeds that your baby can easily pick up.
- Sliced avocado
- Steamed carrots, cut lengthwise
- Banana chunks
- Cut tofu
- Steamed parsnips cut into chunks
- Halved blueberries
- Squished beans
- Cut tomato
- Small pieces of bread or pancake
- Pear slices
- Steamed sweet potato cut into chunks
- Cooked green beans
- Steamed broccoli
- Baked fish (bones removed!)
- Chunks of hard boiled eggs
What Is a Good Feeding Schedule for a 6 Month Old?
There isn’t one right feeding schedule for a 6 month old. The best schedule depends on your specific circumstances, so you’ll want to figure out what works for your family.
This is just one example of a baby feeding schedule, 6 months.
|6:30 am||Milk feed|
|7:00 am||Get dressed and play|
|10:00 am||Milk feed|
|11:00 am||Solids lunch|
|11:30 am||Go for a walk|
|2:00 pm||Milk feed|
|4:30 pm||Milk feed|
|5:30 pm||Solids dinner|
|6:30 pm||Start bedtime routine – bath, PJs, books|
|7:00 pm||Milk feed|
Remember, you should figure out a time that works best for your family. Don’t overthink it too much – as they say, “foods before one are just for fun”.
Here are some things to keep in mind when trying to figure out a good feeding schedule for your 6 month old:
- Most 6 month old babies are feeding every 3 to 4 hours and taking 2 or 3 naps. Find the most convenient time to add in solids once each day and increase from there.
- Solids should not replace a feeding yet.
- Solids should be given at a time when the baby is very alert and, ideally, in a good mood. Depending on your schedules this could be at any time, but many people prefer to start out giving solids early in the day to allow plenty of time to observe for a reaction.
- If it’s tough to find a perfect schedule, don’t worry too much. This time passes quickly and your baby’s schedule will soon change again. Just keep trying.
When Should Baby Eat 3 Meals a Day?
Most babies slowly increase the amount they are eating and begin eating solids three times per day between 10 and 12 months of age.
They still aren’t full meals at this point, because a lot of their nutrition is still coming from breast milk or formula. Rather they are slowly transitioning from a milk-based diet to solid food and this gets them in the habit of eating regularly.
Can You Feed a 6 Month Old Too Much Solids?
It is considered uncommon to overfeed a baby though not impossible.
Take care to watch your baby for cues that they’re full. If they aren’t interested or are turning away, they may not be hungry.
How Do I Know When My Baby Is Full on Solids?
It can be challenging with easily distracted babies to know, but don’t try to force food.
Keep in mind again, that at 6 months, your baby is still getting most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula. The baby won’t eat enough solids to meet their nutritional needs, but overfeeding solids could mean they take less formula or breast milk than they should. For this reason, it’s generally recommended to give solids to your baby a little after their usual feeding, so they are still getting everything they need.
We hope this is a helpful resource to get you started and answers the question: how many times a day should i feed solids to my 6 month old?
And we also want to point out that if your baby isn’t interested in solids at 6 months, that’s perfectly okay too. Some babies take longer to get started than others. Jo’s second child didn’t even start eating solids until 8 months! Now she’s 5 and never stops eating.
How has your journey with introducing solid food been? Tell us about it in the comments!