Feeding Infants and Toddlers

Your toddler may turn to nursing for comfort and reassurance, but he is certainly still benefiting from the nutritional and immunologic benefits. In any case, emotional support is a perfectly legitimate aspect of breastfeeding.

Seeking out a reassuring nursing session when he’s upset and bouncing back as soon as he finishes builds your child’s confidence and feelings of security and well-being. Certainly there is no evidence that extended breastfeeding makes a child more dependent or harms him in any way.

On the contrary, many parents proudly tell how independent, healthy, and exceptionally bright their long-term breastfed children become. As long as you are comfortable breastfeeding your toddler, there is no reason to stop.

How to Feed Your Baby Step by Step

This is a general guide for feeding a baby. Your baby may eat a little more or a little less than this guide suggests.

0 to 4 months

Breast Milk

  • Nurse on demand, 5 to 10 minutes per breast.


Age # times/day serving size           
0 to 1 Month      6 to 8 times      2 to 4 oz
1 to 2 months     5 to 7 times      3 to 5 oz
2 to 3 months     4 to 6 times      4 to 7 oz
3 to 4 months     4 to 6 times      5 to 8 oz
  • Never prop a bottle. Always hold the baby to feed.
  • Don’t microwave bottles.
  • Don’t force a large feeding amount. 6 wet diapers is a good sign your baby is getting enough.
  • Do not feed honey to a child until 1 year of age.

4 to 6 months

Breast Milk or Formula

4 to 6 times per day, 6 to 8 oz at each feeding

  • Don’t prop the bottle.
  • Use a pacifier if the baby wants to suck.


Rice cereal 1 to 2 times per day, 1 to 2 tbsp. servings

  • Start cereal if baby is taking over 32 oz per day.
  • Don’t put cereal in a bottle.

6 to 8 months

Breast Milk or Formula

3 to 5 times per day, 6 to 8 oz servings

  • Give breast milk or formula before giving solids.


Rice Cereal 3 to 5 times per day, 2 to 4 tbsp. servings

  • Don’t heat in microwave.

Fruits & Veggies

Strained fruits and vegetables, 2 to 4 times per day, 2 to 3 tbsp. servings

  • Keep solids refrigerated.
  • Start one fruit or vegetable at a time.
  • Do not give foods in chunks.

8 to 12 months

Breast Milk or Formula

3 to 4 times per day, 6 to 8 oz servings

  • Baby can hold a bottle but don’t give a bottle in bed.
  • Try using a cup.


Baby cereal, crackers, bread, or dry cereal, 1 to 2 times per day, 2 to 4 tbsp. servings

  • Start with soft finger foods.
  • Be patient.
  • Feed your baby in a high chair.
  • Feed only foods that will dissolve in the mouth.

Fruits & Veggies

Strained or mashed fruits or vegetables, 3 to 4 times per day, 3 to 4 tbsp. servings

Fruit juice (not orange) 1 time per day, 4 oz in cup

  • Juice does not replace milk.
  • Give juice in a cup.


Strained chicken, beef, or dried beans, 1 to 2 times per day, 3 to 4 tbsp. servings

  • Do not give hotdogs or pieces of meat that need chewing.

Age 1+ years

  • You may give whole milk instead of formula. Your child may also have citrus juice, honey, and whole eggs after 1 year of age. Never give honey to babies. Honey may cause a serious disease called botulism in children less than 1 year old.
  • Continue to have meals in a high chair or at the table.
  • DO NOT allow your child to walk around and eat small amounts of food frequently (grazing).
  • Do not add peanuts, treenuts or shellfish to your child’s diet until 2 or 3 years of age.
  • Give your child snacks at the table. Snacks are important for baby’s increasing energy needs.

Other Dairy Foods

  • Yogurt, 1/4 to 1/2 cup servings
  • Offer cottage cheese, 1 to 2 tbsp. servings