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Baby Feeding Schedule: How Much Should a 6- to 9-Month-Old Eat?

by Vannessa Rhoades 25 Nov 2022
Baby Feeding Schedule: How Much Should a 6- to 9-Month-Old Eat?

The 6-month-old to 9-month-old stage in babies is an exciting milestone. At this age, many little ones have developed more predictable sleep patterns (allowing parents to get a bit more rest), can sit up unassisted, and will generally display more of their own sweet personalities. By the 6-month mark, most babies will also be developmentally ready for the introduction of solid foods.

When giving your 6-month-old to 9-month-old solids for the first time, you’ll want to start the process slowly and gradually. They’ll need your help, but it’s also important to let them start practicing self-feeding. Let’s take a look at some general guidelines for feeding your little one at this phase of development.

How Much Formula or Breast Milk Do 6- to 9-Month-Old Babies Need?

By 6 months of age, most babies have doubled their birth weight, sit up on their own with good head control, and open their mouth when food comes their way. Once they’ve reached these important developmental milestones, you can gradually begin the process of introducing solid foods.

Bear in mind, however, that formula or breast milk will still be the principal food in your baby’s diet until they’re at least a year old (even if they begin losing interest in it). Babies 6 to 9 months old should consume about 6 to 8 ounces of breast milk or formula per feeding or breastfeed approximately every 3 to 4 hours daily. Overall, they still need a total of about 24 to 36 ounces of formula or breast milk per day. 

As your baby grows and becomes more comfortable with solid foods, the way they begin responding to nursing or bottle feeding may change a bit. Regardless, it’s still important to offer breast milk or formula on demand. At this age, consuming solid foods is more about simply exposing your baby to new flavor and texture sensations. Their main source of nutrition should still be breast milk or formula.

Comotomo Baby Bottles (8 oz., 2-pack) have smart, non-leaking dual air-vents to prevent colic, a truly wide-neck design for easy cleaning, and a hygienic silicone material so that you never have to worry about toxic chemicals. Above all, Comotomo bottles are designed to mimic breastfeeding to help babies easily transition back and forth from nursing to bottle feeding.


How Much Solid Food Does a 6- to 9-Month-Old Baby Need?

Start slowly. It’s easy to overwhelm a baby at this age. Many parents choose to begin with a couple of tablespoons of baby cereal, heavily thinned out with formula or breast milk. Gradually, you can begin thickening the texture. Other parents choose to bypass pureed foods completely and go directly to allowing their baby to self-feed. This process, called baby-led weaning, involves giving babies small bits of extremely soft foods they can pick up and gum and swallow on their own. Still, other parents use a combination of traditional feeding and self-feeding.

One way to ease the transition into eating solids for the first time is to start the meal by giving your baby a little breast milk or formula. Next, give them a few very small half-spoonfuls of food. End the meal with more breast milk or formula. This will keep your little one from getting discouraged if they are especially hungry.

Every baby is different, and there’s a lot of variation on how much solid food a 6-month-old to 9-month-old baby will consume. On average, babies this age may eventually consume anywhere from 4 to 9 tablespoons of cereal or pureed fruit or vegetables over the course of a day. They may also eat between 1 and 6 tablespoons of protein each day, such as soft tofu, pureed meat, or scrambled egg. 

Expect that more may end up on the floor or in their hair than in their tummy. Expect it to be messy. At this stage, experimenting with the flavor, smell, and texture of foods is more important.

When it comes to drinking fluids, your baby will still be getting their hydration needs met by formula or breast milk. That said, it’s alright to offer an ounce or two of water in a little cup to let your baby practice their dexterity and hand-to-mouth coordination. 

The OXO Tot Transitions Soft Spout Sippy Cup has a unique, almond-shaped spout that opens easily as soon as your little one’s lips touch it, and is specially designed to make it an easy transition from bottles or breastfeeding. The sturdy cap covers the silicone spout to keep it clean in diaper bags and prevents leaking. Removable handles allow your little one to easily grip the cup.


Example Feeding Schedule for a 6- to 9-Month-Old Baby

Your baby will grow and change quite a bit throughout this stage. Their appetite may increase as they become more mobile, and their flavor preferences may affect what they want to eat. Below, you’ll see an example feeding schedule for an average 6-month-old to 9-month-old baby.

  • 7 a.m. — Nurse on both breasts or bottle-feed 6 to 8 ounces of formula 
  • 7:30 a.m. — 2 to 4 tablespoons of cereal mixed with breast milk or formula
  • 9:30 a.m. — Morning nap (baby may nurse or take 2 to 4 ounces of formula or expressed milk)
  • 11:30 a.m. — Bottle with 6 to 8 ounces of expressed milk or formula
  • 12 p.m. — Offer a vegetable or fruit option
  • 2 p.m. — Afternoon nap (baby may nurse or take 2 to 4 ounces of formula or expressed milk)
  • 4 p.m. — Nurse on both breasts or bottle-feed 6 to 8 ounces of breast milk or formula
  • 5:30 p.m. — Offer a protein option
  • 7 p.m. — Nurse on both breasts or bottle-feed 6 to 8 ounces of formula

How Will I Know if My 6- to 9-Month-Old Baby Is Eating Enough?

The best way to make sure your little one is getting their nutritional needs met is by having regular well-checks with your pediatrician. They will plot your baby’s progress on a growth chart and may advise you about any potential issues. Again, continue to consistently nurse or bottle feed your child at this age.

Babies this age will be pretty adept at letting you know when they’re hungry or when they’ve had enough. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), a hungry little one will open their mouth and lean toward the food. They’ll also show excitement when they see food, as well as focus on and follow the food with their eyes. If they’re feeling full, they tend to squirm in their seats and look away while you're trying to feed them. Other signs your baby may be full include closing their mouth when you offer food, turning their head away from the food, and playing with their food. You should never force your baby to eat more food after you have seen these cues.

Because most babies this age are unable to speak, some parents teach them how to use sign language. For example, they might teach them the signs for "more," "all done," and "milk." This way, your baby can  more easily communicate their needs to you. Watch the video below to learn how:



The Takeaway

As you enter this exciting new phase of your baby’s development, try not to stress too much about the process and enjoy the experience as much as possible. Meal times should be relaxed, enjoyable events that are about learning new taste and texture sensations. Take it slow – remember, this is a gradual process. Let your baby lead the way by paying attention to their hunger and fullness cues. Always keep a watchful eye on your baby at every meal and be mindful of any potential choking hazards. Your main goal at 6 to 9 months is to make sure your baby is continuing to still drink plenty of breast milk or formula on a regular basis. Beyond that, it’s up to parents to decide what works best for their little one.

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