Baby and Toddler Feeding Timeline

Baby and Toddler Feeding Timeline

The need for excellent nutrition early in life starts from birth. Learn about the food timelines for babies with our baby food timeline and toddler feeding chart.

Tiny newborns have different nutritional needs than older infants. And growing toddlers have different requirements, too. Read on for helpful feeding guidelines and the timeline that takes your little one from the first day feeding through the first few years of toddlerhood.

Newborn feeding

Feeding your newborn baby starts with nourishment solely from breast milk and/or baby formula. The breast milk or formula introduces essential vitamins and nutrients like

and
 for brain and cognitive development. In these early days of your baby’s feeding timeline, you feed on demand, according to your baby’s hunger cues. Don’t try to force your little one to finish the bottle, follow your baby’s cues.

Newborn Feeding: Birth - 3 Months
(these amounts are shown as a guide)
Breast Milk
Every 2-3 hours (8-12 feedings per day), on demand.
Formula
Every 3-4 hours (6-8 feedings per day), on demand, about 2-3 ounces per feeding.
Grains
None
Fruit and Vegetables
None
Dairy, Meat and Poultry
None

Infant feeding guidelines: 4-6 months

At 4-6 months, your baby now has the strength and basic coordination to hold their head upright and sit with support, so you can think about starting to introduce semi-solid foods as long as your little one has met key developmental milestones.

Pro Tip:

Try one new type of food every 3-5 days and watch for signs of allergy from it, like diarrhea, rash, or vomiting. Due to their acidic qualities, do not introduce fruit juices in the first six months and then limit serves to 4-6 fl. oz of 100% juice per day.

 

Maintaining a balanced diet in this stage of your baby food timeline is important for growth. So, avoid adding sugar or salt to foods and check with your baby’s doctor for any concerns like deficiencies of any key ingredients.

Infant Feeding: 4-6 Months
Breast Milk
On demand about 6-8 feedings per day.
Formula
4-5 feedings per day, 5-7 fl oz per feeding.​
Grains
Start baby on iron-fortified rice or barley cereal mixed with breast milk or formula.
Fruit and Vegetables
Introduce a single pureed fruit or vegetable and feed it for 3-5 days before starting another.
Dairy, Meat and Poultry
Pureed meats.

Infant feeding guidelines: 6-9 months

At about eight months of your baby feeding timeline, you can begin feeding your baby finger foods that are easy to pick up so your baby can feed independently. Plan for a mess and be patient. Continue feeding your baby breast milk or formula. These intakes will decrease some as your baby consumes more solid foods. Never give infants raisins, nuts, popcorn or small, hard pieces of food, as these can be choking hazards. And remember, do not give honey to a baby under one year.

Infant Feeding: 6-9 Months
Breast Milk
On demand about 4-6 feedings per day.
Formula
4-5 feedings per day, 6-8 fl oz per feeding (up to a maximum of about 32 fl oz a day).
Grains
Start finger foods that have more texture, like oat cereal or toast fingers.
Fruit and Vegetables
Pureed or mashed fruits and vegetables.
Dairy, Meat and Poultry
Yogurt, pureed or finely ground meats and chicken.

Toddler feeding guidelines

After the first year, you'll probably notice a decline in your toddler's appetite as you evolve your toddler feeding timeline. If you have noticed this, don't worry, as the rapid growth rate up until is finally slowing and your little one doesn't require as much food. Some parents make a toddler feeding chart to see what is working, what food is liked and what is refused. A toddler may need repeated exposure to new foods before accepting them. If you get rejected, don’t give up or show disappointment, just offer it another day.

Even with the slightly reduced intake, toddlers need about 1,000 calories a day. Since they eat toddler-sized portions, offer 3 meals and 3 snacks daily. Give your toddler water for thirst. Avoid giving too much fruit juice—it's loaded with sugar. Serve less than 4-6 ounces of juice a day as it is naturally high in sugars. To create balance and to keep things interesting for your toddler’s food explorations, feed a variety from the 4 basic food groups below.

Toddler Feeding: 9-12 Months
Breast Milk
On demand about 4 or more feedings per day.
Formula
4 feedings per day, 6-8 fl. oz per feeding (About 24-32 fl. oz per day).
Grains
Fortified cereal grains including finger foods like crackers (A serving is 3 Tbsp).
Fruit and Vegetables
4 servings of fruits and vegetables per day (A serving is 2-4 Tbsp)
Dairy, Meat and Poultry
1 serving of yogurt or finely chopped meat or poultry (A serving is 2-4 Tbsp)

 

Toddler Feeding: 1-2 Years
Milk and Other Dairy
  • 16-24 fl oz whole cow's milk per day
  • Offer yogurt and other dairy products, as well
Grains
  • Fortified cereals
  • Breads
  • Crackers
  • Rice
  • Pasta
(A portion is 3-4 Tbsp, 2 crackers or 1/2 slice bread)
Fruit and Vegetables
  • About 1-2 cups of fruits and vegetables divided over a day
Meat, Fish, Poultry, and Eggs
  • 1-2 servings of lean meat, eggs, fish, poultry or cooked dried beans per day
(A serving can be 3-4 Tbsp)

 

Toddler Feeding: 2-3 Years
Milk and Other Dairy
16 fl oz low-fat or skim cow's milk per day.
Offer low-fat yogurt and other dairy products, as wellOn demand about 4 or more feedings per day.
Grains
Fortified cereals, breads, crackers, rice, pasta as appetite demands.
Fruit and Vegetables
About 2-3 cups of fruits and vegetables divided over a day.
Meat, Fish, Poultry, and Eggs
2 servings of lean meat, eggs, fish, poultry or cooked dried beans per day. A serving can be 3-4 Tbsp.

 

As your baby grows into a toddler and they move along this baby food timeline, you will need to ensure that your little one gets the right healthy fats, proteins,

, and vitamins. We have a range of recipe ideas to inspire your toddler’s palate with new foods as well as a range of information for your baby’s development.