As your baby gets older, their dietary needs will change. Here is some general guidance on what type of food(s) your baby may need at each stage of their development, though this will vary depending on each baby’s unique needs.
0 to 6 months
In your baby’s earliest months, they will exclusively consume breast milk or infant formula. Most formula-fed infants will feed eight to 12 times each day and as your baby grows, they will be able to consume more formula at each feeding, and time between feedings will increase. Breastfed infants may eat as often as every one to three hours with time between feedings increasing as your baby grows. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises waiting to introduce any solid foods including iron-fortified infant cereal until 6 months old.
6 to 8 months
As your baby grows older and you begin to introduce solid foods into their diet, start with only a few spoonfuls at a time. According to the AAP, babies only need a small amount as they begin adding solid foods to their diet of breast milk or formula. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refers to solids at this stage as “complementary,” that is, adding to the breast milk or formula they’re already consuming.
8 to 12 months
The CDC advises that breast milk or formula still be the main source of nutrition at this stage, and that your baby should be offered something to eat every two to three hours, or about five or six times a day. You should maintain the foods you began feeding your baby between 6 to 8 months, and also add new foods, such as bread, pasta, cheese and yogurt.