A baby’s 6-month birthday marks an important transition as many infants are ready to start trying solids at this point.
While breast milk or formula should still form the core of a 6-month-old’s diet, some caregivers find that a child’s feeding schedule shifts as they begin eating purees and other solids.
Share on PinterestWhen a baby reaches 6 months of age, purees and other solid foods can usually become part of their diet.
Babies typically need to eat every 2–3 hours, five to six times during the day.
It is normal for a baby’s schedule to change from day to day, or for babies to eat different amounts of food each day.
Caregivers can follow a baby’s cues, even if they have established a schedule already. A parent or caregiver does not need to deny food to a baby just because it has already eaten.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advise that parents exclusively breastfeed infants for about 6 months if possible. By the time a baby hits their half birthday, they may be ready to try solids.
A baby may be ready for solids at 6 months if:
they have good head control
they can hold their head up for extended periods
they can sit up with no or very little assistance
they no longer have the tongue thrust reflect to push food out of the mouth with the tongue
they show interest at mealtime and lean toward food if a caregiver offers it
At this age, breast milk or formula is still a baby’s most important form of nutrition and solids are an addition.
Not all 6-month-olds are ready for solids. If a baby shows no interest, a caregiver can wait a few weeks and try again.
Giving a baby 1–2 tablespoons of iron fortified cereal or fruit or vegetable purees per feeding can be a good place to start.
Gradually increasing this as the baby’s interest and appetite increase can follow.
To ensure a baby eats sufficient food, the adult can breastfeed or give a bottle before offering solids.
Caregivers can give solid food as a supplement each time they nurse the baby or give a bottle. Or, they can include the baby in family meals by giving solids at mealtime.
At 6 months of age, when an infant may begin to want solids, a caregiver can offer these just once per day.
Choosing a time of day when the caregiver is relaxed and not pressed for time, and the baby is not overly hungry, fussy, or tired often works best.
Once a baby is enjoying their once-a-day solids, the frequency can increase to two and then three times a day.
There is no “right” schedule, but caregivers should plan to increase the number of solids babies get gradually.
At 6 months, the goal is not to introduce new foods and eating habits. Similarly, there is no need to force a baby to eat solids or restrict new food if a baby indicates they want more.
Regardless of their size and eating habits, babies need access to an expanding variety of solid foods.
Most babies will need to try new foods several times before they feel comfortable eating them. It is fine to let a child eat at their own pace, in the way that feels right to them.
It is acceptable at this age for a baby to play with their food since this is a way of exploring new things.
Breast milk and formula
Breast milk or formula remains the most important food at 6 months of age. The easiest way to ensure a baby eats enough is to nurse or formula feed them on demand when they show signs of hunger.
Research supports the value of feeding on demand.
A longitudinal study of 10,419 children found better academic achievement and a four-point Intelligent Quotient (IQ) advantage at 8 years old among children whose caregivers fed them on demand.
However, the caregivers of these children got less sleep and had lower overall well-being.
These results may point to adults finding a happy medium, such as steadily shaping the baby’s preferred schedule into one that works for them.
In general, caregivers should plan to breastfeed babies 3 to 5 times per day, and sometimes more. However, babies vary greatly and every 3–4 hours is common, which can amount to up to eight times in 24 hours.
Some babies prefer cluster feedings, during which they nurse several times in a short period. Growing or sick babies may also nurse more frequently.
If a baby has formula, giving 24–32 ounces of iron fortified formula spread over five or six feeds per day is typical. While some babies sleep through the night at 6 months, others will still wake or want to feed.
A nighttime “dream feed” around the time caregivers retire for the evening may help babies sleep longer.
Babies do not need juice at 6 months. The extra calories can decrease a baby’s appetite, and the sugar may damage a child’s developing teeth. Soda and other drinks are not healthful for babies.
Babies can have water beginning at 6 months, or when caregivers introduce solids, whichever is later. Introducing a cup of water along with solid meals may be helpful.
Around 6 months old, some babies begin transitioning from three or four daily naps to two. The baby might take a midmorning nap and a midafternoon nap. At this age, most babies need 12–15 hours of sleep per day, and naps usually last 1–3 hours.
Caregivers are best finding a schedule that works for them and the child. Some children are used to falling asleep by nursing or with a bottle. Others happily doze off on their own.
A caregiver can follow the baby’s cues and work to adapt their needs to the family’s schedule slowly.
These feeding tips may help:
Babies may be hungrier after waking from a long nap. This can be a good time to try solids after offering formula or breast milk to ease their initial hunger.
There is no evidence that adding cereal to a bottle helps babies sleep longer. Doing so can increase their risk of choking.
Babies must never have food without close supervision. nor have solids, even very thin purees, in bed.
Deciding what, when, and how to feed a baby can be challenging, especially during the transition to solids. As long as babies get regular breast milk or formula, caregivers do not need to rush the transition to solids or worry that babies are not eating enough.
Some babies take longer than others to embrace solids, while some will eagerly eat anything. The right schedule is one that works for the baby and family. This schedule may change over time which is also fine.
Sample Schedules for Starting Solids (6 to 12 Months)
Looking for sample schedules for starting solids? Ideas for how to introduce solids on a schedule. Including sample feeding schedule for 6 months old and beyond.
Ready to start solids with your babe? This is an exciting time!
Here’s everything you need to know about introducing solids safely including sample schedules for starting solids from 6 months to 12 months, plus recommended menu items.
Is Baby Ready for Solids?
The most important thing to consider as your baby approaches the 4-6 month mark, is whether they are showing signs of feeding readiness.
This includes things like:
Baby is 6 months old (there is no benefit to starting solids before 4 months at the earliest)
They are interested in food they see around them
Baby is losing their tongue thrust reflex that keeps food out of their mouth
They are sitting up on their own for at least 60 seconds at a time
If your baby is showing these signs, great! It’s time to start introducing some solids.
Note that baby should continue receiving breast milk and/or formula for at least the first year of life, as you begin the transition to solid foods.
What Are the Benefits of Solids?
Eventually, your baby’s diet will be predominantly solid foods, but it takes some time to get there.
Solid foods expose your baby to a wide variety of textures, shapes, consistencies, and colors. They’re also important for nutrition, providing an array of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, fat, and energy.
Eating solids is also important for physical growth and development. As your baby matures, they become prepared to try new foods and get more of their nutrients from solids than breast milk/formula.
Plus, it’s fun to play with and try new foods!
However you decide to introduce solids – using a traditional spoon-feeding/puree approach or a baby-led weaning approach – your baby benefits from the nutrition and exposure.
Recommended Solid Foods for Babies
Below are some nutritious first foods that have worked well for us:
Soft fruits, like bananas, kiwi, mango
Soft-cooked vegetables, like zucchini, sweet potato, and broccoli
Beans, peas, lentils
Toast, cut into strips
As you design your baby’s menu, these are some great nutrient-dense foods to incorporate that can also be prepared and served in an age-appropriate way.
For a list of foods to avoid when starting solids, see this blog post.
Sample Schedules for Starting Solids
How you choose to design your baby’s solid feeding schedule depends on several things, including what your daily routine looks like.
We recommend beginning with 1 solid food meal per day for 6-month-old babes and increasing to 3 meals per day for 9-month-old babies.
Between these milestones, continue to slowly add new foods and increase how many meals/snacks you’re offering.
By 12 months old, your baby will be eating 3 meals and a few snacks per day of solid foods, using breast milk and/or milk/milk alternatives (e.g., fortified unsweetened soy or pea milk) as needed.
Keep in mind that it can take 10-15 times of offering a food before a baby even tries it, or decides whether they like it. If your baby doesn’t seem to be interested in a certain food, keep offering.
Below are a few example feeding schedules for offering solids to babes at least 6 months old.
We hope these sample schedules for starting solids are helpful when your baby is ready for first foods. When you introduce solids on a schedule, this can help alleviate some of the stress of feeding while nourishing your baby well. Have fun with it!
Chime In: If you’ve already done solids with your babe, what has your schedule looked like? Any other tips for new parents?
If you found this post helpful, we suggest you read these too:
Spoon Feeding vs. Baby-Led Weaning
Do Babies Really Need 11mg of Iron a Day?
Plant-Based Baby-Led Weaning Grocery List
How to Wean Baby to Plant-Based Milk
Seven Months Menu
Breastfeed your baby every 3-4 hours.
If you give your baby expressed breast milk, he needs approximately 710 grams per day. With 5-6 meals a day, this is about 120 to 200 grams of milk per meal.
If the baby is formula-fed (FW), he needs 170 to 230 grams of formula up to 4 times a day, provided that 2 more feedings replace complementary foods. To find out how much mixture you need, be guided by the instructions on the package, the recommendations of the pediatrician.
From the age of 6 months, only mother's milk or adapted infant formula is not enough for a baby - he needs a variety of complementary foods. Introduce no more than one new product per day into the child’s menu at 7 months and consult a pediatrician first. After getting acquainted with different foods, up to three complementary foods can be given daily: this can be one or two tablespoons or 115-170 grams (8-12 tablespoons), depending on the baby and the specific product.
Important The calculation of servings and the number of feedings depends on the individual characteristics of the development and needs of the child. Therefore, first of all, be guided by the recommendations of your pediatrician and the needs of the baby.
Baby's menu at 7 months: introducing new products
The basis of the diet is still breast milk or infant formula. To diversify the menu, children's adapted food will help: fruit and vegetable purees, milk and dairy-free cereals, juices, as well as some products from the "adult table".
At 7 months, dairy-free and milk porridges, along with breast milk, are the basis of a child’s nutrition. To start complementary foods, choose gluten-free liquid one-component cereals with a high iron content: rice, buckwheat, oatmeal. A little later - corn and semolina. Start complementary foods with half or a whole teaspoon, gradually increasing the serving to 150 grams.
Important Dairy-free porridge is diluted with breast milk or milk formula, milk - with purified boiled water. Find out more: Gerber® Baby Cereals: product range
Vegetable and fruit purees
Vegetable and fruit purees will diversify the diet and introduce new tastes to the baby. According to WHO recommendations, the best product to start with is a one-component vegetable puree made from zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower or potatoes. These vegetables are less allergenic than other foods. If the child does not have allergies, pumpkin, carrot, pea and tomato puree can be given a little later.
Find out more: Gerber® Vegetable Purees
After introducing vegetable purees into your diet, it's time for your little one to get to know sweet and healthy fruit purees. Like vegetable, fruit complementary foods are also recommended to start with one-component low-allergenic foods. Apple, pear or banana puree is best for this. Start with half or a whole teaspoon and gradually increase the serving to 100-150 grams.
Learn more: Gerber® 9 fruit purees0004
Your baby's introduction to a variety of flavors is the best place to start with Gerber® vegetable purees, specially formulated for baby's first foods. In the composition - only the vegetable that is indicated on the package, without extraneous additives.
Meat is a product necessary for development, rich in iron and protein, which is well absorbed in the body. Start with homogenized options. The product must contain only one type of meat (diet turkey, rabbit, chicken, veal) and no additional components. If the crumbs have a tendency to food allergies, choose meat very carefully, it is better to consult a doctor in advance. Pay attention to the composition of baby food and its age-appropriate baby. First, let the baby try half a teaspoon. If no adverse reactions occur, gradually increase the meat rate to 60 grams.
Find out more: Gerber® Meat Purees
Fruit juice is great for snacking and menu variety. Young children tolerate clarified apple and pear juice better, so they should be introduced first. Give the baby adapted baby juices: they do not contain sugar or other additives undesirable for the child. Ordinary store-bought juices can only be drunk by children over three years old.
0004 Tip Introduce your baby to juices after the introduction of cereals and vegetable purees. Often the child gets used to sweet juices and then does not eat foods with a less bright taste. Learn more: Gerber® Juices
In addition to cereals and purees, boiled egg yolk is introduced at 7 months of age as it is an excellent source of omega fats, selenium, phosphorus and vitamins. Please note that you need to give the egg not the whole, but only the yolk. But, like any other product that you give to try for the first time, it should be introduced carefully and little by little to make sure that the baby does not have an allergy. Do not combine with other food! Only when you "test" the yolk, it is allowed to add it to cereals and vegetable purees.
Important It is believed that allergic children can be fed quail eggs. But it is important to remember that quail eggs can also be allergic, as they also contain egg white - an allergen that is found in chicken eggs. Therefore, do not experiment, but seek the advice of a pediatrician. See also: Introduction of complementary foods to children with food allergies
Baby biscuits and crackers
At seven months, some babies begin to erupt their first teeth. Therefore, you can add crackers and children's cookies to food. But do not forget that they should not be too hard so that the child does not get hurt and choke. It is also better to choose special products without added salt, sugar, synthetic leavening agents and preservatives.
Important The child should eat solid food in a sitting position and strictly under adult supervision.
Consistency of dishes
The main component of the diet remains liquid and homogeneous (without lumps) - breast milk or milk formula, milk and dairy-free cereals. As the baby grows, the baby's food should change from liquid and homogeneous to thicker and puree, mashed. When the body adapts and is able to digest solid food, they begin to carefully introduce small, medium and coarsely ground foods, give children's cookies and crackers.
At 7 months, some babies already have teeth, but they cannot yet chew thoroughly and safely swallow vegetables, fruits and meat. Therefore, solid food should be given only in a grated form. It is important that the puree is not too thick, otherwise the child may accidentally choke.
Tip If you are preparing puree yourself, carefully remove everything that is not frayed and can get into the respiratory tract of the crumbs: bones, fat, veins, skin, films. To make the puree easier to swallow, add some boiled water, unsalted vegetable broth, vegetable puree already familiar to the baby, or breast milk (milk mixture).
By about 7 months of age, the baby has mastered the “palm grip” skill and can independently hold solid food in the handle. From now on, you can give your child special baby cookies or snacks. At the same time, make sure that the baby eats slowly, in a sitting position and does not choke.
Important The baby should be ready to receive more viscous or solid food. Therefore, before changing the consistency of food for a child, consult a pediatrician.
Meal schedule and approximate daily menu
What can be given to children at 7 months and at what time to feed? Parents can begin to form a classic division of food consumption per day. But at 7 months, the baby needs to be fed not three or four, but five times a day at intervals of four hours. The first and final feeding is mother's milk or formula. Complementary foods are not given at this time in order to prevent overeating.
*Dairy-free porridge should be diluted with breast milk or infant formula given to the baby. Milk porridge is diluted with water.
Tip Do not salt or sweeten food. It is better to introduce the baby to sugar and salt after a year.
Sample diet for a 7-month-old baby allergic to cow's milk proteins: table
Nestle® Dairy-Free Rice Cereal*
Vegetable Oil (add to meal)
Gerber® Apple or Williams Pears Fruit Puree
approx. 1 tsp.
III feeding 14 hours
Gerber® vegetable puree Broccoli, Cauliflower
Vegetable oil (add to the dish)
Gerber® meat puree 170 g024 with rabbit 90 g02
about 1 tsp.
IV feeding 18 hours
Vegetable puree or dairy-free porridge**
Vegetable oil (add to meal)
Gerber® Tender Turkey Meat Puree
approx. 1 tsp.
V feeding 22 hours
Breast milk or formula for infants with intolerance to cow's milk proteins
**you can either alternate porridge or vegetables, or offer a mixed dish - porridge with vegetables.
Now you know what products and in what form can be introduced into the menu of a child at 7 months. It is preferable if it is certified baby food that meets all age requirements and high safety standards.
See also: Do we cook ourselves or use baby food?
Frequently Asked Questions
1. At what age should complementary foods begin?
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends introducing complementary foods to your baby's menu at 6 months of age.
2. How to start complementary foods?
Experts advise starting complementary foods with one-component homogenized vegetable purees.
3. How much should a 7-month-old baby eat?
At 7 months, a baby needs a portion of food per day, which is equal to about ⅛ of body weight. This is 1000-1200 ml of food, excluding water, juices, children's tea. Divide this amount by 5 feedings and you will get an estimated amount of food per meal - 200-210 ml.
Until 6 months old, a dog (most small and many large breeds) is actively growing. To support the proper development of the body, the diet should not be poor. The dog should eat food in the amount of 7% of body weight. After six months of food you need half as much: 3.5% of the weight of the animal. Please note that this is the total amount per day, the dog should receive it 2-3 times a day.
Example: 10-month-old dog weighing 10 kg. 3.5% of the dog’s weight is equal to 350 g. Of this weight, half (175 g) should be meat and offal, and the same amount should be animal (cottage cheese, low-fat kefir) and plant foods (it is little digested, but participates in the formation correct intestinal microflora). All plant foods (carrots, pumpkin, zucchini, cabbage) should be given raw and chopped. Sweet fruits and starchy vegetables (bananas, potatoes) are not allowed.
How to feed a natural dog?
For each dog, the selection of the amount of food is an individual matter. The age of the dog is important, its condition (pregnancy, illness), lifestyle, which is often sedentary, and the pet also lives in the heat or on the street. But some general guidelines can be set.
The amount of food for a puppy will vary depending on its size, activity, metabolism. Overfeeding puppies can lead to deformed bones and other health problems.
Active dogs have higher energy requirements, so they need a nutritious food with more calories. However, do not forget that an increase in the nutritional value of the feed does not mean an increase in the amount of food.
By the way, active pets should not be fed immediately before and immediately after training. To satisfy your pet's hunger, you can give treats during training and not restrict access to fresh water.
In older pets, activity decreases, therefore, they need to reduce the caloric content of food, but the volume of the daily serving can be left the same.
The dog's appetite may change, and this is not a reason to reduce or increase the portion each time. However, loss of appetite that persists for several days and is accompanied by symptoms of the disease should be a reason to visit the veterinarian.
How many times a day to feed the dog
The number of feedings depends on the age of the animal, as well as the total amount of food. The animal should not independently decide when and how much to consume food. Free feeding is unacceptable, because it threatens with obesity, pickiness. It is better to feed according to the schedule, for example, give 2/3 of the daily allowance in the morning, and the rest in the evening.
By the way, dogs tend to sleep after eating, and knowing this feature, you can use it. If a pet is left at home alone while the owner is at work, then after eating a large portion in the morning, the animal is likely to devote most of the day to sleep.
Number of feedings depending on the age of the dog
Until 3-4 weeks of age, puppies are not weaned from their mother, they feed on breast milk as much as they want. From 3-4 weeks old, puppies begin to be accustomed to solid food - they are fed 5 times a day (every 3-4 hours), and puppies of large breeds are fed 4 times a day. From 3 to 6 months, you can already feed 3 times a day, from six months - 2 times a day, and, finally, from 12 months it is enough to feed 1-2 times a day.
Adult dogs can be fed 1-2 times a day. For example, a large breed dog needs up to 1 kilogram of food per day, but it is advisable to divide this amount into two parts and feed the pet twice a day. A medium sized dog can be fed once a day.
If a meal was skipped for any reason, then the next serving should not be increased. A pet will not die of hunger, but it can easily overeat.
How to tell if a dog has enough food
Overfeeding, as well as underfeeding, are dangerous to the health of the animal. Therefore, it is important to be able to determine the daily amount of food, and for this you need to observe the animal. His behavior will tell you whether to increase or decrease the daily portion.
The bowl should be empty after eating. If even a small piece remains, this is excess food, and it is necessary to reduce the portion so that the dog eats it completely.
If you notice that your dog divides food into “likes” and “dislikes” , know that she is overfed. Reduce the amount of "favorite" food.
A dog (not a puppy!) eats the whole portion and gains weight . Reduce the amount of food you eat to avoid obesity.
The dog eats the prescribed amount of food, but does not eat if you offer more food or shows signs of satiety. The amount of food will have to be reduced. It would be normal for the dog to eat another bite, since it is normal for the dog to be a little hungry. It is impossible to allow an animal to remain in a state of satiety.
Does the dog eat all the food it receives from you, but at the same time lose weight beyond the acceptable limits? The animal does not have enough food, increase its volume!
Weight: norm, excess, deficiency
There is a scheme by which an animal is evaluated, determining whether it has fat deposits.
In a dog of normal weight, the ribs are easily palpable with the fingers, while they are not visible during external examination. When the dog is standing, his stomach should be tucked up, that is, not the same diameter as the chest. Seen from above, the abdomen just behind the last ribs appears narrower in relation to the ribcage.
Does your dog's "portrait" fit this description? This means that the weight is within the normal range.