Published October 17, 2023

Creating a Balanced 6-Month-Old Feeding Schedule: Solids and Formula

We know it’s exciting: your baby is reaching 6 months old and it’s time to introduce them to the magical world of solids. The textures, the tastes, the smells—oh my! Incorporating solids is a huge milestone—congrats! We’ll guide you through a well-rounded schedule for feeding 6-month-olds, including solids and formula that includes both solids and breast milk/formula while emphasizing the importance of flexibility, responsiveness to your baby's hunger cues, and the principles of baby-led weaning.

How Much to Feed 6 Month Old: Feeding Chart

At 6 months of age, your baby's nutritional needs evolve and it's crucial to adapt their feeding schedule accordingly. While breast milk or formula remains their primary source of nourishment until their first birthday, introducing solids to babies provides additional nutrients and helps them develop essential oral and motor skills.

6-Month-Old Feeding FAQs: Answering Your Questions on Solids

Breast Milk or Formula

At 6-months-old, your baby's primary source of nutrition should still be breast milk or formula. Continue to initially offer breast milk or formula before offering solids. Your baby should consume roughly 24-32 ounces of formula/breast milk per day regardless of their consumption of solids! Pay attention to your baby's cues for hunger and fullness to ensure they receive the appropriate amount, and remember that every baby is unique. Consulting with your pediatrician is always the right move. 


Starting Solids

You can start introducing solids to your baby around the 6-month mark. Signs of readiness for solids, including head control, sitting up with support, and showing interest in the food you're eating, is more important than age!

Some health care professionals recommend starting with single-ingredient, iron-fortified baby cereals such as rice or oatmeal. Iron is essential for development as their iron stores from pregnancy begin to deplete around this age. Fortified baby cereals can also be mixed with pureed fruits and vegetables for added flavor! If you start with cereal or other pureed foods, you can gradually increase the variety of foods and textures you offer as your baby becomes more accustomed to eating solids.


What’s Baby-Led Weaning?

Baby-led weaning is a feeding approach that encourages babies to self-feed and explore a variety of textures and flavors. For example, instead of spoon-feeding purees, you offer appropriately sized pieces of soft foods that your baby can grasp and bring to their own mouth.

Baby-led weaning promotes independence and helps develop fine motor skills, chewing abilities, and a healthy relationship with food. Best finger foods for a 6-month-old include well-cooked vegetables like sweet potato and broccoli, ripe fruits like banana and avocado, and soft protein sources like scrambled eggs or small pieces of shredded chicken.

Many parents opt to do a combination of purees and baby-led weaning—but it’s up to you! There is no one-size-fits-all approach to beginning table foods with your baby, and if one style doesn’t feel quite right, you can mix and match styles or try something new entirely.

Sample 6-Month-Old Feeding Schedule

Here's a sample feeding schedule for a 6-month-old baby that incorporates breast milk or formula as well as one meal with solids.


Easy Feeding Chart for a 6-Month-Old

Morning - 7:30 AM:

Begin the day with a breastfeeding or formula feeding session. Many bottle-fed infants will consume 5-8 ounces of breast milk or formula upon waking for the day.

Mid Morning - 10:30 AM:

Offer another breastfeeding or formula feeding session.

Lunch - 1:30 PM:

Offer another breastfeeding or formula feeding session.

Afternoon - 4:00 PM:

Offer another breastfeeding or formula feeding session.

Dinner -  5:30 PM:

During your family dinner time, offer your baby a small serving of solid food, such as mashed avocado, cooked carrots, or eggs. If following a baby-led weaning framework, you can give your baby appropriately sized pieces of whatever the family is eating for the meal. Keep in mind that your baby may not consume much of what you offer, and instead may play with the food, gnaw on it, throw it on the floor, or even rub it in their hair! This is normal— the goal is exposure to solids, not to replace nutrition that should come from breast milk or formula.

Bedtime - 7:30 PM:

Prior to bedtime, offer one last breastfeeding or formula feeding session.

Remember that this sample schedule is just a guideline, and your baby's needs may differ. Some babies may be more interested in solids at certain times, while others may prefer more milk feedings. The key is to prioritize maintaining 24-32 oz of breast milk or formula each day while also incorporating opportunities to explore new flavors and textures.

Tips for a Successful 6-Month-Old Feeding Schedule

Responsive Feeding: Pay close attention to your baby's hunger and fullness cues. Don't force them to eat if they're not interested and allow them to stop when they've had enough.

Variety is Key: Offer a diverse range of foods to expose your baby to different tastes and textures—this will help them develop a well-rounded palate!

Safety First: Always supervise your baby during mealtime to prevent choking hazards. Cut or mash foods into appropriate sizes and avoid offering foods like whole grapes or nuts. Babies should only eat when buckled into a high chair and not while on the floor or in a car seat.

Stay Hydrated: Continue offering breast milk or formula to ensure your baby stays adequately hydrated, even as they start eating solids. Many pediatricians recommend introducing a straw cup or open cup with meals that contains a few ounces of water!

Flexibility: Be flexible with your baby's feeding schedule. Introduce solids when it feels right. It’s all a part of the process and will happen in due time.

Consult with a Pediatrician: If you have any concerns or questions about your baby's feeding schedule, growth, or nutritional needs, don't hesitate to consult with your pediatrician for personalized guidance.

Feeding Schedule for 6 Month Old

A well-balanced 6-month-old feeding schedule that incorporates both solids and formula or breast milk is essential for your baby's growth and development. Remember that this is a transitional phase, and each baby progresses at their own pace. Be patient, stay responsive to your baby's cues, and enjoy the exciting journey of introducing your little one to the world of flavors and textures. As they explore new foods, you'll witness their development and independence blossom, setting the foundation for healthy eating habits.

The content on this site is for informational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Discuss any health or feeding concerns with your infant’s pediatrician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay it based on the content on this page.

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