Baby Feeding Chart: A Feeding Schedule for Baby’s 1st Year

Mom on a baby feeding chart

Babies grow and develop rapidly during their first year of life. All of that growth requires proper nutrition, which can feel overwhelming for new parents. That’s where our baby feeding chart comes in.

This chart can help you establish a feeding schedule to ensure your little one gets the right amount of breastmilk, formula, and solid food for each stage of development. You’ll also find tips to help you confidently feed your baby.

Table of contents

What is a baby feeding chart?

Mom following a baby feeding chart

A baby feeding chart provides basic guidelines for how much and how often babies should eat. Since your little one’s nutritional needs change as they grow, feeding charts are typically broken down into stages based on age.

While a baby feeding chart can help you feel more confident about feeding your baby, remember it’s just a guide. It’s not set in stone.

Your baby is unique. Depending on their growth rate and appetite, they may need more or less food than the chart says. That’s OK!

Refer to the chart below to see how much (or how often) your baby should eat. Then, make adjustments as needed.

And, of course, consult your pediatrician if you have specific questions about feeding. They can help you develop an individualized feeding plan for your baby.

How often do babies need to eat?

Before we get to the chart, let’s talk about how often babies need to eat. During growth spurts, you may feel like all you ever do is feed your baby. And, honestly, that’s not too far from the truth.

Your little one has a tiny stomach and can only eat small amounts at a time at first. As they grow, they’ll be able to go a little longer between meals.

Here’s a quick look at how often they’ll eat at different ages:

  • 0-3 months: 8-12 feedings
  • 4-6 months: 7-9 feedings
  • 6-9 months: 5-7 feedings
  • 9-12 months: 4-6 feedings

Baby feeding chart for the first year

Mom bottle feeding her baby

Here’s a simple baby feeding chart for the first year of life. It shows how much breastmilk or formula your little one needs and indicates when to introduce solid foods.


Now that you have a general idea, let’s look at each stage in more detail.

0-3 months

Your newborn has to learn how to eat. In the womb, their nutrition was delivered automatically, but now they have to get the hang of latching and sucking. It’s harder than it looks, so take it slow and be patient.

Instead of sticking to a specific feeding schedule, feed on demand. Watch your little one for hunger cues, such as:

  • Rooting
  • Sucking on their fist
  • Crying
  • Turning their head from side to side, looking for the breast or bottle
  • Opening and closing their mouth

When you notice these signs, offer your baby the breast or bottle. Newborns typically want to eat every 1.5 to 4 hours, though you might get one longer, 5-hour stretch at night.

Keeping your baby nearby (in a Bassinet or Bedside Sleeper) makes feeding them in the middle of the night easier.

You’ll know your baby has had enough when they stop sucking or slow way down. They may also turn their head away, relax, and show tiredness signs, indicating they’re ready to return to the crib.

Breastfed babies

In the early weeks, expect your baby to nurse every 1.5-3 hours. Over time, they’ll be able to go longer between feedings.

Those first breastfeeding sessions may last 20 minutes or more on each side. Don’t worry — as your baby grows, they’ll become more efficient at nursing. Then, they may only need to nurse on each side for 5 to 10 minutes.

Formula-fed babies

At first, your baby will only be able to eat 1 or 2 ounces of infant formula. Offer this amount every 2 to 3 hours (or sooner if they show signs of hunger).

As your baby grows, they’ll consume more formula at each feeding:

  • 1 month: 2-4 oz
  • 2 months: 3-5 oz
  • 3 months: 4-6 oz

Altogether, newborns will drink up to 32 ounces of formula each day.

4-6 Months

baby touching moms face while breastfeeding


Traditionally, parents were encouraged to introduce solids at four months. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends waiting until six months. By then, your baby’s digestive system is more developed and better able to handle a variety of foods.

Plus, starting solids too early can increase a child's risk of food allergies and other health problems. To avoid that, stick with only breast milk or formula for a couple more months unless your pediatrician advises otherwise.

Breastfed babies

Expect your baby to nurse seven to nine times each day at this age. They may still need to eat in the middle of the night, though implementing a dream feed can help.

Formula-fed babies

Your baby can now handle larger amounts of formula with every feeding. Plan on them consuming between 4 and 6 ounces in every bottle, five to six times each day.

6-9 Months

Learning new skills requires energy. Your baby will need to eat a lot as they begin crawling and pulling up, like the cutie in this video:

As their caloric needs change, you may notice a sleep regression. Even if your baby was previously sleeping through the night, they may wake up before morning, ready to eat.

Introducing solids and ensuring they eat enough during the day can help you both get back to sleep. But remember that breast milk or formula will remain their primary food source until their first birthday.

Breastfed babies need five to seven feedings daily, and formula-fed babies will drink 6 to 8 ounces of formula four to five times a day.

9-12 Months

baby crawling

By now, your baby is probably eating solids like a champ. Continue adding new foods to their diet, and let them try things with different flavors and textures.

As they eat more solid food, you’ll notice them drinking less formula or breast milk. This progression is normal, but make sure they still get enough liquid to stay hydrated.

If breastfeeding, your little one should nurse four to six times daily. Formula-fed babies will take 6 to 8 ounces three to four times a day.

You can also offer a sippy cup during meals. Stick to water, as babies don’t need juice until their first birthday.

Introducing solid foods

Parent following a baby feeding chart

As we mentioned above, you can introduce solids when your baby is about six months old. Here are some signs that they’re developmentally ready:

  • Sit up with support
  • Controls head movements
  • Tries to grab your food
  • Opens mouth when near food

When it’s time, introduce only one new food at a time. Then, wait a few days before trying another one to make sure your baby doesn’t react. If you notice any rashes or vomiting, it could indicate an allergy.

Baby feeding tips

These tips can help make mealtime more enjoyable for you and your baby:

  • Keep an eye on outputs: Tracking your baby’s wet and dirty diapers can help you know they’re getting enough to eat.
  • Let their needs guide you: Your baby won’t eat the same amount each day. Pay attention to their cues to know when they’re hungry and full.
  • Stay current on the guidelines: Feeding recommendations change over time as scientists learn more about nutrition. Stay up-to-date on the latest recommendations so you know what to expect.
  • Take care of yourself: Feeding a baby can be mentally and physically exhausting. Take care of yourself by eating well, getting enough rest, and asking for help.

Feed your baby with confidence.

mom watching over baby in bedside crib

Feeding your baby can feel overwhelming at first, but before long, you’ll be a pro. The baby feeding chart above can give you the confidence to reach that point. Refer to it as a guide for how much (and how often) your little one needs to eat.

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