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Are you wondering about your 5 month old baby feeding schedule and solid food?
Should you be even starting solids at 5 months?
This is an exciting time in your baby’s development, and yes, you may be feeling a bit uncertain as to how you start your 5 month old baby feeding schedule and solid food. There’s no hard and fast rules about when to start feeding your baby solid foods except that it shouldn’t start before your baby reaches 4 months. Before 4 months your baby will be getting all the nutrients he or she needs from your breastmilk or formula. After this your baby will start needing extra iron and other vitamins to help your baby grow.
Between 4 – 6 months your baby should start showing interest in solid foods. Signs your baby is ready to start eating solid foods should include:
- he or she can sit upright unattended, and has good head and neck control,
- is showing an interest in your food or what is on your plate,
- is reaching out for your food,
- he or she is voluntarily opening his or her mouth to accept food.
Each baby will develop at a different rate, but if your baby hasn’t started solids by 7 months it’s time to consult with your health care worker or doctor.
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How do you combine a 5 month old baby feeding schedule and solid food? There’s no set rules about this and you will need to experiment and do what works for you and your baby. Your 5 month old feeding schedule may be completely different from someone else’s, but that’s perfectly OK. You will learn to recognise when your baby is hungry, and with time you will develop a schedule that works for you.
Signs to look out for when your baby is hungry include:
- getting excited when he or she sees you preparing their food,
- leaning towards you when they are sitting in their highchair,
- voluntarily opening their mouth when you are feeding.
Baby’s First Solid Foods at 4-6 Months
Once your baby is showing signs of interest you can start introducing solids. It’s very important to keep the texture of the food as smooth as possible so that the baby can swallow it easily. It’s recommended to include iron rich foods at this stage as your baby needs extra iron to develop. Food items that can be fed during this age include:
- Infant cereals (iron-enriched) (mix with breast milk or formula for a perfect first food),
- Well cooked pureed meat, chicken or fish,
- Smooth pureed cooked vegetables such as squash, sweet potato, carrot and zucchini,
- Smooth pureed cooked fruits like apple and pear,
- Finely mashed fruit like banana or avocado,
- Unsweetened, full-fat yogurt,
A safe and mess free way to feed small amounts of solids to your 5 month old is to use a baby food pouch with attachable spoon. This way you can control the amount of food on the spoon and slowly build up the volume as your baby becomes more comfortable eating from a spoon
Remember solids are just a supplement at this stage and your 5 month old will still get their main source of food from your breastmilk or formula. It is recommended to carry on breast or formula feeding until they are at least 12 months.
Please do not add sugar or salt to your baby’s food as these will cause health problems later on.
For more tips about starting your baby on solids please read here.
How Much Should I Feed My Baby in a Sitting?
Your 5 month old feeding schedule will take time to establish, but you’re probably also wondering ‘how much food should I give my baby’?
Try starting with 1 or 2 teaspoons of infant cereal at first. If your baby is happily accepting this you can gradually increase the amounts and start varying the meals. Once he or she gets the hang of eating, you can use the following food schedule for your 5 month old as a general guideline:
- 24 to 36 ounces of formula or milk (or 5 to 8 nursing sessions a day)
- 1 to 4 tablespoons of cereal once or twice a day
- 1 to 4 tablespoons of a fruit and vegetable once or twice a day
Remember this is a general guideline, so don’t worry if your baby is eating more or less at this stage. But by 12 months, your baby should be eating around three small meals a day, plus some breastmilk or infant formula.
You can also read our 7 useful tips to introducing solids here.
What if my Baby is Refusing to Eat?
Don’t worry if your little one is happily accepting food one day and then refusing the same food the next. Learning to eat solids is not straight forward and there will be lots of trial and error, and don’t forget the mess! You will have good days and bad days. If your baby is refusing to eat, maybe your baby is just not that hungry.
It will take some trial and error to figure out the best feeding schedule for your baby, but as long as your little one is eating a variety of foods and is happy and growing, you can rest assured that they are well-fed.
Introducing solids and creating a regular feeding schedule is not just about the food, it’s also a special time for bonding and communicating with your baby. Remember to not force anything and most of all have some fun.
Introducing solids Raising Children – The australian Parenting Website
How to introduce solid foods to babies for allergy prevention. Balgowlah, NSW: ASCIA. Retrieved 12 June 2018 from