What’s the best feeding routine at 6 months?

While every baby is different, they do benefit from a routine. Our nutritionist describes 3 typical feeding routines, gradually introducing solids, with five milk feeds a day

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How to get the best routine at 6 months

“At 6 months, your aim is to introduce your baby to the concept of foods other than his usual milk,” explains registered child nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed, “This may be pureed foods, baby led weaning foods or both, depending on how you choose to wean. It’s also a time to introduce a good feeding routine that can continue throughout weaning, and to ensure you offer a variety of different foods.”

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How much milk does your baby need?

At 6 months, your baby should continue to breastfeed on demand. If your baby is bottle-fed, he should have 4-5 feeds with a total of 500-600ml (17-20oz) of infant formula in a 24-hour period. 

Best routines at 6 months – for all types of weaning

Remember, all babies are individual so try to adopt a feeding routine to suit your baby

Routine for those of you spoon feeding…

Week 1

  • On waking: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Mid-morning: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Lunchtime: Baby rice or single fruit/veg puree
  • Mid-afternoon: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Teatime: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Bedtime: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)

Weeks 2-3

  • On waking: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Mid-morning: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Lunchtime: Fruit/veg puree
  • Mid-afternoon: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Teatime: Baby rice or single fruit/veg puree, breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Bedtime: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)

Week 4

  • On waking: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Breakfast: Baby rice or baby cereal
  • Mid-morning: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Lunchtime: Fruit/veg/meat puree
  • Mid-afternoon: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Tea time: Fruit/veg puree, breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Bedtime: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)

Routine for those of you spoon feeding mixed with baby led weaning

Weeks 1-2

  • On waking: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Mid-morning: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Lunchtime: Baby rice or single fruit/veg puree, 2-3 pieces of finger food such as soft fruit or veg
  • Mid-afternoon: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Teatime: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Bedtime: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)

Weeks 2-3

  • On waking: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Mid-morning: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Lunchtime: Fruit/veg puree, finger food such as bread or soft fruit
  • Mid-afternoon: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Teatime: Involve baby in your mealtime by offering finger foods such as well-cooked pasta and veg sticks; breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Bedtime: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)

Week 4

  • On waking: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Breakfast: Baby rice or baby cereal, toast fingers
  • Mid-morning: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Lunchtime: Fruit/veg/meat puree, finger food such as bread and cheese
  • Mid-afternoon: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Tea time: Fruit/veg puree, breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Bedtime: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)

Routine for those of you baby led weaning
With baby led weaning, you follow the family-eating patterns and let your baby decide if and when he wants to join in

Weeks 1-2

  • On waking: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Breakfast: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz); involve baby in your mealtime by offering finger foods such as toast fingers and soft peeled fruits to play with
  • Mid-morning: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Lunchtime: Involve baby in your mealtime by offering finger foods such as breadsticks and soft peeled cucumber batons
  • Mid-afternoon: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Teatime: Involve baby in your mealtime by offering finger foods such as well-cooked pasta and vegetable fingers
  • Bedtime: Breast or infant milk (around 4oz)

Weeks 3-4

  • On waking: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Breakfast: Involve baby in your mealtime offering finger foods such as soft, peeled fruit or toast fingers, with a cup of baby’s usual milk (around 4oz)
  • Mid-morning: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Lunchtime: Involve baby in your mealtime by offering finger foods such as sticks of cheese, pieces of bread, pieces of soft fruit
  • Mid-afternoon: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)
  • Teatime: Involve baby in your mealtime offering finger foods such as cooked vegetables, cooked chicken and potato fingers, with a small cup of water 
  • Bedtime: Breast or infant formula milk (around 4oz)

Best feeding schedules for next few months: 7 months | 8 months | 9 months | 10 months | 11 months

Mums share their 6 months feeding routines…

“I started off feeding my little boy one meal a day from when he was 21-weeks-old, which was lunch. Then, from 6 months, he went onto 3 meals a day with pudding after dinner. My routine is: 5:30-6am: Milk when he wakes, then he’s back to sleep; 7-7:30am: Breakfast; 10-10:30am: Milk – usually; 11:30-1:30pm: Lunchtime plus milk 30 mins after lunch, then nap; 3-4pm: A snack (cheese straws, fruit, bread sticks, rice cakes, or cheese) and some water; 6pm: Dinner time; 7-7:15pm: Milk just before bed. “It took me months to get him settled into a routine. It was difficult when I first started weaning as he really persisted on having milk rather than food! But I kept him occupied while introducing food to him, I have a bubble machine that I put on for a few seconds and he’d get interested in the bubbles and have a spoonful of food!” Harjeet

“Evie is 6 and a half months old now and our (rough) routine is as follows: 8.30am: 7oz bottle; 9.30am: breakfast (normally porridge or Weetabix with fruit puree); 10 – 11.30am: nap; 12pm – lunch (normally chicken with veg but am going to try pasta and fish this week – not together!) plus yogurt; 2.30pm 7oz bottle” pinklullaby

“If we have a normal-ish day we go something like this: 7am Breastfeed then breakfast, normally porridge with fruit puree mixed in, 12.30-1ish lunch – start with breastfeed, then carrot/apple/butternut/whatever Mummy remembers to defrost (!!!) then depending on what milk he’s taken from me I might offer a bottle of milk, 6-6.30ish dinner time, breast feed followed by more veg/fruit/rusks/whatever and another offer of bottle.” StrawberryGirl

“I was always reasonably baby led. Allowing LO to sleep and eat when he wanted. But I began introducing milk at certain times, when he began to sleep through, so he got enough bottles a day. When weaning, I introduced lunch, then breakfast, then dinner. All at set times, with bottles in between, allowing LO to drop bottles as and when he was ready.” Mithical

Why have a routine?

Babies like to have a good daily routine. “Having a structure around feeding is especially important, as it allows your baby to build hunger patterns and to learn when to expect food or a milk feed,” explains Charlotte Stirling-Reed, registered child nutritionist.

A feeding routine also helps you to stay on top of his nutrition intake, ensuring that your baby gets everything he needs during the day. With baby led weaning, it’s less about having a strict feeding routine for your baby, more about your baby choosing when to join in the family’s three meals a day.

5 great foods to introduce at 6 months

  1. Pear (cooked or very ripe)
  2. Cooked apple
  3. Carrot
  4. Sweet potato
  5. Banana

What to buy this month

A sturdy highchair: choose whether you’d rather have one with an in-built tray, or one that can be pulled up to the family table. If your baby doesn’t sit independently yet, look for good padding and support to hold him upright. A sturdy highchair: choose whether you’d rather have one with an in-built tray, or one that can be pulled up to the family table. If your baby doesn’t sit independently yet, look for good padding and support to hold him upright.

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