Feeding Healthy Your Tiny: When to Feed a Newborn? And How?

When to Feed a Newborn

When to feed a newborn and how to do it in a healthy way? Here are some important guidelines to follow when feeding a newborn, Find out more

When to feed a newborn; Extensive studies have been conducted to determine the precise age of diversification in babies. As new mothers, you may have many questions about parenting, including how to care for your baby and which practices are most crucial. You can also seek advice or explore the latest studies to learn about when to feed a newborn and how to do it correctly.

As a mother, your concern for your baby’s nutrition reflects your interest in their physical and mental well-being. Here are the latest recommendations on infant nutrition programs, outlining what your precious little one needs each month.

Baby’s Nutrition

Mothers search to follow the best guidelines in the suitable period to feed their infants, which involves transitioning from exclusive breastfeeding in the first few months to introducing a diversified diet. Before discussing when to feed a newborn, let us first describe the process of breastfeeding.


After giving birth, the prolactin hormone is produced, which stimulates the production of breast milk. Initially (the first 2-3 days), thick yellowish colostrum; rich in fats, protein, and antibodies -the infant’s immune system is immature at birth-, is produced and is easily digested by the baby.

After three or four days, the maternal milk arrives.  The breasts produce two kinds of milk: the first milk is very watery, to quench the thirst, then it is followed by a thicker milk filled with nutrients, and to ensure the baby benefits from both, it’s important to empty one breast before switching to the other.

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How Much Breastmilk Should a Newborn Eat?

The quantity of milk intake can differ significantly from one infant to another and may also fluctuate daily. Currently, there are no established guidelines regarding the ideal amount of milk a baby should consume at a particular age. The table presented below merely serves as a reference point, indicating the approximate volume a baby can consume in a day.

Âge Milk Consumption Quantity Behavior
1st month 150 ml/ kg A gradual increase from 180 to 450 ml
2nd month 600 ml the baby will drink at least 600 ml of breast milk, spread over 8 to 10 feedings
3rd month 825 ml Despite a decrease in feeding frequency, the average milk intake per meal increases to 110 ml.
4th month 975 ml As solid foods are introduced, the frequency of breastfeeding sessions may reduce, but the baby must consume the recommended amount of milk between meals.
5th month 1 l For babies aged between 4 and 5 months, it is advisable to offer milk as the primary source of nutrition when giving solid foods.
6th month 700 ml As the infant transitions to more solid foods, consuming three portions of breast milk, each around 240 ml, will provide the necessary proteins and nutrients for their growth.

Diversification: When to Feed a Newborn Solid Food?

Exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months (26 weeks) is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). However, the National Health Nutrition Program (PNNS4) has recently released new guidelines on food diversification for infants. These guidelines suggest that infants should start to diversify their diet between 4 to 6 months of age.

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Diversification Guide


Image of a baby being fed with a spoon when talking about When to feed a newborn

There is no particular order that must be followed to introduce different kinds of food during the process of diversification, it is generally recommended that all healthy foods can be introduced except the allergic ones.

However, research suggests that introducing vegetables first may improve their acceptance in the long run, while introducing fruits first may decrease their acceptance. The following discussion will focus on infant feeding guidelines: 1

What, and How Much Should a 4-Month-Old Eat?

To help ease the taste buds and minimize the risk of allergic reactions, one approach is to introduce a puree made from a single variety of vegetables without added salt during lunchtime (once a day) for three consecutive days.

5-Month Menu: What Should My Baby Eat?

Once your baby has become accustomed to the taste of vegetables, you may want to consider including a snack of 130g of fruit compote without added sugar in their diet.

From 6 to 8 Months: Nutritional Guidelines

A picture of a baby being fed with a spoon when talking about From 6 to 8 Months Nutritional Guidelines

As your baby’s nutritional requirements evolve during this phase, you may consider introducing protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, or half an egg yolk at their lunch.

Additionally, you can introduce another meal by serving a vegetable puree for dinner.

8-12 Months: What, and How Much Should Newborns Eat?

During these four months, your baby can start eating raw fruit. You can also serve cereals with milk for breakfast to your toddler.

Food Texture and Baby’s Age

Typically, the introduction of solid foods begins with mashed ground foods served in purees. As the baby grows, the texture of the purees can gradually become coarser, with vegetables only requiring crushing. From 6 months of age, the child can be offered small pieces of crusty bread or biscuits to hold and eat under supervision, based on their desire and abilities. Soft pieces of raw fruit or cooked vegetables can be introduced later.

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Gluten and Allergenic Foods in Your Toddler’s Diet

A picture of a baby being fed with a spoon when talking about Gluten and Allergenic Foods in Your Toddler's Diet

During the diversification process, gluten can be introduced gradually to avoid the risk of celiac disease, although it is important to note that the preventive effect of breastfeeding on the occurrence of the latter has not been confirmed.

Foods known to be allergenic, including eggs, milk, fish, and others, should also be introduced gradually to reduce the risk of allergic reactions. Indeed, it is recommended to introduce one new food at a time and to wait a few days before introducing another.

 When to feed a newborn, it can have an impact on the development of food allergies. In some cases, not only the type of food but also the timing of introduction can cause the allergic reaction. For example, infants under one year of age may be more likely to react to certain foods that they may tolerate after the age of one. 2

Healthy Homemade Baby’s Food

As parents and when to feed a newborn, you want to provide your baby with high-quality, healthy food. Choosing to make homemade food using seasonal, locally-sourced, and organic ingredients is a great way to do this. You should aim to limit industrial food, salt, and sugar, and instead offer healthy fats in sufficient quantities while avoiding frying. Additionally, the family’s usual meals can be adapted to make them suitable for a young child to share.

I hope, as a new mother, you have found the answer to your question about when to feed a newborn in this article.  Our aim is to provide valuable resources and information to support you in your parenting journey. It is important to take care of your Tiny in all aspects. Please feel free to explore other articles on our website to further enhance your knowledge and understanding.


  1. Feeding Your Newborn, kidshealth.org, 16/05/2023
  2. La diversification alimentaire, sciencedirect.com, 16/05/2023

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