Posted by: Tessa | 2005/12/14


How much milk and solid food

How much milk and solid food is appropriate for feeding a large 5 month old baby? I have just started giving him solid food once or twice a day and he is on 175ml bottles 5 times a day. I don’t want to feed him too much or too little. He is about 8kg now but does not look overweight. Do I decrease the amount of milk he gets as he begins to eat solids or do I skip a bottle? Please advise on the right amount to feed.

Expert's Reply



He will require the same amount of fluid irrespective of his solids. He needs to take about 150ml for every kilogram he weighs, so he needs 8x150=1200ml per day. He starts off with a little rice or maize cereal in the morning and evening.

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user comments


Posted by: kel | 2006/01/19

My 5 month old is going through exactly the same thing. This is a real help.

Reply to kel
Posted by: Mary | 2005/12/15

Hi Tessa,

I hope that this helps. If you want more information - and want to see a plan (with menu ideas etc) then just e-mail me on research AT 702mail DOT co DOT za and I will forward the information to you.

For most babies, the ideal diet for the first several months is breast milk or infant formula. When an infant is getting enough milk but still seems hungry (particularly if she seems hungry when she observes you eating) it is probably a good time to start solid foods. For most babies this happens between 4 and 6 months old. Some babies are ready for solids as early as three months, but most still have a strong tongue thrust reflex at this age that makes it very difficult to keep food in the mouth.

The first solid food is usually rice cereal, since it is so easy on babies' digestive systems. The first feedings may be at any time of day, but most families choose dinnertime. Either once or twice a day would be appropriate at her age. To begin, mix the cereal up so that it is quite dilute. Help your daughter sit up, then feed her the cereal in a small spoon.
For the first several days, more is likely to end up on her face than in her mouth. As long as she seems interested, continue to move the spoon toward her mouth. When she loses interest, stop. It's best to let her set the amount. It's fine to offer her a bottle afterward.

If she gets upset or doesn't seem interested at all, go back to bottle feeding (or nursing) exclusively for a week or two, and then try again. There's certainly no rush before at least 6 months old. Even after she starts solids, she will get most of her calories and nutrients from what she drinks. If she seems frustrated because feeding solids is too slow, try giving her a little milk first to take the edge off her hunger. She may be more willing to make the effort then. You might also try switching to oatmeal or barley cereal. Occasionally a baby will take these better.

After solids have been introduced, she should continue to take 700ml to 900ml of breast milk or formula per 24 hours. It is not a good idea to add sugar or salt to her food or bottle (unless treating a specific problem). Most bottle-fed, 5-month-old babies will take 150ml to 180ml bottles 4 to 6 times per day. They can often go 8 hours at a stretch once during a 24-hour period.
As long as she is happy and growing, you can relax. Feeding will progress naturally. There is no need to force her. If she is healthy, she will let you know if she is hungry and needing to eat.

Good luck and enjoy this fun time with your baby,

Reply to Mary

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