Should I Feed My Baby Before or After Nursing?

By: Kristen Yarker (‌‌)

Starting to introduce babies to solid foods is a big transition. Here’s how to adjust your baby’s schedule to include solid foods.

Should I Feed My Baby Before or After Breastfeeding/ Bottle Feeding

There really is no clear right or wrong way to schedule solid food feedings regarding whether to feed your baby before or after breastfeeding or formula feeding. Some people swear by offering solids after a milk feed. While other people swear by offering solid foods first and nursing/ bottle after. Different patterns work for different babies. Through trial and error you’ll find what works best for you and your baby.

When to Offer Solid Food

The best time to feed your baby solid foods is when your baby is awake, alert, and interested in the world around them.

For the first while, babies don’t know that this stuff is food. Until now they’ve satisfied their hunger through breastfeeding and/or formula. So, don’t try to give your baby solid foods when they’re starving. That’s the time for breastfeeding or bottle feeding. At the other end of the spectrum, don’t try to get your baby interested in solid foods when they’re completely full from a feed and in that drowsy state. You want to look for a time when your baby is fully awake, alert, and interested in the world around them. Eating solid foods is a new skill that babies need to learn. Take advantage of the window of time when they are most able to learn.

Additionally, at this stage babies are fascinated with watching you eat and drink. Your baby may even try to grab at people’s food and glasses. Use this to your advantage as a learning opportunity for your baby.

Pull your baby’s highchair up to the family table and include them in your meal. Either give your baby finger-food versions of what you’re eating or feed your baby pureed baby food. Either way they’ll enjoy the social aspect of family meals.

How Often to Offer Baby Solid Foods

Start by offering solid foods once a day. Within the first week, move into offering solids at least twice a day. Between 9 – 12 months of age, offer solid foods at least 3 times a day. After 12 months of age, offer solid foods at 3 meals and 2 snacks per day.

‌About Kristen

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Kristen Yarker, MSc, RD helps moms and dads support your picky kids to get good nutrition today, and instill a lifelong love of healthy eating.
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