Feeding your child

Birth through 4-6 months

For the first 4-6 months of life your baby doesn't need anything but breastmilk, formula, and vitamin D.  For a bottle fed baby, the averages are 24 ounces per day at 1 month, 24-28 ounces per day at 2 months, 28-32 ounces per day at 4 months, and 32+ ounces per day at 6 months.  Some babies take more and some take less; as long as your child is growing well on the growth curve, don't worry too much about the exact volume.  All breastfed babies need a 400 IU of vitamin D per day, and formula fed babies need a vitamin D supplement until they are taking 32 ounces per day of formula.

4-12 months

Around 4-6 months your baby will be ready for solid food.  Start with a single ingredient puree, such as avocado or sweet potato.  You can add breastmilk or formula to make it thin/runny on a spoon.  Any fruit, vegetable, or protein is okay to start with.  Introduce only one new food every 1-2 days so if your baby has an allergic reaction we know what he's reacting to.  Feed your baby once a day for the first few weeks, then increase to twice a day.  By 7 months most babies are ready to eat three times a day.  Some babies want a couple bites of food, some babies want a couple jars of food.  Follow his cues!  Gradually make the food less pureed.  By 8-9 months most babies are ready for finger food.  Anything soft enough to squish between your fingers is appropriate-try small chunks of banana, avocado, or steamed carrots.  At 6 months most babies take about 32 ounces per day of milk and by 9 months this may decrease to 24-32 ounces per day.

There has been exciting new research on "high allergen" foods such as peanut.  Earlier introduction has been shown to decrease the risk of peanut allergy and potentially other food allergies.  Mix smooth peanut butter with water (1:1 ratio) to thin it or mix it into a puree such as cereal.  Observe your child for at least 2 hours after the first introduction.   You can also try egg, fish, other nut butters, and generally as wide a variety of foods as possible.  If your baby has moderate to severe eczema, other known food allergies, or there is a strong family history of peanut/egg allergy, please discuss introduction with us first.

12 months and older

At 12 months you can transition your baby to cows milk - 2% or whole milk is okay.  The goal is 16-20 ounces per day, with a maximum of 24 ounces per day if your baby LOVES milk.  Work on putting the milk in a sippy or straw cup instead of a bottle.

In the toddler years, a lot kids are hungry for 1-2 meals per day and they just pick at their food for 1-2 meals per day.  Don't worry about how much they are eating and don't chase them around the house with snacks if they don't like the first meal presented!  When they get hungry, they'll eat.  We'll keep an eye on the growth curve for you.

Feeding resources:



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1030 N Clark Street, Suite 400 Chicago, IL 60610

Hours of Operation

We are now accepting walk-ins Monday - Saturday from 8:30 - 11:30am! Telemedicine appointments are still offered based on availability.

Child & Adolescent Health Associates


8:30 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am-7:30 pm


8:30 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am-7:30 pm


8:30 am-5:00 pm


8:30 am-11:30 am