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Feeding Infants and Toddlers


Newborns typically lose weight in the first 3 or 4 days of life. A “normal” weight loss is up to 10 percent of birthweight. Most babies reach their lowest weight on day 3 or 4. Breast feeding is best and mothers who can should try to nurse their babies. It is not known how long a mother should nurse her baby, but the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing for the first 12 months. A common mistake is the infant latches on to the tip and not the whole pigmented areola. Babies should be fed every 2 to 3 hours. A new mothers breast milk usually “comes in” between day 3 to 5. Formula fed infants should take 1 to 2 ounces every 2 to 3 hours.

How long can you store breast milk?

How will I know my breast milk is in?

How much milk does a newborn need to drink each day?


2 weeks

By 10 to 14 days old children should be back to their birthweight. After two weeks, the average infant should gain 0.5 to 1.0 ounces per day and grow about a inch per month. Once breastfeeding has been established, I recommend breastfed infants receive a bottle once a week. I don’t care if the bottle contains pumped breast milk or formula. Taking a bottle is a skill that most children will need.

How long can you store breast milk?

Increasing a Baby's Feedings

My son is one month old and I had a question about feeding.  I have been feeding him 3-3 1/2 oz so far (from pumping or the occasional formula supplement).  Should I continue that (... more on Increasing a baby's feedings)

Pacifying at the Breast

I am breast feeding my son. He is 6 weeks old. However, he seems to spend a lot of time on the breast and is just pacifying (incidentally, he doesn't take a pacifier).  Is this okay? How long should he spend (...more on 6 week old pacifying at the breast)

Breastfeeding while Sick

Should I stop breastfeeding my 11 day old if I have a stomach bug? This is an important time to continue nursing. Formula will never be able to replicated the immune protection provided by breast milk. (... more on breastfeeding while sick)



2 months

There are no big feeding changes typically discussed at the 2 month visit. Parents should slowly space out feedings with the hope of getting the child to sleep through the night. As the feedings are spaced out, children gradually take more milk at each feeding.

Water for Babies

My daughter is just 2 months old and eating CONSTANTLY (it seems).  Sometimes, she eats every 4 hours and sometimes, she eats every two. When she wants a bottle every two hours, can I give her some water instead (... more on water for babies)

Introducing formula to a breastfed 2 month old

I have a 7 1/2 week old baby who has only been fed breastmilk thus far. I plan to return to work in 4 weeks and I will be stopping breastfeeding completely. I want to slowly introduce formula (... more on introducing formula to a breastfed 2 month old)

Supplementing with formula

My daughter is about 11 weeks old. I am going back to work soon so I wanted to start supplementing her with formula. Should I start with Similac Advance or Sensitive. She is still (... more on Supplementing with formula)


4 months

Starting solid foods

I often joke that if you ask ten pediatricians, read ten books and ask 10 grandmothers you would get thirty different opinions on how to start solid foods. There is very little research on starting solids (...more on starting solids)

Breastfeeding on Demand vs on a Schedule

was wondering what you (and/or your wife) believe as far as breastfeeding on demand vs. more on a schedule.  Our 4 month old WAS doing really well sleeping through the night without nursing, but (... more on Breastfeeding on Demand vs on a Schedule)

Constipation after starting solids

We started my daughter on some solids after her four month old appointment.  We started with rice cereal mixed with breast milk.  She loves it, but we think it makes her constipated.  She went from (... more on constipation after starting solids)

too much baby food?

Is there a such thing as feeding the baby too much baby food?  She is five months and loves baby food.  I nurse her four times a day and she eats 3 jars of baby food at our 3 meals.  Should I just advance her to stage 2 baby (... more on too much baby food?)

When can I give my baby water?

There is little need to give children water in the first several months of life. Young children need either breast milk or formula. Excess water can decrease one’s sodium concentration and lead to seizures. (... more on When can I give my baby water?)

Arsenic and Rice

Our fourth baby is curious about table foods and I'm ready to start her on solids. I've come across a number of articles about arsenic in rice cereal and am considering skipping rice altogether. (... more on arsenic and rice)



6 months

The 6 to 9 month period involves dramatic dietary changes. At six months, some children are taking a variety of stage 1 foods and some children have not started solid foods. By 9 months most children are (...more on feeding 6 month old)

Feeding questions

Reaction to Blueberries

7 month old dislikes baby food

citrus for babies

failure to thrive

Failure to Thrive

I have a question about my baby's lack of significant weight gain. When I brought my baby in for his four month visit he weighed 14 pounds. I brought him in for immunizations this week, at six months old and he weighs the same, 14.11 pounds. As my breast milk has unfortunately weaned in the past month, we have been supplementing (... more on Failure to Thrive)


9 months

By 9 months, my children are eating thinly sliced deli turkey, pasta, and cut up pieces of fruit.  We will often begin some dairy (cheeses and yogurt).  They usually are eating 3 meals a day. (...more on feeding 9 month old)

Transition from Baby Food to Table Food

I want to start weaning my 10 month old off baby jar food and on "real/finger foods" but I haven't the slightest idea how much and what kind of food to give for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. ...(more on the Transition from Baby Food to Table Food)

Honey for Babies

I know that babies under 1 are not supposed to eat raw honey but when can they eat food with honey in them (i.e., Honey Nut Cheerios, Honey Maid graham crackers, etc.)?Raw honey is not recommended for (... more on Honey for Babies)

When can I give my baby cow's milk?

The AAP recommendations to start whole milk at 1 year is a rounded age. Cow’s milk is safe for most 10 to 11 month old children. Unlike formula, cows’ milk should only be a portion of (... more on When can I give my baby milk?)

Picky 11 month old

For three weeks my 11-month-old daughter is not eating any solid food but these organic broccoli, kale and cheddar baked snacks. I thought the issue was her wanting to feed herself mostly, so I've given her (... more on Picky 11 month old)

When can you feed children eggs?

Can I feed my 9 month old eggs? We feed our children eggs beginning at 9 months. Classically, doctors recommended feeding egg yolks at 12 months and egg whites at 2 years. Egg whites were delayed as they (... more on When can you feed children eggs)



12 months

One year olds should be off formula and off bottles. Prolonged use of bottles causes cavities and increases the risk of ear infections. They should move onto sippy cups and whole milk. I do not recommend follow-up formula. (...more on feeding 12 month old)

Milk for 1 year olds

At one year of age, children should be transitioned off formula onto whole milk. One year olds need a diet that is high in fat for continued brain development. Children continue to myelinate (coat) brain and nerve cells (... more on Milk for 1 year olds)

Extended Breast feeding

What are your thoughts on Extended Breastfeeding (breastfeeding beyond 1 year of age)?  Typically how long were your children breastfed? Clearly, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of 12 months is (... more on Extended Breast Feeding).

Getting Children to Eat Vegetables

As a child, I was the picky eater of our family. My parents often joke that I survived only because of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. In contrast my children are great eaters, in large part thanks for my (... more on Getting Children to Eat Vegetables)

Skinny 12 month old

I have a 12 month old who weighs 19 lbs and is 29 inches. He adds about 1lb/month, so he's running on the skinny side. He eats 3 hearty adult meals and drinks plenty of whole milk. What kinds of foods will add weight on? (... more on Skinny 12 month old)

Vitamins for a 1 year old

My child is 14 months old.  He is drinking a combination of Enfagrow and whole milk (soon just whole milk.)  Should I also be giving him a vitamin, and if so, what kind?
(more on vitamins for a 1 year old)

Refusing to eat

Our 12 month old is refusing whole milk.  She will only drink water from her sippy cup.  Along with this issue the only whole food she will eat is yogurt (4 times a day) puffs and cheerios.  I know she is not eating (... more on 12 month old refusing to eat).

Starting a sippy cup

How do you get a 12/13 month old to hold his bottle or sippy cup?  He seems to be very lazy about this.  He was born a month early and weighed 4lb 12oz at birth. One year olds should be feeding themselves. They (...more on starting sippy cup)

Sippy cup concerns

Tommee Tippee has a line of drinking cups that, I assume, you're supposed to progress into at different ages. For 12 mth old, they have straw cups and at 2 yr old, they basically have cups thy have a tiny hole on (... more on sippy cup concerns)

1 year old refusing to drink milk

My daughter is not quite 13 months, has been transitioned completely off the bottle, but is refusing to drink even one ounce of milk a day.  I have tried everything from initially combining half formula/half milk, (... more on 1 year old refusing to drink milk)

Dribbling Milk

My 13 month old will leisurely and sporadically drink his milk. If he's really thirsty, he will drink about 2 oz without spilling a drop. But as he relieves his thirst, he will continue to drink and will let it dribble out of his mouth.(... more on dribbling milk)

Spitting out fruits and veggies

I had a few questions about 14 month old’s eating habits. First off, he switched to cow's milk at 12 months with no problems at all. He normally eats pretty well, but seems to have an issue with the (... more on 1 year old spitting out fruits and veggies)


In general, I do not recommend mothers stop nursing their babies. The AAP recommendation to nurse for a year is an arbitrary round number. How long a mother nurses is a personal decision.

When you are ready to wean your child, I recommend dropping out one feeding about every 2 weeks. The last feeding to drop out is typically the bedtime feeding.


15 months

Typically , 9 to 10 month olds eat the greatest quantity and variety of foods. Hence, grandmothers love to feed 9 month olds. As children get closer to 18 months they often eat less and less. Between 18 to 36 months children often eat next to nothing. During this time parents often report things like, “Yesterday, she only ate 4 bites of a bagel and 3 goldfish off the van floor”. Despite such poor diets, the toddlers continue to grow and be active.

As children begin to eat less, the parent’s role changes. No longer are they “to feed”. Parents need to present their child with healthy options, set a good example and back off.

Toddlers should be strapped into a chair and be required to sit for the entire meal. If they scream and fuss either ignore them or roll their high chair into another room until they calm down. If they throw food, take their food away.

If your toddler drinks too much apple juice or eats too many goldfish quit buying apple juice and goldfish. If you are worried that your child is not eating enough, I’d recommend you make an appointment with your pediatrician.


18 months

Transition from a Sippy cup to a Regular cup

How and when do you recommend transitioning from a sippy cup to a regular open cup? We begin the transition to an open cup between 18 months and 2 years. The suck mechanics of sippy cups and (... more on transition from a sippy cup to a regular cup)

Can't Eat Solid Foods

My son is turning 18 months this month, and ever since we started solid food at 6 months, he's been a little behind in terms of what he could tolerate with textures.  He had a severe gag reflex, and would often throw up (... more on Can't Eat Solid Foods)

Cereal Bottles for a Toddler

I am trying to get some information for a friend. Her daughter is 17 months old and she still gives her a bottle before bed and puts cereal in the bottle with the milk. When I mentioned to her that I thought that was not (... more on Cereal Bottles for a Toddler)

Toddler Throwing Food

My 21 month old is child #4 so this is obviously not the first time I have dealt with food throwing. I'm at my wits end and have tried everything I can think of....pulling him out of his high chair and ending the meal (... more on Toddler Throwing Food)

Choking hazards

Parents are right to worry about choking. Avoid hard candies, nuts, whole grapes, clumps of raisins, popcorn and anything of similar size and consistency. We often introduce raisins, popcorn, whole grapes and some nuts when our children our 3 years old. When giving any child these things they should be seating and calm. Anything can be a choking hazard when a child is running around. There is considerable variability in the size and shape of these chokeables. I recommend you sort them and be present when a your child eats these type of items.


2 years old

Milk for 2 year olds

At 2 years, children should be transitioned to low fat, skim milk. Our children have seemed to prefer skim and the transition has been seamless. Often children prefer whole milk and initially refuse to drink skim. (... more on Milk for 2 year olds)

2 year old holding food in mouth

I have a 2 year old who has begun holding food in her mouth when she doesn't want to eat what I've given her. I’m not sure how to handle the situation and it's happening (... more on 2 year old holding food in mouth)

Vitamins for a 2 year old

Do you recommend a multi-vitamin for two year olds? The only vegetable my daughter will eat is green beans. Since we switched her milk from whole to 2% or skim she doesn't really drink (... more on Vitamins for a 2 year old)

Picky Toddler

I know you say that toddlers will eat the calories they need, but I'm really worried about my daughter - she is very picky.  When we “serve her healthy foods” she often refuses to eat altogether. (... more on Picky Toddler)


3 years old

3 year old not eating

My daughter will be turning three in three more months.  For the past week, her appetite just isn't there.  I thought she was maybe constipated because she had been complaining off and on about a tummyache.  Then I picked her up from daycare last Friday and she was just really not herself.  She just (... more on 3 year old not eating)

Getting Children to Eat Vegetables

Can Honey Prevent Allergies?

I take a tablespoon of local, raw bee honey every day to help with the pollen in the air right now.  At what age can children have honey? Will this help prevent allergies for my 18 month old? (... more on Can Honey Prevent Allergies?)

Refusing to eat/ Developing good habits at dinner

I have 3 children, ages from 3-6. All of them struggle with dinner eating. I know you have posted, in the past, about eating habits. "It's our job as parents to provide a healthy meal. If they don't want to eat it, (... more on Refusing to eat)


Updated April 2010 by
Dr. Gordon, Orlando Pediatrician










gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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