Are you wondering how to balance milk and food? Want to see what a day in the life of a typical 10-12 month old might look like? Let me show you how easy it is.
Your feeding schedule is your own
This blog is intended to give you an idea of what a typical day might look like. So to guide you as you find out what works for your baby, not as a rigid plan followed to a tee! Timings are included so you can see how you balance milk, meals and sleeps, but every family will have their own schedule, and you should do what works best for you and your baby.
Food starts to make a more significant contribution to your baby’s nutrition now
In the 7-9 month stage, milk still provides the majority of your baby’s nutrition. However, in this 10-12 month period, milk starts to take more of a back seat to food. So, by the time your baby is a toddler, food will be the main source of energy and nutrients.
How many meals should I offer?
By ten months, you should certainly be offering your baby three meals spread evenly throughout the day. That doesn’t mean they’ll want to eat three meals per day, but it’s your job to provide the ‘opportunity’ to eat at the same times every day.
Although some sources recommend snacks at this age (HSE), many other organisations don’t (NHS). Go with your baby; if you think that they need more eating opportunities and you can fit them in between regular meals and naps, then go for it. But make sure to make snacks mini-meals of everyday foods rather than relying on ‘snack type’ foods which may take away from nutrition at mealtimes. Many ‘healthy snacks’ marketed to babies are relatively high in sugar.
What does breastfeeding look like at 10-12 months?
Continue to breastfeed on demand, and your baby will do the balancing act for you! You might notice that your baby feeds less often, feeds might get shorter or you might not see much difference at all. It’s up to you to schedule the three meals, and your baby will work out the rest.
If you find that breastfeeding impacts your baby’s interest at mealtimes, then leave a longer gap between breastfeeds and food. However, many babies will breastfeed and still eat the food offered.
You’re breastfeeding baby might feed more or less often than another baby the same age. A lot fo this is due to your breastmilk storage capacity, and there’s no right or wrong.
Babies, this age can become too distracted to feed during the day. In that case, going to a quieter room to feed can help or feed them while they’re in a drowsy or light sleep state.
Your baby will probably be feeding overnight.
How much formula does my 10-12-month-old baby need?
Formula requirements drop from 600mls (20oz) to about 400mls (14oz) per day. But how you offer this milk is entirely up to you and your baby. Some babies like to drink smaller amounts more often, and others are happy with fewer but larger bottles. Go with what works for you and your schedule.
How much should my baby eat at each meal?
Self-feeding and some responsive spoon-feeding are the best ways for your baby to regulate their food intake. And remember there are no portion sizes guidelines for this age group, so feed to appetite.
LEARN MORE: Portion sizes during weaning
Does water for drinking still need to be boiled?
It’s recommended that water needs to be boiled and cooled in Ireland until after 12 months (FSAI). In the UK, tap water is OK from 6 months onwards.
How many naps does my baby need at this age?
I’m not a sleep expert; I’ve included two naps in this typical day as I believe this is considered normal at this age. You’ll know what works best for your baby, so adjust as needed. Sleep and food are linked, and you’ll find that a tired baby might not eat as effectively as a well-rested one.
A typical feeding plan 10-12 months
|7 am||Wake up and have milk||Breastfeed as much as your baby wants or offer 100mls first infant formula
Water to drink
|8 am||Breakfast||Cereal or porridge or eggs with fruit or veggie finger food.
More breakfast options
|12 noon||Dinner||A savoury meal containing meat, fish, beans or lentils
Fruit or veggie finger food
Water to drink
|2 pm||Milk and nap||Breastfeed as much as your baby wants or offer 100mls first infant formula
Water to drink
|5 pm||Tea||A balanced meal containing:
An iron-rich food + an energy-rich food + fruit or veggie
Water to drink
|7 pm||Bedtime||Breastfeed as much as your baby wants or offer 100mls first infant formula
Water to drink
Family meals are key at all stages of weaning.
‘Meat and Two Veg’, vegetarian, good cook or learner. It doesn’t matter. Flexibility is vital in all aspects of parenting and feeding. Make your schedule and the foods you choose to serve your own.
Always keep in mind that the priority is offering your baby a wide range of family foods making the most of this opportunity to influence your baby’s future eating habits.
Meal preparation doesn’t need to be complicated and time-consuming. Mashed salmon with potato and broccoli finger food is just as nutritious as a complicated fish pie that you slaved over for hours.
Give your baby foods you want them to eat in the future! So if you see a future for ‘chicken, sweet potato and grapes’ as a family meal, then go ahead and cook it for your baby; if not, adapt one of your own tried and tested meals.
LEARN MORE: How to guide on meal planning for the family
What to serve for that tricky third meal?
Dinner, tea, or supper! A meal by many names and universally the one that parents seem to struggle with the most. Check out my suggestions for offering simple, quick and easy meals that aren’t just fruit and yoghurt!
For more no-nonsense nutrition advice on feeding babies right up until their first birthday check-out, Ready, Steady, Wean online weaning course.
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