How much milk does my weaning baby need?
It’s such a wonderful time for parents when their baby starts to eat proper food! But you may wonder, how much milk should my weaning baby be drinking? A baby should still be having their usual milk at six months, so here’s all you need to know.
By Sally J. Hall
When you first start weaning your baby, your little one will eat tiny amounts of either puréed food or soft, fist-sized pieces of food, or a mixture of the two. But did you realise that your baby should still have most of their nutrients at this stage from their milk?
Whether you are breastfeeding or bottle feeding your baby, they still need the same milk as they have had for their first six months. Gradually, as the amount of solid food they eat increases over the next six to 18 months, they will naturally drink less milk but it is still vitally important. In fact, if you can, health professionals and the World Health Organization suggest you should carry on breastfeeding your baby until they are two years old.
Starting to wean your baby at six months
From your baby’s first tastes to eating roughly the same as you do at around a year old, here are the amounts of milk that your weaning baby should be drinking.
- Six months – 600ml
- Seven months – 600ml
- Eight months – 600ml
- Nine months – 600ml
- 10 months – 400-500ml
- 11 months – 400-500ml
- 12 months – 300-400ml
What milk should I give my weaning baby?
There are only two types of milk you should give your weaning baby between six and 12 months:
- Breastmilk – if you’re able, it’s the best start in life for your little one. Feed on demand.
- Formula milk suitable for six to 12 months
- Give your baby cow’s milk until they are over a year old – though you can use it in cooking.
- Give your weaning baby low fat milk between one and two years
How do I manage to give my baby the right proportions of both food and milk while weaning?
At first, your baby will probably only eat tiny amounts of food. Think about your baby’s stomach – it’s about the same size as their fist, so you can see how little it can hold! So, at a time of day when you and your baby are happy, they are alert, not sleepy and are clean and dry, you can start by offering your baby half their normal milk feed. They break off, wind your baby, then offer a couple of spoonfuls of purée or a couple of sticks of soft, cooked fruit or vegetable. Once they have had enough, or lose interest, give the rest of their milk feed.
This helps, because you don’t want your baby to be so hungry that they are distressed and won’t take solid food – and yet, you don’t want to fill them up so much that they won’t try the food.
Eventually, your baby will probably start by dropping one of their feeds, especially when you get to around eight or nine months and have established three meals a day.
Further reading: The best time to start weaning