Complementary feeding at 4 months on artificial feeding. Table, where to start, menu

The four-month-old baby has already adapted to the world around him. All body systems develop. The gastrointestinal tract has adapted to the absorption and assimilation of food, colic has disappeared, constipation and bloating are no longer tormented, and flatulence no longer occurs.

The development and nutrition of a child at 4 months enters a new stage: the baby becomes active, inquisitive, shows emotions, and develops its own eating habits. Changes in appearance are noticeable: eye color changes, in most children the eyes darken. The delicate, soft hairs with which the child was born begin to fall out and are replaced by hair of different quality. Often the hair color also changes - from light to darker.

Daily routine at 4 months

The meal schedule for different types of feeding is usually different. Today, pediatricians recommend feeding your child with breast milk whenever possible; the child himself lets you know when he is hungry. Some advise sticking to a regimented diet and feeding the baby every 3 hours. Children on IV are fed every 3.5-4 hours.

Baby's daily routine

TimeDaily regime
6:30 – 8:00Activity period
8:00 – 10:00First nap
10:00Repeated breakfast
10:30 – 12:00Activity period
12:00 – 14:00Second nap during the day, possibly while walking
14:30 – 16:00Activity period
16:00 – 18:00Third nap
18:30 – 21:00Activity period
21:00 – 22:30First night's sleep
22:30Repeat dinner
23:00 – 6:00Second night's sleep

This is the approximate daily routine of a child who is on IV. According to this regimen, children eat about five times a day. Toddlers who are on breastfeeding can be breastfed much more often - up to 10 times. Breastfeeding is usually enough to keep the baby full once every three to four hours. A mother can put her baby to her breast more often - this is a way of bonding, reassurance, communication and a technique for putting the baby to sleep. Therefore, children on breastfeeding do not always adhere to clear time intervals.

The regime is easier to follow with bottle-fed children

Sample menu

Meal timeDiet
Breakfast 7:00Formula milk
Feeding 10:00Fruit puree (apple, banana),
milk mixture
Lunch 13:00Vegetable puree (broccoli, cauliflower, later pumpkin, carrots),
1/2 - 1/4 egg yolk,

Formula milk

Afternoon snack 17:00Applesauce 2 tsp/Apple juice 2 tsp.
Children's cookies

Formula milk

Dinner 21:00Formula milk
Before adding a new product to your baby’s food, make sure that he does not have a negative reaction to the vegetables he has already eaten. Egg yolk should be given twice a week.

Nutritional norm

From the first days of life, a baby's organs are not fully developed, including the stomach. Therefore, in order to get enough, a baby may only need a very small amount of milk or artificial nutrition, even 20 grams. Despite rapid satiety during breastfeeding, children can ask for the breast more than 10 times a day. There are special formulas for calculating the required amount of food in ml, all of them are based on the child’s weight.

How much should a 6 month old baby eat?

Gradually the stomach will develop and its volume will increase. Therefore, the number of feedings is reduced and the portion itself is increased. By the fourth month, children should eat 1/6 or 1/7 of their body weight per day. In other words, a baby weighing 6 kg will need about a liter of milk or formula; as a rule, children get by with a little less. This norm is divided into 5-6 feeding approaches and served to babies once every few hours. At the same time, the breaks between feedings are not always the same; for example, at night, children can go longer without food.

How much a child should eat at 4 months is easier to determine with artificial feeding (artificial feeding), since formula is always served in a bottle. If the baby is breastfed (breastfed), then the mother can determine the daily norm using a special measurement after pumping. This is not necessary to determine whether the baby is full, since when fed with breast milk, children themselves will indicate when they are hungry.


  • In the fourth month, babies usually eat about 130 ml at a time. If the baby eats up this amount, then after feeding the bottle will not be completely empty.
  • The remaining milk in the breast after feeding indicates satiety.
  • At four months, a child can be active and not fussy for about 3-4 hours in a row, which indicates that he is full.
  • A sign of adequate nutrition is regular bowel movements.

In general, a baby is considered to be receiving enough nutrition if it is gaining weight and developing at normal levels for its age.

Important! With breastfeeding, the child himself is able to understand how much food he needs for normal functioning. Therefore, with hepatitis B, cases of malnutrition or overeating are rare.

Breastfeeding babies eat themselves

Usually, by four months, children on breastfeeding already begin to adapt to the regime. The number of breastfeedings is reduced to 10-12 times a day, but night is still the time when the baby cannot do without feeding. There are times when a child may ask for the breast more often, for various reasons:

  • The baby might not have eaten enough, but was only distracted by something, so later he demands the breast again.
  • Some babies start teething at 4 months, and breastfeeding calms them down from discomfort. In addition, some children bite their nipples, thereby doing a kind of gum massage.
  • The period of lactation crisis, when a woman’s milk supply decreases for a short period of time (3-7 days), and the child is malnourished. Subsequently, the milk is restored.

While breastfeeding, it is difficult to determine the norm for the number of feedings, since the baby may require the breast more than 10 times a day. Pediatricians do not advise restricting babies at such an early stage; it is better to wait until the baby grows up to 6 months.

Nutrition calculation based on child's weight

How much should a baby weigh at 2 months?

The amount of food depends on how the child will develop. More often, mothers of children on IVs worry about the amount of formula, since it is easy to calculate and notice if the baby is malnourished. When a child is pregnant, it is more difficult to do this, especially since he himself determines how much milk he needs.

In order to accurately determine how much milk or formula a child needs, there are several proven formulas. They also take into account weight and height. Parents should be aware that these calculations may slightly overestimate the required number of ml for feeding. These formulas differ for different ages of babies, the main criterion is the age before and after 10 days.

Nutrition calculation formulas help young mothers navigate

Nutrition calculations for children over 10 days old

  1. Baby's weight in g. divided by the baby’s height in cm and multiplied by 7. The resulting number shows the amount of milk or formula required per day in ml.
  2. The second method shows the daily amount of milk or formula, excluding other liquids.

Nutritional norms per month, ml

How many months is the babyAmount of formula or milk (ml) in relation to body weight
From 10 days to 2 months1/5
From 6 months1/8
  1. The third method counts calories, therefore it is considered the most accurate for children before the introduction of complementary foods. The formula implies that the baby must receive a certain amount of calories per day. The easiest way to use this method is when feeding formulas, because the calorie content is already indicated on their packaging. Breast milk can change its calorie content and composition, so this method is considered approximate for calculating feeding of breastfeeding children.

Nutritional standards by calories

How many months is the babyCalorie intake per day (per kg)
From 10 days to 3 months120

Calculation per feeding

The amount of milk or formula is usually calculated per day. Many mothers do not know how much milk is considered normal for a single dose. Young parents can act based on tables related to the child’s weight.

Norm for one feeding

How many months (by the end of the month)The amount of milk or formula for one feeding
After 6th month180-200

Introduction of complementary foods

How long should a 7 month old baby sleep?

Some parents believe that 4 months is the age when it is time for a child to introduce complementary foods. Pediatricians have different opinions on this matter; most are inclined to believe that the child is still able to satisfy his needs without supplements. In general, it is recommended to wait until introducing new food for children on IV until 5 months, and for children on breastfeeding until the 6th month of life.

When feeding with formulas, it is recommended to introduce complementary foods from the moment when the child is already a full 4 months old, not earlier. Breastfed children can be saturated with milk longer, since artificial milk, as it were, prepares the child’s body for a different type of food. Therefore, children on IV are transferred to complementary feeding faster.

Pediatricians approve the introduction of new food to babies at 4 months if there are problems with digestion or difficulties in selecting a formula. Then parents are instructed about all the rules for introducing complementary foods. At this age, the child can be gradually introduced to baby purees and juices from vegetables and fruits. It's best to start with homemade green apple puree.

Complementary feeding is introduced gradually from 4 months

A mother may know how much a 4-month-old baby should eat, but there are times when milk or formula alone is not enough for her baby. Based on small clues, mothers can understand that her baby is ready for the introduction of complementary foods:

  • Babies 4-6 months of age intensely experience a gag reflex when a spoon or other object hits the middle of the tongue. As soon as this reflex subsides, this is a sure sign that the baby is ready for the introduction of other food and can swallow its changed consistency.
  • Interest in food. This rarely happens in children 4 months old, but it does happen as an exception. Your baby may begin to reach for food or imitate chewing when he sees his parents eating.
  • If a child does not meet the weight norm for his age, this indicates that milk or formula alone is no longer enough for him, and it is time to introduce complementary foods.
  • Constipation or lack of iron in the blood. In such cases, pediatricians try to introduce complementary foods instead of medications in order to normalize stool and iron levels.

If the baby stops eating milk or formula, parents should consult a doctor. When the baby is transferred to a different formula composition, then complementary foods are introduced as usual from 6 months.

If the baby corresponds to the weight of his age and does not have medical indications for introducing new foods into the diet, then parents should not rush into complementary feeding.

If a breastfeeding child is overweight, then introducing vegetable complementary foods will even be beneficial. Vegetables are not as high in calories as porridge and will not affect your baby’s weight gain.

Note! If the baby does not have problems with weight, then complementary feeding can be started with cereals or vegetables. If you don’t have enough weight, it is recommended to start with cereals to gain it.

At the same time, they do not stop breastfeeding or formula feeding. Fruits are recommended if the child has frequent constipation. Prunes help especially well. They try to be careful with fruits, otherwise the child may not want to try porridge after that.

There are not many examples of fruits and vegetables that can be successfully introduced into complementary foods. Most of them are allergenic and poorly digestible by children's stomachs. Recommended products include the following:

  • zucchini;
  • cauliflower;
  • broccoli;
  • apple (puree);
  • pear;
  • peach.

Parents make baby purees themselves or buy them

The introduction of complementary foods should be done carefully so as not to provoke allergic reactions, abdominal cramps or stool disorders with new products. The transition should be soft, if you start with vegetable or fruit purees, choose a composition from one product. Mixed purees begin to be given to children from 6 months. The first complementary foods are given to the baby diluted with water and served with a spoon.

There are a few simple tips that, following which, a mother can quickly accustom her baby to a new product:

  • For the first time, baby puree is given to eat just a little - about a quarter of a teaspoon. Every day the amount of puree is increased so that by the end of the month the baby can eat 5 teaspoons.
  • When introducing a new product into a child’s diet, monitor the body’s reaction. Changes in bowel movements are normal, especially for those who have problems with bowel movements. You should be careful with foods that cause rashes in your child.
  • Complementary foods are given before feeding with milk or formula. Because after eating the usual food, the baby may get full and refuse a new product.
  • Between feeding sessions, the baby must be given water to drink.
  • With the successful introduction of complementary foods from the 4th month towards the end, the diet can be diversified with beets, carrots and homemade cottage cheese. At the same time, they do not give several new products at once, one is enough; at least 2 days should pass between the introduction of a new vegetable.

Carefully monitor the body's reaction to complementary foods

So, a child’s nutrition at 4 months of age can be based only on milk or formula, or requires the introduction of complementary foods. If necessary, complementary foods are introduced gradually and from one type of vegetables or fruits. It is recommended to eat mixed purees and porridges after six months. If the baby only needs milk or IV, they calculate the norm and try to introduce a diet. It will be easier to do this on IV, but even while breastfeeding, mothers can begin introducing a regimen, albeit not a strict one.

Homemade puree or store-bought: which is better?

The debate among mothers about the usefulness of homemade purees over store-bought ones does not subside. Of course, homemade puree is much healthier, because mom prepares it using fresh ingredients and puts her soul into the prepared food. Store-bought purees are designed for lazy or busy mothers. Although, what could be more important than a baby in the first year of his life?

To prepare baby food at home, you need to get a blender, so you will get puree without lumps. A blender will also significantly save cooking time for your little one. All mothers know that it is much easier to feed a calm child than a capricious one.

In addition, in a blender it is easy to make various types of vegetable puree, assorted, so to speak. By combining vegetables and fruits, you can accustom your child even to those vegetables that he does not eat at all.

Unfortunately, you can’t completely do without store-bought purees. For example, you are going on a trip, or urgent matters arise and you won’t have time to prepare food for your baby; in these cases, you can make an exception.

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