Infant NutritionWhile continuing to give 3 to 5 feedings of breast milk or an iron fortified infant formula (24-32 ounces) and 4 or more tablespoons of cereal, vegetables and fruit one or two times each day, you can now start to give more protein containing foods. These include well-cooked, strained or ground plain meats (chicken, beef, turkey, veal, lamb, boneless fish, or liver), yogurt, mild cheese, or egg yolks (no egg whites as there is a high chance of allergic reactions in infants less than 12 months old). If using commercially prepared jars of baby food, do not use vegetables with meat as they have little meat and less protein and iron than jars with plain meat. Start with 1-2 tablespoons and increase to 3-4 tablespoons once each day. If your baby doesn't seem to like to eat plain meat, you can mix it with a vegetable that they already like as you offer it.
You can also start to offer soft table foods and finger foods at this age. Give soft, bite-size pieces of food, such as soft fruit and vegetable pieces, pastas, graham or saltine crackers, and dry cheerios, but do not give these foods if the he is going to be unattended in case of choking. Over the next three months your baby's diet will begin to resemble that of the rest of the families, with 3 meals and 2 snacks each day. You can also give 4-6 ounces of diluted 100% fruit juice in a cup.
To avoid having to supplement with fluoride, prepare powdered/concentrated formula with fluoridated tap water. If you are using ready-to-feed formula, or bottled or filtered water only, then your he may need fluoride supplements.
Your infant will probably have given up middle of the night feedings by this age. If not, slowly reduce how much you are feeding each night and gradually stop this feeding all together.
Feeding practices to avoid are changing to regular milk before your child is twelve months old, putting the bottle in bed or propping the bottle while feeding, feeding honey, giving too much juice, using a low-iron formula, offering juice in a bottle or heating bottles in the microwave.
For more information on your infant's nutrition:
- Infant Formula
- Pumping and Storing Breast Milk
- Breastfeeding Goals
- Breastfeeding Tips
- Breastfeeding Time
- Nursing Strikes and Early Weaning
- Stopping Breastfeeding Before a Year
- Starting Solids
- Finger Foods
- Baby Food
- Fruit Juice
- Infant Feeding Guidelines
- Infants, Honey and Botulism
- Infants, Yogurt and Milk
- Infants and Eggs
- Switching to Whole Milk
- Mealtime with Your Eight-Month-Old
Infant Growth and DevelopmentAt this age you can expect your infant to sit alone, pull to a stand, stand holding on to things, jabber and imitate sounds, crawl, wave bye-bye, and begin to show separation and stranger anxiety. Over the next few months he will start to combine syllables, say mama/dada, walk with his hands held, and bang objects together.
Your infant will now begin to explore how things work, enjoy playing peekaboo and pat-a-cake and being read to. It is important to give lots of praise and many opportunities for exploration. If using a pacifier, it is a good time to start restricting its use to only when your baby is in his crib (or giving it up all together), so that his interest in it will decrease.
Most infants at this age take two naps during the day (length of naps are usually very variable between different children, but naps are usually 1 - 2 hours each) and are able to sleep for the majority of the night. If not, check to make sure that he has a good bedtime routine and has developed the proper sleep associations. He may start waking again at times of stress, illness or after learning a new task (such as walking).
If you haven't already done so, now would be a good time to move him into a full size crib, in his own room if possible.
For more information on your infant's growth and development: