This post is for babies who have completed 6 months and just starting their 7th month. WHO recommends 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding. It means you don’t need to offer anything except breastmilk for first 6 months. Even water is not required as breastmilk has 80% water content in it. Unfortunately, due to any medical/personal conditions, if you want to wean after 4 months of the baby, please do converse with your Pediatrician and if agreed, then here(click) are some suggestions to start weaning for 4 to 6 months baby.
Introducing new foods daily – After completing 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding, you shall start introducing other foods to babies. Giving the same food for 2 to 3 days to test for allergies is no more required(in 6+months babies), as results of recent researches have confirmed to offer one new food a day to rule out allergies. Also, the recent guidelines insist to introduce allergy-prone foods(like citrus fruits, nuts, wheat, egg, fish, berries, melons, brinjal) as early as possible(between 6 to 8 months) to avoid allergies or lessen the impact of allergies, if any. You shall have a discussion about these points with your Pediatrician for more clarity.
How many meals a day ? – After completing 6 months(180 days), on this 7th month(running), we shall test one new food a day. Till 1 year, baby’s main source of nutrition is from breastmilk. Additional solid foods are just complementary to meet out their additional requirements for calories & nutrition. In this month, just one meal a day is enough for babies. And feed that meal, after an hour of breastfeeding.
Water for babies – If you are breastfeeding on demand, just 2 to 3 sips of water, post meal is enough. You shall also give 2-3 sips once in the evening. No more water is required as it will just fill baby’s tummy. For formula-fed babies, pls consult your pediatrician for water quantity. Do not give water in bottle or sipper. Just give in spoon or in a small cup. My baby drinks water in a small silver tumbler. Initially, baby will spit out the water. Don’t worry. They will pick up slowly. Do not feed water in between the meal time. Just give few sips of water after completing the meal. Click here to know some tips on baby’s drinking water.
Ideal time for solids ? – Do not skip breastfeeding just to give solids. First breastfeed as usual and then give solids after sometime. Give solids at least half-an hour to 45 minutes or even one hour after breastfeeding depending upon baby’s mood. Do not feed solids when baby is too hungry or too sleepy. Feed when the baby is happy. Feed the meal in first half of the day, so that any allergies can be noted & treated. Ideal time is 9 to 11 AM. It can vary depending upon your baby’s nap time. I feed my baby around 11 AM.
Below is my baby’s schedule. This schedule is just for your reference. Please don’t try to fit your baby in this schedule. Let your baby decide his/her schedule to nap. And you choose a wise time (to feed solids) that suits you and your baby, provided you follow the above mentioned guidelines/rules.
6 months baby schedule
|6 - 9 AM||Sleep|
|9 - 9.15 AM||BM|
|10.15 - 10.30 AM||Bath|
|10.45 - 11 AM||Solid food|
|11.30 AM-12.30 PM||Nap|
|12.30 - 12.40 PM||BM|
|1.55 - 2 PM||BM|
|2 - 5 PM||Nap|
|5 - 5.10 PM||BM|
|7 - 7.30 PM||Nap|
|8.30 - 8.45 PM||BM|
|9 PM - 12 AM||Sleep|
How much to feed a baby ? is the most common question for new moms. The quantity has to be determined by the baby. You just prepare a small quantity as shown in the pics in the below chart. Initially, baby might eat just 1 or 2 teaspoons and gradually might increase to 1 or 2 tablespoons. When the baby finishes the whole bowl, next time slightly increase the quantity that you prepare for baby. Do not force a baby to eat. Just stop when baby shows signs of “NO” like turning head away from the food, zipping up the mouth, spitting continuously, crying.. Some days baby might eat well and some days baby might not eat at all. That’s ok. Don’t force. Do not try to feed a cranky baby.. If you feel to offer solids after sometime on those cranky days, it’s purely your choice. Do offer breastmilk on demand.
Baby Utensils – I feed food for my baby in silver bowl and water in silver tumbler. For foods that react with silver like egg white, lemon & other citrus fruits, I use normal stainless-steel utensils. After every use, I wash her utensils using baby dish liquid soap. I sterilize just once in a week or whenever I use the utensils outside during travel time. Click here to know how I sterilize her utensils ?
Iron-rich foods – For foods rich in Iron(like Spinach, Beetroot, Peas, Sweet potato, Eggs, Poha, Rice, Meats, Lentils(Paruppu) & Legumes(Payaru,sundal)), either add few drops(start with 3 and gradually increase to 10 drops) of lemon in the food just before feeding it, or mix few lemon drops in water that you will give after the meal or just give a piece of orange or any other vitamin-C rich fruits(Citrus fruits, Berries, Kiwi, Papaya), or if possible add vitamin-C rich veggies(Tomato, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Potato, Capsicum, Cabbage, Brussel sprouts) while making that food. Vitamin-C helps in better absorption of Iron by the body. Avoid milk(not breastmilk) & milk products(like paneer, curd) while offering iron-rich food as Calcium hinders iron-absorption. Note that ghee doesn’t have calcium and so it can be had with iron-rich foods.
How to avoid constipation ? – When introducing solids, it is common for babies to constipate. But, by following the below food chart, my baby didn’t constipate.
- Do not feed solids to baby just after the sleep as that dry feed might constipate the baby. Always breastfeed just after the sleep.
- Start with one meal a day and then increase one meal every month. This slow and steady increase of solid food will not cause constipation.
- Breastfeed once in every 3 hours or on demand.
- Ragi, beetroot, egg, wheat, meat and other iron-rich foods might cause constipation. So, when you give such food, do offer fruits/veggies/greens in the next meal(in this month, it is next day’s meal).
- Give curd once or twice in a week to aid digestion.
- If baby is constipated, do not give banana as it makes the stool bulky. Give soaked raisins water(link) or warm apple water(link).
Baby food consistency – Watery food or soups are not advised for babies as they fill their tummy in place of breastmilk and offer less nutrition. Likewise watery porridges or purees are not recommended for the same reason. As baby eats little food, offering thick food with dense nutrition is a wise choice. Still, Indian Pediatricians recommend to start with watery food for first 2 to 4 days and then move to purees & porridges and then gradually change textures for a smooth complementary feed. Use potato masher to mash the food instead of mixie as mixie makes the food too smooth and do not give chance to experience different textures of food. Using mixie for a long time makes the baby to swallow food rather than trying to chew. I know they don’t have teeth to chew but still babies have strong gums and they can very well chew with it. Believe me, babies can chew from the very first week of solids. Do not underestimate their ability !! Give them soft textures this month – pureed, grated, masher-mashed, hand-mashed, fork-mashed. The pics in the below food chart are actual bowls that I fed my baby daily on her 7th month(running). Hope you will get a better idea on the food texture if you see those pics.
Food chart – Below is the food chart that I offered to my baby after completing 6 months/180 days. You might have different opinions about it. This chart is just for your reference. You can get ideas from it. This chart was prepared based on the guidelines provided by my pediatricians in India and in USA. If you don’t wish to start with watery food(for first 4 days), you can very well start with apple puree on day 1. US doctors say, “You can even start with a meat :)”.. The call is yours. We can give anything that we eat to a baby, is what they say. But just minus salt, sugar, honey & cow’s milk till baby’s first birthday.
- No salt and sugar below one year. Click here to know the reason.
- No cow’s milk below 1 year as they cause baby’s guts to bleed internally and this might result in iron deficiency/anemia. Still, curd can be given from 6 months as curd has Probiotics/good bacteria & baby could digest it easily.
- No Honey below 1 year as they might cause a condition called botulism(wiki link)
Once you prepare the food, try to feed it fresh to babies. Add little ghee to baby’s food for better absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. Make sure ghee is melted & mixed for proper digestion. Click here to read some tips on cleaning veggies & food feeding tips.
6 months baby food chart
|Day 1||Apple water||Click here for recipe|
|Day 2||Carrot water||Click here for recipe|
|Day 3||Dal water/Paruppu thanni||Click here for recipe|
|Day 4||Greens water/Keerai thanni||Click here for recipe|
|Day 5||Boiled Apple puree||Click here for recipe|
|Day 6||Carrot puree||Click here for recipe|
|Day 7||Boiled pear puree||Click here for recipe|
|Day 8||Mashed banana||Mash well with fork or hand. Click here for tips and to check for banana varieties to feed as per age.|
|Day 9||Finger millet milk porridge/Ragi paal kanji||Click here for recipe|
|Day 10||Mashed Avocado||Just scoop out the pale green part in the middle, mash with a fork and feed.|
|Day 11||Pumpkin Puree||Click here for recipe|
|Day 12||Raw apple puree||Take a piece of apple 🍎 without skin and grate it using a fine grater or just grind it in mixie.|
|Day 13||Finger millet milk porridge / Ragi paal kanji||Click here for recipe|
|Day 14||Rice + Fried gram(Pottukadalai) + carrot kichdi||Click here for recipe|
|Day 15||Broccoli puree||Cut 🥦 florets with tender stem parts.. Don’t add thick stems.. Wash using hot water + turmeric.. In a pan, add lil ghee, sauté florets for 30 seconds, add water and cook closed until it’s cooked well..Once cooked, Mash well with potato masher.. Use water just till florets are half immersed so that once cooked, there are not much water left.. U need a tbsp of water left while mashing, else it will be too dry.. Make sure there is no stem left without mashing..|
|Day 16||Beetroot puree||Method 1 - cut one circular disc of beet and pressure cook for 3 to 5 whistles depending on the thickness of the beets with half-immersed water.. And then mash well with potato masher..
Method 2 - finely grate the beets and cook in a closed pan with water till immersing level in medium flame until cooked soft..In both methods, finally add ghee and mix well until it melts.
|Day 17||Pear puree||Take raw but well-ripened pear 🍐 - Remove skin and mash it with potato masher.. Pear that we get here in USA will be so juicy and sweet..|
|Day 18||Potato puree||Boil whole potato 🥔 for 5 to 6 whistles in the pressure cooker.. In a pan, mash it with hand and add little water + ghee, keep it on stove in high flame for 2 mins to make it moist enough to feed the baby..|
|Day 19||Finger millet milk porridge/Ragi paal kanji||Click here for recipe|
|Day 20||Rice + fried gram(pottukadalai)+ spinach kichdi||Same as the one I shared on day 14 .. Just replaced carrots with finely chopped 10 spinach leaves without stem..Didn’t cook closed.. Used lil coconut oil to sauté greens before adding water.. U shall use the cooked rice that u eat daily, mash it well and mix with cooked spinach and feed the baby.. As I am yet to introduce our regular Matta rice to her, I made this with porridge powder..|
|Day 21||Cooked chayote squash/ chow chow||Took 15 bite-sized pieces of chow chow. Cooked soft with water till half immersing level in a closed pan. Hand-mashed while feeding.. Water will be let out while hand mashing it .. I fed the water to her and skipped giving normal water post feed .. You shall add a spoon of cooked dal to this bowl..|
|Day 22||Carrot + rice + moongdal kichdi||Click here for recipe|
|Day 23||Toordal rice/Paruppu sadham||Used the dal that I cooked along with turmeric powder + asafoetida + tomato for my sambar .. Mixed with Matta rice that I cooked for us.. Mashed using potato masher, added lil ghee and fed..|
|Day 24||Finger millet milk porridge/Ragi paal kanji||Click here for recipe|
|Day 25||Avocado + Banana mash||Fork-mashed Avocado 🥑 and banana 🍌|
|Day 26||Barley porridge (Filtered)||Click here for recipe|
|Day 27||Sweet potato puree||Click here for recipe
I just pressure cooked(2 whistles), peeled and used the outer soft part.
|Day 28||Red poha porridge / Aval kanji||Wash & soak a tbsp of red aval for 20 mins. Mash it well with hand and cook in low-med flame with 1/4 cup water, lil ghee and a pinch of roasted cumin/jeera powder(Make a batch of this powder as it comes handy in prepping baby food)..Cook for 5 mins until it thickens. Feed warm.|
|Day 29||Wheat milk porridge/Godhumai paal kanji||Click here for recipe|
|Day 30||Sago + Urad dal porridge||Click here for recipe|