At 8 months old, you’ve probably noticed your baby pouncing on your plate. This is an indication that the baby is ready for some solid foods. Their tummies are bigger now and they need to fill them with food.
More than ever, your little one needs plenty of energy so they can continue to grow and explore. Your 8 month old baby should be taking 24-32 ounces of formula or breastmilk each day in addition to the solid food.
Your baby’s mealtimes, however, should also include a wide variety of baby food such as cereal, vegetables, fruits, as well as mashed and pureed meats. Now, as the solids continue to increase, the formula and breastmilk will decrease. In fact, it is not uncommon to find babies that are uninterested in milk completely at 8 months.
Food Tips For Feeding Your Baby
- Never leave your baby unattended while they are eating, no matter how finely chopped the food is.
- Also, do not introduce honey into their diet until they reach the age of one.
- Introduce new foods one at a time, and in case of any adverse reaction, consider shelving that food for a while. You can try giving the same food again after a few days or weeks. Babies are fickle little creatures and their tastes keep changing from day to day, so don’t give up.
- Chop all foods into very small bite sizes that are either a ½ inch or smaller.
- Feed your baby food slowly, even if they are very hungry This helps avoid choking.
- Bottle feeding: You should be giving your baby 6-8 ounces of formula every day. This should be done 4-6 times every 24 hours.
- Breastfeeding and pumping: If you are still at home by the time your baby is 8 months old, you will need to nurse them every 3-4 hours. If you are pumping, then your baby needs 25 ounces of breastmilk every day. This should be divided among the feedings your baby is having, typically 6 times a day.
- Solid food: By 8 months, you should be feeding your baby 3 solid meals a day. These meals, of course, depend on your baby’s needs, and it can be anywhere between 1 or 2 tablespoons of solid food to 4-6 ounces i.e. 12 tablespoons of food per day.
The Types Of Food To Feed Your Baby
Because your baby’s pincer grasp is getting stronger and stronger, you can consider adding some finger foods to their diet as well. The best is choices are toast, banana, cereals, and well-cooked meat that are cut into very small pieces.
Avoid adding foods that may be choking hazards such as hot dogs, popcorn, grapes, raisins, raw carrots, and blueberries. However, you can serve these foods in they are cut into smaller pieces
You can try introducing your baby to small pieces of soft cheese, small chunks of bread and pasta, and finely chopped vegetables and fruits. All of these foods require minimal chewing, which is great for your baby.
Do not let your baby have raw veggies, hot dogs, nuts, big pieces of meat, fried food, candy, or sticky textured foods such as nut butter, as these have a high risk of chocking at this stage.
How To Prepare The Meals
You should offer your baby steamed and well-cooked vegetables. Cut them into very small pieces to avoid the risk of choking. The best vegetables at this age are cauliflower, potatoes, peas, beans, and sweet potatoes.
Eggs are loaded with nutrients, especially proteins. They are also easy to digest and you should give them to your baby starting with the yolk so your little one gets used to them slowly. Once they are good with the yolk, then you can give the egg whites. You can feed them boiled eggs or make them an omelet that has been cut into smaller pieces.
Fish And Meat
Don’t be scared to feed your baby some fish and meat. They need to have some animal protein at this age. Offer the baby very small pieces of these meats when they are well-cooked. Do not add any spices or even salt. Small bites of lean meat that is de-boned completely and cooked well are good for the baby.
Pasteurized and cottage cheese bits can be given in small quantities. This is good for your baby, but too much may result in an upset stomach. Cheese also make very good finger foods for babies.
For an 8 month old, eating is essential as they are very active. Give them as much as they need so they do not get hungry, but also ensure to give them breastmilk as it is still necessary for the nutrients it has to offer.