Does a 9- to 12-Month-Old Still Need Breastmilk or Formula?

9-12 Months

Your baby is getting braver and better at eating solid foods each day. Way to go, kiddo! Even though he is nursing less often and taking fewer bottles, he’s still getting most of his nutrition from breastmilk or iron-fortified formula—at least until he’s 1 year old. So how much breastmilk or formula does he really need? Read on for suggested amounts and a typical infant feeding schedule. Keep in mind that every child is different, and it’s normal for your baby to drink different amounts each day and from feeding to feeding.

It’s also important to remember that your baby’s digestive system still can’t handle other kinds of milk—including cow’s milk, soy milk, almond milk or any other type. Wait until after his first birthday to introduce milk. When that time comes, we’ve got you covered with the best drinks for toddlers.

How often should I nurse my baby?

At this age, most babies who are eating solids well will nurse about four times per day. Of course, that number may increase during growth spurts or if he’s feeling under the weather. Is your baby still waking in the middle of the night to nurse? Don’t worry—that’s still normal for some babies at this stage.

How much breastmilk should I give my baby in a bottle?

A breastfed baby needs fewer ounces per bottle than a formula-fed baby, as breastmilk has more nutrients per ounce and can be digested more fully. At this age, many babies will take in 3 to 5 ounces of breastmilk from a bottle.

How much formula does my baby need?

If you are formula feeding, give baby 6 to 8 ounces at breakfast, lunch and dinner, and before bed. It’s still important to pay attention to your baby’s hunger and fullness cues, and to never force her to finish a bottle. To minimize waste, you may want to consider preparing a 6-ounce bottle, and if she is still hungry, prepare another ounce or two.

What if my baby is eating much more or less than average?

If you are worried about how much your baby eats, or if he is eating significantly more or less than the amounts listed in these infant feeding guidelines, talk to your baby’s doctor.