How Much Should I Feed My Baby? Portion Sizes

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  • “Wow this baby eats SO much, my baby barely eats anything, I must be doing something wrong…”
  • “Wow this baby eats normal amounts and mine ALWAYS wants more food, I must be doing something wrong…”
  • “Wow this baby sleeps through the night and my baby still wakes up every 2 hours, I must be doing something wrong…”
  • “Wow this baby drinks bottles of milk on a schedule and my baby nurses on demand every 5 minutes, I must be doing something wrong…”
  • “Wow this baby looks like they’re average weight and my baby is so chunky, I must be doing something wrong…”
  • “Wow this baby is in the 90th percentile for weight and my baby is only in the 5th, I must be doing something wrong…”
  • “Wow this baby is already clapping and walking and mine barely wants to crawl, I must be doing something wrong…”
  • “Wow this baby is saying so many words and mine barely makes a sound, I must be doing something wrong…”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? Have you ever felt that you were doing something wrong when it comes to your little one?

Comparison dangers - Every baby is different!
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How much should my baby eat?

Some of the most common questions I get are, “how much should my baby eat? What should the portion size be? My baby eats WAY more/less than another baby does, am I doing something wrong?” As parents, it is SO easy to fall into the trap of comparison; Comparing our babies with other babies around us and their milestones with the milestones of others. 

When it comes to eating, it’s so easy to compare the way our babies eat with the way others do and automatically feel upset if it doesn’t match up with those around us. The reality is that every baby is DIFFERENT. There are also SO many factors that can affect how a baby eats at different times (ex: sickness, growth spurts, tiredness, etc.) When your baby gets older, NO one is going to go to them and ask, “Hey, what did your portion sizes look like when you were 10 months old? What percentile were you in when you were a toddler? When you were a baby, did you eat 5 blueberries at a time or 50?” These questions sound silly, but these are the things we sometimes STRESS about!! 

I used to fall into the comparison trap myself with my first son, always concerned that he wasn’t eating as much as others, obsessing over his percentile numbers, and worried that he wasn’t on the same schedule as others. I had to stop and ask myself, WHY am I comparing him?? He is my baby with his own personality and that is so unique and special! Once I stopped comparing, I had so much more peace and was able to truly enjoy every aspect of parenthood. 

Portion Sizes

Portion sizes - Am I doing something wrong?
  • What portion sizes should I offer my baby? It varies! There is no right answer here. One portion size may be considered overwhelming to one baby and the same portion may be considered underwhelming to another. Every baby is different.
  • Start Small It’s a good idea to start with smaller portions and offer more if baby seems interested. This eliminates potential food waste and helps baby not feel too overwhelmed initially. Once you get a sense of the portion size your baby does best with, you can follow their lead and work with that.

It is natural to have certain concerns, but comparing and having general concerns are two different things and constantly comparing is NOT healthy. If you have serious concerns about your child’s growth, bring it up to your pediatrician, but as long as your baby is following his/her growth curve, they are consuming the right amount for what their body needs. 

Portion sizes - As long as your baby is following his/her growth curve, then they are consuming the right amount for what their body needs.

Again, every baby is different and those differences are all to be celebrated! You are all doing amazing and our babies are also doing amazing things in their own special ways!

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Until next time, Lily!

About Lily Payen

Hi, I’m Lily! The mama behind Feeding Tiny Bellies. I’m here to help you take some of the stress out of meal times for your little ones. My goal is to create simple recipes with baby in mind that can easily be adapted for the entire family.

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