At nine months, it may seem like your baby is calling a lot of the shots—from when they want to eat to how they want to eat to what they want to eat. For some babies, this includes less interest in breastfeeding or bottle-feeding and more desire to eat what's on your plate. That makes this a perfect opportunity to start some family mealtime rituals. Try pulling your baby's high chair up to the table and sitting down together. They may not be ready for dinner conversation yet, but it's an experience you can all enjoy nonetheless.
How much should a 9-month-old eat?
The American Academy of Pediatrics and La Leche League recommend the following feeding schedules and amounts for 9-month-olds.
Solids: Offered two times per day or at family mealtimes
Breast milk: Up to eight ounces every four to five hours
Formula: Seven to eight ounces every five to six hours
Your 9-month-old baby should be no stranger to solids! Here are the recommended serving sizes for an 9-month-old baby:
- Infant cereal (single grain) mixed with breast milk or formula: five to eight tablespoons (optional)
- Fruits: two to four tablespoons
- Vegetables: two to four tablespoons
- Shredded meats, eggs, yogurt and soft-cooked plant-based proteins, such as lentils: two to three tablespoons
- Starches: ¼ to ½ cup simple carbs, such as pasta, mashed potatoes, bread
Related: 9-month-old baby milestones
What’s a good 9-month-old feeding schedule?
Remember, it's more important that you follow your baby's cues than adhere to a set schedule, so schedules outlined are general guides of how frequently you'll feed your baby—not hard-and-fast rules.
These guidelines also apply primarily to infants born full-term and without any underlying medical conditions. For preterm infants, babies with certain medical conditions or for any specific questions pertaining to your child, be sure to consult your child's pediatrician for a more customized feeding schedule.
Related: Baby Sleep Guides & Schedules
Can 9-month-old babies eat table food?
Families that practice Baby Led Weaning (BLW) introduce select table foods to their babies around 6 months of age. If you started with spoon-feeding, now is a good time to allow your baby to pick up food on their tray and begin to feed themselves.
At this age, your baby should be able to eat many of the table foods that are offered to the rest of the family—although you still want to avoid small, hard pieces of food. Some of the best, safest finger foods for 9-month-old babies include pieces of pasta, cooked vegetables, soft fruit and ground meat.
Depending on your baby's interest in solid foods, their appetite for breast milk or formula may start to decrease or feedings will space out. This can be somewhat bittersweet for many mamas, especially if you've cherished the one-on-one moments that breastfeeding or bottle-feeding can offer. But know that there are sweet family mealtimes and plenty more special bonding opportunities to come.
Read more about wellness for mama and your 9-month-old:
- How to stop breastfeeding—while keeping yourself and your baby happy
- Motherly's Postpartum Wellness Class is here!
- Subscribe to the Becoming Mama podcast
- What no one tells you about your post-baby period
A version of this story was published October 17, 2021. It has been updated.