Your 4-month-old baby is showing more signs of their personality every day—and we agree that those giggles are simply the sweetest thing! With all that movement (rolling, reaching, stretching) and engagement with the world around them, your baby can work up an appetite in a hurry. Whether you are breastfeeding, formula-feeding or combo-feeding, you are undeniably skilled by now at recognizing and responding to your baby’s feeding needs.

Related: 4-month-old baby milestones

How much should a 4-month-old eat?

The American Academy of Pediatrics and La Leche League recommend the following feeding schedules and amounts for 4-month-olds.

Breast milk: 4 to 6 ounces every 3 to 4 hours

Formula: 4 to 6 ounces every 4 hours

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) also recommends that parents should follow the responsive feeding method, also known as feeding on demand, which looks to the infant’s hunger cues for when to feed. The schedules below are just examples—be sure to follow your baby’s hunger signals to know when your little one is ready for the next feeding. As babies get older, their hunger cues and feeding times start to become a little more predictable.

Related: Activities for a 4-month-old

What’s a good 4-month-old feeding schedule?

printable summary of 4-month-old baby feeding schedule - breast milk and formula

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: How much sleep does a 4-month-old baby need?

What to know about early introduction of common food allergens

At 4 months, your baby isn’t ready for solid foods—and all of their nutrition and calories should still come from only breast milk or formula. However, recent guidelines outlined in the journal Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology make an exception: Infants who are at the highest risk for developing severe food allergies (based on pre-existing severe eczema and/or egg allergy), likely benefit from introduction of an age-appropriate peanut-friendly food between the ages of 4 and 6 months.

For this group, allergy testing is recommended prior to the introduction of peanuts and a pediatrician should be consulted. In terms of limiting the development of severe food allergies, there are promising results from this kind of early exposure, though.

A note from Motherly on feeding a 4-month-old

With the introduction of solid food right around the corner, you may feel a mix of excitement and anxiety about what that means—especially when it comes to managing possible food allergies. It’s never too early to start the conversation with your child’s health care provider. And, remember, your gut instincts matter.

Look ahead: 5-month-old baby feeding schedule and expert advice

A version of this story was published October 17, 2021. It has been updated.