Sample baby schedules for 5- and 6-month-olds

Feeding your 5- to 6-month-old baby is about to get a lot more exciting! In addition to nursing or taking bottles throughout the day, they're probably getting ready to try their first solid foods. Babies this age still get most of their nutrition from breast milk or formula, and will have four or five nursing sessions or 24 to 32 ounces of formula each day. When they're showing signs of readiness, like sitting up when supported, you can introduce your baby to solids.

A baby laughing while lying on their tummy
Photo credit: Thinkstock

Your baby is going through a lot of changes at 5 and 6 months old, and a steady, consistent routine will help them thrive. But you'll also need flexibility as your baby grows. Big milestones for babies this age include (possibly) learning how to sleep through the night, sitting up, and starting solid foods.

It can be a big help to see how other parents navigate their babies' schedules. Below, you'll find sample feeding schedules based on those of real parents and reviewed by a pediatrician on our Medical Advisory Board.

Advertisement | page continues below

Most babies are ready to start solid foods when they're around 6 months old. Signs of readiness include:

  • Being able to sit upright, usually with some support
  • Having good head and neck control
  • Showing an interest in food (i.e., they reach for your plate of food while you're eating and open their mouth when offered food)

Even after you start solid foods, though, most of your baby's nutrition will still come from breast milk or formula. At 5 and 6 months, most babies need 24 to 32 ounces of formula in a 24-hour period.

They'll drink about 6 ounces at every feeding, so that'll come out to five or six bottles per day, or a bottle every three to four hours (except at night – babies this age typically can go through the night without a feeding).

Breastfed babies will continue to nurse five or six times a day, though that may vary. You likely already have a regular routine and know when your baby is hungry, but your baby's patterns change as they grow, so keep an eye on their hunger cues. And, get specific tips on how to tell whether your baby is getting enough breast milk or formula.

Sample 5-month-old feeding schedule

6 a.m.: Nurse for 10 to 20 minutes.

7 a.m.: Playtime.

Advertisement | page continues below

8 a.m.: Naptime.

10 a.m.: Breakfast – 1 tablespoon of stage one fruit and 2 tablespoons of baby cereal with 1 ounce of breast milk, then nurse for five to 10 minutes.

10:30 a.m.: Playtime.

12 p.m.: Naptime.

2 p.m.: Nurse for 10 to 20 minutes.

Advertisement | page continues below

2:30 p.m.: Playtime.

4 p.m.: Short nap.

4:30 p.m.: Nurse for 10 to 20 minutes, then playtime.

6:30 p.m.: Playtime.

7:30 p.m.: Bedtime routine and nurse for 10 to 20 minutes.

Advertisement | page continues below

Sample 6-month-old feeding schedule

9 a.m.: 6-ounce bottle of formula.

10 a.m.: Playtime.

11 a.m.: Naptime.

12 p.m.: Lunch – a 5-ounce jar of fruit or veggies and a 4-ounce bottle of formula – then playtime.

2 p.m.: Naptime.

Advertisement | page continues below

3 p.m.: 6-ounce bottle of formula, then playtime.

4 p.m.: Naptime.

5:30 p.m.: 6-ounce bottle, then playtime or a walk.

7 p.m.:  Bedtime routine and a 6- or 8-ounce bottle.

Tips for feeding 5- and 6-month-olds

Here are some tips for feeding your 5- and 6-month-old baby:

Advertisement | page continues below
  • Don't worry if your baby isn't very interested in solid foods or only eats a little at a time. At the very start of their solid food journey, your little one will only eat 1 or 2 tablespoons of food at a time. (If you're not sure how much you're supposed to be feeding your baby at this point, check out our visual guide to baby food portions.)
  • Even once your baby starts solids, keep breastfeeding or offering a bottle as usual, since most of your baby's nutrition will come from breast milk of formula until they're a year old.
  • If you're worried about your breast milk supply, try breastfeeding or pumping more often to kick milk production into gear. Read more tips on increasing your milk supply.
  • Consider night weaning your baby if you haven't yet. By 5 or 6 months old, they most likely can make it through the night without a feeding. If they're still waking up at night, it could be out of habit rather than because they're hungry. Sleep training can help teach them to sleep longer at night.
  • If your baby is breastfed, be sure to introduce solid foods that are rich in iron or fortified with iron (like baby cereal or pureed meat) to prevent anemia. Breast milk doesn't provide much iron, and at around 6 months old, the iron in your baby's body is running low and they need other sources of this essential mineral.
  • Experts recommend introducing first foods one at a time with 3 to five days between new foods. This can help you pinpoint negative reactions or allergies to a specific food.
  • Some families choose baby-led weaning, a method for introducing solid foods that allows babies to feed themselves. This usually means starting off with finger foods, rather than purees.
  • Store-bought baby food is a good choice for babies, but homemade baby food can be a great, budget-friendly option, too. Here are some tips and recipes for making homemade baby food.

Here are some good first foods for babies:

Learn more:

Advertisement | page continues below
Follow your baby's amazing development

BabyCenter's editorial team is committed to providing the most helpful and trustworthy pregnancy and parenting information in the world. When creating and updating content, we rely on credible sources: respected health organizations, professional groups of doctors and other experts, and published studies in peer-reviewed journals. We believe you should always know the source of the information you're seeing. Learn more about our editorial and medical review policies.

American Academy of Pediatrics. 2022. Amount and Schedule of Baby Formula Feedings. a new window [Accessed September 2022]

American Academy of Pediatrics. 2012. Breastfeeding Mealtime Milestones a new window [Accessed September 2022]

American Academy of Pediatrics. 2022. How Often and How Much Should Your Baby Eat? a new window [Accessed September 2022]

La Leche League International. Undated. Frequency of Feeding. a new window [Accessed September 2022]

U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2019. Infant Nutrition and Feeding. a new window [Accessed September 2022]

Mary Sauer

Mary Sauer is a freelance parenting and health writer living in Kansas City. She is a mom of four and loves to hike with her kids, read, and knit. Cooking a complicated meal her kids probably won't eat is one of her favorite pastimes.