All About Drinks Ver en Español

baby crawling to sippy cup

Which liquids can your baby have at what age, and in what amounts? Find the answers in this quick guide.

Breast Milk

When to start: From birth, if possible*

How often? Before your milk supply is established, breastfeeding should be "on demand," or whenever your baby is hungry—possibly every one-and-a-half to three hours. As newborns get older, they nurse less often and may develop more reliable schedules. Newborns should not go more than about four hours without feeding, even overnight. By one to two months, expect to feed about seven to nine times per day.

Babies vary in how often and how long they breastfeed. They often breastfeed longer or more frequently during a growth spurt, which typically happens around seven to fourteen days old, two months, four months, and six months.

*The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends breastfeeding for at least the first six months of your baby's life, and up to a year or more, if possible.

Sources:
"Breastfeeding FAQs: How Much and How Often." KidsHealth. February 2015.
"Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk." American Academy of Pediatrics. March 2012.

Infant Formula

When to start: From birth, if not breastfeeding.

How much? On average, babies need two-and-a-half ounces of formula per pound of body weight per day, but this amount varies.

A general guideline is:

  • Newborns: four to eight ounces of formula per feeding, six to eight feedings per day
  • By one month: up to four ounces per feeding, eight to twelve times per day
  • By six months: six to eight ounces per feeding with four to five feedings per twenty-four hours.

Remember, these are just general guidelines. Every baby is different. Watch for signs your baby has had enough, such as becoming easily distracted during feeding or turning away.

Sources:
"Amount and Schedule of Formula Feedings." HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.
"Feeding Your Newborn." KidsHealth. September 2014.
Reference document created by Publix registered dietitians based on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Publix Baby Health & Wellness Recommendations. Supplied on 5/19/16.

Fruit Juice

When to start: When baby is six months or older. (Keep in mind that juice is something your child can have, but not something that's needed.)

How much? No more than four ounces per day. Make sure it's 100% juice. Put it in a cup, not a bottle, and serve with a meal or as a snack. To help prevent tooth decay, do not put your child to bed with a bottle unless it contains only water.

Sources:
"Where We Stand: Fruit Juice." HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.
"Fruit Juice and Your Child's Diet." HealthyChildren.org. September 9, 2016.
Reference document created by Publix registered dietitians based on the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Publix Baby Health & Wellness Recommendations. Supplied on 5/19/16.

Water

When to start: Once your baby starts solid foods.

How much? Most babies meet their water needs from breast milk or formula, but when your baby starts eating solid foods, you can offer water, if you'd like. If your baby is exposed to hot weather and sweating, offer water at least twice a day. Ask your pediatrician how much is enough.

Source: "Fruit Juice and Your Child's Diet." HealthyChildren.org. September 9, 2016.

Whole Milk

When to start: When your baby is one year old.

How much? No more than thirty-two ounces per day. Make sure your baby also eats a variety of other foods such as fruits, vegetables, cereals, and meats. Children under age two need diets higher in fat, so choose whole milk over lower-fat versions. When your child turns two, talk to your pediatrician about switching to reduced-fat or low-fat milk.

Source: "Why Formula Instead of Cow's Milk?" HealthyChildren.org. November 21, 2015.


Have a handle on drinks, but unsure about solids? Learn how to tell when your baby is ready for her first bite.

This content is provided for general information purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or a guarantee of prevention, improvement, or treatment of specific conditions. Always consult with your healthcare provider about your specific medical questions or concerns.