In this feeding guide, I am going to break down the important things to note during the 8-9 month phase of your child’s feeding journey. I’ll cover the best food for an 8 to 9-month-old baby, a sample schedule, + tips for mealtime.

Now that you have made it past the big milestone of introducing solids, many parents are left wondering…now what? How do you get from starting solids to eating whole foods at 12 months?

So let’s bridge the gap with some information on feeding your 8 to 9-month-old! 

What to Expect at 8-9 Months

One thing you can expect to happen around this time is your baby pay start using their pincer grasp – where they grab things with their pointer finger and thumb rather than their whole hand. 

Once your child starts using their pincer grasp to eat finger foods you can start offering soft foods in bite-size pieces to help your child. This will help them continue to practice using that pincer grasp. 

Check out this Instagram Reel too see exactly how to cut your baby foods once they develop their pincer grasp!

How Often Should an 8-9 Month Old Eat?

At 8 months of age, the majority of your baby’s nutrition is coming from breast milk and formula. Once your baby gets closer to 9 months is when they start to need the important nutrients from solid foods in addition to their breastmilk and formula. 

You should continue to nurse your baby on demand if you are breastfeeding. At this age, they have usually fallen into a natural schedule of nursing every 4 hours. 

Babies who are bottle feeding – expressed breastmilk + formula – should be drinking 6-8 ounces of breastmilk or formula 4-5 times per day. 

During this phase, your baby should be eating 2-3 meals per day.

It’s also super important that your baby is eating mealtime with you at the table. Eating meals together as a family allows your baby to partake in social interaction with other members at the table.

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How Much Should an 8-9 Month Old Eat?

Solid food intake at meals will likely vary each time. Start by offering small portions – about a tablespoon of each food. If your baby still seems hungry you can always offer another small serving. 

Want to know more about how much your baby should be eating? Read this 👇🏼

How Much Should Your Baby Eat? A Baby Feeding Schedule By Age

How to Serve Food to 8-9 Month Old Baby

It’s time to graduate from pureed foods when your baby is 8-9 months of age.

Research shows that babies who are introduced to different food textures by 9 months of age have greater food acceptance through toddlerhood. 

Here are some tips for offering solid foods to your baby at 8-9 months of age: 

  • Baby is using their palmar grasp? Offer food in wedges or spears about the length of your index finger. 
  • Baby is using their pincer grasp? Offer food in small cubes or bite-size pieces of food. 
  • Foods need to be soft enough that your baby can mash the food with their gums 
  • Make sure to steam, saute, or roast hard fruits + veggies 
  • Foods should break apart when smashed in between your fingers 

Pureed baby food is still okay to offer at this stage, but you want to start introducing your baby to textured food too. This will also help develop their chewing skills + help them transition over to whole foods by a year of age. 

Feeding Scheule

Note: These are sample feeding schedules. Meaning you should follow your baby’s hunger cues + be flexible. These schedules will allow you to get a good sense of how often to feed + when to fit solid foods in with sleep and nursing sessions/bottle feeds. 

2 Meals Per Day Feeding Schedule (8-9 Months)

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3 Meals Per Day Feeding Schedule (8-9 Months)

Best Foods for 8-9 Month Old Baby

Your baby has likely tried many foods now that they have been on solids for a few months. Below is a list of the best foods for an 8 to 9-month-old baby. 

I encourage you to offer foods on the list that you have not introduced to your baby yet – remember to space out new foods 3-5 days. Your baby should be eating foods from all 5 food groups.

Also, make sure to serve foods using the appropriate texture + size for their age + development. 

Some of the best healthy options include:

Fruits + Veggies 

  • Apples
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Plums
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Green Beans
  • Mashed Peas
  • Squash
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Apricots
  • Mango
  • Parsnips
  • Pumpkin
  • Smashed Blueberries
  • Cherries 
  • Figs
  • Grapes – Quartered 
  • Melon
  • Papaya
  • Asparagus
  • Cauliflower
  • Eggplant
  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Onions
  • Corn

Grains

  • Oatmeal 
  • Whole Wheat Bread
  • Pasta
  • Quinoa 
  • Rice
  • Multi-Grain infant cereals

Protein 

  • Chicken 
  • Turkey
  • Low- Mercury Fish
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Egg Yolk
  • Mashed Beans
  • Lentils
  • Nut Butters* – like peanut butter
  • Tofu*

Dairy Products

If you have a baby who is sensitive to milk-based infant formula, then consult with your Pediatrician before introducing any dairy into their diet. 

  • Yogurt
  • Soft Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese

*Common Allergens: Remember to introduce a small amount + allow at least 7 days before introducing any other new foods. 

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FAQs for Feeding 8-9 Month Old Baby

Here are some common questions I hear from new parents with an 8-9-month-old baby about feeding: 

Do I feed my baby solid foods before or after the bottle (or nursing)?

You want to offer solid foods 30-90 minutes after they have received a bottle or nursed. This ensures they are hungry enough to eat again, but not so hungry they become easily frustrated. 

Should I avoid feeding my baby common allergen foods (like nuts, soy, cow’s milk products + eggs)?

No! The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that potentially allergenic foods should be introduced to infants at the same time solid foods are introduced. 

It has been shown that early exposure to potentially allergenic foods actually decreases your child’s risk of any allergic reactions. 

The expectation is if you have food allergies in your immediate family. You will want to discuss introducing potentially allergenic food with your child’s pediatrician first.

Can I season my baby’s food? 

Yes, but stick to seasoning with herbs and spices. 

You’ll want to limit your baby’s sodium (salt) intake until 1 year of age. Avoid seasoning with salt or blended spice mixes. Choose low-sodium options – like canned beans + veggies). 

Is it okay for my baby to eat pouches, puffs, + teethers?

Yes, but use them sparingly. 

Pouches can affect your baby’s oral motor development. Puffs + teethers offer little to nothing nutritionally. 

Can my baby drink water?

Yes, but in small amounts. 

Water can be introduced to babies as early as 6 months of age, but it’s not needed. Your baby is staying hydrated by the water that is in formula + breastmilk. 

If you want to offer water to your baby offer it at mealtime from an open cup. Do not exceed more than 2-3 ounces per day. 

Let’s Wrap It Up

Hopefully, this post has helped you in deciding on how best to feed your 8 to 9-month-old baby. Just remember that every child is different and there is no one set of rules that is right for all babies. 

Your baby’s diet should include a wide variety of foods from all 5 food groups. This facilitates a diet varied in tastes, textures, + nutrients.

Your baby should continue normally breastfeeding or formula feeding until their first birthday – or longer if breastfeeding. No other fluids than a small amount of water should be introduced to babies of this age.

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