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Feeding an Infant #168217 - Ask Extension


Feeding an Infant #168217

Asked February 26, 2014, 2:40 PM EST

I work in a daycare and we have a mother who states we can only feed her 6 month old every 6 hours (this started at 6 weeks of age). Is there any documentation from the state or anywhere that we can show mom he needs to eat when he is hungry? He often cries all day because he is very hungry.

Effingham County Illinois

Expert Response

You are right to say that a 6-month old needs to eat when hungry! Most experts recommend feeding a six-month old child when he or she is hungry:
Illinois DCFS licensing standards for Day Care standards ( require that "Children shall be offered food at intervals of not less than two hours and not more than three hours apart, unless the child is asleep". 
For day care homes (, the standards say "Food requirements for children between birth and the age of eating table food shall be geared to the individual needs of the child and determined by consultation with the parents.  The facility shall provide one-third to two-thirds of the daily nutritional requirements, depending on the length and time of day of the child's stay. " and that " Feeding schedules and procedures shall meet the developmental needs of the children."

I would suggest contacting the folks at Project Child (Child Care Resource and Referral) at 
(800)362-7257 or (618)244-2210 or by email at They may have experience with this sort of thing and may have good advice for you. If they cannot help you, please contact me so I can find another source of help for you.

Aaron Ebata Replied March 03, 2014, 8:00 AM EST

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