All your baby needs for the first six months of their life is breast milk or first infant formula. After this, solid foods can be introduced, but the most important food is still breast milk or first infant formula as these milks provide your baby with all the nutrients they need.
It’s best to wait until your baby is at least six months old before introducing solid foods. This allows their gut to mature so they can process solids. They’ll also be able to feed themselves more easily so there will be less mess.
Follow-on or growing-up milks aren’t needed by your baby at any stage in their development.
Your baby will usually be ready to start taking solid food at around six months. Your baby will be ready to enjoy solid food if they are able to:
The following are NOT signs that your baby is ready to start solid foods: Seeming hungry, waking at night when they normally sleep through, weight gain slowing down, watching you eat, other babies the same age starting to eat solids.
Build up to three meals a day when your baby is around eight to nine months.
By 12 months your baby will be eating three meals a day and can have whole cow’s milk and water to drink.
Breast milk can continue for as long as you and your baby want it, even after 12 months. Infant formula is no longer needed.
Get support as early as possible to get off to a good start. Talk to a member of your health visiting team for further advice and support.