Key points

  • Breastfeeding is the optimal method of infant feeding and exclusive breastfeeding is recommended for the first 6 months to ensure babies have the best start in life.
  • By around 6 months of age, breast or formula milk alone will no longer be sufficient to meet a baby’s nutritional needs and the process of weaning onto solid foods should begin.
  • The timing of introduction of solids should take into consideration the individual baby’s development as this can vary widely.
  • Fruit, vegetables and non-wheat cereals are suitable first weaning foods; the amount and variety of foods should gradually be increased to include other types of cereals, dairy foods, meat, fish, eggs and pulses.
  • From the age of 6 months, infants receiving breast milk as their main drink should be given a supplement (in the form of liquid drops) providing vitamins A, C and D.