Choosing how to feed your baby is an important decision that has life-long effects
for your baby and for you. What you have seen and learned about infant feeding from
your family, friends, and teachers is likely to influence your attitude and perceptions.
Whether you definitely plan to breastfeed or you are still uncertain, consider the
fact that your milk is the best milk for your baby. It is the ideal first food for
your baby's first several months.
Breast milk is best for your baby and is beneficial even if you only breastfeed for
a short amount of time, or part-time.
Offer cow's milk-based formula with iron as first choice of formula, if you do not
Keep your baby on breast milk or baby formula until he or she is 1-year-old.
Start solid foods when your baby can hold up his or her head, sit-up with support,
and no longer has tongue thrusting (4 to 6 months).
When starting solids, begin with rice cereal mixed with breast milk or formula on
a spoon. Do not give solids in the bottle or with an infant feeder.
Once your baby is tolerating cereal, offer vegetables, then add fruits, and then meats.
Ask your child's health care provider about the best way to add new foods to your
Progress in texture of foods so that your baby is eating table foods by his or her
Do not give these to your child during his or her first year of life:
Foods that can be easily choked on (like hot dogs, peanuts, grapes, raisins, or popcorn)
Limit juice to 4 ounces a day. Water is not necessary for infants. Better choices
include formula, breast milk, or juice for added nutrition.
Unless your child is known to have or has severe allergies (for instance, breaking
out in hives, vomiting, or having trouble breathing), recent reports and studies have
shown that introducing whole eggs and peanut butter at a young age — even at 4 to
6 months — reduces the chance of your child developing allergies to these foods. Talk
to your child's health care provider about whether these foods are appropriate for