Caring for your baby6 to 12 Months

I Am Your Baby

I grow best with love and the right food.

With Your Help I’ll Learn to Eat Foods

When I’m about 6 months old, I can start to eat solid foods. Please go slowly. 

If our family has allergies or I was born early, talk to my healthcare provider or WIC before I start solid foods.

Be Sure I’m Ready

To eat solid foods, I must be able to:

I Will Go Through 4 Stages of Foods:

1

Smooth: strained or puréed

2

Mashed: smooth with some tiny lumps

3

Chopped: more lumps

4

Pieces of table foods

Make My First Food a Single Food

Wait at least 3 to 5 days before trying another new food.

I Need to Eat My Way

Let Me Eat Food With My Fingers

By 8 or 9 months, I might want to eat food with my fingers. You still need to use a spoon to feed me, but let me try to feed myself, too.

Make foods safe so I won’t choke on them.

Safe “finger” foods are:

Make pieces of food no bigger than your thumbnail.

How much should I eat?

I need to eat about 5 or 6 times a day. A meal might be breast milk or formula, or a meal might be breast milk or formula plus infant cereal. Start with 1 or 2 tablespoons of each food. Give me more if I want it. I may not eat everything on my plate. As I start eating more, you can give me 2 or 3 foods at a meal.

Here are some ideas:

6 - 8 Months

2 tablespoons pureed peaches
PLUS breast milk or formula
3 tablespoons cooked whole grain pasta

8 - 10 Months

3 tablespoons mashed peas
PLUS breast milk or formula
3 tablespoons cooked brown rice
1 tablespoons baked, chopped chicken

10 - 12 Months

2 tablespoons diced avocado
PLUS breast milk or formula
3 tablespoons cooked, chopped whole grain pasta

Let me eat until I show signs I’m full. I might close my lips, turn or shake my head, or raise my arm. Ask me if I’m full. Then, let me stop eating if I want to.

Time for a Cup

When I turn 6 months old, you can give me a small amount of water as I learn to drink from a cup.

Food Safety

Introducing Peanut Butter

After I have tried other solid foods, introduce me to peanut butter. Doing this can be helpful if our family has food or egg related allergies, like eczema or other skin issues.

Spread a small, thin smear of peanut butter thinly on a cracker or mix it with applesauce and cinnamon and spread thinly on bread. Watch me for the next 2 hours to make sure I don’t have a reaction.

bac_mom-feeding-happy-baby

Foods to Avoid

I need food that is right for my age and will help me grow best.

I don’t need added sugars, salt, fat, or additives. Wait to offer juice until I am at least 12 months old.

Don’t give me foods I can choke on, like:

Also, please don’t give me foods that could make me sick, like:

Play with me!

Put me on a blanket on the floor. Put a toy just out of my reach so I can move to get it. Roll a ball to me. Hold both my hands and let me walk with you.

Look what I can do!

I love to learn from you. Read to me. Sing a song. Let’s play games like peek-a-boo. Take me for a walk and show me new things. I’m active — keep an eye on me!

Keep me safe and healthy

For additional support, contact your local WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor for breastfeeding questions.

Feeding a 10-12 Month Old

Breast milk is the most important source of nutrition for your baby, even after you start offering solid foods.

Feeding a 8-9 Month Old

Feed solids with a spoon. Never put cereal in a bottle.

Feeding a 6-7 Month Old

Feed solids with a spoon and from a bowl, never from a bottle.

Tips

Breast milk and formula feeding:

Around 2-3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, and 6 months of age, babies may experience a growth spurt when they feed more often.

As they grow babies can hold more milk, so feedings may become further apart and take less time.

To prevent choking, always hold your baby when feeding. Never prop up a bottle to feed.

Start offering whole milk when your baby is one year old.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months and beyond.

feeding-solid-foods

Feeding solid foods:

Wait to offer solid foods until your baby:

To prevent choking, always hold your baby when feeding. Never prop up a bottle to feed.

Try one new food at a time. Wait 5 days before trying another new food to watch for allergies. Food allergies may include wheezing, rash, or diarrhea.

Introduce peanut butter around 6 months. Spread a small, thin smear of peanut butter or nut butter thinly on a cracker.  Watch your baby for any reaction for the next 2 hours.

Babies under one year should NOT have honey or foods that can cause choking like nuts or whole grapes.

All babies are different. Talk with WIC or your baby’s healthcare provider about your baby’s needs.

Feeding Cues

Feeding a 4-5 Month Old

Before teeth come in, wipe gums with a soft, clean wash cloth after each feeding, especially before bed.

Feeding a 0-3 Month Old

Newborns have tiny tummies and need to be fed often. In the first few weeks, you may need to wake your baby to feed if they sleep longer than 4 hours.

Growth Spurts

Many babies are fussy during a growth spurt and will want to nurse longer and more often. This is called cluster feeding. This is your baby’s way of helping you increase your milk supply so that you can keep up with their needs. Remember, the more your baby nurses, the more milk your body makes.

Growth spurts can happen at any time, and every baby is different.

They often happen at these ages:

2 to 3 Weeks

6 Weeks

3 Months

6 Months

What foods can I get?