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Introducing solids

Breast milk or infant formula  is all a full-term, healthy baby needs for about the first six months of life.

Baby eating
Babies are not developmentally ready for other foods until around six months as their
  • oral motor skills are not fully developed to manage to hold foods

  • digestive tract and immune system is not ready to cope with solids


Any food or drink given before six months replaces their breast milk and formula milk intake which may mean their calorie intake is less when they start solids.

Start 4 life - Introducing solids

Breastfeeding is important for at least the first year if not for longer, alongside solid foods, if not for longer as it provides ongoing nutrition, protection and comfort that a growing and active baby needs.


Introducing solids at six months
  • There may be no need to use purees

  • A wider range of foods can be used

  • Finger foods can be introduced from the beginning

  • Your baby can join in family meals more easily

  • Breastmilk can continue to provide all the fluid your baby needs

Useful information

First Steps Nutrition - Eating well the first year

Start 4 life - The 3 signs your baby is ready for solid food

Start 4 life - Introducing solid foods

NHS Choices - Your baby's first solid foods