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Start complementary feeding when baby reaches 6 months

Start complementary feeding when baby reaches 6 months

Key Messages

  • Starting at about 6 months, your baby needs other foods in addition to breast milk.
  • Continue breastfeeding your baby on demand both day and night.
  • Breast milk continues to be the most important part of your baby’s diet.
  • Breastfeed first before giving other foods.
  • When giving complementary foods, think: Frequency, Amount, Thickness, Variety, Responsive feeding, and Hygiene
  • Frequency: Feed your baby complementary foods 2 times a day
  • Amount: Give 2 to 3 tablespoonfuls (‘tastes’) at each feed.
  • Thickness: should be thick enough to be fed by hand
  • Variety: Begin with the staple foods like porridge (corn, wheat, rice, millet, potatoes, sorghum), mashed banana or mashed potato
  • Responsive feeding
    • Baby may need time to get used to eating foods other than breast milk.
    • Be patient and actively encourage your baby to eat. - Don’t force your baby to eat.
    • Use a separate plate to feed the baby to make sure he or she eats all the food given.
  • Hygiene: Good hygiene (cleanliness) is important to avoid diarrhoea and other illnesses. (CC 12)
    • Use a clean spoon or cup to give foods or liquids to your baby.
    • Store the foods to be given to your baby in a safe hygienic place.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing foods and feeding baby.
    • Wash your hands and your baby’s hands before eating.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water after using the toilet and washing or cleaning baby’s bottom.

Note about the size of cups:

  • All cups shown and referred to in the Counselling Cards are mugs which have a volume of 250 ml. If other types or sizes of cups are used to feed a baby, they should be tested to see what volume they hold and the recommended quantities of food or liquid should be adjusted to the local cup or mug.

 Note: After 6 months, you can no longer use LAM.

  • You will need to use another family planning method even though your menses has not yet returned.
  • There are many methods of family planning that will not interfere with breastfeeding.