Feeding your baby for the first 12 months (1593)

Key points below

Why should I follow guidelines for feeding my baby?

Feeding your baby is one of the most important jobs you have. In the first year of life, your baby grows and develops quickly. Good nutrition is very important during this time. Knowing how and when to start your baby on solid foods may be confusing. This information will help you meet your baby’s nutritional needs. 

Birth to 6 months

6 to 7 months

Watch for these skills

Foods to offer

7 to 8 months

Watch for these skills

Foods to offer

Add finger foods to your baby’s diet: 

10 to 12 months

Watch for these skills

Foods to offer

Add pasteurized whole milk once your child reaches 1 year old.

Tips for feeding

Food Allergens

Once your baby is eating foods, you can also feed them foods with common allergens.  This means you can offer them safe forms of peanuts, wheat, eggs, and fish.  Here are some ideas for safely introducing these foods:

Talk to your doctor if your baby has food allergies or if you are unsure if your baby should be eating these common allergens.

Do not give your child foods from the list below.  Babies can choke on small pieces and hard, thick, or sticky food such as:

*Babies can choke on thick clumps of peanut butter.  It is okay to give your baby peanut butter if it is mixed into a puree or spread thinly on a cracker or piece of toast.
Do not add sugar, honey, salt or pepper to your baby’s food.  Honey cause a kind of infant food poisoning called botulism. Do not give these to a child younger than one year.


Vitamin D
All babies getting human milk should be given 10 micrograms (400 International Units) of Vitamin D each day starting the first few days of life. This will prevent rickets. Vitamin D should be given until the baby stops getting human milk.   
Iron-fortified formula does not have enough vitamin D for babies.  If your baby is drinking less than 33 ounces of standard infant formula per day, add 10 micrograms (400 International Units) of infant vitamin D.
Babies getting human milk have enough iron until 4 to 6 months old. Talk with your baby’s doctor to see if they need an iron supplement at this age
Iron-fortified infant formula, along with age-appropriate solids, can give enough iron and zinc until your child is one year old.

Baby-Led Weaning

Some families choose to skip traditional pureed baby food and go straight to offering soft table foods. This is often referred to as “baby-led weaning” because the baby is in charge of picking up the foods and feeding themselves instead of a caregiver feeding them by spoon. There is very little information on the safety of baby-led weaning, which is why there are a few important things to keep in mind:

  • Do not offer foods that could make a baby choke (see list on page 2 of this handout).
  • A caregiver should always be present while the baby is feeding themselves to engage with them and to help them if needed.
  • It is still important for baby to learn spoon feeding skills for purees in addition to soft table foods. Purees to offer could include: well-mashed or blended fruits and vegetables, refried beans, hummus, yogurt or creamed soups.
  • Babies getting human milk may require a supplemental source of iron if they are not receiving iron rich or iron-fortified baby foods like pureed cereals and meats.

For other health and wellness information, check out this resource: https://kidshealth.org/ChildrensWi/en/parents


Call your child’s doctor, nurse, or clinic if you have any questions or concerns or if your child has special health care needs that were not covered by this information.