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Months 7 - 12

During months seven to twelve, solids will gain an increasingly larger part of your baby’s diet.

Did you know?

  • As your baby becomes more active, breast milk alone is not always enough to cover all of his nutritional needs.
  • Milk, preferably breast milk, is still essential in feeding your baby, but introduction of other foods can begin as early as five months.
  • Fatty acids in breast milk can help to offset the lower fat levels in some of baby’s first solid foods.

Breast milk and solid foods create your baby’s new diet

After six months, your baby still continues to grow, but at a less rapid pace than in earlier months, gaining an average of half an ounce per day. He begins to taste his first vegetable purees and fruit compotes. Breast milk does not fill all of your baby’s nutritional needs on its own anymore, but, at eight months of age, still provides your baby a significant portion of his energy intake.

First solids

First solids for your baby consist mainly of cereals, fruits and vegetables, and then meat. His new eating regime gives him mainly carbohydrates and proteins. The protein and calories from breast milk are lower than when he was a younger infant.

Conversely, meals are not necessarily high in fat, particularly essential fatty acids. Although the energy provided by fat in breast milk decreases slightly to about 40% (from 50 to 55% in the first six months), your baby needs milk for the proper development of his organs and certain essential functions. Breast milk provides essential fatty acids to meet your baby’s growing needs, and complements your child’s first solid food.

The proteins that support immune function (immunoglobulin and lactoferrin), which are called "whey", decline steadily during the first six months. Now, the proportion of whey to casein (a milk protein) stabilizes at around 50/50.

Breast milk is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, which are not yet provided by the solids your baby is eating. Many essential nutrients are included in breast milk to ensure your baby continues to grow and develop.

Foods other than milk alter your baby’s digestive system

With the introduction of solid foods, your baby's digestive system changes dramatically. In addition, as your baby explores his environment, he puts objects in his mouth, exposing him to many different germs.

A smooth transition to solid food

The transition to a diet of mainly solid food from one that was all liquid is not done overnight. You must allow time for your little gourmet to get used to new tastes. Plus, the mechanism used for swallowing food is a very different experience for your baby.

As Baby approaches one year old, you may start to transition to toddler milk drink or to cow’s milk.