There are benefits to your baby if you continue to breastfeed exclusively (not having any solid food) until they are around six months old, and continue to breastfeed once your baby has started solid food, until at least 1 year of age or older.

Your breasts may feel softer (not feel so full). This is normal as your breasts and milk supply settle and become more efficient. It does not mean your supply is reduced as long as your baby is sucking and swallowing when on the breast, feeding regularly and growing well.

Your baby may be distracted by voices and noise while feeding, coming off the breast to look around. This is normal.

Growth spurts 

Your baby may have times when they want more feeds. These hungry times are called growth spurts and are common at different ages, often at 6 and 12 weeks.

Your baby will usually settle back to their normal pattern of feeding in 2–3 days.

If these extra feeds continue, discuss them with Plunket staff or another well child health provider. These hungry times do not mean that your baby is ready for solid food.

When to start solid food

The ideal time to introduce solid food is at around 6 months, when your baby is showing signs of being ready for, and needing, extra food.

Other drinks

While baby can be given water, avoid giving them other types of drink except breastmilk.

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