Healthy living

Feeding your baby – the first 12 months

All babies are different and will have different appetites.

Use this information as a guide only and consult your community health nurse or GP if you are worried about feeding your baby.

The first 6 months

  • Breast milk or infant formula
  • Your baby will take enough milk to suit his/her needs. At first your baby may feed between 8 to 12 times in 24 hours. This will cut back to about 6 feeds as your baby grows and takes more at each feed.
  • Remember there might be times when your baby wants to feed more often. This can be a sign of a growth spurt and often happens at about 6 weeks.

About 6 months

About 8 months

  • Babies often like to feed themselves around this time. Try finger foods like rusks, toast, pieces of cooked vegetable and banana.
  • Your baby will be ready to try foods with a thicker texture. Mash or mince foods. See food for older babies.
  • Once your baby is eating a variety of foods you can offer a small meal before breast milk or formula.

9 to 12 months

  • Your baby should be able to manage a variety of foods by now. Meal times can still be a messy business but this is all part of learning.
  • By 12 months your baby will be able to have the same foods as the rest of the family. Make sure you have a variety of nutritious foods and limit ‘sometimes’ foods such as take-away, chips, biscuits and cakes.
  • Your baby will probably start with breast milk or formula when they first wake. Babies have small stomachs so they need about 5 small meals each day. Establish meals before introducing nutritious snacks.
  • Foods and drinks that are not suitable for your baby.

Where to get help

Local community or child health nurse

  • See inside your baby's purple All About Me book
  • Look in the service finder for child health centres
  • Visit your nearest child health centre

Local family doctor

Dietitians Association of Australia

Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)

Ngala Helpline

  • 8.00am – 8.00pm 7 days a week
  • Phone: (08) 9368 9368
  • Outside metro area – Free call 1800 111 546 (free from land line only)
  • Visit the Ngala website (external site)

Raising Children Network



Child and Adolescent Health Service

This publication is provided for education and information purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical care. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not imply endorsement and is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare professional. Readers should note that over time currency and completeness of the information may change. All users should seek advice from a qualified healthcare professional for a diagnosis and answers to their medical questions.

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