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Baby

      How much milk should my baby have when they’re weaning?

      Do not leave your little one unattended when eating and drinking

      Why is milk important during weaning?

      Until your baby turns one, breast milk or infant formula continues to provide most of the nutrients your little one needs. Solid foods are introduced at around 6 months to:

      • Introduce them to exciting new tastes, textures and smells.
      • Teach them how to move food around their mouth, chew and swallow solid foods.

      So how much milk does my baby need?

      The best way to make sure your baby’s getting all the nutrients they need to grow big and strong at the start of their weaning adventure is to stick to your usual routine with milk feeds1. Giving your baby too much food too early can lead to constipation, and provide fewer nutrients than they need.

      It would be really difficult for your baby to get the same amount of nutrients from the small amount of food they eat as they get from breast milk or formula milk.

      As your little one gets older, and their appetite picks up, they’ll gradually need less milk. That means food will slowly become more important. As a rough guide1,2:

      Around 6 months

      If you’re breastfeeding, continue to breastfeed your baby on demand. If you’re bottle-feeding, aim to offer your baby around 500-600ml of infant formula a day (that’s around a pint).

      Do not leave your little one unattended when eating and drinking

      7 months

      If you’re breastfeeding, continue to breastfeed your baby on demand. If you’re bottle-feeding, aim to offer your baby around 500-600ml of infant formula a day (that’s around a pint).

      Do not leave your little one unattended when eating and drinking

      10+ months

      If you’re breastfeeding, continue to breastfeed your baby on demand. If you’re bottle-feeding, aim to offer your baby around 400ml of infant formula a day.

      Do not leave your little one unattended when eating and drinking

      12+ months

      After your baby turns one, most of their nutrients should come from food. Even though they don’t rely on milk as much, it’s still important for filling in any gaps and providing the well-rounded balance of nutrition they need. From 12 months, the recommended amount of milk or dairy is 360ml (around three portions) each day.

      How do I reduce the number of milk feeds I offer

      As your little one grows and develops, their appetite for solid food will increase and they’ll naturally start to become less interested in milk. They’ll probably still love their milk feeds but because they’re now eating more, their appetite is satisfied by other yummy things first.

      Do not leave your little one unattended when eating and drinking

      When should I introduce cows’ milk?

      Ordinary cows’ milk doesn’t contain enough iron3 and other important nutrients for healthy growth and development, which means it isn’t suitable as your baby’s main drink while they’re weaning. It’s fine to use it in cooking though.

      Once your baby’s a year old they should be getting most of the iron they need from their meals, so you can gradually make the switch to full-fat cow's milk by beginning to replace milk feeds with bottles – or sippy cups – of milk. Make sure you stick to full-fat milk until their second birthday – they'll need the energy that it provides, and full-fat milk also contains more vitamins.

      You can also give your baby unsweetened calcium-fortified milk alternatives, such as oat milk or almond milk, from the age of 12 months as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, avoid offering your baby rice milk until they’re 5 years as it can contain levels of arsenic that could be harmful to little ones4.

      When will milk feeds finish completely?

      Milk should still be an essential part of your little one’s balanced diet throughout their toddler years because it provides essential nutrients for their growth and development.

      1. NHS. Your baby’s first solid foods. [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/solid-foods-weaning/ [Accessed January 2020]
      2. British Nutrition Foundations. [Online]. Available at: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/nutritionscience/life/infant-nutrition.html?start=4 [Accessed June 2020]
      3. NHS. Drinks and cups for babies and young children. [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/drinks-and-cups-children/ [Accessed January 2020]
      4. NHS. What to feed young children. [Online]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/understanding-food-groups/#milk-and-dairy-products [Accessed January 2020]

      Common weaning problems

      Do not leave your little one unattended when eating and drinking

      Weaning at around 6 months: Start with vegetables

      Do not leave your little one unattended when eating and drinking

      Foods to include and foods to avoid

      Do not leave your little one unattended when eating and drinking