Caring for your baby6 to 12 Months

I Am Your Baby

I grow best with love and the right food.


With Your Help I’ll Learn to Eat Foods

When I’m about 6 months old, I can start to eat solid foods. Please go slowly.

If our family has allergies or I was born early, talk to my healthcare provider or WIC before I start solid foods.

Be Sure I’m Ready

To eat solid foods, I must be able to:


I Will Go Through 4 Stages of Foods:


Smooth: strained or puréed


Mashed: smooth with some tiny lumps


Chopped: more lumps


Pieces of table foods

Make My First Food a Single Food

Wait at least 5 days before trying another new food.

I Need to Eat My Way


Let Me Eat Food With My Fingers

By 8 or 9 months, I might want to eat food with my fingers. You may still need to use a spoon to feed me, but let me try to feed myself, too.

Make foods safe so I won’t choke on them.
Safe “finger” foods are:

How much should I eat?

I need to eat about 5 or 6 times a day. A meal might be breast milk or formula, or a meal might be breast milk or formula plus infant cereal. Start with 1 or 2 tablespoons of each food. Give me more if I want it. I may not eat everything on my plate. As I start eating more, you can give me 2 or 3 foods at a meal.

Here are some ideas:

6 - 8 Months

2 tablespoons pureed peaches
PLUS breast milk or formula
3 tablespoons baby oatmeal cereal

8 - 10 Months

3 tablespoons mashed peas
PLUS breast milk or formula
3 tablespoons cooked brown rice
1 tablespoons baked, chopped chicken

10 - 12 Months

2 tablespoons diced avocado
PLUS breast milk or formula
3 tablespoons cooked, chopped whole grain pasta

Let me eat until I show signs I’m full. I might close my lips, turn or shake my head, or raise my arm. Ask me if I’m full. Then, let me stop eating if I want to.


Time for a Cup

When I turn 6 months old, you can give me a small amount of water as I learn to drink from a cup.

Food Safety

Foods To Avoid

I need food that is right for my age and will help me grow best.

I don’t need added sugars, salt, fat, or additives. Wait to offer juice until I am at least 12 months old.

Also, please don’t give me foods that could make me sick, like:

Introducing Peanut Butter
After I have tried other solid foods, introduce me to peanut butter. Doing this can be helpful if our family has food or egg related allergies, like eczema or other skin issues. Spread a small, thin smear of peanut butter thinly on a cracker or mix it with applesauce and cinnamon and spread thinly on bread. Watch me for the next 2 hours to make sure I don’t have a reaction.

Play with me!

Put me on a blanket on the floor. Put a toy just out of my reach so I can move to get it. Roll a ball to me. Hold both my hands and let me walk with you.

Look what I can do!

I love to learn from you. Read to me. Sing a song. Let’s play games like peek-a-boo. Take me for a walk and show me new things. I’m active — keep an eye on me!


Keep Me Safe and Healthy

For additional support, contact your local WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counselor or designated breastfeeding expert for breastfeeding questions.


Side-Lying Hold

  1. For the right breast, lie on your right side with your baby facing you.
  2. Pull your baby close. Your baby’s mouth should be level with your nipple.
  3. In this position, you can cradle your baby’s back with your left arm and support yourself with your right arm and/or pillows.
  4. Keep loose clothing and bedding away from your baby.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cross-Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, use your left arm to hold your baby’s head at your right breast and baby’s body toward your left side. A pillow across your lap can help support your left arm.
  2. Gently place your left hand behind your baby’s ears and neck, with your thumb and index finger behind each ear and your palm between baby’s shoulder blades. Turn your baby’s body toward yours so your tummies are touching.
  3. Hold your breast as if you are squeezing a sandwich. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  4. As your baby’s mouth opens, push gently with your left palm on baby’s head to help them latch on. Make sure you keep your fingers out of the way.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Clutch or “Football” Hold

  1. For the right breast, hold your baby level, facing up, at your right side.
  2. Put your baby’s head near your right nipple and support their back and legs under your right arm.
  3. Hold the base of your baby’s head with your right palm. A pillow underneath your right arm can help support your baby’s weight.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Bring baby to you instead.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Cradle Hold

  1. For the right breast, cradle your baby with your right arm. Your baby will be on their left side across your lap, facing you at nipple level.
  2. Your baby’s head will rest on your right forearm with your baby’s back along your inner arm and palm.
  3. Turn your baby’s tummy toward your tummy. Your left hand is free to support your breast, if needed. Pillows can help support your arm and elbow.
  4. To protect your back, avoid leaning down to your baby. Instead, bring your baby to you.
  5. Reverse for the left breast.

This hold is useful when:


Laid-Back Hold

  1. Lean back on a pillow with your baby’s tummy touching yours and their head at breast level. Some moms find that sitting up nearly straight works well. Others prefer to lean back and lie almost flat.
  2. You can place your baby’s cheek near your breast, or you may want to use one hand to hold your breast near your baby. It’s up to you and what you think feels best.
  3. Your baby will naturally find your nipple, latch, and begin to suckle.

This hold is useful when: