6 months - 1 year
Feeding your baby
At 6 months it is advised that you start introducing your baby to solid foods.
- Start4Life provides useful information about starting solids.
- First Steps Nutrition provides a comprehensive guide to eating well in the first year of life, breaking down food and portion size ideas for 0-7 months, 7-9 months and 10-12 months.
Both the above resources discuss options for introducing finger foods for your baby to feed him/herself (baby-led weaning) or for you to feed your baby puréed food.
Introducing healthy foods such as vegetables, fruit and plain yoghurt will increase the chance of your child being healthy in the future. An occasional jar or pouch of baby food is okay, but be aware that:
- many contain additives, preservatives and sodium (salt)
- they are often are dominated by sweeter ingredients that discourage the development of taste for a varied range of foods
- they tend to be very expensive.
By 12 months, your child should be eating a range of foods with different textures and tastes.
It’s recommended that your baby has vitamin A, C and D supplements at this age.
The Healthy Start scheme offers free vitamins to eligible families. For more information and to find out if you are eligible, visit the Healthy Start website.
Healthy Start Scheme
It’s important to get your baby in to good dental care habits early on. You can start brushing your baby’s teeth as soon as teeth appear, or even gently brush their gums before that.
It is a good idea to take your baby to the dentist with you to get them used to the sights, sounds and smells. This will make them less likely to be scared of visiting the dentist later on.
Immunisations and screening tests
At 12-13 months your child will be offered free vaccinations to protect against illnesses.
Your baby will be due for a health review at 9-12 months covering language and learning, safety, diet, and behaviour.
The NHS Birth to Five development timeline outlines the milestones in your child’s development.
Action for Children has produced a useful guide explaining ‘What to expect, when?’ in relation to your baby’s learning and development.
It’s important that your baby is encouraged to be active from an early age and NHS choices has lots of ideas for how you can help your baby to move around freely, easily and safely.
Havering’s Children’s Centres offer a variety of services and support to parents and children including infant feeding support, parenting courses and play sessions. These can be good opportunities to socialise with other parents, expand your knowledge and receive advice and support.