Do not give other
Breastfeeding and child-spacing
Child-spacing means having babies at least 2 or 3 years
apart. This allows a woman’s body to get strong before
another pregnancy. For some women, breastfeeding helps them
space their children. For more information, see page 218.
Giving other foods
A baby is ready for other feedings when:
• it is about six months old, or older.
• it starts to grab food from the family or from the table.
• it does not push food out with its tongue.
Between 6 months and 1 year, give breast milk whenever
the baby wants it. Even if it is eating other foods, it still needs
as much breast milk as before. Follow breastfeeding with
other foods, 2 or 3 times a day at first. Begin with a soft,
mild food, like cereal or porridge. Some women mix
these with breast milk. You do not need expensive baby cereals.
If a baby does not seem happy or well-fed with breastfeeding,
and it is between 4 and 6 months old, it may simply need to
suckle more so that the mother’s breasts will make more milk.
The mother should breastfeed the baby as often as the baby
wants for about 5 days. If the baby is still unhappy, then she
should try other foods.
Mash all foods very
fine at first until the
baby can chew by
Use a cup or bowl and
spoon to feed the baby.
➤ Add new foods one
at a time. By about
9 months to 1 year,
a baby can eat most
family foods if they are
cut up and made easy
➤ Even in the second
year, breast milk
continues to protect
your child against
infection and other
Babies need to eat often—about 5 times a day. Each day,
they should have some main food (porridge, maize, wheat,
rice, millet, potato, cassava), mixed with a body building food
(beans, finely ground nuts, eggs, cheese, meat or fish), brightly
colored vegetables and fruits, and an energy-rich food (finely
ground nuts, spoonful of oil, margarine or cooking fat). You
do not have to cook 5 times a day. Some meals can be given
as a cold snack.
If you can, keep breastfeeding until the child is at least
2 years old, even if you have another baby. Most babies will
slowly stop breastfeeding on their own.
Where Women Have No Doctor 2012