Breast milk is the best and only food your baby will need until 4 to 6 months old. There’s no real advantage to adding other foods or milks before then, except under special circumstances.
Breast milk is mostly water – over 90%. So, on the hottest days of summer, an infant won’t need any extra water. Even if a baby isn’t feeding well, they still won’t need additional water – although you’ll want to fix any breastfeeding issues.
Although breast milk doesn’t have much vitamin D, it does have a little.
It’s important for infants to get enough vitamin D, especially if the mother was deficient in vitamin D during pregnancy. The best way for infants to get vitamin D is through exposure to sunlight, which allows their bodies to produce and store the vitamin. However, if it’s not possible to get outside, parents can give their infants a supplement.
Iron-enriched formulas contain more iron than breast milk does, which provides added protection against diseases since bacteria need iron to multiply. The infant’s body can use the iron from formulas more efficiently than iron from breast milk, making it less available to bacteria.
According to experts, infants should be introduced to iron-rich foods no later than 6 months old. Breast milk is the best possible option for feeding your infant as it provides everything he or she will need for likely the first 6 months. If your infant shows interest in solid foods after the first 6 months, you can begin to introduce them.