An infant is a child between the ages of 0 to 12 months, that is, from the period of birth to 1 year of age. The first year of your baby’s life is the period of rapid growth and development, it is a period characterized by cognitive, physical and emotional developments requiring good nutrition and optimal feeding practices.
During this period, babies are most vulnerable because inadequate nutrition can lead to growth impairment, reduced intellectual performance, and increased susceptibility to infections.
The global recommendation by WHO and UNICEF is that infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth and thereafter receive safe and nutritionally adequate complementary foods while breastfeeding continues for up to 2 years or beyond.
Exclusively breastfeeding your baby means giving your baby only breast milk and no other liquids or solids, not even water, with an exception to medications and supplements. At 6 months of age, your baby can start start complementary feeding, during this period, breast milk is no longer sufficient to meet the nutritional requirements of infants and variety of nutritionally adequate foods are needed.