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Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve have a five month old baby. When is the best time to stop breast feeding?

The best time to stop breastfeeding is when the mother and the baby are both ready. Breast-feeding on demand remains the ideal form of feeding for healthy babies who are born at term. Breast milk contains anti-bacterial and anti-infection agents, including immunoglobulins, which have an important role to play in boosting immunity.

The official recommendation is that exclusive breast feeding should continue until 6 months of age. After that some additional foods must be included but there is no reason why breast-feeding should not continue for as long as it is nutritionally and emotionally satisfactory for mother and child up to about 2 years of age. However with changing lifestyles breastfeeding may not always be possible and commercially prepared baby milk formulae are generally safe provided they are used under strict hygiene conditions. Formula-fed infants also need to be fed on demand and the formulae must be made up exactly according to the manufacturer's instructions for optimal growth. Special attention has to be taken to sterilise all the feeding equipment to reduce the potential risk of contamination, because formula-fed babies do not have the same degree of immunity as breast-fed babies.


The European Food Information Council (EUFIC) is a non-profit organisation which communicates science-based information on nutrition and health, food safety and quality, to help consumers to be better informed when choosing a well-balanced, safe and healthful diet.

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This site was last updated 26/05/2016
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