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JAMA Patient Page
October 1, 2003

Infant Feeding

JAMA. 2003;290(13):1808. doi:10.1001/jama.290.13.1702

Breastfeeding has many benefits for infants and mothers and is recommended as the best source of nutrition for babies until they are ready for other foods. Breastfeeding should usually continue for at least 12 months. There are some special cases when breastfeeding should not be done, such as when a mother has human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

As infants grow, they need solid foods in addition to breast milk or formula. Babies need food that is specially formulated for them, both in texture and in nutritional value. Infants' digestive systems are not mature enough to handle the types of foods that adults eat.