5. What drinks can my baby have while weaning?

Image of a baby with a sippy cup.

Find out how to continue with milk feeds and what other drinks you can offer you baby when weaning.

Milk feeds

During the early stages of weaning, your baby will carry on taking the same amount of breastmilk or formula milk. This will be an important part of your baby’s diet until they are one-year corrected, but they will gradually reduce the amount of milk they ask for as they take more solid food.

If you and your baby decide to stop breastfeeding, you can give them:

  • infant formula, if your baby is under one-year corrected age, or
  • full fat cows’ milk if they are over one-year corrected age.

Good to know

It is important not to give cows’ milk as your baby’s main drink before they are one year corrected age. This is because cows’ milk is similar in calories to breastmilk or formula milk but very low in iron. This means it can fill babies up but not provide them with enough iron, which can lead to iron deficiency.

Other drinks

Babies who are fully breastfed don't usually need any extra drinks before six months corrected age at the earliest.

Soon after you start weaning, you can offer your baby tap water which should be boiled and allowed to cool (test the temperature before you offer it). After six months corrected age, you do not need to boil the water.

First Steps Nutrition have a useful flyer about water guidance for babies which you can see using this link - Should I give water to my baby?

It is best to give your baby only milk or water. Avoid giving other drinks such as, tea, coffee, juices, or sweetened or fizzy drinks.

Sugary drinks are not nutritious and can reduce your baby’s appetite for more nutritious food; it can also be bad for their teeth.

Using a cup

It’s important for your baby to learn how to drink from a cup or beaker. You can start to offer one at mealtimes, at around six months corrected age.

Babies will continue to breastfeed or have milk in a bottle during weaning, but a cup can be introduced alongside breast or bottle feeding.

For your baby to learn to drink from a cup, it is best to offer them an open cup or a “free flowing” lidded beaker. These are ones where the drink pours out freely if you turn them upside down.

Cups and beakers which have valves to stop any spills require your baby to suck in much the same way as when bottle feeding. This means that they don’t help your baby to develop the skills needed for drinking from a cup.