For the sake of health of babies and young children, mothers should breastfeed them.
Reasons are below:
1. From birth to 6 months of age, feed babies exclusively with breast milk (i.e. give them no other food or drink), and feed them “on demand” (i.e. often as they want, day and night)
2. At 6 months of age, introduce a variety of safe and nutritious foods to complement breastfeeding, and continue to breastfeed until babies are 2 years of age or beyond.
3. Do not add salt or sugars to foods for babies and young children.
On its own, breast milk provides all the nutrients and fluids that babies need for their first 6 months of healthy growth and development. Exclusively breastfed babies have better resistance against common childhood illnesses such as diarrhea, respiratory infections and ear infections. In later life, those who were breastfed as infants are less likely to become overweight or obese, or to suffer from non-communicable diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke.