Background/objectives:Many parents do not follow recommendations for the timing of introduction of complementary feeding. The aim of this study was to identify determinants associated with the timing of introduction of complementary feeding in a multiethnic birth cohort.Subjects/methods:Subjects were 3561 mothers and infants participating in a prospective cohort study. The timing of introduction of complementary feeding and maternal and infant characteristics were obtained by parent-derived questionnaires. Regression analyses were performed to identify determinants for the timing of introduction of complementary feeding (<3, 3-6 and ≥6 months).Results:In total, 62% of infants were introduced to complementary feeding before the age of 6 months. Determinants for very early (<3 months) introduction were being a single parent and infant day care attendance. Determinants for early (3-6 months) introduction were young maternal age, multiple parities, no infant family history of asthma, atopy and no infant history of allergy to cow's milk. Determinants for both very early and early introduction were low educational level and not fully breastfeeding for 4 months. Maternal educational level was only significantly associated with the timing of introduction in mothers of Western origin.Conclusions:This study confirmed determinants for the timing of introduction of complementary feeding that have been identified by previous studies, which may be appropriate targets for education and guidance. Moreover, mothers whose infants attend day care and have a family history of asthma, atopy or allergy to cow's milk may need guidance to follow infant feeding recommendations. © 2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited All rights reserved.