Objective: to explore and describe mothers’ perceptions of baby feeding and approaches to support for baby feeding. Design: individual qualitative semi-structured interviews conducted with mothers. Method used for analysis was qualitative content analysis. Setting: suburban Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Participants: 8 mothers with babies under 6 months of age. Findings: the study revealed four categories of mothers’ perceptions of baby feeding: (1) baby feeding, housework and paid work have to adjust to each other; (2) breast feeding has many benefits; (3) water or breast milk can be given to quench baby's thirst; and (4) crying provides guidance for baby feeding. Four different themes describing approaches to support emerged from the data: (1) adhering to diverse sources; (2) relying wholeheartedly on a mother figure; (3) working as a parental team; and (4) making arrangements for absence from the child. Key conclusions and implications for practice: knowledge of the different approaches to support for baby feeding described in this study can help define counselling and promotional strategies in order to reach mothers with more effective messages and support for optimal baby-feeding practices.