Current infant feeding guidelines recommend exclusive breast-feeding until the infant is about 4 months old to reduce the risks of early termination of breast-feeding, undernutrition and infection. In many societies, however, supplementary foods are given well before 4 months of age. The present paper describes weaning practices, factors associated with early supplementation and the effects of supplementation on duration of breast-feeding in a random sample of sixty northern Thai breast-fed infants studied prospectively from birth to 2 years of age. Composition of supplementary foods, energy and protein intake from supplements and changes in the supplementary diet with increasing infant age are also described. Rice-based foods were given from soon after birth; 81% of the sample had received supplements by 6 weeks of age. Early supplementary feeding was significantly associated with rural residence, large household size, maternal employment in agriculture and maternal age. Girls and infants with lower birth weights tended to be supplemented earlier. Despite early feeding of supplements, breast-feeding was prolonged, with median duration of 12 months. Early introduction of supplements and quantity of supplements consumed in the first 3 months were not associated with duration of breast-feeding. However, mothers who gave infant formula as the first supplementary food stopped breast-feeding slightly earlier, as did younger mothers living in households with more children.