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Question about BF and solids...

Posted by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 2:13 AM
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My son is 8 months old and he's been breastfed since birth. We started solids at about 5 1/2 months (he started stealing our food, lol) though it was inconsistant... more like we'd give him a bite if he was getting mad at us while we were eating. At around 6 1/2 months we started actually feeding him regularly once a day and gradually it has become two times a day plus a few snacks of puffs scattered here and there when I'm cleaning and he's in his high chair.

Anyway, I know that he is fine, nutritionally, on just my breastmilk for the entire first year, but at the same time -- he LOVES solid food. He is not one of those babies to play with the food instead of eating it, etc. We do a combination of purees and table foods depending on what I have available in the house -- but even with the purees, aside from me scooping the food onto the spoon, he always takes it from me and feeds himself.

What I'm worried about though is the sample menus from people like beech nut and gerber are, I'm assuming, under the assumption that the child will be weaned at 1 year. The menus from both companies seem to have the babies at 9 months (crawling stage at Gerber) eating 30+ ounces of solids at this point.

I'm sure that Ryan would love to eat solids three times a day, but I'm terrified of inadvertantly weaning him early. I'd really like to breastfeed for 2 years at least.

So basically -- would it be harmful to our breastfeeding relationship to actually let him eat until he's full 3 times a day (plus his puff snacks here and there) so long as I'm nursing him before hand? How much is TOO much?

As it is, he eats about 6 - 8 ounces of a fruit in the morning and 6 or so ounces of veggie plus whatever he can eat from our plates at dinner time.

How many times a day should he be nursing at this point? How does the gradual transition from breast to solids happen when left to the baby to self-wean? He definitely has more interest in solids than he does in nursing at this point...








by on Feb. 13, 2009 at 2:13 AM
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Replies (1-3):
Kari78
by Group Owner on Feb. 14, 2009 at 10:36 AM

I went through that same thing when mine was his age!!  I was always so scared that I was either giving him too many solids, or too few.  But as he's gotten older, he's gotten much more decisive and vocal about whether he wants to nurse or eat solid foods.  Now that it's easier to communicate with him, I find it easier to trust him about what he needs to eat.  As yours gets older, it'll become easier, quicker than you can imagine right now probably!  :-)

I searched high and low to find charts or even general guidelines about how much solids vs. milk breastfed babies should get at various ages, and never found much of anything.  I even asked his doctor, and she just said that whatever I was doing was good, since he was healthy and growing.  I don't think there's really anything "out there" that'll tell you for sure.

Anyway...I think that babies have very good instincts about what they need to eat, when.  As long as he has free access to milk whenever he wants it, and as long as he's able to nurse before he eats solids (if he'll do that, that is...mine won't anymore), I wouldn't be too worried.  Mine went through many stages...sometimes he wanted solid food much more than he wanted to nurse, sometimes he went through crazy growth spurts where he wanted to nurse like every half-hour (even as old as 10 months)...and many things in between!  So even if it seems like one week he eats a lot of solids, that doesn't mean the trend is going to continue in that direction.  It doesn't mean he's not going to go back to being a boob hog the very next week! 

Mine is almost a year old, and although he loves solids and always has (he started them at 5 months), he still nurses before every nap, before bedtime, and several times during the night.  Now, he has a very definite idea of what he needs to eat when, and if he wants solids, nothing in the world can make him nurse instead!

"People are people, no matter how small." ~ Dr. Seuss

Group owner of: Nutrition for Babies & Toddlers

ReekaJean
by New Member on Feb. 14, 2009 at 9:24 PM

Thank you so much for your reply. It really makes me feel a lot better knowing that I'm not the only one that feels so confused about this, lol.

I guess I'll just go ahead and follow his lead then. I think part of it is now that he's working on his third tooth, I think it's hurting him to nurse so he's wanting to eat more solids.

I'll just trust that he knows what his body needs and I'll stop second guessing everything. I'll aim to make sure we're nursing at least 4 times a day (when we get up, before each nap and before bed) and he has unlimited access to the breast at night because, usually, we cosleep. Unless of course he's in one of his "leave me alone, I want to sleep by myself" moods. lol.

Anyway, thanks for making me feel better about it. :D









Kari78
by Group Owner on Feb. 17, 2009 at 10:02 AM

Cool, glad you feel better!  I think our culture makes it extra-hard to just trust that kids know what they're doing, what with the obsession we have with measuring and controlling everything (especially food)!  I tried to make it easier by teaching mine the sign language for "milk" vs. "water" and "food," but he uses the "milk" sign for everything, LOL!!  I just have to ask him if he wants to nurse and go to sit in our nursing chair, and if he punches me in the face or whatever, I know he means "real food," hahaha.

"People are people, no matter how small." ~ Dr. Seuss

Group owner of: Nutrition for Babies & Toddlers

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