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how to offer solids to breastfed baby

  1. #1
    Bahar is offline Registered User
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    how to offer solids to breastfed baby

    I am currently still breastfeeding my 8 month old and have started offering solids in small amounts initially once a day and now started twice a day. I am getting conflicting advice on whether to offer the food before breastfeeding or after, as when i offer it before, my son takes it and will eat well and when i offer breast first he hardly has any solid food.

    My relatives all feel that baby is hungry and should be on 3 meals by now but i have read that milk is most important in the first year and should be offered only after solids. It seems like such a waste to puree or cook rice/ with vegetables and then the baby only eats a teaspoon or two because he is full with milk already. Should one just offer the food first then offer milk after? Anyone currently breastfeeding with similar experience of baby not really eating solids?

  2. #2
    joannek is offline Registered User
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    i had the same experience. it seems like there ARE actually kids who would eat solid after nursing. but my daughter wasn't one of them. so i gave solids before i offer breast or bm. because the food portions were small, she would still nurse after the solid til she's full. i started offering one meal of solid then it'd breast at 6mths. then 2 meals (food 1st) then breast at 7 mths. then i gradually add the portions of solid until she's no longer interested in breast after eating or just "take a sip".

    plus i thought it'd make the baby more eager to try the solid when he/she was hungry. i think breastmilk (& nursing) is such a yummy & comfortable experience most child would prefer to nurse then to eat solid.
    i've always offered solid before bm.


    every child is different, so trust your instinct. =)

  3. #3
    joshsmum is offline Registered User
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    My boy is breast fed and I started him on solids at 5.5 months.

    At first when I was introducing food, I would usually breast feed him before the solids to ensure he was calm and accepting of trying the food (if he was hungry he was less co-operative).

    He is now 9 months old and I now offer him food before breast. So for example first thing in the morning he will have breakfast (food) and then milk mid morning before his sleep. He is on 3 solid meals a day and 4 breast milk feeds. He has food for breakfast, lunch and dinner (plus a few snacks here and there) and breast milk feeds mid morning, after lunch, before bed and once during the night around 2am.

    Yes milk is the most important source for them in the first year, but I read as they reach age 1, you should slowly start to reduce the milk feeds so they become more hungry for food.

    Therefore in my experience I've found it's best to offer the breast before feeds early on in weening, but as you progress, it's best to make them more hungry for food by reducing the milk feeds or offering them after meals.

    Belinda
    Last edited by joshsmum; 01-21-2009 at 10:56 PM.

  4. #4
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    cyberfish88 is offline Registered User
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    Bahar,

    I think JoanneK is so right, just trust your instincts and play around with the feedings a little. I too was quite stressed out when I first offered solids because I couldn't figure out how to fit it in with breastfeeding (and was very worried about effecting the amount of bm my LO drank). Eventually I started spacing the feedings and nursing out so I wasn't doing both one right after the other. So for example, I breastfeed her right after her morning nap - sometime around 10:30-11am. Then I go fix her "lunch" and give her solids around 12. Then I top her off later with her usual breastfeeding. This is how it has worked out for me and my LO is now 10 months and I still do the same. So in the end I am still breastfeeding that same number of times a day with just added solid feedings in between.

    Remember that up until a year, the solids are primarily for experimentation for your LO so they really don't need to be eating full meals since most nutrients will still come from BM. Good luck and have fun with solids!

  5. #5
    Matty is offline Registered User
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    Hi Bahar,

    As previously said, don't stress too much about the solids under 1 yr. As long as your baby is thriving, the milk is still the most important thing.
    They don't get much fat and calories from fruit and veg.

    I still try to cram as much BM in before solids as I can.

    Maybe try giving one of your solid feeds first before BFing and see if it makes any difference to your baby.

  6. #6
    Polly is offline Registered User
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    I was going to suggest same as cyberfish offering solids spaced out in between breastfeeds so that your breastfeeds are basically left unaffected.

    I started introducing solids to my LO at 7 and a half months but in hindsight she wasn't ready until a good month later. I'll watch more carefully for baby's cues next time around instead of just introducing them because everyone else is.

    Everyone is so right about breastmilk being the superior food source during the first year. Like Matty said; solid food, especially starter solids, eg. fruit and veg has hardly any calorie value, whereas breastmilk is crammed with calories to meet your baby's needs.

    You might also find interesting that I read some research the other day that found that the correlation of babies having solids and sleeping through the night is unfounded because all the babies do is balance out where they're getting their calories from - so previously they got all their calories from breastmilk and now take in solids; they simply reduce their intake of breastmilk to take account of their solids and end up with the same calorie intake overall, not more.

  7. #7
    Bahar is offline Registered User
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    thanks for the info! Yes this is why i was not too keen to offer the solids first because i feel that this will reduce the amount of milk he takes and i read on kellymom that if you offer solids first all the time baby is likely to wean earlier, which i don't particularly want to happen.

    I am offering milk first if it's first thing in the morning, then solids an hour later, then solids again in the evening at around 5 pm with a milk feed an hour before just as he wakes from his afternoon nap.

    I found that if i give him solids before the milk he eats a whole bowl full especially if its avocado which he loves! Things like rice with veg in it he's not too keen on i guess because its not sweet enough.

  8. #8
    Polly is offline Registered User
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    Sounds like you're doing great :O)

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