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Thread: Supplementing: solids vs. formula

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    California
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    Default Supplementing: solids vs. formula

    Hi mamas,

    My LO is 5 months and 1 week old today, and with our ped and LC's blessing (encouragement, really) we've started introducing LO to solids. He LOVES food. I have no doubt that he's developmentally ready - he's showing all the signs, except that he can't quite sit fully unassisted yet. But he's close. Anyway, it's a loooong story, but I have a chronic low milk supply problem, so we've been giving DS one 4 - 6 oz. supplemental bottle at night when my supply is the lowest. We're hoping that we might be able to discontinue the evening bottle if solids are enough to supplement DS's diet. But my question is, which is better for supplementation at this age, formula or food? My instincts tell me anything has to be better than formula, but the formula manufacturers' marketing has successfully got me wondering if formula has more nourishment for my LO than, say, an avocado. I hope this isn't the case. What do you think? Thanks, mamas.
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Virginia
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    326

    Default Re: Supplementing: solids vs. formula

    Formula. Before 1 breastmilk and/or formula should make up the majority of your Lo's diet. Solids are for exploration, fun, learning new tastes and textures.
    Hi, I'm Faith, a Wife, Mom, Stepmom and SAHM
    I married my best friend Rodney on October 17, 2009
    DS1 Andy Born May 11, 2002
    DS2 Ethan Born May 18, 2009 Nursed 2 years 7 months & 2 days
    DSS1 Benjamin Born September 24, 1989

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    California
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    119

    Default Re: Supplementing: solids vs. formula

    Well, I've heard that, too (though I've also heard differing opinions on whether or not food is just for fun before the age of 1, too). But what throws my conviction is that the majority of DS's food IS breast milk. So if the majority of the food he gets IS breast milk, and he's still gaining appropriately after the introduction of solid foods, why not phase out the bottle? My LC thought phasing out the bottle might be possible, which is why she encouraged us to try solids a little before 6 months... But I'm interested in other ideas, too! Though I hate giving him a bottle at night, I want to do whatever is best for him!
    DS#1: Aidan, born 1/7/11 - 9 lbs. 5 oz. 22 in. (a difficult induced labor), BFed for 2.5 years after a VERY rocky start (indebted to LLL for the support)!
    DS#2: Amiel, born 12/11/13 - 9lbs, 22 in., 8 days "late," spontaneously, naturally & unmedicated after resisting pressure to induce.
    :

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Northern Cal.
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    Default Re: Supplementing: solids vs. formula

    I think at five months, your little one, no matter how excited about food, is unlikely to eat enough to make up for a bottle of formula. And I'd be worried about constipation too. That said, if you want to offer solids AND formula and see how it goes, I don't see much harm. Just keep an eye on those poops, and remember, at this age, babies are really just having fun with food - it's normal and okay if they dont' actually eat much.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Vancouver, BC
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    Default Re: Supplementing: solids vs. formula

    with pps
    I'm Anna
    Proud mama to my 2 little high needs "koala bears":

    Ethan born 8/23/08
    Bfed for 22 months, weaned with love 7/2010

    Lucas, born 1/6/11
    Nursing strong for 19 MONTHS!

    Cloth diapering 1 full-time even though I'm constantly ! Currently in potty training mode. We also and

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: Supplementing: solids vs. formula

    I would continue to use formula. It's not that healthy solids are bad, or that formula is soooo great- it's just that formula is closer in composition to breast milk than solids, even the best ones. Most babies don't or won't eat a balanced diet of solids, especially at first. They may love avocado, which has plenty of healthy fats, but not enough calcium. Or they might go to town on banana, which has sugars and starches and potassium galore, but no fat. Formula just makes it easy to get the balance.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    780

    Default Re: Supplementing: solids vs. formula

    I found this on Jack Newmans site, which is what a LC found for me when debating this topic with my ds1. We did end up starting the solids but then had to supplement anyways in the end. Early introduction of solids didn't solve his/my issues.
    My 4 month old is hungry on breast only. Solids or Formula?

    There is no advantage in this situation of giving formula, especially by bottle and there may be some important disadvantages. Even at this age a baby may start to prefer the bottle if he seems not to be getting enough from the breast (if, in fact, he will accept a bottle). On the other hand, if the baby does accept the bottle and if your milk supply has decreased, as it might have, giving the baby a bottle may almost guarantee that the baby will soon refuse the breast. See the information sheet Slow Weight Gain After Early Good Weight Gain for reasons your milk supply may have decreased. It would be preferable in this circumstance to give solids off a spoon rather than to give formula in a bottle. (Frequently, however, this situation can be remedied differently by improving the breastfeeding—get help!). If you wish to mix formula with solids, that does not cause the same sort of problem as giving formula or even expressed milk in a bottle. If the baby seems hungry after breastfeeding, feed him solids off a spoon. However, it may be possible with a few simple techniques, to get the baby gaining well, and/or to be satisfied with breastfeeding alone. Check with the clinic.
    http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=...tion&Itemid=17
    Mommy to 2 little boys!
    DS1 11/1/07 BFed 7 months
    DS2 11/6/09 BF 2 YEARS! and counting!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: Supplementing: solids vs. formula

    That's an interesting take from the Jack Newman site. I wonder if it applies so absolutely in this mama's case? She's supplementing just once per day... If she continues just giving one evening bottle, it seems to me that the danger of bottle preference is minimized...
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    555

    Default Re: Supplementing: solids vs. formula

    I went to the Newman Institute when my LO was 4 months, and they said to start solids They said "oh well he's already had formula, so he's already had something that isn't breastmilk- those recommendations are only for exclusively breastfeeding babies". Spoon feeding really turns me off, so I never took their advice, but I thought it was strange they said that. It really made my son feel. . .tainted. And I haven't gotten over that.

    Needless to say, I had a great experience there and they diagnosed Connor's tongue tie when 12 other LCs/other people did not, so they are very helpful.

    Personally, I would take the formula over the solids even though it sucks. Then again, I didn't consider my son ready until he could feed himself. (no judgment on you, I did BLS mostly out of laziness! )

    If it makes you feel better, at some point (not for awhile) he will need less milk, so you can probably drop the bottle and your supply WILL be adequate. I have to give 1-2 bottles of formula a day because I'm still building a supply through pumping and I know it stings, especially with that people say on here about formula. You are doing a great job

  10. #10
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    Landof2toddlers, Oregon
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    Default Re: Supplementing: solids vs. formula

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*katia11 View Post
    I went to the Newman Institute when my LO was 4 months, and they said to start solids They said "oh well he's already had formula, so he's already had something that isn't breastmilk- those recommendations are only for exclusively breastfeeding babies". Spoon feeding really turns me off, so I never took their advice, but I thought it was strange they said that. It really made my son feel. . .tainted. And I haven't gotten over that.
    I totally understand what you are saying. I think there are (from very few people) a lot of "formula is poison" and "virgin gut" stuff out there. And I don't personally find it helpful at all. DS had a lot of formula in his life. And I was never happy about it. I did not need judgment from anyone else. In fact I have to say that I find the Newman hardline such a turn off that it makes me question pretty much everything from there/them.

    I would also use formula for a while longer. I know it is never what any of us want to hear, but I really don't think solids (with their lack of calories and non-nutritional balance) are really the answer for such a young baby. There is another option depending on your comfort level though. How do you feel about donated milk. Eats on Feets/Human Milk for Human babies matches mothers with extra to mothers with not enough. But I know not everyone is comfortable with that (and to be honest I don't know how I would have felt with DS though I think I would be comfortable now)
    proud but exhausted working mammy to two high needs babies

    • my surprise baby: the one and only D-Man born 3 weeks late (5/5/08) at 9 lbs 14 oz and 21.5 inches, and
    • the shock H-Girl born about a week late (10/7/09) at 8lbs 15oz and 20.75 inches.


    If I am here I am covered in baby (probably two) and fighting for control of the keyboard.

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    Wondering if you have PPD? Take the screening and see your doctor. You deserve to feel better.

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