Re: 8 month old: Number of milk feeds per day.
Honestly, I would take that book and toss it out the window. Preferably into a fire.
The advice you're quoting is designed to have a baby weaned completely to solids by the first birthday, if not before. It's telling you to ignore your baby's unique needs and behaviors in order to follow a timeline developed by someone who has never met your particular baby.
I know you're in South Africa and guidelines differ widely between countries, but let me tell you what my US-based pediatrician suggests. First, she says that breastfeeding should continue on demand during the day throughout the first year. She's all for night-weaning after around 6 months if the mom wants to, but doesn't say that a baby "should" be night-weaned at any point as long as the mom is okay with night nursing. Second, she says that until the first birthday, solids are for experimentation with new tastes, textures, and motor skills ONLY. They are not necessary for nutrition, and should not replace breastmilk or formula in the baby's diet. And since the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a minimum of 8 nursing sessions per day for an exclusively breastfed baby, to me that implies that a mom should aim to nurse close to that minimum throughout the first year, exceeding it if necessary and desired. I personally would be very, very uncomfortable giving a 7 month old baby just 4 nursing sessions per day. Breastmilk has the ideal balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates to support healthy growth, particularly brain growth. It is much, much harder to achieve that same balance using solids- which is why I would supplement with formula rather than solids at this point, if you are reluctant to nurse as much as baby wants or needs.
What are your goals, with respect to nursing? Do you want to wean now, do you want to wean closer to a year, or are you comfortable with nursing beyond a year?
Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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