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Thread: 9 months old and nursing less

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    Default 9 months old and nursing less

    My baby just turned 9 months old and in the last couple of weeks has gotten into solids in a MAJOR way. She eats a lot, anything we offer her, loves feeding herself and a lot of food actually makes it into her mouth these days. For the last few weeks we'd been offering her solids usually twice per day, in the morning and afternoon and recently in the last few days we've started giving her 3 meals a day because she was so interested in our plates at dinner time, and would eat significant amounts of several different foods even immediately after a good nursing session when we get home from daycare/work.

    I have read that solids are supposed to complement, not replace breastfeeding before 12 months. We always do solids after nursing (or after a bottle at daycare). But she eats quite a lot and just isn't ready to nurse as soon as before she got so interested in solids. This amounts to one fewer bottles some days at daycare (before I was nursing at lunch and she would get a bottle in the morning and afternoon; now, she is routinely not hungry for her afternoon bottle before I get there to pick her up). And I just notice she doesn't ask to nurse quite as often. I believe this may be impacting my milk supply becuase I don't pump quite as much at work (I'm still keeping up with her because some days she doesn't take both bottles that I pump). And my breasts don't feel as full of milk when it's been 2-3 hours since I've last nursed/pumped.

    I guess I'm kind of just shocked at how much she's eating. She did start crawling last week and is incredibly active lately. I wouldn't be concerned if I didn't suspect that she's nursing less. But she does seem to be interested in breastfeeding less often and it's resulting in fewer feedings of breastmilk. That said, she still gets breastmilk I'd say at least 6-9 times per day--upon waking, sometimes as we are going out the door in the morning, one or two bottles at daycare, nursing at mid-day at daycare, when we get home, before bed, and one or two times overnight.

    I am going to talk to her pediatrician at her upcoming 9 month checkup and she is very pro-breastfeeding, but I am more concerned about I guess our long-term breastfeeding relationship and making sure she's getting all the nutrition from breast milk that she needs, and I'm not sure the pediatrician will have too much to say.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 9 months old and nursing less

    Babies vary so much! Some are super excited about solids before a year old, and moms worry! Others are not interested at all about solids even after a year old, and moms worry! I think this is great that we moms are keeping tabs on our babes and making sure things are lining up.

    I think it's probably a good idea to limit solids in a baby under a year. Early introduction of solids, and introducing too many solids too soon, is linked to early weaning. How to do this, really probably up to you. You can limit the amount she eats at a time. You can limit the number of meals she eats. Or you could mix food with breastmilk so you know she's getting the "good stuff"!

    I think it's also a smart idea to avoid any other weaning signals that a baby might get. So, here are some weaning methods that parents sometimes use; maybe make really, really sure you are doing the opposite:

    - Weaning Method: Don't offer, don't refuse. The Opposite: Offer frequently, in addition to not refusing when she asks (even if you're in the middle of something!)
    - Weaning Method: Replace breast with artificial nipples. The Opposite: Limit binkie and bottle use to when mom is not available. If you're with her, bottles and pacis have disappeared.
    - Weaning Method: Night wean. The Opposite: Nurse during the night as long as she asks for it.
    - Weaning Method: Take a vacation without your baby. The Opposite: Make sure you spend lots of time with your baby when you're not at work. Keep her close when you run errands, do laundry, go for an overnight with hubby, etc. (I'm not saying you're planning on going on vacation without your baby, just staying some parents do that in order to wean, so if you do the complete opposite, that could potentially help your situation.)

    I think for a lot of babies, these weaning methods may not lead to early weaning when mom does it unintentionally. But for babies of working moms, and if that baby also has a lot of interest in solids, these weaning methods can really cause problems, even if you do them unintentionally.

    I think you're really smart to keep an eye on this!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    183

    Default Re: 9 months old and nursing less

    sprocket
    I'm glad I saw this post right before I posted!!! My LO is acting just like your baby. She is 9 mo too and started crawling on Valentine's day!

    I also thought she was weaning because her interest in solids. She likes every single thing we try (except for apples) And I recently reminded the ladies at daycare to feed the bottle first and then offer the solids. I think they had forgotten and yesterday they threw away 2oz of breastmilk!!!

    I've seen a decrease in my milk supply and I'm just making the pumping sessions longer so I produce more milk next time. I've also tried to offer the breast more while I'm at home, but she loves to play and sometimes we both forget about nursing.

    She's been really fussy too these past two nights, I am not sure if is her teething, or part of this issue with nursing. Or milestones/growth spurt... not really sure.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: 9 months old and nursing less

    There's always something to worry about Try making a point for quiet times while you're home with her. A favorite book while nursing in bed usually works for ds. He's often too focused on playing to nurse anywhere but our bedroom. He's also a super solids eater. I really don't get where he puts it! It hasn't affected our breastfeeding relationship in the slightest though. He hit a point of low interest around 10/11 mo but increased demand again after his bday. I think it's common to hit a pumping slump at this point. There are some parts that replacing them can sometimes improve effiency. I'm drawing a blank on their names right now. Hopefully someone more knowledge will come along.

    I think if you follow the pp's advice on how not to inadvertantly wean, you should be ok with the 6-9 nursing sessions a day. This link states that typically a one year old gets 25% of their diet from solids.
    http://kellymom.com/nutrition/starti...toddler-foods/

  5. #5
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: 9 months old and nursing less

    Thanks for this. I know, I am sure that if she hadn't caught on to solids, I would be worried about that. So far, her nursing frequency hasn't decreased further. I think we lost about 1 feeding per day on average with this big jump up in her interest in solids, but it hasn't gone down any more since then and she's still nursing pretty enthusiastically so I'm less worried than I was. I just felt like it was dropping off fast and if it kept going in that direction, she might wean altogether. As for doing the opposite of the weaning strategies, I do offer to nurse her quite frequently, although I can be even more diligent about that, she never took a pacifier, NEVER gets a bottle when I'm around (the horror!!! ) she has free access to nursing all night long, though I will say that with more solids in her diet, she is sleeping longer stretches at night, although that might be a coincidence, and she is with me all the time that I'm not at work.

  6. #6
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    Aug 2012
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    Default Re: 9 months old and nursing less

    So I'm back now with an update--I'm not sure we're headed in the right direction. Baby is going to be 10 months old next week. Solids consumption has increased further. She now gets a few cheerios or banana pieces when we're getting ready in the morning, then eats breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack at daycare and has dinner at home. She nurses usually twice in the morning, I nurse her at lunchtime at daycare and she nurses when we arrive home and before bed and overnight as much as she wants (usually 1 or 2 times).

    For the first few months of solids, she would have her normal morning bottle and an afternoon bottle with me coming to nurse at lunch time. Lately she has been taking the afternoon bottle less and less. For the past week or so, she's been taking only about half the volume of her normal bottles too. She used to take 4-ish oz in the morning and the same in the afternoon. Now she's drinking more like 2 oz in the morning and 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Her daycare just called me to tell me that she never had a morning bottle this morning because she fell asleep beforehand and when she woke up they gave her lunch (not sure why!?, I guess it was lunch time). I asked if I should come over and nurse as usual and they suggested that she probably won't be ready to nurse for another couple of hours. Which puts us at the end of the day. They do offer her a sippy of water with meals. Should I ask them to give her a sippy with breast milk instead? Should I tell them to ALWAYS give the bottle before solids? I just don't see how they are supposed to fit all of these solids and bottles into one day. I'm not sure what to tell them to do and I'm reluctant to say anything because (1) I'm not there with her during the day, and they I'm sure are trying to follow her lead and also not waste my milk, which is what would happen if she refused a bottle and (2) I feel like every time I give an instruction on this issue I turn around and say something contradictory a week later... I guess because she keeps changing and I don't know what the hell I'm doing here!!

    Baby is growing fine, happy, healthy. Is it a big deal if she doesn't take a bottle all day one day at daycare? Or do I need to nip this in the bud somehow?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    205

    Default Re: 9 months old and nursing less

    Just wanted to say "I'm there with you!" My LO is 9 mnths, and he is more interested in solids during the day. I can't get him to nurse when he's awake and active; he only nurses well when he goes down for his 2 naps, at bedtime, and twice overnight. He eats 3 meals a day (purees and cereal, mixed with bm--a way to sneak more in on him). He used to consistently nurse 7x/day since he was a newborn, but now only seems to want to nurse 5x. I try to get a 6th session in the early evening before dinner, but he nurses for about 3 minutes before pushing away, wanted down to play. I feel the same as you--not sure what the hell I'm doing half the time, and I also can relate to your questions of how you're supposed to fit all this food/bm into baby throughout the day. His pediatrician is satisfied with the amount he eats/nurses (she actually recommended night weaning, which I'm NOT going to do at this point because that's when he gets in some of his best bm calories); and he's growing/gaining well. I guess just follow baby's lead??? My LO seems happy, so we'll go with what we've got now.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: 9 months old and nursing less

    We are in the same boat except my son is only 7.5 months old. Hoping some other experienced mothers can add something to this thread so I don't have to create a nearly identical one.

  9. #9
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    Jun 2012
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    Illinois
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    Default Re: 9 months old and nursing less

    My 10 month old is nursing less and less as well, but I'm worried because he is in the 1st percentile for weight (55th for height though). I keep offering and he will nurse for about 3 minutes before shaking his head no at me and pulling away. He was eating solids great, until he got the stomach bug and now he's not eating much at all. So worried his weight is going to take a hit as he is a little eater. I wish I was more experienced and could offer help, but I feel like I don't know what I'm doing and worry so much that I can't even enjoy this precious time with him. Hang in there mama.
    First-time mom to David Alan, born 5-20-12. Enjoying maternity leave for his 1st 5 months and then returning to full-time work as a school social worker and nursing mom.





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