Re: Preparing to start solids
Don't use a cover...? I think that at 5-6 months, you can just let your LO be. If she doesn't nurse well in public, you either retreat to a private place or you let her wait to eat until she gets hungry enough or gets home. Don't bother trying to force the issue with bottles or nursing covers. She's old enough that a few skipped feedings or a light feeding isn't going to be a big problem.
She is strictly on breast milk and I prefer to nurse instead of using a bottle but that has presented its own set of challenges. While out and about, there is too much going on and she gets distracted. She definitely won't eat under a cover and she will hardly take a bottle. (Any suggestions on that?)
IMHO, don't put too much effort into this project. A lot of your baby's first solids may end up spat out, batted away, or splattered on the floor. It's often easier to simply steam a small portion of what you're eating, mash it up, and let the baby convey it into her own mouth, than to spend a lot of time pureeing and storing.
I've decided to make her food and started to make some so it will be ready when we reach 6 months
The rule for solids in the first year is "Until one, just for fun". That means that until a year, you nurse first and then offer solids shortly thereafter. That way baby fills up on your milk, leaving solids for play. Until around a year, breastmilk alone meets all your baby's nutritional needs (yes, ALL!), and solids should be reserved for experimenting with new tastes, textures, and motor skills. Remember that when your baby refuses to open your mouth, or bats the spoon away, or prefers to explore the solids with her hands rather than put them in her mouth- the "fun" part of solids is what is important in the first year. The eating part really doesn't become important until the second year.
I am curious about what to do about nursing when I introduce the solids. I've read to nurse for a short time then try baby cereal?
Sure, with the exception of the cereal part... A lot of moms skip cereal altogether. Cereals are often recommended as a first food because they are bland, cheap, and can be fortified with vitamins and minerals. But breastfed babies are often adventurous eaters who aren't afraid of bold flavors, so they don't need bland food. And while cereals are cheap, they are also heavily processed and are generally nothing more than pure starch- not the healthiest food to feed anyone! If you're concerned about vitamins and minerals, you can always start with fruits, veggies, or meats, or offer your baby a dropper-full of baby vitamins.
I think mornings will be best for her as she already sleeps through the night and shes usually in the best mood in the mornings. My plan was to wake up and pump (my flow is very heavy and she tends to choke if I dont pump a little before feeding her in the mornings) then nurse her for a few minutes then try the cereal? Does that sound like a good plan?
Weaning does begin when solids are introduced. But think of weaning as a long, long process, one that may take years to complete! If you nurse before offering solids, keep the portions of solids you offer appropriate (no more than a few teaspoons of food, to start), offer solids only 1x per day to start, and continue to offer to nurse on demand or even more often than your baby demands, introducing solids will have little effect on your milk supply. As time goes on, and your baby naturally begins to transition to eating more solids and nursing less- something which generally happens in the 2nd year- your milk supply will slowly decrease.
I plan on nursing for at least 8 months though I'd like to go longer if possible. I dont want introducing solids to effect my supply poorly but I've been told that this is when you start weening.
Nursing to 8 months is a great goal. If you want to go longer than that, I am sure you can!
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