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Thread: solids/weaning/when to breast feed

  1. #1

    Default solids/weaning/when to breast feed

    I'm just trying to see if I'm doing o.k. I have an almost 7 month old. He nurses on demand (about 6 times a day and 1 to 2 times a night). he isn't interested in much food but we sit him at the table with us and our other son for breakfast and supper. For breakfast he has nursed within an hour of us offering him food. We give him food he can pick up but also some meat purees. He's not too interested. For supper he nurses around 3:30 or so and we have supper at 5:30/6. Before we started offering solids he would usually nurse at this time. But now no matter what I do (hold back supper etc) he won't nurse until 7ish. We offer him iron fortified cereal and a veggie/fruit high in vit c that he can pick up and practice feeding himself at this time and he has roughly one tablespoon. I have had a very good if not a bit of an oversupply.

    I am very concerned about getting iron into him, I live in Alberta where they do not recommend iron supplements and my other son is and has been iron deficient for years and I had a massive oversupply with him and could not get him to eat anything until one year (when he was fully feeding himself). He weaned himself at 16 months. So I want my youngest son to eat meat and rice cereal.

    Am I horrible for feeding him solids before breastfeeding? He's still not eating much solids but i do worry.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: solids/weaning/when to breast feed

    You're offering to nurse before supper, right? And baby's turning you down, right? If that's how it's going, then I think you're doing okay, because your baby is leading the way, and because he's nursing enough during the day and night. If things were working differently, and you were the one delaying a nursing session in order to get your LO to eat solids, then I would say that you'd want to change things, because breastmilk is supposed to be offered before solids until a year of age in order to maximize a baby's intake of the most healthy substance any of us ever get to eat. But again, since it sounds like this is baby-led and because your baby continues to nurse enough overall, this doesn't sound like a problem.

    In the US, many pediatricians do a routine iron test at around 6-9 months. It's generally a simple finger prick or heel stick. If your pediatrician doesn't offer one, you may want to ask for it. If your other child was deficient, then maybe there's a familial risk. Of course, maybe there isn't! One person in a family may have low iron, but it doesn't follow that everyone in the family will have that same pattern.

    I think I understand why iron drops are not recommended routinely. But what about a multivitamin?
    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!"

  3. #3

    Default Re: solids/weaning/when to breast feed

    Gosh in the US you have to beat the "low iron" obsessed, iron supplement wielding pediatricians off with a stick! Isn't it crazy how different it is? So what DO they suggest for anemia in Alberta? Many children are just not interested in solids of any kind at this age!

    Was there any difference in your boy’s births? Low iron is sometimes caused by loss of blood at birth due to the cord being cut too early. I forget the figure but a baby can lose a lot of blood this way! This often happens if baby is born via c-section or there is some birth complication (or hospital policy) requiring that the cord by cut quickly. On the other hand, I have had 3 children via c-section, all more or less exclusively nursed to at least 7 months and only one was found to be (slightly) low iron at 9 months.

    Despite your concern about iron, I would strongly suggest offer your baby the foods you want him to eat, but try to be relaxed about what and when and how much he prefers. And keep nursing as much as baby likes. Withholding breastfeeding is not going to make your baby want to eat meat.

    Whenever a parent has these kind of concerns I strongly suggest the book My Child Won't Eat by Carlos Gonzalez.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; October 27th, 2013 at 04:54 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: solids/weaning/when to breast feed

    In Alberta there is no testing of iron for any child unless they are showing signs of anemia. The clinics do not have the ability to do this heel prick. Most children go through the first 5 years or so without any blood work (in the hospital or by a midwife on day 3 of their lives they are heel pricked and tested for about 20 genetic disorders but that is the first and last blood work) We also don't supplement unless you are part of an "at risk" area (northern native communities mostly - which often don't do the supplementation anyway). It is hard to get iron for babies as well - you have to speak with a pharmacist and your child's name is registered on a file. They also strongly, strongly push for breast feeding for the first year and encourage it to 2 years old, health canada feels this helps with iron. I had to argue for almost a year with my doctor to get blood work for my oldest. Even when his iron came back at 8, 10, 11 (12 or above is normal) she still didn't feel he should be treated for iron deficiency.

    Both boys were c-sections, both unfortunately the cord was cut before it stopped pulsing. I had preeclampsia with my first but no trauma. I had no complications with my second except for having the csection. No trauma. As per my midwives, I do not have the hips to give birth so despite trail of labours neither even had their heads against my cervix so their was no bruising or swelling to them. My last didn't even have any molding of his head after days of labour.

    I am going to have a very hard time convincing a doctor here to test iron for my 7 month old and if I do I will have an even harder time getting him to treat. For your second child they only recommend well child visits at 4 weeks, 6 months & 12 (more with your first). Due to my Irish European roots i'm not comfortable supplementing with iron without knowing if he is deficient due to higher risk of hematomacrosis. Is every baby who is breast fed supplemented with iron after 6 months in the US? Is there followup blood work? If it's not closely monitored do some kids get hematomacrosis? So strange that the recommendations are so vastly different.

    Yes i am offering him the breast before supper. He latches on for a second and then jumps off and tries to squirm out of my arms and off ot find his brother. Often I notice that he has sucked just until a letdown so I assume he's not interested. I am trying to stay relaxed. This morning I offered steak and applesauce and cheerios (my oldest was having cheerios). he just ate the cheerios. For supper for the last few nights I have mixed very runny rice cereal (1 1/2 tbsp) with about 3 oz breast milk and despite me offering it on a spoon he grabbs the cup I mix it in and dranks it all! Just gobbles it down.... Perhaps I should have work harder to breast feed him before dinner as maybe he was too hungry (tht's why he wanted to drink it). I know he would eat better if his brother wasn't around to distract him but my husband is always away so there is no one to watch my oldest. Oh well I'm reminding myself that at least it was mixed with breast milk. I pump after my "last" feed at 9 so it's just the super thick stuff. I am wondering if he doesn't want to breast feed before supper as he's looking forward to this thick rice cereal mix? I don't know. With my oldest we just did babyled weening as he would clamp his mouth shut when anyone came at him with a spoon. He would eat a few bites of solids each day but most of it would just come out whole in his poop. I am noticing the same with my 7 month old. Any tips to help with digestion for babyled weening? I just worry due to my first son's issues Thank you!
    Last edited by @llli*nuggets; October 31st, 2013 at 11:46 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Default Re: solids/weaning/when to breast feed

    Is every baby who is breast fed supplemented with iron after 6 months in the US? Is there followup blood work? If it's not closely monitored do some kids get hematomacrosis? So strange that the recommendations are so vastly different.
    Babies whose bloodwork shows evidence of anemia receive iron supplements. Babies whose iron status is normal generally do not, though some pediatricians recommend a daily multivitamin for all their breastfed babies. The recommendations for daily multivitamin use and/or iron supplementation are often more forceful for babies who were premature (iron stores are not complete until term).

    I had to google hematomacrosis, and only found something called hemochromatosis- are they the same thing? If they are, then I would guess that the way it's managed in the US is on a par with other hereditary disorders, which is to say that people who are at risk for passing along the disorder either ask for or are offered prenatal/preconception genetic testing. No gene for the disorder, no problem.

    He would eat a few bites of solids each day but most of it would just come out whole in his poop. I am noticing the same with my 7 month old. Any tips to help with digestion for babyled weening? I just worry due to my first son's issues Thank you!
    Seeing food reappear almost unchanged in poop is very normal for babies who are just starting solids. It's not evidence of poor digestion. It's just a consequence of the fact that a lot of the work of processing food is done in the mouth. So until your child is a practiced chewer with at least one set of molars, you should expect to see chunks of his dinner in his bowel movements.

    Foods that are good natural sources of iron:
    - meats
    - fish
    - beans
    - dried fruits, especially apricots, raisins, and prunes
    - leafy greens (spinach, kale, broccoli)
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Default Re: solids/weaning/when to breast feed

    Another food to try is blackstrap molasses. I know I have brought it up many times on this forum before, but I was able to get my premature son's iron back up into "normal" levels with diet alone and one of the foods we used daily was blackstrap molasses. Unlike the molasses used in most baking, blackstrap is the final product after all of the sugar has been pulled out of it, and the minerals are very concentrated. Even if your son isn't actually low on iron this is still a good source of calcium, potassium, and magnesium. It isn't sweet, but the flavor can compliment many things. We mixed it into yogurt, applesauce, cottage cheese and cereal. It can often be found in health food stores.

    And lllmeg is correct, in the US the peds are often pushing supplements, for even the most minor iron deficiency. We found blackstrap molasses partially for the purpose of being able to say DS was getting X number of servings per day, and it is LIKE a supplement, so please lay off about the iron drops.
    My little man was born 12/17/2010.

    April 2014

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