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Thread: needing help with nursing/solid eating baby

  1. #1

    Default needing help with nursing/solid eating baby

    Hello nursing mummys

    i've been exclusively breastfeeding my little one till 1 year old, all going smoothly and she is 13m.o. now.
    She eats bits of fruit and veggies since 8 m.o. and she is really interested in our food and can't spend a day without eating at least a banana or a broccoli branch, but also nurses perfectly and we are both loving it
    I want to wean her at most meals, we are doing it slowly (since last month she already eats food at lunch time and an afternoon half fruit/veg. and nurses a lot still, sometimes even after a full plate lunch! and most days 5 times/24h.
    does this mean she's not ready to wean? even if she eats everything on the plate??

    i want to continue to breastfeed her till 2/3 years but to reduce meals to 2times a day (first and last of the day), will my milk supply match that? is it possible?

    thank you

  2. #2
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    Default Re: needing help with nursing/solid eating baby

    I am not following- are you saying your want to nurse your child for another year or two, but want to reduce nursing sessions now to only 2 times a day? I think these may not be mutually possible goals. If you reduce nursing sessions to extremely infrequent this early, the likely hood is your child will wean entirely relatively soon. Yes, some children go on nursing just a couple times a day for many months, but this is usually when the child has decreased the nursing session frequency more or less on their own and is also a bit older.

    If you can explain why you want to decrease the nursing session frequency now, that may help us understand. 5 times a day (or more) is an entirely normal amount for a 13 month old to be nursing, and the amount of solids baby eats sounds normal too. it is also normal and fine for child to nurse before, after, and even during 'solids.'
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; May 16th, 2015 at 10:27 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: needing help with nursing/solid eating baby

    with MaddieB. It's fine if you are ready to completely wean, or if you're ready to take the chance of complete weaning occurring well before age 2-3 years. But if your goal is to have your baby nurse for another 1-2 years, it's probably best to keep on nursing at a higher frequency.

  4. #4

    Default Re: needing help with nursing/solid eating baby

    Maddieb and Mommal, thank you you already helped me! although my difficulty in explaining well happens way too often xD

    the reasons to wean now is because i think her 'becoming toddler system' is starting to need good solid food and also because i need a bit of free time during the day.
    all this propelled by her interest in food, because otherwise i would not be weaning her yet.

    and what i meant was to ask how do i wean her so that i can continue to breastfeed until she is 2/3 years and breastfeeds 2 times/day by then. if 5 times/day is a good rate now, how long till reducing another meal?

    how do you guys did it? breastfed exclusively till when?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: needing help with nursing/solid eating baby

    Hi maria and thanks for clarifying...

    Biologically, it is normal and studies indicate, very good for promoting a lifetime of better overall health, for a child to nurse until at least age 2. It is probably beneficial to nurse longer, certainly I think so, but it has not been studied as in depth as up to age two.
    It is also biologically normal to nurse your child as much as the child wishes. This could be once a day, or 12 times a day.

    And, it is biologically normal for a child to start eating some solid food, usually, this starts somewhere between about age 6 months and a year. How much a child will eat or how fast baby starts wanting more solids depends very much on the child, and there is a wide variety of normal- there are nursing 13 month olds who eat NO solids and of course some who have weaned entirely and only eat 'solids."

    Nursing and eating solids are designed by nature to coexist, for years, with a natural but very gradual progression from breastmilk to solids. Also, there is not always a linear progression- sometimes a baby will eat solids a lot one month and hardly any the next. This, again, is normal.

    The transition from nursing to solids can be done without any particular effort by mom to nurse less or try to make solids "replace" breastmilk. If you want to 'work on' reducing nursing sessions, of course you may. But there is no health or development related need to do this!

    And this is important- There is nothing nutritionally 'better' about solid foods! In fact, breastmilk is the most nutritionally balanced and complete single food your child can eat or will ever eat. Sometimes people say things like "breastmilk has no iron" Well, this is not true, but it is true that children usually need to get some iron from solids by this age, and possibly before. Why? Because nature, in its wisdom, reduces (but does not eliminate) the amount of iron in breastmilk during the time most children start eating solids. This is to prevent a child from getting too much iron.

    and what i meant was to ask how do i wean her so that i can continue to breastfeed until she is 2/3 years and breastfeeds 2 times/day by then. if 5 times/day is a good rate now, how long till reducing another meal?
    There is absolutely no way to predict this. Your child may want to nurse much more often than 5 times a day at 18 months, and wean entirely by 2 years. Your child may nurse 5 times a day at age 3, and stop nursing overnight... and on and on. the possibilities are endless.

    This is why I would suggest, don't worry about what may or may not happen months from now. Right now you think you want to still be nursing your child at age two or later. Great. This may or may not change. But at whatever point you would like to nurse 2 times a day instead of whatever baby is doing at that point, or once or no times a day, then you can take steps to reduce nursing sessions at that point. Or, you may decide that you like your child nursing 3 or 5 or 8 times a day and there is no need to change anything! One of the truest statements in breastfeeding is "every weaning is unique."

    I am not sure my experience is going to be helpful to you, but here is what it is. I have three kids. My oldest started solids the earliest- before 6 months- and weaned (stopped nursing entirely) with some nudging by me at age 5. My next oldest started solids much later, he was not really eating solids at all until 14 months, and he weaned completely on his own (no pushes by me) at age 4. My youngest who started solids at about 7 months turns three in a few months and still nurses lots, which I am very happy with. All are strong and growing and healthy and never had any 'eating problems.' They enjoy food and trying new things, and did even while they were still nursing many times a day. I never made any attempts to systematically reduce nursing sessions at any point, except with my oldest. With him, I went to a three-four times a day routine at around 3 and a half. This was right for me at that point since I was also nursing his younger brother.
    how do you guys did it? breastfed exclusively till when?
    Breastfeed exclusively means, nothing but breastmilk. Once solids have been introduced, child is no longer breastfeeding exclusively.

    A really, really good book on the whole subject of food introduction is My Child Won't Eat. Of course, your child DOES eat, you clearly have no problems there imo. But trust me, this book is a good, illuminating read for any parent.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: needing help with nursing/solid eating baby

    the reasons to wean now is because i think her 'becoming toddler system' is starting to need good solid food
    This is true, but the amount of solid food that a 13 month-old baby needs is still very small. Until around 12 months, all a baby's nutritional needs can be met by breastmilk alone, provided the baby is nursed on demand. After around 12 months, solids start to become an increasingly important element of the baby's diet, but many babies continue to get most of their calories from breastmilk until well into their second year. It's not like the baby goes from needing nothing but breastmilk on day 364 of life to needing a ton of solids on day 365. The transition to a majority solid food diet is often slow and gradual, and if you just relax and let your baby lead the way, she will eventually start increasing her intake of solids and decreasing her breastmilk intake, without you needing to do anything about it.

    and also because i need a bit of free time during the day.
    Would decreasing your nursing sessions really get you more free time? I personally thought of nursing as a great way to get a break from my toddlers. When they were nursing, they were quiet and relaxed, and I could put my feet up for 5 minutes. They weren't trying to climb the stairs or get into the kitchen cabinets or explore the tangle of wires behind the TV...

    all this propelled by her interest in food, because otherwise i would not be weaning her yet.
    Trust your child. She knows how much solid food she needs and she will increase that amount when she is ready. She will also decrease her nursing sessions on her own as her need for nursing decreases.

    and what i meant was to ask how do i wean her so that i can continue to breastfeed until she is 2/3 years and breastfeeds 2 times/day by then. if 5 times/day is a good rate now, how long till reducing another meal?
    Once again, you can simply trust her to lead the way. When she is ready to drop down to 2x a day, she will do it without you having to force the transition.

    It's really impossible to say when your individual baby can drop down to 4 nursing sessions per day. I know my kids weren't ready to nurse that infrequently until they were around 2-2.5 years old, but I know other kids who were completely weaned to solids by 12 months.

    how do you guys did it? breastfed exclusively till when?
    I breastfed my kids exclusively- meaning that they received ONLY breastmilk- until they were 6 months old. At 6 months, I started giving them solids while continuing to breastfeed on demand. They both were mostly uninterested in solids until around 14-15 months old, at which point they both started eating more solids while continuing to nurse very frequently. They both self-weaned at age 3 without me having to push them to eat solids.

    ETA: I forgot the primary reason why I personally think you don't want to push your child to transition to a mostly solids diet, which is that toddlers tend to be picky, erratic eaters. It's really hard to get a toddler to eat a good, balanced diet when she's eating only or mostly solids. Anyone who has ever fed a toddler knows that they will go on food jags- there will be weeks where they refuse all foods except pasta, or green peas, or cheese, or whatever. When a toddler nurses, you can be sure that she is getting a complete, balanced diet even when her solid food diet is limited and not diverse.
    Last edited by @llli*mommal; May 17th, 2015 at 03:33 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: needing help with nursing/solid eating baby

    maddie b

    thank you so much for taking time to answer! women do have a natural instinct to connect with the baby and just feel each others needs, but women also have the nature to worry too much lool i think the weaning desire might also be due to some family pushing, and that's just wrong. both me and baby are 100% confortable with the current situation, and that's how i want it to be. thank you for the push in the right direction and the book recomendation

    mommal

    thank you so much for the time really! it's true, every kid is so different, it's so random the way they choose to grow, i almost forgot i'm not programming a machine, but watching a human being growing to be whatever she wants to be in any way she wants it to happen... we're just very participative spectators haha

    thanks really, i got to connect to mumly instincts again hugsss

  8. #8
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    Default Re: needing help with nursing/solid eating baby

    It can be so hard when family or friends push or even 'make kind suggestions' that go against what we think is right or want to do, as parents. I can tell you this unfortunately does not end with breastfeeding 'advice'! Sometimes it feels like everyone thinks they know better than you how to parent your child.

    It certainly is the nature of mamas to worry! When I had my oldest child, no one I knew had breastfed for 5 minutes, let alone past infancy. So this was a totally new idea to me! The first time I saw a toddler nurse I had to pick my jaw up off the floor. When I was still in year one or two of parenthood, if someone had told me my oldest would nurse until he was 5 and I would be happy with that, I would have thought they were nuts!

    Luckily for me our Local LLL had a toddler meeting. I loved these meeting and I learned so much about trusting myself and my child. Of course you and your child would be entirely welcome at any LLL meeting- it does not have to be a 'toddler specific' meeting. If you do not have a local LLL, you can look into other local meetups or play groups that are based on a commonality of breastfeeding or "attachment parenting' or "Natural parenting.'

    I think this short article by pediatrician Jack Newman is inspiring when feeling any doubt about nursing past babyhood: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-BT
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; May 17th, 2015 at 05:04 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: needing help with nursing/solid eating baby

    thnks again
    i live in portugal and far from the capital, but i really have to find time to go on a meeting in lisbon some day...to get some mum strength

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