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Thread: Starting Cereal-Help!

  1. #1
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Starting Cereal-Help!

    How do you give cereal while breastfeeding? I would like to give my dd cereal in the evening when I am with her, but I don't pump enough milk during the day to have extra. I usually breastfeed from the time I get home from work till the next morning. I am worried that if I try to pump in between feedings after work that I won't have enough milk to mix with the cereal. Our pediatrician recommended feeding a little bit of formula with the cereal before breastfeeding. Will that damage my supply? I can't afford even the slighted decrease in supply as I am making just enough for her now!

  2. #2
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    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: Starting Cereal-Help!

    If you're worried about your supply, have you considered delaying solids a little while longer? The AAP recommends that full-term, healthy breastfed babies do not start solids until around 6 months (allowing for babies as young as 4 months who show all signs of readiness, and as old as 8 months who were not ready before then). You can find more information here:
    www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/solids.html


    If you want to start solids now, you might consider offering them while you're at work so you can nurse when you're together.

    I'm not sure why your pediatrician would suggest feeding formula before/with the solids? Did he give a reason? That just doesn't seem logical when you consider that you're breastfeeding and trying to preserve your milk production.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Starting Cereal-Help!

    It is exciting when children are ready for food.
    How much cereal are you planning to give her?
    The reason I ask is that I remember just squirting breastmilk in the bowl when they started.
    The amount to mix with a tsp of ceral was very little.
    If you were to pump or hand express a bit of milk should not take away from what your baby is nursding in the evening.
    Only about 20% of the milk per feeding in sitting waiting in the breast.
    So if you pump a bit for cereal, your baby should be fine to make the milk as she is nursing throughout the evening.

    The supply and demand normally picks up rather quickly.
    So that if today you pumped at 6pm to get an ounce for cereal, tomorrow your body should be ready with the ounce knowing that around 6pm to be ready.

    I have always thought of it as a time clock. This time tomorrow the body will guess that you 'll want the milk for cereal.
    If you do pump then , it knows the pattern sshould remain, if you don't then it may or may not be waiting the next day.

    I think the key is to eat and drink well during the day at work so that your body is ready to make milk.

    I have been known to use water to mix with cereal if I couldn't get enough milk.
    I wouldn't go buy formula to mix with cereal, but that is me.
    Now if my child got formula on other days or occasionally, then maybe I would choose that over water.
    But normally your body would adjust to making another ounce or so within a day or two.

    Oatmeal is known for its "helping to increase milk supply" properties as is an extra hour of sleep.(which can be hard to find sometimes)

    There are also herbal supplements such as fenugreek or Blessed milk thistle that can increase supply if needed.

    I personally would go with oatmeal, sleep, and pumping first.
    The herbs re there is you need them, but trust in your body's ability to adapt first.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Starting Cereal-Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by LLL_Jolie
    That just doesn't seem logical when you consider that you're breastfeeding and trying to preserve your milk production.
    That's what I thought! He said that the cereal can be mixed with milk in her bottle and she could drink it. After I told him I was breastfeeding, he said that mixing it with a small amount of formula would be fine...and then breastfeed after giving her the bottle. I really don't like the idea of giving her formula even though she has to have it from time to time at the sitters. Since I'll probably only be giving her a small amount, I suppose I could try pumping a small amount of milk to mix with it. Maybe that would help my supply...as Lynn said. I am going to trust my instincts and wait a little bit longer for cereal. But the doc and I agreed not to start other solids until about 6 months. She is showing most of the signs of being ready, but I just want to make sure her digestive system is ready. She intently watches me eat, sits up well when assisted, tries to grab my food, etc. But I've never let her actually pick any of it up to see if she would try to eat it. I figured she was just trying to grab it out of curiousity just like everything else. Thanks for the replies.

  5. #5
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Starting Cereal-Help!

    perhaps you could fit in an extra pump session on Sat and Sun each weekend (in a.m. before baby is up) and store this milk in the fridge to use during the week? i do this and just label the bottles "cereal milk". This saves me from having to pump extra every day. Or-you could use rice milk or soy milk (my ped ok's this).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Starting Cereal-Help!

    That's a good idea. I always seem to have more milk than what I need in the mornings on the weekends, so that would work out good. Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Starting Cereal-Help!

    Kim,
    Have you tried giving your dd something to play with while you're eating? It might be that's she's just as interested in the spoons, plates, bowls, ect as she is in the food.

    BTW, giving cereal via bottle is also very outdated advice. I'm glad to hear you're following your own instincts on this one!

  8. #8
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    Mar 2006
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    Default Re: Starting Cereal-Help!

    Most Dr's don;' reccomend mixing cereal int he bottle - the choking hazard is too great.

    I give her cereal with a drop of water - it won;t kill her - and use a spoon. I give her 1/2 tablespoon of dry cereal mixed with a bit of water and it works great. I give it to her before I nurse her at night.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Starting Cereal-Help!

    I also gave my ds cereal with water. The nutrition he received was from my breast milk so I new that he wouldn't eat a whole meal out of the cereal. I usually gave him two teaspoons ful of cereal and that was it. Than I nursed him. It's really an introduction to foods not a whole course meal. But the way you discribed the Dr saying to give her a bottle (which is a meal) it sounds like he says that to everyone . No matter if they bf or not. I heard that moms get told that if they want the baby to sleep through the night. I laughed when I heard that. You'd have a anarexic baby. I would try a teaspoon as soon as you get home and tio for a couple of weeks. If she shows intrest that she wants more than gradually increase the teaspoons. Shoot she has however long you want to nurseor she wants to ween to start solids fully. Your milk supply automaticaly goes down no matter what when you start solids anyways. If your not ready I'd wait awhile. The Dr told me to sart my ds at three mon. I looked at him like he was nuts. I started him at 5-1/2 mon with mashed bananas and he loved them.

  10. #10
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Starting Cereal

    Thanks for the advice! Our Dr also mentioned that it would help her sleep through the night. I mixed it in a bottle of ebm once...and it didn't do a thing! I have decided to wait awhile. She's almost 5 months now, so waiting another month won't hurt. Since I won't need as much milk if I spoon feed it to her, I shouldn't have a problem mixing it with my milk.

    About water...when are you supposed to give your baby water to drink? My mother in law keeps asking me if I have given her water yet. I try to tell her that since I am breastfeeding, there is already enough water in the milk. She formula fed my dh, and she said that the doctor told her to give him water right away. Of coarse, he also told her to give him cereal in the bottle at a month old...which wasn't right either. I've seen other moms give their babies other things to drink too...like pedialite. When should they be getting other things to drink besides breastmilk?

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