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Thread: afraid of early weaning

  1. #1
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    Default afraid of early weaning

    my ds is 5 1/2 months, so i am of course thinking of getting ready to start him on some solids. i have read the article that someone posted on a baby led approach and am planning to implement the suggestions as much as possible.

    my son is very ready for solids, imho. he is entranced by the foods that we eat. he can drink out of a regular cup. (i give him some water from time to time just because he loves it so much.) he is reaching for mommy and daddy's food and drink all the time. he can sit up. he has never taken a bottle or a pacifier.

    my fear is that soon after i let him start eating, he will loose interest in bfing. already, he is very, very easily distracted from bfing by almost anything: a door opening, a car driving by, his father's voice... then he usually won't relatch. if my dh brings me a glass of water, ds comes off and wants the glass and will not relatch.

    should i go ahead with my plans to let him teach himself to eat food in a couple of weeks and just let him decide when he doesn't want to bf anymore, or should i hold off so that he will be forced to bf longer? if he truly is ready, i don't want to deny him or to delay development, but i want him to get the bm, too.

    for the record, i don't really like bfing, but i was hoping to do it part time until at least 18 mos of age for the obvious reasons. it will be both a relief and a disappointment if he self-weans early. also, ds has a ped appt (he is a big supporter of bfing) the day after his 6 mo birthday, so i do plan to discuss this with him.

    what should i do?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: afraid of early weaning

    Hello!

    You came to a great place to ask questions about starting solids with a breastfed baby. When we talk about starting solids, it's important to understand what that means for any baby. It is a gradual process of introducing the baby to a wide variety of foods. At first, it may be 1/2 t. of mashed banana or avocado or rice cereal mixed with breastmilk. It is wise to introduce one food at a time, waiting a week between trying new foods in order to watch for a reaction from baby that may signal a food allergy or sensitivity. Fresh foods in as close to their natural state as possible are one idea to give to baby as they are highest in nutritive value and help baby to learn to enjoy the taste of healthy foods from the start. It makes sense that just as you begin with the best food, breastmilk, one would then continue by giving baby healthy foods and avoiding too much sugar, salt and refined foods.

    For a baby under 12 months, it is recommended to nurse baby first before offering solids to ensure that baby's main food supply is mother's milk. Mother's milk is higher in fat and calories than any other food. It is the perfect food for the baby's first year of life, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. Any other food, like fruits, vegetables and grains are supplementary to a baby's diet. By keeping solids as secondary to breastmilk in the first year of life, this will also help to maintain your milk supply. The less often baby nurses, the less milk your body will make. Many babies who enjoy food also continue nursing. As long as during the first year the solid foods do not take the place of nursing, your little one will most likely continue to nurse.

    You mention that you do not like breastfeeding. I have met other mothers who also feel this way. Is there something that you feel might help make the experience better? Are you experiencing any uncomfortable sensations while baby is nursing? Do you have any family or friends who are encouraging you to breastfeed? You wrote that your doctor is very breastfeeding friendly. How wonderful! It can be such a help to have your child's doctor support you in something you obviously feel is so important!

    Here is a link to more La Leche League information about starting solids. Best of luck in meeting your baby's needs! Do post back and let us know what you found that worked for you. http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBsolids.html

    Warmly,

    Eve Erickson
    LLL Leader
    LLL of Green Valley/Henderson, Nevada

  3. #3
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    Default Re: afraid of early weaning

    Quickly, here's a quote from a LLL article on how to know it's time to start solids:

    "Your baby is starting to get ready for solids when:

    * he is about four months old
    * he becomes more sociable, playing and holding "conversations" with you during a nursing session
    * he has a growth spurt and nurses more frequently for a while
    * he imitates the chewing motions you make whilst eating -- he is practicing!

    You will know that he is really ready to start solids when:

    * he is about six months old
    * he can sit up without any support
    * he continues to be hungry despite more frequent nursing which is unrelated to illness or teething
    * he has lost the tongue-thrusting reflex and does not push solids out of his mouth
    * he can pick up things with his finger and thumb (pincer grasp)

    Babies who are ready for solids can usually feed themselves. Mothers often report that they knew their babies were ready when they picked up food from a plate, chewed it, swallowed it, and wanted more.

    Listen to your baby! Babies with a tendency to allergies may refuse solids until later in their first year. As long as they are growing well and are happy and healthy, there is no need for concern."

    From: http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/solids.html

    Hope that helps!!

    --Eve

  4. #4
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    Default Re: afraid of early weaning

    This is not an LLL source, but I found it to be quite helpful: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/so...olids-how.html

    My ds has always been very interested in solid foods (since he was about 3 mo he was reaching for our food and screaming cause we wouldn't give it to him). And he certainly has gone through some highly distractable phases in our nursing relationship. He is 13.5 mo now and still nurses 6-10+ times in 24 hours in addition to 3 meals and 2-3 snacks of solid foods which I offer him. Some days he gobbles down his solids, others he picks at them and eats only a couple of bites in the entire day. Though he generally has been increasing his interest in and demand for solids since he was about 11 months old, he is in no way decreasing his interest in nursing.

    The real danger is only when babies are pressured into eating too much solids, especally before nursing, so babies fill up on solids and have no room for breastmilk which really needs to stay thier main source of nutrition for the entire first year.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: afraid of early weaning

    hi
    i have the exact same fear-weaninge arly?
    we started solids for our 6 mo ds 10 days ago he is very inetrested and takes food fine
    he is distracted in nursinga nd lap position not taht frinedly so i have to side lie and it hurts my back.afraid of public feeidng too
    all these factors kept aside.yesterdya we tried to legnthen his feeding gap from 2 to 3 hours.today morning i notcied breast not full in morning when i woke up lke daily.also i feel breasts VERY lighta nd fluffy.REALLY doubt if i stopped lactating.fed solids twice today starting today-it is rice cerela mixed with water as i dont have breast pump (will rent tomroow) to expres smilka nd manual expression hurts me.
    Has my milk stopped>?
    it leaked yesterday and engorged on and off whole day.
    I guess i am looking for reassurance that i am stil lactatcting
    ds nursed shorter today.fewer minutes i mean.i plan to force myself to nurse till 12 months as i believe its BEST nnutrition for him.also afarid of the pain when he starts teething...
    thats me...looking for moral support! though my dear hubby is ever tehre to listen to my fears and his constant support till now!has my milk stopped?
    thanks!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: afraid of early weaning

    It may help to know the difference between true weaning and a nursing strike. Nursing strikes commonly occur between 3 and 8 months of age. Here are a few links for more information.

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/strike.html
    "A baby who is truly ready to wean will almost always do so gradually, over a period of weeks or months. If your baby or toddler has been breastfeeding well and suddenly refuses to nurse, it is probably what is called a "nursing strike" rather than a signal that it's time to wean. Nursing strikes can be frightening and upsetting to both you and your baby, but they are almost always temporary. Most nursing strikes are over, with the baby back to breastfeeding, within two to four days."

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBNovDec92p173.html
    "Your baby has been nursing well for months, then suddenly begins refusing the breast. What does it mean? Is there something wrong with your milk? Is baby sick? Is baby ready to wean?

    A baby who refuses to breastfeed may not necessarily be ready to wean. If the baby is younger than a year and has not been eating much solid food or drinking from a cup, it's unlikely that he or she is ready to give up breastfeeding. More than likely the baby has gone on a nursing strike."

    http://www.lalecheleague.org/NB/NBMayJune04p91.html
    "Two weeks before Meaghan's first birthday, she went on a food strike. She refused all forms of solid or liquid foods and refused to nurse. Prior to this, Meaghan was nursing every three hours or so during the day and one to two times during the night. She had not been incredibly interested in solid foods, although she did nibble on them at meal times and periodically throughout the day. So when she totally refused to nurse one Friday, I was totally taken off guard."

    Warmly,

    Eve Erickson
    La Leche League Leader
    www.LLLSouthernNevada.com

  7. #7
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: afraid of early weaning

    oh, ds is not weaning now! this i know since he has no other food option other than the occasional raw carrot that i let him knaw on, mainly for his gums. but i am worried that as soon as i introduce food, he will start wanting food and not bm. he already would rather drink water from a cup than milk from my breast. i think, tho, that i need to let him decide (not about the water ~ i just need to stop drinking while i am nursing). he automatically, knows what is right for his body, right?

    we are seeing the doctor today because ds has been rubbing his ear and crying, so i will ask him for advice.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: afraid of early weaning

    Quote Originally Posted by sa2004
    we started solids for our 6 mo ds 10 days ago he is very inetrested and takes food fine
    he is distracted in nursinga nd lap position not taht frinedly so i have to side lie and it hurts my back.afraid of public feeidng too
    all these factors kept aside.yesterdya we tried to legnthen his feeding gap from 2 to 3 hours.today morning i notcied breast not full in morning when i woke up lke daily.also i feel breasts VERY lighta nd fluffy.REALLY doubt if i stopped lactating.fed solids twice today starting today-it is rice cerela mixed with water as i dont have breast pump (will rent tomroow) to expres smilka nd manual expression hurts me.
    Has my milk stopped>?
    it leaked yesterday and engorged on and off whole day.
    I guess i am looking for reassurance that i am stil lactatcting
    ds nursed shorter today.fewer minutes i mean.i plan to force myself to nurse till 12 months as i believe its BEST nnutrition for him.also afarid of the pain when he starts teething...
    thats me...looking for moral support! though my dear hubby is ever tehre to listen to my fears and his constant support till now!has my milk stopped?
    thanks!
    Hi as2004.
    No, your milk hasn't stopped. Milk production can't just stop overnight. Generally around 6 mo many women find their milk production finally regulates to match the baby's needs, so they stop getting engorged. This is probably what you are expirianceing.

    Has your ds been nursing less since you introduced solids? Remember, solids should not be replacing milk feeds at this point; they need to just be a little extra for fun and learning offered after a full milk feed. How much solids does your ds eat at one meal?

    wench,
    I understood what you meant. I just don't think what you fear could ever happen since solid food should be introduced gradually, one food at a time, beginning with very small amounts. A baby can't live on jsut bananas or just rice cereal or just sweet potatoes, kwim? It's not like you will or even could introduce a ballanced diet of solids in just one day. And you as the mom get to decide how much you offer; at first this could be as little as 1/4 tsp and no more than 1 tablespoon, once a day and only after he's already filled up on breastmilk.

    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: afraid of early weaning

    Eve,
    Thanks for teh reply.he is not really unintersted in nursing.just distracted.also he doesnt indicate hunger through crying-just sucks at everything
    also he seems he has picked up how toe at solids decnetly quickly.he may even seem to like solids i feel.
    the only thing i wasnt really doing was nurse before feeding.i will try
    actually i did try yetserday afetrnoon to nurse and then solids offer.he didnt nurse and was looking elsewhere.as it was time for his solids i went ahead and gave him solids and he ate.i feel so less sterefful feeidng solid sthrough spoon that bbreatsfeeding.though solids feeidng takes 15 minutes or so for 1/4 th bowl and breast feeding is 5 minutes-he does only 4-7 minutes feeding generally.BFing stress as i have to point nipple at him etc etc...
    anything wrong i am doing in whole of above.any other suggestions alos...
    thaks for previous reply too!

  10. #10
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    Jan 2006
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    106

    Default Re: afraid of early weaning

    Feorsteorra ,
    thanks.the doubt i have is how will babies eat solids if they r full with breats milk.i woudl like to undesrtand the logic here.pediatrician said solids may supplement the additional needed calories for his needs.if he eats less then how will he get extra caloires?at his growing bigger age...he currently eats 3-4 spoons solids-i mena rice ceral mixed with suitable consitencey randowm amount of water-both these totalling to about 4 spoons-table sppoons i am nots ure.its teh plascti spoon size.is this too much
    thanks

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