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Thread: How often nursing / how much food?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    18

    Default How often nursing / how much food?

    Hello,

    My daughter will be 13 months old next week. We don't seem to be slowing down with the bfing, which is fine by me, but I am afraid it is preventing her from developing good eating habits. She picks at food, eats a few bites, but never seems to eat a "meal". I think she still prefers to tank up on breast milk and then snack on "real food" all day long. I'm afraid the longer we continue with breastfeeding as the preference, the worse she'll be about eating actual food once she's fully weaned. And I can't even begin to think about how to begin weaning! After a more than a year of breastfeeding, you'd think I'd have things figured out, but I can't quite manage how to a) provide her with the opportunity to BF whenever she wants to, and also b) make sure she is hungry enough at meal times to try new foods or eat a substantial amount of food she knows and likes...if anyone has experienced this, I'd love to hear how it worked out, or how you are currently handling it. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: How often nursing / how much food?

    From talking with the moms in my Group over the years, and in my personal experience, many toddlers seem to live on breastmilk and air between 13-19 months or so. You mentioned that your baby snacks a lot-- that seems to be the best way to get food into a moving target...I mean, toddler. If you make nutritious food available to her, she will eat what she needs.

    So, what you are describing doesn't sound at all unusual to me. You mentioned weaning... do you have a specific reason to wean by a particular time, or is this all just new and you're wondering what is normal? (Either scenario is OK, but your answer will help all of us here to give you the info you need).

    Another reference that might help you think this through is the book My Child Won't Eat! by Dr. Carlos Gonzalez. I also suggest Mothering Your Nursing Toddler by Norma Jane Bumgarner. Sometimes it helps to have some other references of what is "normal"-- if all seems well, you can relax and just enjoy your busy child!

    Dawn

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    833

    Default Re: How often nursing / how much food?

    I just nurse DD on and off all day long, and offer solids sporadically without particularly caring about the amounts she actually eats or the order (nursing or solids first.) I let her control the amounts, the timing, and the balance of solids vs. nursing. I think that if I offer both frequently enough, she'll eat what she needs and hopefully not a lot more. Too little OR too much wouldn't be great, kwim? And children can be quite different from one another.

    Sorry if that was rambly! I expect DD to just gradually decide to eat more solids all by herself, which is what she's been slowly doing (with occasional off-days when she seems more into nursing.) So far she hasn't dropped too many nursing session (still at 6-8 per 24 hours) but she's gone from 1 "meal" a day when we introduced them to 4 or 5 just recently. But they're often small, more like snacks.
    Erin (32), breastfeeding CLW, knitting cloth-diapering crocheting, heirloom tomato-growing philosophizing poker-playing feminist artist mama to my 19 month old daughter! Baby #2 due January 2009.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    18

    Default Re: How often nursing / how much food?

    This is very reassuring. I actually have no target date to start weaning...I'm just now realizing that I'm not even sure when I'll know that the time is right! Maybe it will be obvious to me when it is here. I am kind of just seeing where it goes if that makes sense. I'm glad to know that many toddlers seem to exist on breastmilk during this time frame...I just hear more about what they should be eating, etc. so it makes me paranoid. (Not to mention the comments from my mother: 'maybe she'd eat more if you weaned'...that's a whole different topic, UGH!). And she actually is more likely to "eat on the go" than she is to sit still in a highchair while we eat...I feel like I'm constantly putting pieces of banana or cheese into a blurry image cruising past me!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    1,987

    Default Re: How often nursing / how much food?

    DS wasn't eating much at that point, either, but he gradually increased his intake on his own.

    How Weaning Happens is also a good book and gives you an idea of what weaning looked like for several mother/child pairs.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Central Alberta, Canda
    Posts
    319

    Default Re: How often nursing / how much food?

    Sounds just like my DS. He will sit in his highchair for about 5 minutes. Shovel what I put there into his mouth and then want to be on the go again. He doesn't eat much in the two 5 minute periods that I can usually get him to tolerate. But he is improving slowly. It used to be only 1 5minute meal. I plan to just let him wean on his own. I have noticed lately that he doesn't want to eat as often. We are down to about 6 nursings a day, but they have gotten longer. I imagine that there will slowly be fewer and fewer nursing sessions as he gets older. But I am new to the extended breastfeeding thing too. DS1 was weaned at 9 months.
    Amanda Wife to my wonderful husband 06_98
    Breastfeeding, Sling Wearing, Co-sleeping, Cloth Diapering Mom to my Intact Boys
    DS #1 - 02_02 BF'ed for 9 Months and
    DS #2 - 10_06 Currently BF'ed 22 Months and still going.

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