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Thread: solids vs. formula -- long

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Default solids vs. formula -- long

    I have 7 month old b/g twins. They were exclusively breastfed until 6 months, and then we started solids and I went back to work.

    So for the last month they've been getting the milk that I pump while at work (12 ounces each) and one solids meal while I'm gone, and then breastfeeding on demand while I'm home.

    The solids meal that they're currently eating is a 1/4 avocado pureed with 1/4 banana (for each baby), which works out to being nutritionally very similar to 4 oz of breast milk in terms of the fat, carbs, and protein content.

    When I get home late, and the babies are hungry before I'm home, they get a second solids meal to tide them over. Thing is, they seem to sleep better on those nights, which makes me think they need the extra calories on a daily basis, not just when I'm late. (Although they have gained weight well in the last month, so I'm not super worried about their caloric intake.) On the nights when they got 2 "avonana" shakes, they only wake once or twice each at night, and are relatively easy to nurse and then put back down. On the nights when they only got 1 "avonana" shake during the day, I pretty much spend the entire night with one baby or the other nursing on top of me while I try to sleep.

    I would love to give them the extra calories by pumping more, but I'm struggling to pump 12 ounces per baby while I'm gone. With my job it's hard to squeeze in the time, and my nipples have started hurting again. It's hard to tell what's due to the fact that the babies have now started occasionally biting me with TEETH (a whole different topic!), versus what's due to pumping so much, but you can see little points of blood under the skin on the left side -- I just can't pump more.

    The trouble with giving them 2 avocado/banana shakes daily is that then I'm afraid they're getting too much of their calories from solids too early, and that nutritionally maybe I should be giving them a little formula instead. (They haven't gotten any formula yet, and I'm resistant to the idea, but maybe I need to get over that for the sake of their nutrition?)

    If they're eating about 25 ounces of milk per 24 hours (that's a guess, since I still nurse them directly a lot), then that's about 500 calories. One avocado-banana shake is about 75 calories. So that's 75 out of 575 calories, which is 13%, which seems okay. 2 avocado-banana shakes, however, would be 25%, which seems like maybe it's too much for 7 month olds.

    So, do I
    a) give them 2 avocado/banana shakes every day instead of just 1
    b) give 1 formula meal daily in addition to the 1 solids meal and the breastmilk
    c) stick with the current plan and continue getting up with fussy babies all stinkin' night long?

    All insight and advice welcome. Thanks!!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Default Re: solids vs. formula -- long

    for all your hard work and nursing twins.

    I think by 7 months that it is fine to offer solids twice a day. For my DD, if she was developmentally ready for solids, I personally would prefer giving solids twice a day than formula. But, only you can make that decisions for your los. Also, unless there is a weight issue, I would probably not be concerned about getting the same fat content as is in bm. I would probably mix it up a bit and start adding some different solids in there.

    Mom to Lainey (11-8-06)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: solids vs. formula -- long

    I agree with the pp. It sounds like you've been working really hard and you deserve some .

    My lo was taking 2-3 solids meals by 7 mos. More to play and explore than for nutritional content, but if you have both it's even better! If they are getting plenty to eat and gaining weight fine without the formula, I wouldn't intro it now. They are likely to refuse it anyway.

    I also agree that you could probably try introducing more variety if you are comfortable doing so. It's not necessary, though. Finger foods like cheerios or pieces of fruit (like chunks of banana or avacado, even) might be a fun way for your caregiver to put the babies off until you get there to nurse.

    Good luck!
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    231

    Default Re: solids vs. formula -- long

    I agree as well. And btw...Nice job! You seem to be on top of things!
    Honestly, I welcomed the extra sleep at night. If they are getting the majority of their calories from BM then I think all is well.

    I clean a house once a week and I am gone for about 7 hours. During that time my lo only eats babyfood (Any kind now) and takes juice from a bottle. At this stage I would take the cue's from your lo's. Are the interested in food? If so then let them try different types. Some babies just are not interested in food for a while. If that is the case, I would press pumping as much as I could. IMO...I wouldn't give them Formula, not now. HTH

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Smile Re: solids vs. formula -- long

    Sorry, not much advice as my lo is only 4 1/2 months old...but major kudos to you!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    1,197

    Default Re: solids vs. formula -- long

    I agree that giving a second solids meal (something with high iron content could be a good idea for instance, like sweet potatoes or even some meat) sounds better than introducing formula. for exclusively nursing twins by the way!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    33

    Default Re: solids vs. formula -- long

    Cheers to you for nursing your twins and doing what you do! I also agree that I would move to offer more solids, and shy away from the formula. Formula gets in the way of the babies getting the most immunities they can from your bm. Plus it tastes horrible, smells horrible, and is "processed".. Yuck. Keep up the good work! And good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    10

    Default Re: solids vs. formula -- long

    Thanks for all the feedback everyone.

    I think we will go with the second solids meal, since the advice was unanimous and I also hate the idea of formula.

    And yes, they're into the solids so long as they're well pureed. If they're chunky they're not quite sure how to eat them. So I think we'll do 2 pureed solids meals and then once a day let them fool around with solid chunks of a food they already eat in pureed form. I doubt much of it will get into them initially, but they'll learn.

    And we'll introduce more variety -- I think sweet potatoes are next. We're going slow because of family history of allergies, and I didn't want to introduce a new food the same week they had gotten a shot, just in case there was a reaction. Right now they eat the aforementioned avocado and banana, and sometimes we mix rice cereal in instead of banana because of the iron fortification. Good to know sweet potatoes are high in iron -- then I can stop buying rice cereal at all. I have Sunday off, so that'll be a good day for sweet potatoes.

    Thanks everyone! I feel better.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    22

    Default Re: solids vs. formula -- long

    I'm going to throw some thoughts out there, although most may not agree. My 6 month old is ebf except for 14 oz total of formula I gave him at 5 months. I did it because I was so stressed out that I would not be able to continue breastfeeding (work long stressful hours, likely lots of travel coming up, I was not keeping up with his needs pumping, etc) and I was terrified that he wouldn't take formula when the time came. So in the middle of the night one night I sucked it up and gave him a bottle. I used earths best organic. He sucked it down with no problem whatsoever and it did not seem to affect him whatsoever and it smelled no worse than powdered milk. I gave him 2 more bottles that week to make sure. As soon as I knew that he would drink formula if need be and that it wouldn't adversely affect him (in the short term anyway) I put the can aside and didn't touch it again. That was a month ago, guess I need to chuck it now. I point this out only because as soon as my concern was alleviated, my supply seemed to kick up! I was so worried about the "what if" it was affecting my supply. My point: learn from my "mistake" (yes, I do regret it I suppose) IF you do have to resort to formula (let's hope you never do because it is clear that is not your first choice) it may not be as bad as some have indicated. You do have a CHOICE there. My second thought is it is clear that your babies sleep well if they have a full tummy before they go to bed. What I've been doing is topping off my little one with a bottle of pumped breast milk at his last feeding and he is able to sleep for 10 hours. I had purchased a scale and found out he was only getting about 2 ounces at this feeding. No wonder he was getting up at night! So of course I can't go 10 hours without nursing/pumping, so I pump before bed and also once in the middle of the night. I get much more milk that way than when I pump during the day. So that's a long winded way of saying if you don't want to increase solids or use formula, you might try that. I know you said pumping hurts but is it possible you need a different size horn? Pumping should not hurt. There are websites with forums such as this one with lots of advice re pumping. There are ladies who exclusively pump because their little ones will not latch or whatever other reason. Let me know if you would like me to post a link. Sorry for the ramble and good luck to you!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: solids vs. formula -- long

    cevangel: thanks for the input. It makes a lot of sense. Today I was more relaxed about it, and the pumping happened more easily. I also remember that in the early weeks, I'm pretty sure sleep deprivation caused a dip in my supply. It's hard to get out of that vicious cycle sometimes, and I think cautious use of formula is valid in those cases. (The trick being, of course, to not allow a decrease in demand to further threaten the supply. Also, I was more concerned about allergies when the babies were tiny.)

    So, yeah, it makes sense. And I know pumping shouldn't hurt, but it does. I've tried different size "horns", and I'm pretty sure I'm using the best size. I always start with the pressure turned down, and then turn it up after 20-30 seconds, and that helps. It only gets really sore when I pump for prolonged periods of time (>30 minutes) trying to stimulate an increase in supply. If I stick to 15 minute pumping sessions it's not so bad.

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