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Thread: Specifics?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    148

    Default Specifics?

    My DD will be turning 6 months on Thursday, and we will be introducing her to solids in the very near future. I've read that I should start off slow so as to avoid early weaning. I would really love to breastfeed well beyond one year if she remains interested, but I noticed that much of the literature out there seems to talk about nursing up to one year. So what does breastfeeding beyond one year of age look like? How often do these babies nurse? How long are the feedings typically? Do they continue to nurse before solids, like the books say to do when first starting solids? Or does breastmilk become more of a beverage rather than a food at that point?
    Mommy to Baby K, born 5-13-08 after 30 hours of labor and a c-section

    Pumped for 30 months

    3 years of breastfeeding and counting!!!!


    I'm a (breastfeeding) (vegetarian) mama!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,643

    Default Re: Specifics?

    Congratulations on getting to 6 months! Put down a tarp and roll out the solid foods. You definitely can- and should- start slow with solid foods. Until the age of 1, breastmilk alone meets all your baby's nutritional needs, and solids are just for experimentation with new textures, tastes, and motor skills. (This is according to my very pro-BF pediatrician.) Don't be surprised or concerned if your baby is not at all interested in solids at first, or even if she's reaches a year and still won't eat more than a teaspoon or two of solids. The transition from needing only mama's milk to needing lots of solids is a gradual one, and many kids (like mine) are well over a year old before they begin to eat a majority-solids diet.

    I noticed that much of the literature out there seems to talk about nursing up to one year.
    Sad, isn't it? The assumption is that everyone weans at 1 year, and there are a lot of falsehoods out there regarding extended nursing. "Breastmilk has no nutritional value after 1" is a common one.

    So what does breastfeeding beyond one year of age look like? How often do these babies nurse? How long are the feedings typically? Do they continue to nurse before solids, like the books say to do when first starting solids? Or does breastmilk become more of a beverage rather than a food at that point?
    The answer to these questions are different for every mom and baby. Some older babies are content to nurse once or twice a day, while others nurse as frequently as newborns. Most fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

    Most babies do nurse for shorter time periods as they enter toddlerhood- 5-10 minutes and they're off and running- but sometimes they'll want to spend a nice long time relaxing at the breast.

    Whether or not you nurse before solids is up to you once your baby is over a year. If you want your baby to nurse more, offer the breast before solids. If you're ready to throttle back, offer solids before the breast. Eventually breastmilk does become more of a beverage than a food- but when this happens is variable and the transition is gradual and something that will just happen naturally if you don't stress about it.

    It's great that you're planning on nursing well beyond a year!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Pullman, WA
    Posts
    363

    Default Re: Specifics?

    My LO is now a year old, and I'm really glad that I thought about BF past 1 year when he was 6 months old. He was hesitant to start solids, really didn't take in much until he was about 8 months. I had one doc tell me that I had to get him to eat solids (he was 7 months at the time) because I wouldn't be able to keep up with him. Not true. The best advice I got was to trust my baby.

    I continue to trust him. Some days, he wants to nurse a lot (up to 8 times a day). Other days, he seems too busy, and I offer because I start feeling full. He sleeps with us, and I still feed on demand through the night (usually once when I come into bed, once in the middle and once more to keep him sleeping a little longer in the morning). He sometimes nurses during naps, but often I am up and getting stuff done around the house.

    For us, breastmilk continues to be much more than food or beverage. It is our reconnection when we're both busy. It fixes owies. It makes me feel better about his nutrition when he only wants to eat Cheerios for three days straight.

    I hope you and your LO have a nice long nursing relationship ahead of you!!
    Stephanie, mom to Jaime Hoban 11/04/07 and Annika Jayne 12/21/09


    We . . . no room in the bed for more!

    We love our cloth diapers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: Specifics?

    Thank you so much for your responses. I learned quickly that breastfeeding isn't an exact science and all babies are different, but it helps tremendously to have an idea of what to expect. I really value my nursing relationship with my LO, and I don't want to inadvertently jeopardize it by a lack of knowledge or a wealth of misinformation. So thanks again for your input!!
    Mommy to Baby K, born 5-13-08 after 30 hours of labor and a c-section

    Pumped for 30 months

    3 years of breastfeeding and counting!!!!


    I'm a (breastfeeding) (vegetarian) mama!

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