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.
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.
I noticed that much of the literature out there seems to talk about nursing up to one year.
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.
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?
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!"