advice wanted on introducing solids(42 Posts)
DS is 16 weeks old. He was two weeks late. He is as strong little chap, has no problem holding his head up, has two teeth through, is picking things up and putting them in his mouth (teething toys etc) can just about turn a page of a board book.
He sits in his highchair and watches intently while we eat and makes eating motions with his mouth.
He is EbF on demand and I'd like to start introducing small amounts of solid to begin getting him used to different tastes etc. I have already given him a tiny taste of banana which he responded well too.
Part of the reason is that I have to return to work at 6 months and he will be going to nursery. I cannot express enough milk and would prefer him to be able to have some solids by then.
I know guidance suggests that babies should not have solids until they are up until 6 months but I think he is ready. What do people suggest? What kinds of food could we introduce him to? I'm thinking very tiny amounts for now. I really not interested in buying baby rice or cereal, i want to offer him stuff that we'd eat straight away (though within reason obviously!)
Sounds like you want to go down the baby led weaning route. Suggest you buy the Gill Rapley book for advice on that.
However - and I know you already know this - your little one is not even 4 months old. The advice is clear that there is no benefit whatsoever to babies in introducing solids at this point and there is also some risk attached. I hear what you say about you going back to work but I honestly don't see the benefit t rushing this. Great that he is looking and 'chewing' but he is physiologically not ready for solids yet so I just wouldn't rush it.
bringing things to his mouth and having teeth are just developmental things and nowt to do with his readiness for solids.
He doesn't need food yet and having weaned two babies I would leave it til he is around 6m as it's tons easier. You can skip the purees if you want and go straight to proper food and they can have wheat etc then. Just no honey or choking hazards like nuts and whole grapes.
I had to start spoon feeding son @ 15 weeks on paediatrician orders... Started with puréed fruits such as mango or pears. Also have puréed veg like carrots, butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Graduated to potatoes and them started adding fish and meats. He is now 9 1/2 months and thriving. He eats what we do now pretty much. I know people have varying opinions in weaning early but it worked for me.
You can skip the purees if you want and go straight to proper food and they can have wheat etc then.
Skipping purees i what i hoped to do. So do i need to introduce formula so he is able to take that by the time I go back to work in Feb?
BonaDea I hear what you are saying and will look at babyled weaning. I am a little anxious (and sad) though as continuing EBF is not going to be doable right up to 6 months
no need to introduce formula unless you want to, why do you think you need to give formula? there's good evidence that continuing bf while starting solids helps to protect against allergies.
you could leave expressed milk or formula for while they are at nursery regardless of how much solids they are taking.
Did you want to stop by before they start nursery or continue to bf part time or a mix of expressed milk and direct feeding?
I would gently suggest that stopping bf and starting nursery all pretty much together would be a lot of change for you both to get used to at once. Having a lovely cuddle and breastfeed after coming home from work is pretty nice
God no, I want to bf forever! I want to introduce solids before nursery as there is no way i can express enough for a day. So mix between bf and solid food. If I dont express enough then my only option is formua IYSWIM. So introducing solids should negate that.
If i'm honest, I really dont want to introduce formula.
Perhaps Im being a bit daft here..
you aren't being daft at all
If you could express enough for one or two feeds a day baby will probably manage ok with those plus food and water at nursery, if you carry on bf the rest of the time. Though they may do some catching up overnight.
OP, I totally get that you won't want to express all that milk! I don't like it either and never seem to get much.
But even if you start solids now there is no way your little one would be managing enough at 6 months to go without milk during a day at nursery not would it - at that stage - be supplying much overall nutrition.
So, I think your best bet would instead be to hold off on solids but perhaps slowly start introducing some bottles of formula - maybe just one a day to start with - to get LO used to it. Aim to get to the point by 6 months where he is bf'ing when you'll be at home (morning and evenings?) and on formula the rest of the time. That will mean less of a shock when he starts nursery and also will mean your supply has sorted itself out.
Honestly I don't think weaning is the answer at this stage.
Op you can definitely continue to bf once back at work. I did with dc1 and am back at work after dc2 next week, still bfing (she's 8 months) and planning to bf for a good while yet. I don't like expressing, so if she needs milk during the day she will have formula. You don't need to introduce any at this stage if you don't want to, but it makes sense to practise with a bottle or cup, even with a tiny amount of expressed milk, just so your baby can learn how to drink from other sources than a breast.
I agree with BonaDea - your little one wont be taking enough solids at 6 months to simply just eat solids during the day and rely on bfs at morning and evening. I'm back to work in 4 weeks - DC3 will be nearly 7 months. He is EBF - and like you I have no intention of giving up BFing. He's just started weaning - lots of grabbing food and sticking it in his mouth but not much going into his stomach. I'm going to slowly introduce a bottle of formula during the day after he turns 6 months so he can have one or two bottles of formula during the day which with his nanny while he's still establishing his eating (bear in mind BLW babies dont really seem to fully crack eating until a few months after starting to eat) and will bf morning, evening and night if and as required. FWIW I went back to work when DS1 was 7 months (started weaning him at 4 and a half months onto purees - no way was he eating enough at 7 months to be able to cope with no milk during the day and my workload/place meant I couldnt express) so he mix fed from them and the same with DS2 (who was BLW - took to it well from 5 and a half months but again, no way he could have gone with just solids during the day).
Ps bf DS1 till 15 months, DS2 till 26 months.
Also OP if you do consider expressing, you will likely be able to get more if you have a regular expressing time each day.
Your body seems to get used to the extra 'feeds'.
thanks loads for the advice. lots to think about. I think I had hoped that I might be able to express enough for a feed at nursery and solids and water could keep him going. Realistically I know that isnt going to be enough. Advice here has been really helpful.
I express so SH can have him occasionally and so much gets wasted. I find it disheartening as it can take a few days to get enough for me to go out for a few hours.
I know have to get over my guilt about using formula. I know its ridiculous but I come frm a close female family, none have used formula, its bloody stupid but I struggle tbh
I would feel less guilty about using formula than weaning early iyswim - formula is a more appropriate food for a 4-6 month old than filling them full of solids. Before 6 months they can only have fruit, veg and rice anyway - so there is more calories and nutrients in formula.
EBF until around 6 months has the best health outcomes by the way - so breastmilk until around then and then introducing some formula and solids would be a better solution than early weaning.
thanks lily in an ideal situation I'd just ebf until 6 months then baby led weaning but sadly I have to go back to work.
I'm aware of guidelines and things but within that i know there is wiggle room and some babies are ready to begin solids a little bit sooner.
I have heard that egg is a good thing to use when weaning (obvs not later) and rice, do you mean our rice or baby rice?
Sorry, I thought you were returning to work at 6 months.
yes i am but it seems unrealistic to that DS will adapt to solids immediately so there will need to be a transition IYSWIM. I basically wanted to avoid formula but unless i can express enough, that isn't going to be possible.
I really wanted to wean onto non-baby foods or products for babies. The idea being that DS will sooner or later just eat what we eat.
Going back to work is going to make that difficult
Nursery will work with you to wean him on to solids though - they won't expect him to arrive at 6 months fully on to adult food.
He is managing a knife and fork but the breast milk is a little slippery.
No seriously, I think i've been a bit unclear, apologies.
As I am returning to work at exactly 6 months, I wanted to begin weaning before then in preparation.
I was just seeking advice as to whether there was a way I could for example send DS off to nursery with...
4-8 ounces of expressed milk
some puree of some description
Without needing to introduce formula.
I think realistically, expressing 8 ounces a day is going to be impossible and I'm going to need to give him some formula.
I just wanted to find out what peoples thought on this were and wondered if anyone had any solutions.
A few people have offered some great advice sowhen I can get my head around formula. I.e which one is going to be best for DS, understand it's not the food of the devil himself etc, I'll probably go with that.
He'll need breastmilk or formula during the day, most babies have day time milk feeds until 9-12 months.
If you begin weaning before 6 months, don't give him anything like egg - stick to fruit and veg. Definitely don't give him anything before 17 weeks, and try to wait until as near to 6 months as possible. Couldn't you just let him try bits of fruit and veg a couple of weeks before you go back?
Agree with others that getting him on to formula is the best thing nutritionally for him.
If I were you I'd introduce 1 bottle of breastmilk mixed with small amount of formula at around mths. Perhaps around midday before his afternoon nap. Build up ratio of breastmilk v formula until he takes whole bottles of formula.
Solids won't give him the essential calories he needs for quite a while so I'd wait. The nursery will be used to weaning babies.
Are you returning fulltime and will you be able to pump at work?
I meant start introducing formula at 5mths! Darn phone
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