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so, what happens at 6 months?

(9 Posts)
nearlyreadytopop Tue 20-Sep-11 10:38:39

I have managed to bf for 12 weeks despite the nipple pain continuing and the suggestions from HV, MW, GP being pretty ineffective (but thats another thread entirely).
My minor 'goals' are weeks, each week is a bonus. And my major goal was 12 weeks. I now really want to get to 6 months.
But that has got me thinking what happens with breastfeeding when I start to introduce solids? Will the baby feed less often or take less milk? Do I offer food instead of milk? Does breastfeeding become more for comfort than nutrition?

EauRouge Tue 20-Sep-11 10:54:16

Wow, that's great that your still going even without proper help. Have you got things sorted now?

When a baby is ready for solids they are still just playing around really until they are one. You might want to read about Baby Led Weaning, it's convenient because you don't have to faff about with purees or cook anything separate for the baby and it gives your baby a chance to dictate when and how much they will eat. At this stage, breastmilk should still make up the bulk of their diet.

DD2 is 7 mo and at dinner time I BF her before we sit down to eat so that she's not hungry. Then she can just explore the food, find out about different tastes and textures (and what makes the best mess on the carpet). She doesn't have teeth yet but she can give stuff a good old gum if it's soft enough. I give her stuff like banana, carrot sticks, runner beans etc. Anything stick shaped that she can chew.

If you do BLW and BF on demand then a child will gradually increase solids and cut down on BF at their own pace. If you decide to stop BF then you will need to replace it with formula because a 6 mo is too young for cow's milk. I'm not sure how this would work because I don't know much about FF.

Here is the BLW website.

worldgonecrazy Tue 20-Sep-11 11:11:25

Well done on getting this far. You will probably find that the answers become clearer as you get to 6 months. Keep feeding on demand. Some babies do have a drop in milk requirements, and others keep going on mostly milk until over a year. All babies are different. The BLW mantra is 'just for fun until they're one' which refers to milk being the main source of nutrition until your child is a year or older.

BLW really does make it easier to judge. You just feed bm as normal and then allow baby to join you at meal times and maybe have a mid morning/mid afternoon snack too.

If there are no allergies in the family you can introduce cows' milk after 6 months but not as a main source of nutrition (maybe a little drink). Things like yoghurt, etc. can be given as well.

I also don't know anything about FF so if you want to stop bfing at 6 months you are probably better off asking a FF mum. Having said that, lots of mums get to 6 months and realise it's easier to keep bfing - there is nothing that can give a baby instant comfort quite like a cuddle and bf.

lilham Tue 20-Sep-11 11:22:06

First congratulations on going this far with all the problem you've got. I hope it's all sorted now and feeding is pain free.

I'm at 6mo so I can give you some insight what it's like. Just like bf, some babies are naturals and some are just rubbish with solids. My DD is a star at suckling and a super fast feeder from day. But she is rubbish with solids. While other babies just open their mouths crying for purees, mine at 25wo will open her mouth, suck the puree in, and then it all go straight back down the chin! She does the same with finger foods, bite chucks off and then they'll go straight to the bib. I'm doing only one meal a day, and I talked to the HV and she said basically don't increase meals until she's swallowing properly. But she advice I should do both purees and finger foods at this age to see which one she'll click first.

As a result she's still basically 'exclusively' breastfed, and I can't see her dropping feeds for a while.

lilham Tue 20-Sep-11 11:27:10

Just to add I'm still bf on demand. I give her a bf when she wakes up. After I have breakfast and a shower, I gave her a breakfast puree. This would be about 45min to 1hr after the bf.

cantmakecarrotcake Tue 20-Sep-11 16:08:11

Well done on getting this far despite the pain, I can't say I'd have managed to be so brave, I was lucky that we settled into BF quite easily, but I know so many don't. 6 months is a good next goal and I hope you reach it.

DD is 8 months so we've just done the bit you're talking about. We introduced solids around 6 months with a few false starts. I was BF every 2.5 hr in the day (I needed to convert 'on demand' into a regular routine just for my sanity) and whenever she woke at night. So 7-8 times in 24 hr I suppose.

DD was reluctant with solids so the HV advised me to drop a couple of feeds over a couple of weeks to get her more interested in solids. The first to go, and this almost happened naturally, was the 4pm-ish feed, and then the 11am-ish feed. Unlike the others I don't do milk 1 hr before a meal, rather I give the meal a bit before she'd be due a feed so she's actually hungry for it - and then if she ate nothing I know she'd get enough milk to make up the difference.

Our day now looks something like this:

7am breakfast
8:30am BF
11am snack (usually a baby bisuit)
12pm lunch
1:30pm BF
5pm Dinner
6:30pm bedtime BF
1-2 BF during the night.

She's picked up with her food intake now, so I'll probably let her taper off the afternoon BF by herself, and hopefully(!) when she goes through the night swap the breakfast and morning BF round so she gets a really good milk feed in the morning.

A FF baby should have a pint of formula a day between 6 and 12 months, so while that's not entirely translatable to BF it does mean that it's still important that a baby has milk for nutrition.

lilham, there's no rush on the solids. I fretted for 2 months when DD wasn't eating like her little friends. I think she's just getting the hang of it at 8 months and even now is picky despite eating a reasonable quantity. Some babies just take their time.

coldcomfortHeart Tue 20-Sep-11 19:52:42

I was stupidly ignorant of what happened at 6m. I really thought baby would start solids and stop needing milk pretty rapidly. Like others have said, though, milk is the main source of nutrition until about 12m and some babies get the hang of food much faster than others. Ds1 was sloooow- he was about 10m before he really started connecting food with hunger satisfaction, although he'd been taking in little bits before (baby led weaning) I didn't worry though as he was so healthy and gaining weight fine. the book recommended above is also reassuring.

On the pain front- I had terrible thrush with ds1 which only cleared up at about 6m, so like you was in pain for such a long time. It's awful and i hope you can get the support you need to overcome it? once my thrush went bf went from hell on earth to something special and lovely.

nearlyreadytopop Tue 20-Sep-11 20:41:39

Thank you all for your replies. Today to celebrate reaching the 12 week mark I bought a lovely new nursing bra :-)

I think I was under the same illusion as coldcomfortHeart ie baby would make a quickish transition to solids. I can see I have some reading to do.
On the nipple pain front Im back to GP tomorrow armed with info from the lactation consultant. I was treated for thrush a number of weeks ago and the deep breast pains stopped (nipple pain never really improved) but over the past few days I have been getting more 'shooting' type pains as well as the burning sting nipple pain. I do have too much milk and baby was clamping down to slow the flow. A change in position has helped this but not really improved the nipples which are sore, red and wedge shaped after a feed.

Thanks again for the info

AngelDog Tue 20-Sep-11 20:57:59

DS made a quick transition to solids in that he started eating lots at 3 meals a day from the day he hit 6 months, but he didn't drop any milk feeds till around 12 months. Up till then many people recommend offering a milk feed an hour before solid food to avoid solids replacing milk when they should be in addition to them. (The WHO recommend that only 50% of a child's nutrition should come from solids between 6 and 12 months, and two-thirds from solids between 12 and 24 months.)

I'd also recommend reading the BLW book - it's really helpful, even if you decide not to go down the finger-food-only route.

Hope you get the nipple problem sorted soon.

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