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Advance advice on weaning/feeding etc

(19 Posts)
Focusfocus Wed 23-Sep-15 13:17:43

Dear all,

I am expecting our first baby in a few weeks and am trying to get some advice on people's experiences with breastfeeding, weaning etc.

I am Indian, living in the Uk for a decade, come from an EBF culture in India (for cultural, financial reasons formula feeding hadnt really caught on in India when I grew up). I am married into an exclusively formular feeding White British family in the UK (but that is not important, i hardly see them - but I do anticipate a pressure to formula feed, from early signs already). None of this is important!

Ive been making tons of colostrum (as my mum and grandma did too) and have on the advice of midwife collected it in about 30 syringes which are in our freezer. I collect about 5 mls in ten mins it seems. Not sure about supply later of course. Have done quite a bit of prep, got support line numbers saved, been going to our local brasserie and also had a session with our local private lactation consultant who is a tongue tie specialist.

Anyway - I am due to return to work when he is 6 months old (completed). Wondering if you had any advice on this (v v v tentartive feeding to weaning plan?)

0-4 months - the plan is to exclusively breastfeed from breast.

At 4 months - to introduce a Tommee Tippee first cup to encourage some feeds to be Expressed BM - and I also start expressing and freezing milk at this stage for later.

5-6 months - He continues to be on exclusive breastmilk till 6 months - but in the final couple of months I try (if he can!) to get him to take fewer feeds of the milk from breast and increasingly more from the free flow cup. I continue to express milk for the freezer

I return to work at this point - with some flexibility in arranging my hours on some days - but a full time return. He starts going to his childminder.

7th Month - We start introducing solids as appropriate. He gets the recommended 5-600 ml a day of milk - of which maybe 70% is expressed BM and the rest is a good quality baby milk (Thinking Aptamil follow on/or first infant milk). In terms of this first month of weaning I am thinking - mashed chunky steamed vegetables, mushy chunky fruits, porridge with some of his EBM or Formula.

8th month - Same as above, weaning diversifies and the 5-600 ml milk a day becomes slightly tilted towards baby formula milk from a cup. In this month of weaning I will probably think of adding meat/poultry/fish, lentils and pulses.

9th month - weaning diversifies into three meals a day and we try to move completely to baby formula milk from a cup with maybe some expressed Breast Milk. In this stage we will try adding some of his mum's Indian spices (turmeric, coriander, cumin - nothing else) - in the form of Daal soups, chapattis, mild curries with only spices as above.

10th month - we cut out the expressed breast milk and he continues to get infant milk from a cup till he is 1year at which point we switch to Cows Milk. at this point we hope he begins to take an interest in our family meals.

Now I know the caveats - I may not be able to breastfeed, I may have breastfeeding problems, he may or may not take to formula from 7 months etc. But this is a very tentative plan and I seeking advice on if it sounds okay as an intention - nothing but an intention.

You will see I dont mention bottles - that is because I would ideally like to bypass the bottle stage of things and go directly to a teat-free suction-free cup - like a free flow first cup, a Doidy Cup etc.

So - my questions are -

1. does this look realistic (assuming all goes well - which is a big assumption)?

2. Is it likely that I will be able to express and freeze milk when he is 4,5,6 months old to last for the reduced breastmilk feeds over months 7,8,9 as above? Of course I know this is dependent on supply?

3. For the gradual shift to formula from 7 months any particular brand comes to mind? i know they are all the same, and would have liked to go with Hipp - but would like a formula that introduces dairy to him (hipp doesnt) - hence was thinking Aptamil

4. Anyone else bypassed bottles to use cups? Any prefs for a teat/suction-free free-flow cup? I dont like the faff of the fancy ones and Tommee Tippee's basic £1.50 first cup seemed like a good starting point.

5. And finally, do the weaning foods seem okay?

Sorry about the epic message!!!

Focusfocus Wed 23-Sep-15 13:27:24

By the way - just to add - my lovely DH is brillintly and amazingly supportive of breast-feeding - may not have been clear from my psot- its MIL and two SILs (who DH ignores and manages) - who have started going on about how wonderful formula is - and FIL says how its far far better than breast milk. But thats a different matter.

NickyEds Wed 23-Sep-15 14:09:22

I don't see any glaring problems with your plan......except it could all end up very differently!!! a couple of things;
-I've friends who have ebf, with no supply problems at all but still can't express well.
-The guidelines are currently that if you wait until 6 months to wean you can introduce any foods except honey (and obvious choking hazards) so you don't have to wait to give meat, daal, curry, chapattis etc. Ds had a couple of fruit purees at 5.5 months but wasn't impressed so had roti and curry at 6 months-I have a photo of him with fat little fist full of curry soaked roti.
-The main formulas-SMA, Aptamil and Cow&Gate are all essentially the same so go with the one that they sell in your nearest shop.

All in all op whilst your "plan" seems fine it's just a bit much tbh. I think you'd be better of reading up as much as you can about bf and focussing on, say the first three weeks and establishing bf. The problem with a detailed plan like this is, even with the caveats you've put in, you'll expect it to be this way and no doubt be very disappointed if it doesn't. It's a lot of pressure to put yourself under for really no good reason-If your baby isn't ready to wean, won't take f, struggles to bf etc , there's nothing you can do about it right now.

VeryPunny Wed 23-Sep-15 14:18:13

Your problem is, you have a plangrin It may go swimmingly, it may all go to hell in a handbasket. Your baby won't have read the plan. IBoth of my DCs would have struggled with cups at 4 months - DS is only really getting to grips with one now at 10 months, and a lot of water ends up on the floor. Both of them happily switched between boob and bottle though - I used the cheapest Tommee Tippee ones. DS happily eats lots of dhal (chillies and all), no chance with DD.

You need to be a lot more flexible about this otherwise you are just setting yourself up for angst when you have to admit defeat and try another way that suits your baby. In the nicest possible way, you are massively overthinking this.

tiktok Wed 23-Sep-15 14:44:24

Focus, your plan sounds fine, but yes you are over-thinking it - massively.

Hipp is dairy - not sure why do you think it isn't? All formula in the UK is based on cows milk, except for the one brand of goats milk, and except for soya formula (which you would not use unless there was a problem).

Also not sure why you are expressing colostrum. There is no reason or advantage in this, except perhaps for babies of women with gestational diabetes (and you don't mention this) who may benefit from extra colostrum in the early days.

Just focus on enjoying breastfeeding, getting it established by being responsive and flexible smile

Yes, of course you can bypass bottles, BTW.

NerrSnerr Wed 23-Sep-15 14:49:25

It all seems fine as long as you don't seem stressed if things don't go to plan. My baby didn't really take to solid food until she was was out 9-10 months. She just didn't want it (she's 1 now and eats fine). I personally didn't plan anything and went with the flow but I know some people prefer it. Good luck.

Focusfocus Wed 23-Sep-15 14:51:52

Ahhhh I didnt express it! I was leaking profusely so was asked to collect in breast shells - which I did - and its only when I did put pressure (light!) that I found out the volume, thats all.

I knew when i posted that a "plan" would sound like I am massively planning and regimenting what is essentially an unregimentable process - with a new individual who hasnt read it.

But please realise - every little bit of it is simply asking for wisdom and counsel. In other words - if he cant BF or I cant BF - I am enormously happy to feed formula.

If he spits out daal - but loves it when he is 18 years old - that is just fine too.

My writing style has always been in the form of bullets and charts - that doesnt make me an inflexible person who is approaching her baby on a schedule. its hard of course to get these across.

I am not massively overthinking anything! These are my mind's musings which I happen to have writtne down that's all. Each is a nugget of thought and each would love advice smile

But really I am not overthinking this - I only thought about this yesterday and being the lecturer/researcher i am I jotted my thoughts down. :-)

VeryPunny Wed 23-Sep-15 15:32:30

Okay -some added pointers:

Broadly, all formulas are similar but some babies react differently to others (constipation etc). Some prefer powdered formula, others prefer ready mix etc, the list is endless, so it really is trial and error. Aptamil has lots of marketing (which is all bollocks BTW - immunofortis one month, pronutra the next) designed to appeal to middle class mummies, which is the main difference.

YOu'll need to make sure that your childminder is happy to follow whatever weaning you wish to do - our nursery is happy with BLW.

I left weaning to 6 months and the only thing I watched for was salt, otherwise both children got anything going. DS loves all flavours but found chewing harder work, and has a preference for softer foods; DD is much more fussy flavour wise but is fine with more textures (crunchy/soft) but won't touch anything with sauce.

As I said in my previous post, I think a cup is optimistic at 4 months; given the effort it took to express milk I would have cried if DCs had lobbed it over the floor from a cup.

I'd love for you to revisit your post in a year's time though!

Focusfocus Wed 23-Sep-15 15:39:05

Too true - the old adage of "dont cry over spilt milk" - wil totally not apply to expressed BM being whacked on the floor!!!

Oh the horrific thought of it!!

A lady posted recently about her DH mistaking expressed BM for milk that had been sat out for ages and chucked the lot out. Oh god!!!!

HisBowtieIsReallyACamera Wed 23-Sep-15 15:55:21

smile I had a plan with DS1 that once he got to 1 year old I'd wean him straight from breast to sippy cups of milk...
Despite the fact that he was perfectly happy drinking water from sippy cups, all forms of milk (expressed, formula, cows) got thrown on the ground!
Theoretically your plan sounds fine (although as other posters say, you are more cautious than necessary on introducing solids - apparently the flavours you eat make it into the amniotic fluid so LO will already be familiar with spices if you like them!). But my advice would be try to go with the flow and don't stress if the baby has different plans to yours.

Focusfocus Wed 23-Sep-15 16:15:37

Hmm. My DH's white British family has been going on about the dangers of offering curry to kids. But the thing is I am Indian, curry is what I was raised on from weaning till 23 after which fine I moved here but still, I eat curry all the time! I got so confused - when told he can't be given daal etc and needs to be weaned onto pasta with mince etc only!

Good to know it's okaM see that's why mumsnet is soooo useful. I asked my mum she said they never fed me pasta, it was all fish or chicken light curry without the bones or chilly, mashed with boiled dal and rice and chapattis soaked in yoghurt or daal to nibble on.

Also they don't have the weaning pots of ready food for me, as my mum and gran used to cook me these bits, but MIL says the pots contain added vitamins so I should do that instead.

Argh I have got totally confused with this food culture thing. DH and I are having curry tonight. As is the baby in my belly I expect....

tiktok Wed 23-Sep-15 16:26:09

OK, focus, sorry about the overthinking comment smile

Yeah, if your colostrum leaking is a bother, then collect it and freeze it. But wearing breast shells might encourage the leaking, so it's up to you to assess what makes life easier.

Still wondering about Hipp being non-dairy - it's as dairy as any other formula ie very smile

Your ILs sound like loons. Why are they even commenting?'s so NONE of their business! They clearly know nothing anyway. If they mention it again, ever, it might be an idea to draw a line in the sand and say the topic is out of bounds.

Focusfocus Wed 23-Sep-15 16:53:36

Ahh I was reading the hipp follow on website and it said something about no added lactose, but yeah of course they are whey based aren't they so that resolves the dairy.

So, Today's overjoyed discovery: My child can be given chapatti!! And Daal! And light fish curry! And like his mother, he shall not die of it!

tiktok Wed 23-Sep-15 18:37:15

Hipp follow on - like all follow ons, as far as I know - is casein dominant, not whey dominant. This is one reason why follow on is not recommended over regular formula, even for babies over 6 mths, as whey dominant is closer to breastmilk. Also not sure what you mean about no added lactose....not sure if any formula has 'added lactose'. You have to have lactose in it though, as this is the sugar in all mammalian milks smile

Focusfocus Wed 23-Sep-15 19:01:44

I see. Thank you! Yup had heard that about follow ons, advertising cons and all that!

FattyNinjaOwl Wed 23-Sep-15 19:24:12

As PP said your ILs sound batshit. It's nothing to do with them being white British. I'm white British and DS1 and DD were both given curries, chilli, pasta. Anything I ate, they ate.
Just give them whatever you are having, but less salt. It's what I did and will do once my 7 week old is weaning.

VeryPunny Wed 23-Sep-15 19:29:32

If you use formula, the advice is to use first stage milks until a year - follow on milks are basically there to get round the marketing restrictions on first stage milks.

Daal is an excellent weaning food - red lentils, for example, are high in iron.

I would echo what tiktok said - just don't discuss this with your in laws. FWIW I never used bought baby foods, but did use vitamin supplements past 6 months.

HisBowtieIsReallyACamera Wed 23-Sep-15 21:19:12

Well I'm Scottish so was probably weaned on mince and tatties (potatoes) but I love curry and have found veg and lentil curry with paneer to be a favourite with both my boys. Good for freezing in small portions too smile
I'd say tactfully ignore your in laws and just wean baby onto whatever food you and your husband like to eat, no sense in doing additional cooking or buying jars/pouches (except for occasional convenience when eating out, but my DS2 isn't keen on them, would rather steal our food!)

CultureSucksDownWords Wed 23-Sep-15 23:24:25

I'm vegetarian so my DS had my (non authentic) version of dhal from 6 months ish. I used as many (mild) spices as I could to introduce a wide range of flavours. It's a myth that baby food has to be bland.

Pots of baby food do have added vitamins/minerals, however this is because most of the naturally occurring ones have been destroyed by the processing. Fresh food is absolutely more nutritious than jars/pots of processed baby food. They are meant for infrequent use not a regular things.

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