DD will be 26 weeks in a couple of days and is showing all the signs of being ready for solids. While on the one hand I am quite exciited about starting to wean her, on the other hand I want to get it right so that she doesn't start to cut back on her milk feeds too soon. She is exclusively bf'd and has recently moved from frequent 45-minute feeds to 4 or 5 much shorter feeds per day and a good 8 or 9 hours sleep at night, so it already feels as though she is cutting back.
My plan is to bf DD as normal and offer solids approx an hour after her lunchtime feed at first, so that the whole experience is more about getting used to tastes and textures than satisfying hunger. However, I have no idea where to go after this! How long should it be before I up the number of meals she eats per day? At what point should food be given before milk?
So many of the mums I know with similar age babies who weaned earlier are already cutting down on milk feeds, and now that I've got this far with bfing I really don't want to stop. I suppose really I'm worrying that if I get this wrong DD will develop a taste for food too soon and it'll be too late to reverse this. She's already over 20lbs with quite a large appetite and I don't think she'll have any problems taking to solids!
I always kept milk feeds apart from solid feeds so I didnt give both at once. I also gave milk first and solids some time later e.g. roughly like this
7am - milk 8am - breakfast 11am - milk 12pm - lunch 3pm - milk 5pm - dinner 7.15pm - milk in the night till 8 months - milk
I think that keeping the solids seperate prevented ds from dropping his milk too quickly and I didnt ever change the order i gave milk/solids. As he grew less interested in the day feeds I replaced them with a snack and a drink of water and he has kept the am and pm feeds till now (22 months) although he takes cows milk in a cup instead of milk in a bottle.
First of all, relax! Don't get too cought up on the finer details like when to increase meals or when to stop offeing milk feeds, take it one day at a time and follow your DD's lead.
Offer milk feeds first to start off with, food is more for the learning experience than anything else. Just offer her food, if she wants it she'll eat ot, if not no problem.
From 6 months you could start introducing two or three mealsfairly quickly, but if you think she's getting all she needs via milk then there is no need to rush it.
I'm not sure about dropping milk feeds. DS BFed on demand and I just let him feed whenever he wanted to, and he slowly wanted less and less feeds as he got older. By a year he probably had 6 feeds a day and two at night.