New territory...breastfeeding and starting solids

@foxyfire33 (10017)
United States
March 25, 2007 2:07am CST
My youngest is 4 months old and his doctor gave the go ahead to start solids whenever I'm ready. I wasn't planning to start until 6 months. Is there a difference when to start between breastfed and formula fed babies? This is the longest I've nursed and I don't want anything to interfere with that. With my formula fed babies I just replaced one feeding to start with when they were ready. If I skip a feeding while I'm nursing it decreases my supply so I don't think it works the same as replacing a bottle. Also I'm not sure how to figure out the timing of it. The rule of thumb with formula fed babies was always to start solids when they started needing a feeding every 2-3 hours. But except at night time my baby always has a feeding every 2-3 hours or more because he's breastfed. I don't think he's showing the other typical signs yet for being ready for solids. I don't want to start him too soon but I also don't want him to be hungry and have poor weight gain because I waited too long. For some reason this baby has made me feel like a first time mom again and I'm so worried I'm going to make mistakes because I'm doing things so differently this time around. If any of you have started solids while still breastfeeding I'd really appreciate your wisdom!
3 people like this
4 responses
@wmaharper (2316)
• United States
25 Mar 07
Well, it's really up to you when you want to start them on solids. The best rule of thumb is if they act like they are still hungry after they nurse, you could give them some solids. I would suggest that you nurse first, then offer solids. Solids are not supposed to take the place of a feeding, but be extra food at a feeding time. If your child has no desire for solids, doesn't act like he's hungry after you nurse him, I wouldn't worry too much, but do try to get him started on solids by six months, as there have been cases of older babies whom refuse to eat solids, and its easier to get them to try new things when they are younger. If you nurse your baby and then wait a couple of hours and then offer solids, you will mess up his feeding schedule. Also, if he is sleeping through the night, and you feel comfortable doing so, you could transition him to a four hour feeding schedule, which may increase his need for solids. To be mindful of your milk supply, don't offer much juice, as it fills their little tummy's but doesn't offer much nutritional value. I have been worried about my milk supply lately, as my six month old has been rejecting nursing more and more lately. I have cut down on his solids, and it hasn't changed any. My oldest weaned himself at nine months, and my youngest is acting like he wants to wean himself. I am pumping as much as I can, hoping this is just a phase, only time will tell. But normally, people don't have much problem with the transition, and their milk supply doesn't usually suffer. Good luck!
1 person likes this
@foxyfire33 (10017)
• United States
25 Mar 07
Thank you so much! He doesn't act hungry after I nurse so I think he is fine for now. Maybe in a another month he will be ready. I have been trying to space his feeding out a little more, the only time it really works though is when someone else is around to amuse him for that extra time...mommy equals food! I've never understood the value of juice when they're this little. All my kids have been given some because it was the normal thing to do but when I really thought about it, it didn't make much sense. Like I said, though, I trying to do a lot of things differently this time around. Hopefully he won't wean until he's old enough to drink other milk from a cup. The more I learn about bottles the less I want to use them now too. I hope things work out with your little one and it is just a phase. Maybe if he doesn't want to nurse, you could pump and give it all to him in his cup or bottle so he's still getting all the benefits, maybe that's what you're already doing. Either way thanks for all the advice and good luck to you too!
@SageMother (2277)
• United States
25 Mar 07
You can proceed through the growth spurts and nurse more. That is when you see the baby wanting to eat every 2 or 3 hours. I didn't start my twins on anything solid until they were about 6 months old. You can express your milk when a baby misses a usual feeding to keep your supply steady. Just pour it into a clean glass jar and refrigerate it. It can be mixed with the cereal you feed to the baby and it will still be better for him or her, than cow's milk. Cow's milk and formula tend to make the baby's stool harder and so you are taking a chance on the development of stomach issues while making the transition to solid food. If you slowly substitute formula it might go easier on the baby.
@Calais (10905)
• Australia
26 Mar 07
My baby was bottle fed, but he did start eating at 4 months, he was so much more content after that, even though to start with it was about 1 tablespoon a day and gradually went up every couple of days. He put on (not that he was skinny or anything)weight and the doctors were very pleased with him. I fed him first and then finished off with the bottle.
@blueyes (56)
• Canada
26 Mar 07
hi i started my daughter early when she hit 10 lbs. Dr. told me she wasn't filling up on the milk. She was bottled fed. She was eating every 3 hrs and still was always looking for more.Now my boys where nursed. I started them with a little bit of cereal. justa few baby spoons won't hurt. Just enough to hold them over. As long as your nursing the milk should be any less.