Breastfeeding & weaning

Some people have even asked will I stop when it’s time to wean. My answer is ‘why?’.

Why would I be stopping now? We all know that around 6 months babies show an interest in food, they grab it, squish it, rub it on their face, taste it and sometimes a little might even make it’s way into their stomach. We are primarily baby lead weaning. We like the tactile nature of it. It’s brilliant for fine motor skills, developing hand eye co-ordination and they learn to chew food a little earlier. Occasionally with things like porridge or fruity yoghurt I will introduce a spoon and we will do it that way.

 Some people say that after 6 months (weaning time) that your milk is diminished in nutrients and thus provides no benefit to you or baby. It’s just not true.

Myth 24: Nursing a baby after 12 months is of little value because the quality of breast milk begins to decline after six months.
Fact: The composition of human milk changes to meet the changing needs of baby as he matures. Even when baby is able to take solids, human milk is the primary source of nutrition during the first year. It becomes a supplement to solids during the second year. In addition, it takes between two and six years for a child’s immune system to fully mature. Human milk continues to complement and boost the immune system for as long as it is offered. — LLLI *

WHO Guidelines for breastfed babies making the transition to food and breast are as follows for Ivy’s age range and beyond:

AgeTextureFrequencyAmount at each meala
6–8 monthsStart with thick porridge, well mashed foods
Continue with mashed family foods
2–3 meals per day, plus frequent breastfeeds
Depending on the child’s appetite, 1–2 snacks may be offered
Start with 2–3 tablespoonfuls per feed, increasing gradually to ½ of a 250 ml cup
9–11 monthsFinely chopped or mashed foods, and foods that baby can pick up3–4 meals per day, plus breastfeeds
Depending on the child’s appetite, 1–2 snacks may be offered
½ of a 250 ml cup/bowl
12–23 monthsFamily foods, chopped or mashed if necessary3–4 meals per day, plus breastfeeds
Depending on the child’s appetite, 1–2 snacks may be offered
¾ to full 250 ml cup/bowl
a Note: If baby is not breastfed, give in addition: 1–2 cups of milk per day, and 1–2 extra meals per day.

How you choose to wean (baby lead, spoon-fed, combi) is in the end your decision but if you are breastfeeding don’t start to worry about stopping that too if you and baby aren’t ready.

 Yesterday we celebrated our own 6 month marker and now we will begin to introduce food. While I expect a small drop in my supply as she will be getting some sustenance from the food she will be eating, I know that because we cosleep she will inevitably suckle for most of the evening and we will probably not stop any time soon. 

How did you wean? What advice would you give to parents getting ready to wean?


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