Feeding baby

Food...

“I think it is time to feed the child”:

When to Introduce Solids to Your Breastfed Baby

This little man is ready! So was my daughter. She was six months old and cute as can be. She was just starting to sit on her own, had just cut her first tooth, and was grabbing at everything she could. I was sitting at the kitchen table with her in my lap trying to eat my dinner. Suddenly, she takes both hands and grabs my sandwich. My mom says, ” I think it’s time to feed the child.” Granted, my family thought my baby needed food way before then, I mean they were feeding their babies rice cereal at two months old, right? !  I was breastfeeding my child and things were going well, but even I knew that eventually she would need other foods as well.

How do I know my baby is ready for food?

The American Academy of Pediatrics and WHO recommends continuing to breastfeed or provide breast milk as you introduce solid foods from the age of 6 months to 1 year. Solid foods are meant to complement the breastfeeding, not replace breastfeeding. Introducing solid food prior to 6 months does not increase caloric intake or increase rate of growth, but does substitute foods that lack protective properties for breast milk which has protective properties.

Breast milk should still make up 75% of your baby’s diet until baby is 1 year old. Your

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Babies older than four months are easily distracted during nursing. They still want to breastfeed but may need a quiet place free from distractions, even then they may still find something to play with!

breast milk will actually increase in antibodies as the baby starts eating solids. Fortunately breast milk changes taste as mom’s diet changes which helps baby adjust to foods easier. As solid foods are introduced, some moms notice a reduction in the number of breastfeeding that a baby does. By twelve months the baby may only be nursing 3-4 times a day with a couple of snacks.

Remember, breast milk can be added to rice cereal or placed in sippy cup.

 

 

My daughter was telling us she was ready for solid foods:

  • Able to sit up on their own or very minimal support
  • Baby able to chew and no longer tongue thrusts
  • Good head control
  • Able to grab food off your plate and bring to his/her mouth (she definitely had this one down pact)

Encouraging Words for Moms:

Congratulations you have done it!

Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics, “Policy Statement on Breastfeeding and the Use of Human Milk”; http://www.healthychildren.org, http://www.nursefamilypartnership.org, http://www.breastfeedingusa.org

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