confused about nursing and starting solids

Vicky - posted on 04/09/2009 ( 15 moms have responded )

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The doctor wants me to go ahead and start introducing my daughter to rice cereal. I have been giving it to her the past two days, I will feed her the cereal and then nurse right after. She doesn't seem to nurse as long after feeding her the cereal. Any advice on when to feed the cereal vs. when to nurse? What has worked best for you? There is so much information out there it just gets confusing. Thanks for sharing!

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Katie - posted on 04/10/2009

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I would nurse first and mix her cereal with breastmilk to increase nutrition, then nurse for a minute after to wash everything down.

I never did rice cereal because of the constipation issues and it really has very little nutritional value. I used whole organic oats and made a powder from them in the blender, then cooked it every few days (add 1/4 cup oats to 1 cup boiling water and cook on medium for 10 minutes). I thought it tasted better and is quite nutritious. http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com

I think there really isn't an issue with starting food a little early (you could even do avocado or sweet potato instead), but just know that you can question your pediatrician http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids... If you don't want to start solids yet, you don't have to. All major health organizations recommend starting solids at 6 months and breastmilk is reallky the only nutrition they need for the first year, so do what feels right to you.

Anne - posted on 04/11/2009

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Breastfeed her first - there are more calories and fats in breastmilk than anything else!

Christine - posted on 04/10/2009

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I second Katie on checking out the  http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids...



I started my son on avocado around 7 months.  I made some brown rice cereal for him (the recipe on wholesomefood) around 9 months.  He mostly eats whole fruits and veggies now, and some table food now at almost a year.  I strongly agree with the guidelines that our babies sole source of nutrition should be breast milk for the first year, so food was just a bit of a supplement, and fun with taste and texture.



I think it comes down to finding out if your daughter is ready for solids, and do as much research as you can to make your choice on what you want to do.  Take care :)

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Jennifer - posted on 04/12/2009

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Our doctor said that breastfeeding is total nutrition for the first year of life. Having said that, rice cereal is usually fortified with iron which is something our doctor wanted to be sure our baby was getting enough of. We've addressed the iron through daily liquid vitamins. We tried starting solids at 6-1/2 months but he wasn't really ready. At about 7-1/2 months, he really took to it. Don't rush it and wait for baby's cues. They will let you know when they are ready by mimicking you, smacking their lips when you are eating, and reaching for your food.

Andrea - posted on 04/10/2009

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When I first started my son at 4 months I always mixed the rice cereal with breastmilk and either fruit or veggies, two times a day! Now he will take the cereal with breast milk, water, juice, or formula! I have started mixing formula in the cereal at about 6 months and it kept him full longer at night... He now goes 6-8 hours before he nurses in the middle of the night, sometimes longer! It is great!!! If only I could get my 3 year old to sleep as good as my 8 month old! =)

Jennifer - posted on 04/10/2009

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I started my daughter on rice cereal at 5 months, mixed with breastmilk.  Switched to oatmeal cereal after a week on the rice cereal b/c she was fussy and starting waking every 3 hours at night after sleeping through the night previously.  I would nurse on one side, then offer cereal, then nurse on the other side.  After a few weeks of this, we added veggies (she likes them a lot better when they're mixed into her oatmeal cereal). 



I am now giving her 2 tablespoons of cereal 3x a day with a tablespoon or so of veggies mixed in.  I always nurse first now and do the cereal immediately afterwards b/c my pediatrician said the liquid feedings are really important for her to gain weight and my daughter hasn't been as interested in nursing lately (probably b/c she's full from the cereal).  This seems to be working for us.  Good luck!  

Danielle - posted on 04/10/2009

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when i introduced my baby girl 2 weeks ago i used to offer her one breast first then give her rice then finish her off with other breast. ( she always has both must be a hungry baby) however for the last week iv been giving her a bottle of formula with her meal, just seems easier and she's very content with me doing that.

Joy - posted on 04/10/2009

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I was always a little hesitant to start my breastfed babies on cereal but realize I should have been a little more diligent with it with my youngest, Between the ages of 4 and 6 months she didn't gain any weight at all and at the 6 month checkup the doctor really reinforced the need to feed her solids regularly and with that she gained normally after that. I didn't really push the solid food with my first three daughters and they all did just fine starting on cereal anywhere between 4 to 6 months without any issues.



Well, with that being said, to answer your question, I would usually nurse after, before, or not nurse at all when feeding solid food. For example, I would nurse her in the morning and then give her cereal about an hour later, then I would give cereal at around noon and nurse her before a nap, and then I would feed her cereal at dinner time and then nurse about an hour later at bedtime. This was a gradual process starting with just the morning cereal and then adding the dinner and then lunch and then introducing fruits, veggies and meats. I would just take my cues from my daughter as to when she was hungry for breastmilk and as the solids were gradually introduced the amount of nursings eventually decreased. I hope this helps!

Heather - posted on 04/10/2009

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Rice cereal is actually pretty constipating, and there is really no nutritional value....at 4 months i started with some oatmeal mixed with breastmilk. A couple weeks later i introduced avocado and sweet potatos. i usually mix water and some cereal in it so it is a nice mixture. sometimes if i am just giving her cereal, i add a little apple juice to it.

in the beginning i found that feeding her the food more towards her bedtime was best. she would be nice and hungry. i wouldn't feed too much because then she wouldn't nurse for long. what a difference though! she sleeps much better with a full tummy!

Lindsey - posted on 04/10/2009

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I started my daughter on rice cereal at 4 months as well (my peditrician recommended it). She gets one feeding of the cereal in the morning and one feeding right before she goes to bed. I mix the cereal with about an ounce of breast milk. I normally give her one breast then feed her the cereal then offer her the other breast afterwards. She eats a little under 1/4 of cup of cereal. She really enjoys the cereal and it has really helped with her sleeping through the night. Hope that helps.

Cristina - posted on 04/10/2009

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I say ignore the doc unless you are ready to stop nursing. You can introduce "solids" when she starts to try to eat off your plate when you eat or smacks her choppers as you feed yourself. Also, nurse her before you feed her any cereal. More often than not you will find that she is already full and won't want the cereal. I started my daughter on bananas around 6 months. I gave her bananas because i think that cereal doesn't have much nutritional value, unless you mix it with your breastmilk or formula. Hope this helps!

Nicole - posted on 04/10/2009

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My daughter has a little bit of the cereal 3 times a day and always nurses after. she doesnt nurse as long but i think it helps her tummy after eating the cereal.

[deleted account]

Did I see that your baby is 4 months old? I didn't start rice cereal with my daughter until 6 months. That is was is recommended by the Canadian Pediatric society (at least that is what they say now, when my 4 year old was little they said at 4 months) When I started my son at 4 months he didn't really know what to do with solid food. It mostly ended up on his bib and not in his tummy and I would nurse him after. If you want to just feed her once or twice a day with the rice cereal and if she is still hungry then nurse. Eventually she will get more out of the solid food. After starting solids with my son at 4 months and my daughter at 6 months I can say there is a big difference. My daughter was totally ready for solids and devoured the cereal when we started at 6 months.

[deleted account]

You need to nurse first or dont give her as much cereal. An ounce of cereal a feeding is sufficient to start. Tryin nurcing normally and then do a lunch time like noon feeding of the cereal and other than that you still just nurse. After a little while give an evening feeding too about 5pm. Soon you will be able to start baby food as well and the nursing will go down, but very gradually.

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