Baby Led Weaning and Formula Feeding

Celeste - posted on 10/14/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Hi Mums!
After reading Gill Rapleys book, I have been following baby-led-weaning with my LO since 6 months- now 8 months old. She is formula fed. I was wondering if any other mums are following this weaning process and how you are finding your babys ratio of food and also milk intake from about 71/2- 8 months onwards. She is not taking in huge amounts of food yet, but I can see from her nappies that she is getting some in.
Guess I am just having a wobbly and worrying a bit that she may not make the transition from food to milk on her own by the the time she is a year. (I know up to a year is just considered experimental for them though.)
Also, did anyone at any point start to offer smaller amounts of milk if bubs is hungry just to curb the hunger, and then offer food afterwards? She still has her bottle first (for hunger), then about 30 min later I will offer her food to try. She is having 5-6 bottles in a 24 hr period approx 30-32floz
Any advice and guidance would be really appreciated- first time mum!
Thanx everyone!

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Celeste - posted on 10/18/2010

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Thanks so much Jessyka and Sheila, I love BLW, and I must say my daughter wont let me come near her with a spoon- so cant do solids any other way anyway! Lol... Will definately keep going, and try spreading the gap between bottle and meal to an hour- that does make more sense. Thanks so much again for your replies! All the best with your LO's x

Sheila - posted on 10/17/2010

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Hi Celeste - its great being a first time Mum isn't it - but how worrying is it (;o)
My LO is just over 8 months and has been steadily increasing her 'solids' intake since 5 months of age. I noticed a decline in fluid intake over the last month or so, but she has been gaining weight steadily. However I have been unable to get her interested in a sippy cup yet... I did try to give her lumpier food for babies aged 7m+, but she vomited back everything (and some!) so we're back to puree foods, and have been introducing more finger foods for her to play with and eat at her own pace - so she can lead the way with the transition to next stage. I give my LO porrige and toast fingers, then a small bottle when she gets up, then she'll have a drink and a snack (usually mashed fruit) late morning, a lunch and small fromage frais..another drink later in the afternoon. At tea time she'll have a smaller meal and cheese strings and later another bottle during her bedtime routine. The only thing I have done differently recently is to give her a bottle first before breakfast as she has some thrush in her mouth and hasn't been drinking enough! Therefore her intake of her usual breakfast solids has diminished.
I have read (and have been told, and seen for myself) that if a baby takes in a bottle before food, this will curb their appetite and therefore they'll not take soo much solids.... all babies take in varying amounts, and I NEVER follow the serving suggestion on packs - I make the food up (if I've run out of home made food) as directed, but my LO has always been small for her age - she lets me know when she's had enough (;o).... sometimes she eats like a sparrow, and sometimes its like trying to stuff a couch - am sure your LO is doing just fine.... just keep doing what you're doing your daugther sounds like she's thriving
Best wishes - Sheila

Jessyka - posted on 10/17/2010

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We BF, not FF, so it may be a little different in that we don't measure how much my son is getting as far as milk goes, except during the day when hubby gives bottles.

However, we love BLW! My son is 8 months now and has really gotten a hang of this eating thing. I've noticed in the past week or so a dramatic decline in nursing, and hubby, when he gives bottles while I am at work, has noticed a difference too.

At first, we would only give him solids at dinner, so he was eating normally the rest of the time. He would have his bottles of BM during the day, he would nurse for a while when I got home from work, and then I would make dinner. He would eat/play, and then we would do his bedtime routine where he would nurse again.

You are doing the right thing by giving formula for hunger before giving food. You might want to stretch it to an hour instead of 30 minutes, though -- although solids are for exploration, you want to make sure that she is at least a little bit hungry or she may not explore very much! :) As she starts to have more of a solid intake, you could make her bottles a bit smaller -- say 2 ounces instead of 3 at a time (or whatever ratio based on what you feed her now). She will let you know if she is still hungry, and you are at less of a risk of wasting formula (I know that's expensive!).

As far as weaning herself off formula and onto solids by a year -- all kids get the hang of solids at different rates. Some, like my son, take off aroun 8 months. Others are 13 months. Just keep offering her food and eventually she will get it down pat. Also, keep giving her formula, because it will make sure that she gets the nutrients she needs while she is learning.

Kudos to you for trying something unconventional! We're having a blast, but a lot of people look at us like we're crazy, especially when my son was 7 months and gnoshing on corn on the cob.

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