Exclusively breastfeeding PAST 6 months....

Andrea - posted on 02/15/2010 ( 27 moms have responded )

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I know it's OKAY to introduce solids at 6 months - but do I have to? Can she get all the nutrients she needs from my Breastmilk for the first full year? I remember hearing that it was okay to exclusively breastfeed for the first year, with no other food, but can't find it now.

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Nadia - posted on 02/16/2010

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I exclusively Breastfed my baby until he was 10 months old and even then, he was only getting maybe a few spoons per day! Now he's 18 months old and I'm still breastfeeding but mostly when he gets up in the morning and before each nap, at bedtime and at night if he wakes up (3-5 times per day). He has a VERY healthy appetite for solids and he will try ANYTHING! IF if were up to him, I think he would just eat all day!!

I was concerned about waiting so long to start him on solids as people told me that he needs to start by the latest 9 months so he can learn the developmental skills necessary to eat and feed himself. But I have had NO problems with him feeding himself, in fact, it's just in babies to mimic us and learn how to feed themselves! My baby is stubborn and he insists on feeding himself and even if he completely misses his mouth, he says "Ummm"!

I was told (by an MD) that you can exclusively breastfeed until 2 years of age but in our western society, it is our culture to start our children on solids earlier. I'm not an MD but for my baby, it worked out very nicely to breastfeed exclusively until 10 months!

Good luck, Andrea!

Martha - posted on 02/15/2010

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http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids...
Your breastmilk is PERFECT nutrition for the baby until 1yr. "Solids before 1 are just for fun." AND as far as the iron concern, http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vitami...
Unless your child is anemic, iron shouldn't be a concern, just have them do blood work and check iron levels if you are really that worried, and you could still use iron drops instead of starting solids if you weren't comfortable with starting them. Also, no matter what, before the age of 1, NURSE BEFORE SOLIDS, no matter what, every single time. The baby needs to fill up on breastmilk, not solids.

Reema Fathima - posted on 02/16/2010

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I breastfed my first child exclusively for 6 mnths n introduced him to home food but continued to breast feed him until 2 yrs. never gave him any formula food or powder milk until 2 yrs, by god's grace he never had any serious health issues...i would be following the same for my 2nd kid as well...Happy breastfeeding...

April - posted on 02/16/2010

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YES!! it's very ok!! even doctors who aren't the most knowledgeable about breastfeeding say it is ok for you to EBF until they are 1 year old. the saying goes "food for fun until they're one". But I know of some mothers who have gone as old as 18 months old before introducing solids, so you're definitely ok!

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Kylie - posted on 02/19/2010

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Your baby has iron stores in his body that will get him thru the first 6 months of life but our human breastmilk does not have much iron in it so around six months your baby needs to source iron from solid foods. that is why you will see alot of rice cerials and other baby food being iron fortified.

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I did introduce my son to solids at around 6 months because he was interested in the whole thing. His interest came and went at random though, so there were quite a few days (even weeks) at a time where he would eat very, very little actual food... if any. Up to and even slightly over a year. He's a big (to me), strong, mostly healthy almost 2 year old now. :)

Melissa - posted on 02/18/2010

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My daughter is 7.5 months old and I did start her on solids at 6 months because I read about the iron issues but she does not eat very much and frankly does not like a lot of the foods. Sometimes she will throw a fit if I even try to give it to her until I give up and give her the breast. So, I asked my pediatrician and she said that it was perfectly fine to breastfeed solely if I wanted to. My daughter is very healthy and I say do what you feel is best, and your child will let you know when she is ready and interested.

Jenny - posted on 02/18/2010

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I asked my WIC nutritionist the same thing and she said the same that most of the moms have been telling you, breastmilk is the only nutrition they need for the first year! She advised me to let my baby eat finger food to help develop fine motor skills, but like others have said, it's just for fun. I skipped the whole jar food stage, saved myself tons of money and messes!!!

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We have talks on introducing solids where I live, it's free and run by the community health centre (so no commercial interest there). Basically, we were told that solids should be introduced not so much for the nutritional benefits, but more for their development. They need to learn to eat from a spoon, and be exposed to different tastes and textures, to help them accept different foods later on. Also, finger foods are good for their fine motor skills.
But every baby is different, and I say go with your instincts. You know your child best and you decide what is best for her.

Rosalinda - posted on 02/17/2010

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If your baby isn't interested why push it. There have been studies and children that are fed solids later have less digestive problems and less likely to develop other allergies to foods. I am a mother of a 5 month old and have no desire to push her into eating solids. She is still content with just breastmilk.

Julienne - posted on 02/16/2010

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Breastmilk alone doesn't have the iron requirements needed and it is recommended to add an iron tablet. I'd chat with your doctor about it. But that's the only thing I am aware of

Lise - posted on 02/16/2010

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Before a year, solids are just practice foods. You don't need them. I plan on doing what Lisa said.

Cassie - posted on 02/16/2010

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My daughter is has been exclusively breastfed since she was born, and she is now almost 7 months old. I have her daycare provider give her about 1-2 tablespoons of baby food 1/ day at daycare, but only if my daughter eats all of her bottle. When she is home with me, she only nurses. Everynow and then I will give her a little baby food, but only because she is constantly grabbing at my food. Her pediatrician told me at her 6 month checkup- I don't have to give her any food until she is 1 year old. That my daughter gets all she needs from my milk. Good luck

Sarah - posted on 02/16/2010

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Check out Kellymom.com. They refute that breastmilk doesn't have enough iron. I also found info there that babies don't make the full amount of enzymes to digest grains until 7-9 months. And if you can wait a little longer on solids and introduce them slowly, you can reduce your child's chances of developing allergies, eczema and asthma.

I just started to give my 6 month old some soft avodado in a Baby-Safe Feeder, basically a mesh bag that screws onto a handle. I chose avocado because it is raw and still has all its enzymes, it's very soft and has a lot of good fat for brain development. I was hoping to wait a little longer, but my daughter already is sitting unassisted, crawling and aggressively trying to take food from our plates, so I had to admit that she was ready. She's only getting a taste, more for the sensorial experience, to learn how to use her tongue and swallow and to be sociable at the table while the rest of us eat. I also really like the feeder bag because I can give her fresh foods without having to do a lot to prepare them and also because she can take ownership of feeding herself.

I gave my 2 older kids raw apples in the Baby-Safe Feeder without worrying about choking, carrots too. They're really good to use during teething too.

I will be very slow to introduce new foods, shooting for at least 2 weeks apart, and will hold off on grains until after 7 months.

Angie - posted on 02/16/2010

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i have 8 children and nursing 5 week old twins i dont give my babies baby food i only nurse tell thay are about 1 i feel there more likely to get allergies if feed food to early my children have none not saying if feed early thay will get them i just prefer to wait mothers milk is best

Marabeth - posted on 02/16/2010

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this is sort of off topic but i never understand when baby books or doctors say if you don't start a baby on solids between x and y months of age they will have a hard time learning to eat. that doesn't make any sense! if it was so hard to eat we would not have survived as a species for so long. we would all be dead if it was so important to eat a tablespoon of gruel once a day between 6 and 9 months of age!!

Andrea - posted on 02/16/2010

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Lisa, that is what I wanted to do - I plan to breastfeed for the 1st year, whether I introduce solids or not - but would love to ween at 1 year and go straight to solids from breastmilk. Sounds like breastmilk is good, just need to research the iron thing - I will ask my pediatrician about that. Thanks!

Minnie - posted on 02/16/2010

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I waited to give my daughter solids until she began picking things up and putting them in her mouth. She was exclusively breastfed until ten months. Went straight to table food. I still nurse her on-demand, and offer it quite a bit as well, at 16 months.



We have no problem with speech development here! I can't even list how many words/phrases she knows. And she is quite the adventurous eater. She'll try and like just about everything, and I attribute it to letting her take the initiative on beginning solids, and eating at her own pace. Her first meal was lobster, an orange slice and potato salad.

Beck - posted on 02/16/2010

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I thought the same re low iron after 6mths and also the importance of introducing food for speech development. Maybe something to look into if you are keen to keep bfeeding exclusively. I cant imagine my bub not having food- he loves it and always has! I think he would have moved out if we hadn't started him on food!!! Its his life! hehehehe He is 11mths and has been having food from 5mths. He still has 4 bfeeds a day which we will keep as long as possible. Good luck with your path

Tammy - posted on 02/15/2010

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Well i'm going to contradict the other posts on here as I heard that you should start introducing solids at around 6 months old as their stored iron levels start to drop, and that although breastmilk is great, solids need to be introduced.

Shannon - posted on 02/15/2010

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You know your baby better than anyone and if you feel that your baby is getting enough from your breast milk than go for it!! I had to stop breast feeding at 5 months with both my kids because it wasn't filling them up enough and they started biting me so we introduced food and formula to their diet and found they were much happier and slept longer at night. Your baby can get all the nutrients she needs from breast milk. If you haven't got breast feeding multi vitamins already I would highly recommend them. Mainly for yourself, because breast feeding sucks all the goodness out of your body including your teeth and hair and you may feel more tired than normal. I am wishing you all the luck! But if you cannot continue your plans don't feel bad, The first 6 months of breast feeding can give them the best start possible. xx

Katie - posted on 02/15/2010

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I have read that it's totally fine to exclusively breast feed for the first year. I have also read that your baby will need more iron starting at 6 mos. than breast milk provides so you may want to ask your pediatrician. However, I say trust your instincts.

Sheena - posted on 02/15/2010

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im not an expert but i think that the start of solids around 6 or 7 months is so they can learn to swallow other food as well...my first daughter was breastfed for only 4 months due to terrible thrush but the point it she was eating cherrios at 8 months liek a pro...however my now 7 month old is still breastfed adn has started jar food aalong with the boob and isnt even close to being able to have cherrios...im not sure it will be interesting to see what an expert has to say

Kelly - posted on 02/15/2010

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I was wondering the exact same thing. My sons only 3 months though so I won't be giving him solids anytime soon.

I've heard of some people doing baby led weaning, don't know what age but basically they breastfeed them exclusively until the baby starts trying to take your food and eat it.

Rebecca - posted on 02/15/2010

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It is totally find to just breastfeed for the first year, some babys are not ready for solids or wanting solids at 6 months. I say go with the flow and just read from your baby when she is ready to, if its not till closer to a year then that is fine! Happy breastfeeding!

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