FOOD

Kari - posted on 12/02/2008 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I went to my daughters 9 months check up and when I told her pediatrician that she is still exclusively breastfeeding....he almost flat out laughed at me! I know im not the only one out there who does this so my integrity was not hurt but he never would answer my questions on when I do decide to start to feed her just how do I do it. I will actually start her around 15 months on food and not a year like I had planned because we are going to be traveling and I don't want to start food in Italy. I am not wanting to wean her but just open up the world of food to her but in a healthy way. Any helpful advice or books to read?

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Katie - posted on 12/02/2008

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Yes I would BF first and then introduce the solids (cereal is first typically) between two feedings or after a feeding. I had trouble wrapping my brain around introducing solids ( we started cereal at 6 months), but it went surprisingly smooth. It's not supposed to take the place of BF, it's meant to supplement what they're already getting. Our Dr said cereal at 6 mo, veggies then fruit at 7 and then gradually more after that. He recommended not reducing BF until 8-10 mo (ie don't offer food before BM until then).

Kylie - posted on 12/02/2008

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Wow I had no idea a baby could survive on BM alone at that age, my baby is 4mths now and exclusively BF, I intend to start solids when she is 6mths, I plan to use the baby led weaning method which is skipping the puree and starting with finger foods there is heaps of info on this on the web I just googled ' baby led weaning' and found heaps of really useful info.

Lindsay - posted on 12/02/2008

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I haven't started my baby on food yet (she's only 3 1/2 months) but I was told that, when I do, she should nurse first because that is the most important thing for her to have. Some women feed their babies before nursing because the baby is full and not interested after. In that case, I'd follow Rebecca's advice of trying the food an hour or so after nursing. Good luck!

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The conventional wisdom, I believe, is to offer them food when they aren't very hungry so they don't get frustrated. Maybe do it half an hour or an hour after breastfeeding, so she isn't stuffed :) You want her to be interested but not hungry and frustrated. Just keep it casual and fun and like others have said, offer simple, soft foods one at a time, giving a few days between each new food to watch for allergies.

Your daughter will let you know what she prefers! Mine suddenly started rejecting pureed foods after a couple of weeks of loving them, and we finally figured out that she wanted to feed herself. It's been all finger foods since then. Her eating has not affected her appetite for my milk at all. I still nurse her at least every 2 hours during the day (she is 10 months). I do notice she now expects to eat solids 3 times a day, but I think it's because she sees her siblings eating and enjoys feeding herself so much. Over the last 6-8 weeks my daughter has expressed VERY clear preferences about her likes/dislikes. Used to eat banana faster than I could cut it up, now turns her nose up at it in favor of wheat bread or sweet potatoes. And she'll let you know when she wants more or wants to be done. It's all about learning, and you don't have to worry since you know she's getting perfect nutrition from your milk!

Kari - posted on 12/02/2008

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Yeah I didn't see her normal doctor because she was out of town. Does anyone know if you should breastfeed first then give food? I have read a few places that if your not in a hurry to wean that you should BF till they are done/full then let them "experiment" with the food and let them decide when they would rather have more food than milk.

Cynthia - posted on 12/02/2008

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I nursed exclusively for six mos with my first and didn't wean until 17 mos (I was preggo and my belly was too big to fit around at that point) and went a whole year exclusive with my second, who is not yet weaned. Towards the end of his first year, I was nursing a lot, but it was managable. Your pediatrician should have been supportive. I would prob see someone new. I read The Everything Baby Food book, and it was helpful. Some of it won't apply because it talks about formula vs breast, but it talks about recognizing food allergies, how to introduce foods, how to prepare homemade baby foods, etc. It was very informative.

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I highly recommend the book "My Child Won't Eat!" by Carlos Gonzalez. First of all, it is published by La Leche League so he is extremely breastfeeding-friendly. Secondly, it is very informative and just a wealth of information. He goes into detail about the nutritional value of food and breastmilk, and also pays a lot of attention to developing healthy attitudes about food for your child. I can't recommend it enough - it is a fantastic resource.

Cristan - posted on 12/02/2008

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I feel like a dork because I always recommend him, but Dr. Sears's Baby Book is a great resource- he is of the school of thought that encourages breastfeeding as long as possible. He says to start with rice cereal then add fruits and veggies (like bananas and apple sauce), increasing in complexity and consistency. Introduce them one at a time, giving 4 -7 days in between to allow time for allergies to show themselves.

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