QuestionsHow do I get the balance right between breast feeding and eating solids? When and how do I let go of one and transition fully to the other? (question received by email to Riverside Cares)
Riverside Cares Staff asked 5 months ago
1 Answers
Riverside Cares Staff answered 5 months ago

JILL: Transitioning from breastfeeding to solids should ideally (unless other circumstances dictate) be a gradually process as every baby is different, which means a different time frame will apply. Best to start at a time of day when your baby is relaxed, let them have a little breast milk first so they are not frantically hungry then offer a few bits of food. Ideally, sit them in a high chair or seat so they are able to pick up their food themselves. Gradually increase the amount of food each mealtime. As they became familiar with eating solids you begin in tandem to replace some breastfeeds with meals.
Never try and force-feed a baby, if they have had enough stop. Remember babies have small stomachs so eating small amounts regularly is the way to go.
Babies under one year still need either breast or baby milk as part of their diet. For example, typically a nine-month-old will still be having 16 to 24 ounces of breast milk or formula a day.
Do offer water at mealtimes, the current advice is to use an open cup or a free-flow cup without a valve. This will help your baby learn to sip and is also better for your baby’s teeth. It will be messy at first but your baby will gradually learn how to drink from an open cup. Try and stop all bottle feeding by the time they are one-year-old.
As an overview, as you gradually add in more meals and snacks you are aiming to only breast feeding first thing in the morning and as you put the baby down last thing at night.
The last feed at night is usually the last breastfeed ‘to go’ as it is often a good way to settle your baby and helps get them through the night. By the time your baby is one-year-old they will be probably eating breakfast, a mid-morning snack, lunch, and afternoon snack and supper.
The last feed at night will often continue for a while and can be difficult to stop. Replacing it with a story and a drink in cup is a good first step to stopping that last feed.
It comes down in the end to choice by a parent about when that feed stops in the end.
The NHS have some great information and videos have a look at
https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/weaning/
Riverside Cares can be contacted at info@riversidecares.co.uk.
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