I am not a medical professional. If you have questions about early weaning, talk to your child’s pediatrician, and make your own judgement call based on that information.
The rule of thumb is generally that you breastfeed or formula-feed for 12 months. It is also recommended that one of those two liquids continues to be your child’s main source of nutrition from whenever you start them on solids, until they are at least a year old. My plan was to nurse anywhere between 12-18 months.
Solid Foods Changed That Plan
We started introducing Kenna to solids just after her six month “birthday.” She had been showing interest in food for a couple months, and we had just finished sleep training (even though she was still waking through the night). She was sitting up independently and had fairly decent hand-eye coordination; surely enough to bring something to her mouth.
She loved food. She didn’t end up eating a whole lot of it for a couple of months, but she loved feeling the different textures and playing with spoons. We chose to do a mixture of baby-led-weaning (BLW, read up here if you aren’t familiar with this) and *homemade purees. I started with anything veggie or fruit related we had with our meals, in bite-sized pieces for Kenna, in addition to the following purees: sweet potato, avocado, pear, carrot, and store-bought organic applesauce (no added sugar of course).
*No judgement to the parents that choose pre-packaged foods – it’s so much more convenient and time-saving. I chose to make my own purees because I had the time, and Kenna was also eating off our plates, too.
Here’s the kicker, though. I started introducing water at meal times too, which (I think) messed with her desire to nurse for hydration. I kid you not: this kid would drink a full 7 oz munchkin cup of water in one sitting. She refused to drink breast-milk out of this cup, or a bottle, and I felt like a terrible mom for not giving the kid something to drink with her meal.
So I let her drink oceans of water. The doctor said to give her formula or try to keep offering the breast: she refuses anything but water in a cup and she won’t take a bottle. I couldn’t win. So eventually I gave in. I always pictured weaning as being a daunting task with lots of heartbreaking cries, but she was happy.
And Down Went the Reserves
My supply started to drop in response, and by 10 months we were only nursing once a day in the wee hours of the morning. She’s going to be 11 months on the 16th of July, and we nursed today for the first time in 2 days – we really only nursed today because I was snuggling her while wearing a low cut top and she just wanted to play with le girls.
So… What Now?
At this point we’re petering off at her pace. My supply hasn’t dried up yet, and if she wanted to jump back into it for some reason, I’d be happy to fulfill that need. Honestly, though, I don’t see it happening. She’s happy, healthy, and growing as she should be; I see no reason to change what we’re doing.
That’s the beauty of parenting. You know your child best and get to decide which direction to go in regards to feeding.
“Fed is Best.”
Until next time,