Will my Baby Refuse Breastfeeding after Introduction to Solids?
Breastfeeding, like many other parental duties, takes time to understand. However, some breastfeeding mothers are often confused about baby feeding.
Some are not sure when is the right time to introduce solid food to their babies while others are not sure if breastfeeding should be continued. You, as a breastfeeding mother, may have many questions and you’re at the right place. Because in this article we have talked about some helpful tips & information that will come in handy.
When Do Babies Start Eating Solid Food?
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), the weaning of a baby usually starts after it reaches six months of age. Why? Because around this time, the baby’s digestive system matures & can digest solid or semi-solid foods.
So, after your baby reaches 6 months of age you can include foods, other than breast milk, in the baby's diet. However, this does not mean that it is healthy, for your baby, to stop breastfeeding. Instead, treat 6 months age as a milestone to include both breast milk & solid foods in your baby’s diet. Gradually, you can increase solid food in the baby’s diet & reduce breastfeeding over time.
Signs That Your Baby Is Ready For Solid Food
Are you confused if your baby is ready for a solid food introduction? Don’t worry, your baby will help you out here. Its development & behavior will help you to understand when it is safe & healthy to introduce it to solid foods.
Here are some signs that you should look out for before introducing solid food to your baby’s diet:
- has good head & neck control
- can sit upright with some support
- shows interest in solid food - like looking at what’s on your plate
- tries to reach out for the food on your plate
- Opens their mouth when you try to feed them food through a spoon
Usually, babies start showing these signals around the age of six months. However, if your baby still hasn’t shown any signs, don’t worry because different babies take different amounts of time.
PS: It is advisable not to introduce any kind of solid food before at least four months of age.
Breastfeeding Tips Even After The Baby Starts To Eat Solid Food
It is usually advised to the parents to keep breastfeeding and/or use infant formula along with introduction to solid foods until their babies are at least 12 months old.
Are you not sure if your baby is getting the right amount of breast milk after they start eating? Well, don’t worry, your baby’s behavior will inform you.
Let’s take a look at an instance. If your baby is eating good amounts of solid food and has started to refuse to feed on breast milk, then you can reduce breastfeeding for a major portion of the day. However, if your baby is not eating solid foods, then it may be because they’re full from the breast milk you fed him.
So our breastfeeding tips, after your baby has started eating, would be to understand your baby’s needs and accordingly set its feeding schedule.
Another tip: usually babies who are 9 months or older, develop chewing & swallowing skills. This allows them to move from having breast milk before other food to having breast milk after other foods.
Importance of Breastfeeding After Introduction To Solids
Do you know why it is important to keep breastfeeding as your baby’s main diet even after the introduction of solid foods?
Because the other foods do not provide enough fat than what your baby receives from breast milk.
Breast milk is filled with healthy fats & micronutrients that are essential for your baby’s growth & development during its first year of life. This is the time when its brain & body is developing rapidly, this is why it is important to include breast milk in your baby’s diet.
Your baby started loving solid food? It’s great news! Babies tend to be happy to consume solid foods after 6 months of age because they’re able to digest them. Well of course because it tastes good too! But still, keep breastfeeding a central part of the overall baby feeding schedule.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Avery K.
When she isn’t looking after the many needs of her 2 kids, Avery enjoys taking walks in the park, enjoying nature, and getting her daily fix of caffeine.