So many parents are told to wait until 6 months before starting their little one on solid food when actually the advice is that a baby could be ready between 4-6 months but not advisable to start before month 4. Starting at the right time for your child could help you avoid sleep regression.
How does weaning impact milk feeds?
How weaning impacts your baby’s milk feeds will depend on their appetite for food and the type of food offered. Some babies will maintain the same level of milk intake throughout the first stages of weaning but for most it’s unrealistic to expect a baby to maintain milk intake when food is introduced and of course this is a natural progression of weaning. If you are worried about how much your baby is drinking you can use milk to blend food for purées.
Regardless, shorter and reduced milk feeds shouldn’t add worry to the weaning process if you are offering complete meals rather than single veggies, ready made food or pouches. Meals made from whole foods containing fat, protein, carbohydrates and lots of veggies will replace the milk reduction but will also support sleep and sustain your baby well between meals.
I regularly hear from parents asking if breastfeeding alone can support a baby’s nutritional needs in the first year? In fact it’s often the case that breastfeeding alone can’t quite support a baby fully on the run up to six months let alone a year with sleep regression being one of the telltale signs. The suggestion or advice that breastmilk or milk alone can support your baby’s nutritional needs for the fist year can be damaging.
What WHO actually claims ..
Breastmilk provides all the energy and nutrients that an infant needs for the first months of life, and it can continue to provide up to half or more of a child’s nutritional needs during the second half of the first year, and up to one third during the second year of life.
It’s important to understand that your child is an individual. Breastfeeding may support less than a third of their nutrition needs in the second half of the first year and reduce again into their second year. If your baby is being fed the right food from whole foods this will cover their nutritional needs and calorie intake.
My bespoke weaning plans look at the individual with metabolism, rate of growth, feeding frequency, milk supply, daily routine and of course sleep. For help and support with breastfeeding, lactation and weaning?