Introducing Solids While Breastfeeding | Emma's Diary India

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Introducing solids while breastfeeding

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Advice on weaning your baby in conjunction with breastfeeding

Introducing your baby to solids when you are breastfeeding shouldn’t be difficult as long as you take your lead from your little one.

Remember that until he reaches six months of age your breast milk contains everything your baby needs to grow strong and healthy, as well as helping to protect him from diseases by continually boosting his immune system.

At around six months your baby will be showing signs that indicate he is ready to start having more solid food.

To help you, here are some of the signs to look out for:

  • Sitting unaided and holding his head steady
  • Being able to co-ordinate his eyes, hands and mouth, so that he can look at food, pick it up and put it in his mouth.
  • Being able to swallow food - if your baby isn’t ready, the food will be pushed back out of his mouth.

If these have happened and your baby is six months old, then you can try him with his first foods.

How to get started

One of the easiest ways to do this is after your lunch or teatime breastfeed; offer him a simple taste of mashed up banana or apple purée.

Introduce a few basic tastes after your usual breastfeeds and see how he responds. If he's not interested, the timing isn't right, so just wait and try again in a few days or weeks.

If he does respond well to the food, then gradually add in different tastes and slightly larger amounts as the weeks go on.

Dropping feeds

If you take this process gradually by reducing the amount of time you breastfeed first, and then as your child eats more solid food and wants less milk you can start dropping feeds slowly.

Taking things slowly should help to avoid your breasts getting sore from excess milk which could lead to blocked ducts, or mastitis. If your breasts do feel full and sore, just express enough milk by hand or by pump to relieve the pressure.

Milk is still important

Remember that even when your baby has progressed to eating three 'meals' a day and starts to drop his milk feeds, he will still need milk as a major part of his diet until he's 12 months old, either through continued breastfeeding or follow-on-milk.

Be prepared to feel emotional

Breastfeeding isn't just about food, it's also about comfort, closeness and security, so you may find reducing the amount of time you breastfeed quite an emotional experience.

Do remember that you can still enjoy having a special time with your little one by reading a book together or playing a game, or just cuddling.

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