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Confusion in Baby Feeding & Weaning

Posted Apr 24 2012 1:09pm

Parenthood is a funny thing, isn’t it? One minute you’re bopping along thinking I got this! Then the next minute, someone mentions something that never crossed your mind and you’re questioning everything you’re doing.

This happened to me yesterday. I was talking to Christen, my bff, and we were talking about flights to our bff’s (also Kristin) bachelorette party in July. Apparently I like people named Ch/Kristin and still enjoy using 7th grade-appropriate vernacular, like bff. Also, I enjoy bachelorette parties.

bach

Anyway, it will be my first time away from Hailey for more than a night and I’m a little nervous. Most of the group is going Thursday-Sunday, but 3 days of pumping when I’m not accustomed to doing so has me worried.

Will I have time to pump 5 times a day?

Since my body isn’t accustomed to it, will I get all the milk out? (I often feel like I can’t and it’s so uncomfortable. Not to mention getting mastitis on a bachelorette party weekend sounds like my personal version of hell)

Will I be able to store up enough milk to feed Hailey 5 times a day while I’m gone?

Then Christen said, “well, she’ll be 10.5 months by then so you probably won’t still be nursing 5 times a day”.”

I won’t?

“And she’ll be eating more meals, so she’ll have table food, too.”

She’s supposed to be eating MeAls?!

baby peas

These things never even crossed my mind! I have always planned (hoped) on nursing until Hailey is 1 year old, but I never considered how many times a day I’d be nursing her by then. It makes perfect sense that as we added in more food, that she might nurse less.

baby carrot

I went to Dr. Google (David often mocks me for trusting a search engine to provide the best guidance for how to raise our child) and of course the opinions varied greatly. Some people still nursed their 10 month old 6 times a day, while others were doing just morning and night. I spent some time on Wholesome Baby Food and saw that between 6-8 months, babies typically nurse every 3-4 hours, but between 9-12 months it’s every 4-5 hours.

This means that by 10 months Hailey may only be nursing 3 times a day. This actually makes a lot of sense because I’ve lately felt that I could drop her to 4 times a day since that is all she seems to need, but I wasn’t sure if I should do that or not until I spoke to her doctor.

So there, that should have eased my mind, right? Maybe by 10.5 months I’ll only be nursing 3 times a day, which is a lot easier to keep up with than 5 times a day.

But then… I need to make sure she’s eating plenty of table food. Oh geez.

IMG_5441

Hailey has been a very adventurous eater throughout our baby led weaning process, but I don’t know how much she is really eating. I usually give her pieces of whatever I’m eating: an avocado slice, peas, a mango, etc. However, she isn’t really having meals. So I decided to make a more concerted effort to give her structure. For this, I’m going to give her breakfast and an afternoon meal, where she actually sits down and eats, each day.

This morning’s breakfast was a scrambled egg yolk and 1/2 an organic apple, sliced and cooked.

baby breakfast

She preferred the apple over the egg (go figure- it’s sweet!) and ate about 1/2 of the whole meal… meaning… she ate 1/2 an egg yolk and 1/4 an apple.

baby apple

Super!

…right?

…is that enough?

Baby led weaning says that food is more about being exploratory in the beginning. Hailey is a great little explorer, but I’m going to need her to be an eater, too. I have a few organic puree pouches on hand for when we’re out and about and she loves them. So the thought has crossed my mind to maybe add in a homemade puree a day to ensure she is getting enough food. I’m not going to do this quite yet, as she shows no signs that she’s not getting enough food, but I am keeping it open as an option.

baby happy eating

So there you have it. A wordy, discombobulated post with no conclusion. I’m such a pro Winking smile

I know every baby is different, but if you have some experience in this arena, how many times do you nurse (or give bottles- how many ounces?) a day? How many meals do you give your child? And how much food does a meal consist of?

(don’t forget to tell me how old your baby is)

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