by Shani Leccima
I have been fortunate to nurse all of our children. I am the mother of four girls and my youngest is almost one. Who is trying to store toys in my bra for later, as I type you now…
Each of them has been very different when it comes to breastfeeding and food. However, we try food somewhere about 5-7 months old. (depending on the situation – are they still having difficulty latching #3, do they want food #2, do they not want food #1, or am I getting tired of being the only food source #4)
They, of course, spit the rice cereal out the first few times. The cereal is blended with pureed or store bought baby food veggies, and later we do fruits. They still are breast fed a few times a day during this process. I talk through the whole process with the babies. I think it helps them understand that food is okay too. Most moms probably do this type of thing;-)
I’ll offer the breast to them at regular times during the day but also let them nurse if they ask. (of course it helps that I have worked from home with all of them. They are all 18mos apart)
I think it really helps not to use a bottle. I’ve tried this with the last one and so far it seems to work well.
She has taken to the sippy cup and regular cup very well. My baby looked at me recently with the “aren’t you gonna hold it for me look.” And it only took five minutes for her to figure out how to use her two hands to drink from it. (I give them water for about 8 of weeks before I introduce juice) She’s funny. Actually they all are. They feel the need to ‘help’ me/the baby breastfeed every now and again!
Stopping the breastfeeding was very hard for me the first time. I felt like I had the worst guilt trip from my toddler. She was 15 or 16 months when we stopped. I was pregnant with our next child and had to.
Our second daughter almost to the day, stopped when she turned one. At three and a half now; she still is not fond of milk.
Our third daughter had an extended time in the hospital and never got the hang of latching on very well. I stopped breast feeding her directly at about six months and pumped/used formula for the next six months. She got food the earliest.
Our youngest baby shows no signs of wanting to stop breast feeding though she is very much into eating. She favors curry lentils and Cheerios especially. I probably will continue for another three months and reevaluate if the breastfeeding is working for us. However my intention with all of them was to nurse for a year. (I have horrible allergies and wanted to try to prevent that trait in them)
I hope that this helps your readers make decisions that work well for them.