My baby has started solids, and I’m realizing now why it’s hard for some families to maintain breastfeeding for a year.
Both the AAP and the WHO recommend that breast milk or formula be the primary source of nutrition till age one, with solids serving only as a supplement. But some babies have different ideas. My older daughter had little (read: NO) interest in solids till she was much older (like, 14 months maybe?). But my baby is different. He loves solids. Not that he doesn’t still like breastfeeding, of course. But he loves solids.
Plus he’s teething, which means that sometimes he chews on my boob instead of nursing, which is more painful than giving birth and has seriously caused me to reconsider long-term breastfeeding at 3 am.
I’m not really worried about continuing to breastfeed Teddy, because I’ve been through this before and obviously I kept breastfeeding, and I have no doubt that I’ll do the same with him. But I have found myself giving him solids a lot more willingly than I did with Anastasia at this age. Baby-led weaning makes it so easy to feed solids — easier than breastfeeding, even, which for me is saying a lot — and it makes mealtimes much more pleasant, too. He’s still young enough that he doesn’t get a lot of actual nutrition from solids, because he’s still figuring out the hand-eye coordination skills to actually get food in his mouth, but I’m sure that pretty soon he’ll be able to eat as much as I put in front of him. And at some point, I might start to worry that he’s getting more nutrition from solids than I want him to, simply because he enjoys playing with them so much.
And if that ever happens, then I will definitely try this trick.
I heard about frozen breast milk teethers from a friend. It’s a great solution to all these problems, because it allows your baby to get nutrition from breast milk while also playing with his food. And he can teeth on it. It’s a win-win.
The trick is simply to freeze breast milk in small amounts — ice cube containers are perfect — and then put the breast milk cube in a mesh feeder. Then the baby can teeth on breast milk during dinner if he’s already had enough solids for the day. Obviously this is more work than just giving him the same food we’re eating, but it’s definitely something I’d like to incorporate into our menus occasionally. It would also be a good afternoon snack on a hot afternoon when Big Sister is having a homemade popsicle and baby wants one of his own.
Have you ever tried this? What did your baby think?