My premature son who is now 8 months old (6 months adjusted) is having problems with solids. I try and feed him about three times a day but it seems that this makes him fussy. Sometimes he won't even eat more than one or two spoonfuls before he starts crying and yet other times he will eat 1/2 a jar of baby food. I even try and feed him at the sasme time every day. Are there any suggestions you can give me to help with this issue? I am one frustrated mum.
Here, in the Pregnancy, Birth & Beyond forums, we are great proponents of baby led weaning.
With this kind of weaning, you look at your child's developmental signs to determine when to introduce solids. You also introduce whole foods like a banana (not mashed) or a slice of avocado. Something that they can grasp in their hand and put to their mouth.
The "Baby Led Weaning" mantra is "Food is for fun, until they are one." This means that you could fully breastfeed your son until he is one year old without any problems... (and for him that might mean until he is 14 months, because he was born 2 months early).
I addressed this in more detail on another post where you were concerned about baby not putting on weight fast enough.
Here are two videos - one discusses the benefits of baby led weaning, and the other shows you how one couple introduced solids to their 6 month old baby. You'll want to be sure you breastfeed your baby before offering the solids so that he's not starving and doesn't get frustrated. You'll notice in the 2nd video (it's actually a series of videos) that the baby really is playing with the food to begin with. Enjoy!
Remember, it's all about fun right now. If you are frustrated then stop whatever it is that is frustrating you. Frustration can cause your milk to become lower in quality and we want to be sure your milk is the highest quality possible to help your little one gain weight faster.
I found that after my 1st child, I simply preferred to breastfeed mostly until they were one. They started showing interest in food at 8 months of age, and that's when I introduced solids, but they didn't have solids every day because it was simply easier for me to breastfeed. They needed a relaxed, non-stressed Mama, and breastfeeding without thinking about feeding solids was just easiest for me, and the babies enjoyed it too.
One thing I forgot to mention on my other post is to be sure you are taking a high quality prenatal vitamin so that you're getting more of the nutrients you need to produce higher quality milk. Also, if you find you're feeling stressed, post back and I'll give some suggestions of nutrients you can take to help with let-down and help you be calmer.
Thanks so much for the response. I love this idea of baby led weaning! I'll have to try it. I think my little one would love it, he's getting into everything right now. :)
Also, I would love to hear your suggestions on nutrients to help with let-down and with being calmer, as a mum of 3 I do have some un-nerving moments.
With my first baby, my lactation consultant suggested I take magnesium which helps with relaxation and that helps with let-down. Over my 10+ years of lactating, I sometimes took Magnesium and sometimes took a Calcium/Magnesium supplement. I made sure that Cal/Mag was chelated with amino acids for better absorption. Calcium citrate and magnesium citrate are more easily absorbed than other forms so sometimes I opted for the citrate version but mostly I just went with a chelated version because it was easier to find.
Vitamin B12 is also very good for nerves and would be beneficial.
Most people are deficient in Essential Fatty Acids and Vitamin D (especially during the winter). You can now get Cod Liver Oil in gel caps and Cod Liver Oil has Vitamin D in it, though I take a separate Vitamin D supplement because I know I need more Vitamin D. I asked my doctor to order a Vitamin D test at my latest check-up and it showed that my levels were low-normal, which told me they were too low.
Cod liver oil would be beneficial for milk quality and milk production too.
And then there's Mother's Milk Tea which I find at my local vitamin store. It has a variety of herbs which have traditionally been used throughout the years to support lactation. My midwife gave me a box after the delivery of each of my babies. You may find it a relaxing, warming drink, especially during the winter months. Drink according to the directions on the box.
Fenugreek is an herb that helps to stimulate breastmilk production. Check the Mother's Milk Tea to see if it has fenugreek in it.
Nature's Sunshine makes a supplement called Breastfeeding Support. It has Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle in it, both of which are well known for supporting breastmilk production.
If you want to compare your milk before and after taking supplements, you could express a little milk onto a dark surface and take a picture of it. Then you could do some things to support breastmilk production (i.e. herbs, tea, diet, etc.) and after a month, express some milk and take a picture of it. Compare the two pictures and see if you can actually see a difference in the color. Of course you'll want to try to do this test at about the same time of day each time (don't do one in the morning and one in the evening) because breastmilk changes consistency throughout the day. You'll also want to compare foremilk to foremilk or hind milk to hind milk, being that the hind milk is higher in fat and calories.
Would love to see the pictures if you choose to do this. But even if you don't, you can be assured that your breastmilk will improve simply from making some dietary changes and adding in some supplements.