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  1. #1

    Introducing meat

    I read somewhere that meat can be introduced since 7 month old. I did so to my baby but then she suffered from constipation. Is time for introducing solids different for every child?

  2. #2
    Dear lovingmum,

    Thank you for your question.

    Meat can actually be introduced from 6 months of age (alongside continued breastfeeding). If you are following baby led weaning then you can certainly offer your child a huge variety of healthy food that they can feed themselves from 6 months. Steamed chicken is very popular with babies and they will often suck the nutrients out of the chicken and spit out the rest which is, of course, totally fine.

    It is really important that breastmilk is your baby's main source of nutrients up to 12 months of age. Following baby led weaning and not 'helping' your baby at all with their food (i.e. not putting any food in their mouth yourself or helping to put it in their hands etc) should ensure that your baby is still predominately drinking breastmilk. At 12 months of age a baby can actually still get over 90% of their nutritional requirements from the breastmilk alone. Therefore, at this age it is important to still breastfeed on demand (in the day and night).

    What sort of meat has your baby been trying? It is important for it to be low in salt for a baby's health and to avoid constipation.

    Remember; food is for fun until they are one (the blw mantra)! Continue to breastfeed your baby whenever they show signs of hunger and let them enjoy exploring other food which is healthy, low in salt and natural without overly encouraging them to consume it - they will get there when they are developmentally ready.

    Warm wishes,
    LJ

  3. #3
    Thank you for your response, LJ. I used to make red rice, spinach and beef puree for my baby. The pediatrician told me that the constipation was because of the beef intake so I stopped giving it. I didn't know that it's better for the baby to feed herself. What if the baby swallow the food?

  4. #4
    Yes it is absolutely fine for a baby to eat solid food alongside breastmilk from 6 months of age and when they show the signs of developmental readiness (e.g. reaching for food, able to sit unsupported). This is known as baby led weaning and there is now a wealth of research behind it. Have a look at the Baby Led Weaning website. A baby will then explore food and try it at their own pace which is far less likely to lead to constipation and less likely to cause them to reduce their breastmilk intake at this age.

    You cut the food into 2-3 inch chunks/ sticks so that the baby can grip onto the food and there is still plenty of food extending their grip. A typical meal for your baby at this age could include: steamed chicken chunks, banana pieces, avocado slices and wholemeal pasta. Many babies will just play with and explore their food and may not really start properly swallowing it until 10 months - this is absolutely fine because the breastmilk should still supply the majority of what a baby needs up to 12 months of age.

    You just avoid hard small pieces of food that could be a choking hazard e.g. nuts and dates with stones. You should also keep your baby's salt content to a complete minimum - in this sense chicken can be more suitable than beef. Often a baby will sound like they are coughing when they are learning to eat but they are actually just learning how to move the food in their mouth and throat. In the baby led weaning book by the health professional Gill Rapley it explains how choking is actually more likely with spoon feeding where a baby cannot control how liquid the food is.

    Baby led weaning can be a wonderful way to let your baby explore, try and eat food at their own pace and set them up for a lifetime of healthy, happy eating.

    Warm wishes,
    LJ

  5. #5
    I've checked the website. I think I'll give it a try. Thank you for answering my question and giving such valuable info.

    Best regards,
    Lovingmum

  6. #6
    That's great. If you can get hold of the book then it is excellent and explains the science behind baby led weaning too.

    How is breastfeeding going?

    Warm wishes,
    LJ

  7. #7
    Thanks for asking. I have to admit that the expressed breast milk is not enough to feed my baby for the whole day (8 to 9 hours a day) so I every time the breastmilk is run out, she is given formula. She has no problem so far so I think it's okay. What do you think?

  8. #8
    Are you still offering her breastmilk direct from the breast as well? I'm just wondering if there's a particular reason you are mainly expressing your breastmilk?

    Well, breastmilk is still best. It is wonderful to exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months but from 6 months breastmilk is still far more advantageous compared to formula milk....to two years of age and beyond.

    Constipation, which you mention in your first post above, is much more likely in babies who have formula milk. Unfortunately formula milk also removes some of the immunological properties of the breastmilk. It is just not as complex, delicate or nutritious as breastmilk.

    Remember that no breast pump will be as efficient at extracting milk from the breast as your baby. Also, breastmilk is produced on a supply and demand basis - so if not enough breastmilk is being produced from the breast then your body will stop producing the required amount of breastmilk...and it becomes a cycle. You could still increase your breastmilk supply by going back to breastfeeding your baby on demand at the breast in the day and night if you wanted to. Speaking honestly, this is what I would choose in this situation because of the huge advantages to your baby and you of breastfeeding on demand. If you wanted to do this by solely pumping then you would need to pump so you simulated your baby's feeds which could be every 4 hours (day and night, or perhaps 5 depending on your baby and the amount of milk you express each time).

    I want to encourage you that you are doing a great job in giving your daughter some breastmilk whatever you choose from here. But there are even more advantages to breastfeeding your daughter on demand, and working to increase your milk supply to do this, so that you do not need to give her any formula milk.

    Please do let us know your thoughts on this. I hope you do not mind my honesty on this subject.

    Warm wishes,
    LJ

    Warm wishes,
    LJ

  9. #9
    I think the right time is when you baby will be 1 yr it is the right time to introduce the meat. There is will be a digestion problem for the babies.

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