4 top FAQs on breastfeeding babies who have started eating solids
All mothers worry about whether their babies are getting enough nutrition or not. It is common knowledge that during the first 6 months of a baby’s life, breast milk is more than enough to meet the nutritional needs of the baby, efficiently. After that, it becomes important to introduce complementary foods like mashed solids and juices, to provide wholesome nutrition to your baby. While this transition to complementary feeding is exciting, most mothers have a thousand questions swirling in their minds regarding breastfeeding and overall nutrition.
We have rounded up the most popular questions so that you can relax and understand how you should breastfeed your baby who has started eating complementary foods.
Q1. My baby has started eating complementary foods. How often do I need to breastfeed now?
Now that your baby has started eating solid foods, you must be worrying about the breastfeeding and solids schedule. You have to keep in mind that the frequency of breastfeeding will vary based on several factors like:
- The energy density of the food your baby is taking
- The quantity of food your baby is taking
- Your baby’s willingness and mood regarding breastfeeding
Along with the above-mentioned factors, there are several other criteria you need to follow before you decide on how much milk your baby should drink after starting on solids.
- If the baby is consuming high-energy complementary foods at least 3-4 times daily along with a couple of snacks, you should breastfeed according to your child’s appetite or demand.
- If your child is fond of a variety of food items like mashed chapatti, rice and pulses, eggs, mashed meat, yogurt, etc., then you can reduce the frequency of breastfeeding.
- If you are a working woman, then you can also choose to give complementary foods during the day, and breastfeed during early morning or late evening, or before putting your baby to sleep.
Q2. Can I reduce the number of times I breastfeed my baby?
Yes, you can. The reason is that now your baby’s digestive system is developing and is adapting to a variety of foods. So, you can adjust your 6-month-old’s feeding schedule accordingly. This is your chance to introduce a variety of tastes and textures to your baby.
Q3. What are the other important things to remember about reducing the frequency of breastfeeding?
Remember that your baby will gradually lose interest in breastfeeding as he starts eating a variety of solid foods. Also, as the frequency of breastfeeding reduces, you must ensure to include calcium-rich complementary foods in your baby’s diet. Additionally, do not forget that if your baby’s demand for breast milk decreases, your milk production will also decrease over time.
Q4. So, now can I completely stop breastfeeding?
No, not yet. You should continue breastfeeding until your baby is 2 years of age and beyond, because you have to meet your baby’s evolving nutritional needs. Along with breast milk, keep giving your baby nutritious, hygienic, and safe complementary foods.