Lacking Milk & Eating Solids
We chose to start Little W off eating solids no sooner than 6 months and when she started showing interest in the food on our plates. She did in the 6th month, just after growing two little teeth which were ready to munch. I had looked into baby led weaning- a process that just means letting your baby tell you when they are ready to eat solids – and starting them off with real food (no little jars or home-made purees). Little W’s first food was sliced avocado. It was not used as anything other than a little something extra, as I considered nursing her main source of nutrients until her 10th month. At first she could not use her hands to feed herself, but like most babies given the opportunity, she soon flourished- and was able to eat chicken, a variety of vegetables, and spaghetti at a very young age. We set her at the table with us and she almost always ate what we did. With the slow addition of real food to her routine, she nursed less intensely and my milk supply did slow down.
I know some people begin pumping but I did not. (If given the opportunity, I would like to try that next time.) Instead I found myself nursing through the night again somehow, which just recently has subsided. I was nursing through the night to keep my supply up I suppose, and I never needed to supplement (I just received broken sleep). Would I recommend this? No. It is hard. I have written some posts on here about that struggle. But you do what you have to do. I have read that it is very common to go through lags in milk supply and the best way to overcome that is just to continue nursing. There can be many factors as to why your supply has dwindled (exhaustion, dehydration, dieting, starting the babe on solids, etc), but it can always come back. It might just take some detective work and maybe a few nights of less (or in the case of exhaustion, more) sleep.
11 Months: Nursing, Eating… and Weaning?
Since her 10th month Little W has had a schedule somewhat like this: 7:30/8AM wake up and nurse, 8:30/9AM breakfast, 11AM nurse, 12PM lunch, 4PM nurse, 5PM dinner, 7PM nurse and then go to sleep, 11PM short nurse, 5AM nurse. My next goal is to let go of the 5AM nurse and then 11PM one.
The times around her meals will be easy to switch out with milk in a sippy cup shortly after her first birthday. She drinks out of a sippy now with her meals but only has water. She has never been a baby that has needed to nurse right before bed, so I do not need to worry about that. We are going to let her go at her own pace, so once I start giving her cow’s milk I will let her nurse at night until she just doesn’t seem interested anymore. I am not in too big of a rush and I know she will stop when she wants to. We dropped the nursing session between lunch and dinner without skipping a beat so I hope that the rest goes the same way. The way our schedule is now nursing isn’t very inconvenient (except maybe the 5AM one- I’m working on that..) so I feel as if I have nothing but time to let this run it’s course. I know some mothers feel a bit sad because of the attachment grown to nursing, but honestly I am not one of them. I have no attachment to the act. I do not feel as if I am losing anything when she quits nursing. Yes, it is really awesome to be able to feed your babe from your own body. It is pretty cool. But I am not attached to it, and when she is ready I will let her go and we will enjoy many more meals together at the table, sippy cup full of milk.