If you’ve been following Jesse and I on our weaning adventure you’ll know that he is about 7.5 months old now. 33 weeks to be precise (I had to look it up – that’s baby number 2 for you!). We started weaning just after he turned 6 months (6 months and 9 days) due to me ending up in hospital with mastitis and then him catching a lovely cold from his big sister. So we’re now at the point where Jesse has been enjoying a variety of solids by way of finger foods (the baby led weaning approach) for 6 weeks.
Now we’ve been really fortunate with Jesse, in that despite looking pretty uninterested in what we were eating he has taken to food like a duck to water. And I mean really taken to it. He knew exactly where it needed to go on day one and from then on pretty much nothing has missed his mouth. I wonder if this is because we always included him at the table for meal times in his Tripp Trapp Newborn Seat and perhaps because he clearly idolises his big sister and so wants to mimicking her? Either way he has been the perfect model for Happy Tums.
So here we are at 6 weeks in and I’ve noticed something. Well my overly sensitive, highly temperamental boobs have noticed – Jesse is drinking less. So much so that it looks as though our mid-morning feed is now off menu (edited: I retract this statement the past two days it has definitely been reinstated. Edited again: 9 weeks into weaning that feed hardly happens!).
Unfortunately for me this has ended in a second, rather nasty case of mastitis. Now don’t worry if you’re reading this and worrying about weaning whilst breastfeeding – I’m also recovering from an emergency appendectomy and a few other stressful issues that have left me a bit more vulnerable than usual. My daughter pretty much did the same thing 3 years ago and my boobs didn’t even register the change – happy days!
But I wanted to share this with you because it highlights a really important point, one that we continually stress during our workshops and one that should take quite a lot of pressure away from you. Babies are clever, generally they are really attuned to what their bodies need, and when we let them led they make the right choices at the right time. Your baby will know exactly how and when to start taking a little less milk, and also when they are too full from the most recent meal to take the next milk feed. It will happen at different rates for different babies and just occasionally for those real milk monsters we might need to tweak things a little to encourage them down the line. But it’s a process and one you don’t need to be concerned about until closer to 12 months when at which point baby should be eating three meals and two snacks (or mini-meals as we prefer to call them) each day.
This process is the same for breast or bottle-fed babies. However, if you're breastfeeding your baby may also look to nurse for other reasons (such as comfort) for much longer than 12 months and that's totally fine! But we still want to make sure they are moving towards a balanced diet of solid foods at the same time. (I breast fed my first to 19 months and I suspect we'll go just as long, if not longer with Jesse!).
It seems that despite their incredibly different personalities, sleep patterns (who needs sleep) and feeding schedule (what’s that) my little boy will be just like his sister and make that transition away from milk pretty easily! Well I was due a little bit of good fortune.
To learn more about dropping milk feeds and everything else to do with weaning visit our website www.happytums.co.uk to book our Weaning in a Nutshell Workshop
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