Thank you so much for doing this--great resource! I have a just turned 1 year old DS who is still being breastfed on demand. My concern is that he was born big (over 9 pounds) and has barely doubled his weight since. He is also not as tall as his sister was at his age and has fallen on the WHO breastfed babies growth charts to the 50% percentile ( he was high 90's% early on). With that said, he seems to be meeting all milestones (walked at 10 months, etc.) I also delayed solids with him until 10 months, as he showed evidence of milk allergies after being given formula in the hospital.
I would like to start supplementing, since I am not sure the amount of breastmilk I am producing is enough for him, given his size. I will continue to nurse him and make that his primary source of nutrition as long as he wants it, but I think adding some additional sources of food/liquid might be good now. What can I give him that will approximate formula, but without the milk allergy concerns? I am also not a big fan of soy for young children. Thanks so much.
I'm certain that your breastmilk is enough for your son. Growth charts are to help us determine whether there's some terrible digestive system problem or such. We are often encouraged to worry too much about those lines and dots rather than observing our children. Not every plump or long newborn is going to stay plump or tall, just as some skinny newborns decide to become chubby babies. Your observations show that your son is healthy and filling his own destiny well. The natural follow-on formula is what we call solid foods. It's not natural or necessary to find some other white liquid substitute to follow mommy milk. Many babies, especially those with allergies, drop off on the weight curves a bit when starting solids. This might be the case for your son. In any case, when it's time for solids, those are great, and otherwise just nurse him all he wants.
If you are really wanting something supplemental, while most of his calories are coming from mommy milk, you can try a fully hydrolyzed formula or an amino acid formula for him. These will provide adequate balance of nutrients. Once he's eating some veggies, you can fashion your own nutritious liquids for him if you desire --- for no more than two servings per day. Some use broth made from boiling an organic chicken for most of the day. Strained or jarred baby-food peas, or pea protein powder can be added to this. Nut milks can be made, following directions found on the internet. Almonds and hazelnuts tend to be the least allergenic. The almond and hazelnut "milks" sold in the stores are mostly water and sugar, and whatever nutrients they supplement them with. These are fine, used as bases to make things, but are far from balanced nutrition alone. Hemp and coconut milks have healthy fats and a little more protein and nutrition.
Linda F. Palmer, DC
"The Baby Bond"
Thank you so much for the reply! As a follow up question, do you think now (age 1) is a good time to be introducing a variety of solids for a child with early milk sensitivity? My pediatrician doesn't understand why I delayed so long. I am still avoiding the more allergenic ones right now: milk/dairy, wheat, citrus, peanut products...is that a good idea? I already tried corn and tomatoes and he seemed fine.