How long did you exclusively breastfeed for? *Poll* - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: How long did you exclusively breastfeed for?
less than 3 months 1 1.72%
3 months 0 0%
4 months 2 3.45%
5 months 7 12.07%
6 months 22 37.93%
7 months 7 12.07%
8 months 4 6.90%
9 months 2 3.45%
10 months 2 3.45%
11 months 3 5.17%
12 months 1 1.72%
more than 12 months 7 12.07%
Voters: 58. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 27 Old 05-21-2011, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Avalon will be 6 months at the end of this month. She crawls pretty well, has been able to sit without assistance since 4 months, grabs everything and shows some interest in what I am eating. We've let her sort of lick some fruit we were eating and she seemed intrigued and she loves watching the water come out of our fridge into my cup. I let her sip from my cup of water once and she was interested. But I've been following my instincts this whole time and I don't feel ready to give her solids. I don't know if it just because I enjoy having only breastfed poo in the cloth diapers and only having to breastfeed her ... or if it is because she still doesn't really seem ready. I don't know what I am waiting for. Maybe a tooth, or, a sign that she has started to realize things have a purpose. I mean, she realizes my boob has milk which fills her up, because she crawls over to me and tries to climb on me and get into my shirt when she is hungry. So maybe the only way for her to realize the purpose of food is to give it to her.

 

How long did you exclusively breastfeed for and did it work out well? I was thinking maybe the doctor can test her iron levels when we go for her 6 month and see if she is doing good. I had really low iron while pregnant but I've read that studies have found no link between anemia and pregnancy and anemia in the baby later. 

 

I did want to do baby led solids, but it seems my child is acting ready before I feel ready lol. I did not expect that.

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#2 of 27 Old 05-21-2011, 02:59 PM
 
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Ds is 7 months today, and we really just started giving him solids about 2 weeks ago. We're not doing BLW. So far we've given him different purees and he loves it. He'll eat and eat and eat some more. He's been a bit constipated though. He finally pooped today, and cried while doing so, after not pooping for 7 whole days! I think we'll scale back a bit on the solids until things...um...clear up.  The constipation is the only problem we've had so far. He still nurses as much as he always has.

 

A few solids here and there won't hurt anything so if your baby seems interested, I'd let her investigate and beginning learning about the wonderful world of food. However, if you feel like it's not the right time, then waiting isn't going to hurt anything either ;)


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#3 of 27 Old 05-21-2011, 03:08 PM
 
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6 months 1 week and 1 day for us. I felt it was important to wait until after the 6 month mark regardless of signs of readiness and I would have waited longer if she was showing any signs of not being ready.

 

I personally do not consider showing an interest in food to be a sign of readiness. Babies usually show an interest in anything their parents pay attention to. My 1 y.o. just fell asleep clutching the car keys but I'm still not letting her drive  lol.gif

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#4 of 27 Old 05-21-2011, 03:10 PM
 
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6 months 1 week and 1 day for us. I felt it was important to wait until after the 6 month mark regardless of signs of readiness and I would have waited longer if she was showing any signs of not being ready.

 

I personally do not consider showing an interest in food to be a sign of readiness. Babies usually show an interest in anything their parents pay attention to. My 1 y.o. just fell asleep clutching the car keys but I'm still not letting her drive  lol.gif


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#5 of 27 Old 05-21-2011, 03:38 PM
 
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I started giving DS solids to taste when he became really interested in tasting everything we ate at 5 and a half months. We didn't do purees so it was all big chunks he would suck on. Hardly anything made it down until closer to 8 months but we didn't deny him tastes (and he enjoyed them)
He showed no food sensitivities so we were able to be quite free with how we introduced foods.

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#6 of 27 Old 05-21-2011, 04:04 PM
 
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Both my DDs started solids between 5 and 6 months.  I say "started solids" and not "I started them on solids" because they both helped themselves by lunging at my plate and stealing food.  IMO, best way for baby to start.  They were of course showing all the common "signs" of readiness, and had been playing with sippy cups, water bottles, utensils, even hard food items for several weeks before.  DS on the other had we did start offering solids to sometime btwn 6 and 7 months.  He was (is) naturally more cautious and wasn't showing any interest in starting himself, so I started offering him some when I offered his twin sister.  None of my kids ate more than tokens until much much closer to a year, and solids weren't the majority of any of their diets until closer to 2 years.

 

I don't completely agree w/ the PP that an interest in food isn't a sign of readiness.  I believe it is, but I also think that what is often considered "interest in food" is really baby starting to notice what we're doing.  That "hey, Mom's at it again with those shiny things"  and this is a perfect time to start including baby at mealtimes, giving them implements to play with, even letting them sit at the table if they can.  But when my child is sitting on my lap watching every single bite going into my mouth, and I can't keep their hands out of my plate, that tells me the child is ready to start experimenting.  I don't watch the clock for nursing, don't watch the calendar for weaning, and the same for starting solids.  There's nothing magic that happens at 6 months, no switch gets flipped in the GI tract that suddenly makes it ready.  Some children's GI tracts mature faster, others slower; some are more observant and want to participate sooner or later. . .

 

We did BLW with DD2, and to some extent with the twins, although I did some spoon feeding, prepared some baby foods for them, mashed things up, even fed horrible rice cereal a few times (which they refused after the first time or two - they were smarter than I was, LOL).  DD1 refused anything mushy and would only finger-feed herself, so I guess she was de facto BLW.  We didn't worry about "meals" for a long time; with the twins, feeding and cleanup was so messy and time-consuming that I wasn't in any particular hurry to make it a 3-5x a day part of the routine.  With DD2 and  BLW, we just let her take whatever we were eating if she was interested.  She was probably only eating once or twice a day until she gave up her 2nd nap (which all mine did early, sigh) because she was often asleep when I was eating.

 

If I was to change anything, I would worry way less about when to start, what to offer, how much to offer. . . and just relax about the whole think.  It was much easier, less stressful, even less messy w/ DD2 who just got whatever the rest of us were having.  None were ever anemic, despite C-sec birth w/ the twins & immediate cord cutting, some of them are adventurous and eat lots of foods, one only eats about 12 foods, all nursed forever.   It honestly doesn't seem like it made any difference at all.  If we had a history of food allergies or GI illness, I'd probably be more cautious, but we don't.


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#7 of 27 Old 05-22-2011, 01:27 AM
 
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#8 of 27 Old 05-22-2011, 10:17 AM
 
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I voted five months; I didn't know anything about the signs of readiness with either of my children, and so if I were to do it again I would definitely go according to their timetable and not mine or some non-evidence-based parenting book.

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#9 of 27 Old 05-22-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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5.5 months with both. They were both lunging and grabbing for my food by then. DS grabbed a bite of something from my plate and shoved it in his mouth before I could stop him. lol.gif We started some table foods (bananas, oatmeal, etc) at that point. Mostly they just messed in it the first few times. We haven't had any food allergies on either side of the family, though.

 

 


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#10 of 27 Old 05-23-2011, 06:37 AM
 
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DD1- 5 1/2 months
DD2- 6 months
DS2- 8 months

I waited longer with DS because he wasn't sitting yet-- I always used steady sitting and interest as my main "readiness" cues, and DS took a long time to sit. Also he was gaining weight very slowly, up until about 6 months, and we didn't want to displace breastmilk with lower-calorie solids.

We did some spoon feeding, and some of what I guess is commonly called BLW around here-- we're not dogmatic about our feeding choices.

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#11 of 27 Old 05-23-2011, 06:51 AM
 
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He was 4 or 5 mos when he started grabbing & playing with food off my plate (and then his own shortly thereafter) but in general such minuscule amounts made it down (tiny bite or two once every few days) that I basically considered him 'exclusively BF' until 14mos when he started eating still-small but measurable, more consistent, amounts.

I know MDC'ers tend to think anything before 6-9mos is totally unacceptable so I seem to feel the need to defend the choice to allow him access to food so early. I just feel like he was ready and he was in control of whether he swallowed, how much he ate, etc. so I was comfortable with letting him really lead the way. He was pretty advanced physically (was pulling to standing at that age, 4-5mos) and well-coordinated (i.e. drinking out of an open cup on his own around 6mos) so I don't think starting solids 'early' was really a big deal. To me, allowing him access to food is very different than spooning it into him... Ah whatever. Some people will think I'm horrible no matter what so I don't know why I'm trying to justify the choice. I'd do whatever feels right to you, taking into account the research available etc. The 'vigin gut' argument has some merit but I think it's like anything else with babies -- there is not one magical moment every single baby will be ready for XYZ, it's more of an average or minimum or whatever. Some might be ready a few days or weeks before the 6mo mark and some won't be ready for many months after and since we can't tell by looking from the outside, trusting my DS to know what he needs seemed like the best tactic for me.

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#12 of 27 Old 05-23-2011, 07:08 AM
 
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Five months and counting. I plan to wait until six months before letting DS start experimenting with food (for selfish, diaper laundry reasons I'd like to wait until he's potty trained, but ...). I've read a lot about BLW and it makes sense to us. We've been letting DS smell and see different foods for his whole life, just to get him sort of used to the different sensations. In a month our garden and CSA shares will be in full swing, so that will be the perfect time to start offering some fruits and veggies.



 
 
 
 

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#13 of 27 Old 05-23-2011, 08:13 AM
 
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Both kids have signs of allergies, so tested at 7 (for DD1) and 8 for both and now waiting for DD2 to be ready.  DD1 started at 9 months and really loved it, but we did BLW and it really worked out for us.

 


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#14 of 27 Old 05-24-2011, 04:53 AM
 
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My little girl is 13 months, and has just started eating solids within the last week. We tried a few times earlier than that, but she really had no interest. Now she's enjoying having a bit of solid food, but is still about 90% breastfed. 

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#15 of 27 Old 05-24-2011, 05:24 AM
 
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I voted 6 months because it was the average. DS1 had some food around 4 months or so and DS2 tried bites at 7 or 8 months. It was never something I cared about. I knew they wouldn't be doing pureed baby food. When they could sit they would sit in their chair for a meal with us. We would toss a couple small things on their tray and if they decided to put it in their mouth and drool over it then they did.

DS1 was eating enough to get at least 10% of his diet from food when he was about 6 months old. DS2 didn't eat that much until he was 13 months, he never wanted solid food before that. My attitude was that they could do whatever they wanted. The food was there if they decided to take a bite or they could ignore the food and nurse. One chose to eat and the other chose to nurse. DS2 is 3yo now and he's eating all the time and nursing 3 times a day.

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#16 of 27 Old 05-24-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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Both kids started playing with food at about 5.5 months. Actually really eating was more about 7 months. No purees or anything just soft, small bits of my food.


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#17 of 27 Old 05-24-2011, 10:37 AM
 
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I introduced solids to both my kids when they were 6 months adjusted for prematurity.  My first took to them pretty well right away; my second hardly ate anything until after she turned 1.  She would sporadically eat some Cheerios or a couple of bites of yogurt, but 99% of her diet was breastmilk until after a year.

 

They did have anemia, but that was likely more due to their prematurity (DS was 32 weeks; DD was 34 weeks) than solids.  Within a few weeks of giving an iron supplement, they both tested normal.


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#18 of 27 Old 05-24-2011, 10:43 AM
 
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about 6 months we started with solids too, we do family table for meals, so why deprive them of something on their plate too? I made most of my own purees (bought some frozen organic ones and bought some traditional ones (like prunes!) that were too much work to make at home), and after he had tried and didn't have any problems with the single purees, I tried to make simple family meals where he could eat some of what we were eating (for the most part) just pureed or mashed as needed, or as finger food if appropriate. Oh, and having some 'popsicles' (ie ice cubes) of purees or soft  fruits put in a mesh teething bag are GREAT for teething. My lil guy loved the cold feeling.

 

It's all about practice and mimicking you right now, regarding food I mean. Nearly all the nutrition still comes from you.

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#19 of 27 Old 05-24-2011, 11:09 AM
 
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I checked 5 months but actually she was 5months and 2weeks when a friend's 2yo put a bit of croissant in her mouth!  I didn't actually begin giving her food to play with until the day before she was 6months old, but cannot say she didn't have any solids before then.

 

My DD is now 11months and is still only *just* beginning to be mobile (not crawling yet, just starting to try) only got a tooth at 9months (got the front bottom 2 together and none since!) and still has problems getting herself into a sitting position.  DD1 didn't crawl until 12 months and yet walked at 13, and DP was on solids from 6weeks (babyrice in bottle)/3months (mashed foods started) and apparently didn't crawl at all and only walked at 17months so i'm not convinced too much of correlations in that regard.

 

We began with baby led solids, but it became apparent early on that she was very hungry for solids but getting nowhere with her lack of teeth and at that time poor coordination.  We went to mixed feeding (i have a bowl of mashed and she has a plate of whole and we both feed her until she's full.  I did initially try to nurse a lot more but she just went on breast strike and cried during and between meals for a few days.  She actually dropped from 50-75th%ile to 25-50th%ile during the last 2 months of exclusive BFing (croissant aside) and is now gaining back, despite her mobility, up the chart.  I have a few friends whose kids absolutely REFUSE to be fed and pure baby led solids works great for them.

 

I would not subject an apparently healthy child to a test for anaemia, no matter what.  If they SEEMED anaemic, that's one thing, but a needle stick for peace of mind is a decision i would only take for myself, not my kids.

 

When it comes to solids, BFing, spoons or not, and so on, you have to be flexible and parent the child in front of you.  If you don't *feel* she's ready for solids, then don't give her any.  If she's otherwise happy, healthy, active and gaining well (and remember CRAWLING can cause a dip in the charts, at whatever age it happens, so don't discount it as a feeding issue if she recently had one!) then there is no compelling reason to give solids.  Just as if she is all of those things but you feel she IS ready there is no compelling reason not to.  Good luck!

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#20 of 27 Old 05-24-2011, 12:18 PM
 
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 Some might be ready a few days or weeks before the 6mo mark and some won't be ready for many months after and since we can't tell by looking from the outside, trusting my DS to know what he needs seemed like the best tactic for me.



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#21 of 27 Old 05-26-2011, 06:19 AM
 
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#22 of 27 Old 05-26-2011, 06:46 AM
 
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6.5 months, here.  He is 14 months now and still isn't too much into solids...if he eats a quarter cup or more of solids in a day, it's a big deal.  His iron did test low at 9 months (8.8), so we upped iron-rich foods (ones that he did actually eat instead of throw included apricots, raisins, some meats, blackstrap molasses).  Since he didn't eat much of the foods we did offer, we also did a supplement a couple times a week.  By his 1 year WBV, he was up to 10.1.

 

My son is also interested in keys, so we pursued BLD (baby-led driving).  Parallel parking remains an issue, but we are following his signs to see when he is ready to progress onto this important developmental stage.  And, while he is able to simultaneously smoke his Camels and drive, we do have to light them for him.


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#23 of 27 Old 05-26-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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My son is also interested in keys, so we pursued BLD (baby-led driving).  Parallel parking remains an issue, but we are following his signs to see when he is ready to progress onto this important developmental stage.  And, while he is able to simultaneously smoke his Camels and drive, we do have to light them for him.


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We actually do BLD!! Obviously doesn't actually DRIVE but he loves, loves, loves doing everything but. He unlocks the door and starts the engine himself. I suppose once he's tall enough to reach the pedals, it will be time to start finding some abandoned parking lots for him to practice in...

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#24 of 27 Old 05-26-2011, 07:05 AM
 
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I straddled six months between two kids. DD grabbed herself a face full of Spanish rice when she was 5.5 months old, after several weeks of us thinking she was just interested in the spoons and forks we were using. She took to food enthusiastically, and it didn't diminish her b00b m0nster status at all. DS wasn't interested in food until 7 months, and even then he had a slow start. It just wasn't his thing. DD ended up nursing until the day before her fourth birthday, and DS nursed until 3 years 9 months.

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#25 of 27 Old 05-27-2011, 04:39 AM
 
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DS was 6.5 months when he grabbed a plum from DH and started mouthing/sucking it. He refused to eat anything that was pureed but now loves porridge and soup.

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#26 of 27 Old 06-06-2011, 07:44 AM
 
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My son is 6 months old and just started having some purees about 2 weeks ago. He likes everything he's tasted so far except carrots. We started letting him taste things about 2 months ago though. Just small tastes, like dipping my finger into clam chowder and letting him try it, and he loved it. He's tasted and liked bbq sauce, doesnt like ranch. Now I'm just giving him solids a couple times a week to avoid constipation. He downed a bunch of pears which are his favorite so far, and 2 days later had 3 large, very solid poops that he cried through. I felt so bad for the little guy. So I guess even if he wants to eat more, I wont be letting him eat that much in one sitting again.

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#27 of 27 Old 06-06-2011, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well, I can now say 6 months. I gave her some mashed up potatoes and mashed up banana on her high chair tray the other day, after she turned 6 months. I don't really know how much she got down, though. I think more banana than mashed. I am only giving her food every few days because she seems to be tossing and turning after she eats and she just came down with her first (very mild) cold. Coincidence? Probably, but I feel like she isn't totally ready yet for a lot of food, so I will introduce it slowly.

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