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Weird question about solids and breastmilk/formula

682 Views 9 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  RomanGoddess
Ds is 5 months, so I imagine we'll be starting solids maybe in the next month or so. I know there's no push at all for solids if the baby is breastfed, but right now ds is 1/3 breastfed and 2/3 formula fed (hopefully the breastfed ratio will continue going up!). Is there more need for solids if a babe gets that much formula, or are they ok like an ebf babe would be? I'm not in a hurry to begin solids, as ds cannot sit up *at all* yet, but I was just wondering. Thanks!
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I think there is a slight more need for iron from baby cereal for a ff baby. but that 1/3 breastmilk could likely take care of that issue anyways.
I don't think ff babies need iron, isn't it in formula? Most peds think it is the bf babies that need iron.

Cereal sucks anyway, pick another, healthy first food when you do decide to start.
Yeah, we're not planning on beginning with cereal. Wish I would have had the info with my older kids.

I just want to make sure that it's okay for him to go till say 8-9 months before beginning solids if that's what he wants.
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yeah but it's actually the opposite because the iron is absorbed more readily from breastmilk than formula. but what I always wondered is why it would be absorbed better from cereal than formula?
my baby loves organic brown rice cereal. I never bothered with that white crap though lol

Originally Posted by LolaK
I don't think ff babies need iron, isn't it in formula? Most peds think it is the bf babies that need iron.
The "problem" with the iron in formula is introduced when babies get older and can no longer take in enough nutrients w/formula alone. Since bmilk is a dynamic liquid, it simply changes with the age of the child to be what the child needs. Formula, meanwhile, is the same at 2 days, 2 months, 10 months--- but what the child NEEDs may be drastically different. Because of that, and because there is a theoretical maximum amount of formula a child should take in a day (there is no theoretical maximum for bmilk---an 8 lb baby and a 30 lb baby can both get all they need from bmilk) formula fed babies are said to need solids earlier than bfed babies (the recs for several years have been 4-6 months for ffed babies, 6 months for bfed babies though that looks to be becomming more clearly 6 months for both).

operamommy, do you have any specific concerns? Is your milk supply going up fairly rapidly? The obvious goal, I guess, would be to only replace formula with solids and eventually get DS onto only bmilk and solids. BUT, I'm not sure what rate you are going, how interested DS is in solids, etc...

I know that exclusively bfeeding until 7-9 months actually produces the optimal level of iron in babies, but I am really unsure what replacing much of that bmilk will have done. I cannot find the study now, and I can remember if the babies who had mixed formula/bmilk feedings were lower or higher than exclusively formula and where food went into that.
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TiredX2, thanks for the reply. What you said re the changing nature of breastmilk vs. formula made a lot of sense.

I don't know if my supply is going up rapidly or not. We've been relactating for over 2 months. When I started I was only producing drops of milk, and now I estimate I'm producing about 1/3 of his daily needs. So it's definately growing, which makes me very happy. My ultimate goal is to do away with supplements entirely.

I don't think ds is interested in solids yet (besides not having the physical skills yet e.g. sitting up). He likes to watch us eat and grabs for our food, but he grabs for *everything* so he's just a grabber!

I guess maybe my best course of action is to see where he's at once he turns 6 months and where my milk supply is at too.

edit: Holy smokes! I just checked and we only started relactating at the beginning of Feb. - so not quite 2 months yet. Maybe my supply is growing faster than I thought!
congrats on how well the re-lactating is going! That is so awesome!!!

Personally I'd wait as long as possible to introduce solids, that way it doesn't affect the nursing and as far as I know there's no reason why even a 100% ff baby would NEED solids before a year. I would assume there is enough iron as well as other necessary nutrients in the formula and of course the breastmilk is the perfect nutrition. I bet by the time 2 more months goes by you may very well be exclusively breastfeeding and then have an easy time slowly starting solid foods.
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I wonder if the formula would be inhibiting his absorption of the BM iron (formula makes them have tiny gut bleeds - so he could be losing iron that way).

I think that I would have an iron check done if, come six months, he doesn't seem ready to start yet - that way you know exactly where you stand with his exact needs.

That relactation is going great guns by the sound of it! Well done!
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I would start solids at six months of sooner unless there is an allergy issue in your family.

The reason I recommend this in your case is that the sooner your baby is eating solids, the sooner you can drop the formula altogether and let the solids replace the formula!

At six months, you can feed your baby solids twice a day. At seven months, you can start to give your baby some meat, which will be a principal source of iron for him, in addition to the very absorbable iron in your breastmilk.

Just one word on cereal, I know that in North America it is normal to start with cereal because of the iron. Here in France, this is not done. We start with fruit and vegetables and avoid the whole cereal thing altogether. Cereal is empty calories apart from the iron and vitamins that have been added.

Ask your pediatrician, of course, but I would say that a 7-month old baby that is eating solids twice a day (including a bit of meat) and that is otherwise breastfed does not normally need extra iron. And if you are still giving him some formula then, just make sure the formula is iron-fortified. Skip the cereal.
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