Should I reduce milk feeds now that my baby is eating solid food?

reduce-milk-baby-led-weaning

In the first year, solid foods should only complement - not replace - baby’s milk feeds. So take cues from your baby and don’t reduce milk feeds or stop breastfeeding on demand just because solid food has entered the picture. Breastmilk (or formula) continues to be the primary nutrition for your baby, so don't skimp!

You’ll often find that in baby led weaning, especially in the beginning, much of the food ends up on the floor or on baby’s face, so don’t mistake the amount he or she is actually digesting! At this stage, solids won’t likely fulfil their hunger as they haven’t quite got the knack of eating quite yet.

If you are breastfeeding, you can offer a milk feed prior to baby's solids meal - try an hour or so before the meal. This will also keep up demand for your milk in a way that will allow you to keep up your milk supply.

As your baby begins to eat more (i.e. three small meals a day), they will gradually cut down the amount of milk they drink. If you’re breastfeeding, you may not even notice this as cutting down on drinking milk doesn’t necessarily decrease time on the breast or frequency of feeds. 

If you are bottle feeding, allow baby to stop when he or she indicates they’ve had enough. Generally speaking, once fully established on solids, baby should get about 600ml of formula milk daily. But, as always, all babies are different. Check with your GP or health visitor if you have any concerns.

The best rule of thumb, even after introducing solids, is to follow your baby’s lead and continue to provide milk on demand.

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