How to Introduce Solid Foods While Breastfeeding
Top questions, tips and tricks to introduce solid foods gently while breastfeeding
In honor of breastfeeding week, we wanted to answer one of the top questions we get: How to I introduce solid foods while I am breastfeeding? Below you’ll find the top questions we get; our favorite mom tips and tricks and a sample feeding schedule while breastfeeding and eating solid foods.
TOP 5 Questions about starting food and breastfeeding your baby:
- Do foods replace breastfeeding?
- No – breast milk is still very important as your baby transitions to solid foods. The start of solid foods is meant to complement breastfeeding and/or formula.
- There is no exact timeline recommended between breastfeeding and feeding solid foods because each baby is different – don’t stress about getting it perfect.
- How to start?
- Mix a bit of breast milk with a spoonful of baby food to start introducing your baby to food with something familiar to her. Some babies accept new foods more easily when mixed with something they are already used to (like breastmilk or formula).
- Continue to breastfeed while introducing solid foods if you can. They are complementary
- When does solid food replace breast milk?
- By around 18-24 months old – solid foods will become your baby’s main meal and breastfeeding will become the snack but if you want to continue to breastfeed – there is no need to stop. Experts recommend continuing breastfeeding along with solid foods for as long as you and your baby desire.
Top 3 Tips for Introducing Solid Foods while Breastfeeding your Baby:
- Offer a few spoons of solid foods after breastfeeding – your baby will be more open to trying new foods after a feed and ready to explore with new foods.
- Add breast milk to baby food or cereal: start thin until your baby gets used to thicker textures
- Timing: there’s no exact timeline recommended between breastfeeding and feeding solid foods because each baby is different – don’t stress about getting it perfect.
A Sample Schedule for Breastfeeding and Starting Solid Foods
Each and every baby is different but generally speaking, your baby will start solid foods between 6 to 9 months. When you start to introduce foods – you’ll start with a few spoonfuls before nursing but soon enough – your baby will be eating more and more. In that time period between six to nine months – you can offer baby food two to three times a day – slowly increasing the portion sizes as your baby gets older.
Here we made an example of a feeding schedule for a 9 month old baby – before then – your feeding schedule will be pretty varied. This is just an example feeding schedule – each baby is different but sometimes it helps to see a guideline:
- 6 am: Wake up mom and breastfeed – remember to try to do both sides
- 7-8am: Breakfast – when your baby is 9 months old– you’re probably on more of a routine schedule
- 9am: Nap – some babies may breastfeed before napping
- 10-11am: Wake up and breastfeed
- 12-1pm: Lunch – solid foods here – early in the day is also a great time to introduce new tastes, textures or flavors
- 1-2pm: Nap – some babies may breastfeed before napping
- 4pm: Wake up – breastfeed
- 5-6pm: Dinner – solid foods here
- 7-8pm: Bedtime – some babies may breastfeed before going down for the night
It can be hard to figure out how to go from the boob to the spoon, but Amara baby food is here to help. Amara is designed to mix with breast milk, formula or water for a gentle transition to solid foods. If you’re starting out – we recommend trying our introduction to solids pack or our introduction to baby veggies variety pack that will get your baby to fall in love with the savory tastes of veggies.
meme graphic by Amara Organic Foods
photo by Vanessa Mendez Photography