Health guidance and supply
Hi, some have kindly responded to my rough breastfeeding question, but I had another question. Now that my son is 13 months I’ve had a few health practitioners (mainly health visitors) suggest that he ‘should be getting most of his nutrition from solids’. I still breastfeed on demand, and throughout the night, and feel a bit like this is being frowned upon – that I should be weaning him from his breastfeeds (at 10 months I was told he ‘should only be having 3 or 4 feeds a day’ – he does that in an hour!). He eats solids very well and he’s on the 98th centile, so hardly wasting away. What’s behind this advice? Am I misinterpreting what they’re trying to say?
Also, I’m back at work 4 days per week, and my supply has dropped a bit. At night he seems to get quite frustrated, as if there’s not enough there, and the last couple of nights we tried giving him some formula at bedtime too, which he happily took. He’s never accepted formula before, so I wonder if it is a ‘hunger’ thing. What’s the view on formula for this purpose, at this age? Or if not formula, what else could we try?
There is no need to impose time limits on the number of times a 13 month old baby breastfeeds and there is absolutely no science behind the advice that you have been given. The article How Long Should I Breastfeed? talks more about the normal age of weaning.
How did having some formula at bed time help your baby’s restless night behaviour? He may be hungry if he was used to topping up on breast milk and your supply has dropped but it seems a shame to introduce formula at this age—because it is a man made processed food rather than something nutritious and healthy. Babies can have full fat cows’ milk from age one, however if there is a possibility that allergies could be behind the night time issues then any kind of dairy wouldn’t be a good choice. There is more information about whether to top up with formula or use fresh, high calorie solids in Starting Solid Foods. I hope that helps, do let us know how you get on.