Breastfeeding: Solids at three months?
I have a 13-week-old little boy, who has nursed since he was five minutes old. He nurses every four to five hours during the day and every three or four hours at night. We have never had any problems nursing. My son weighed eight pounds four ounces at birth and has continued to gain weight and grow normally. Last week he weighed in at 14 pounds 10 ounces. My doctor told me that I need to start my little guy on solids. She did not give me any reason other than the fact that he weighs close to 15 pounds. This has me confused because exclusive breastfeeding seems to be going so well. He is obviously thriving and I do not feel overwhelmed with the frequency of his feedings at all! Does he really need to start solids at three months, just because he's a big baby?Question:
It sounds as if breastfeeding is just progressing wonderfully for you and your baby. I'm sure you and your husband are very confused why your doctor has advised starting solids for your happy, healthy baby when he is just a bit over three months of age.
Health Care Providers (HCPs) may see that many moms in their practice worry about whether or not they will be able to provide sufficient nutrition for a rapidly growing (and large) baby. These moms may be tired of frequent feeds, and are hoping that solid foods will space out their baby's periods of nursing.
Though these nursing moms would benefit greatly by the support of their HCP -- being assured that their babies are doing great on mothers' milk alone -- early solids may be routinely recommended for all large babies (at a date earlier than advised by the AAP), in an effort to help these new moms.
I would recommend discussing the AAP guidelines (below) for starting solids with your HCP, and ask if there is a specific reason she feels solids are necessary at this time for your baby.
Early introduction of solids will decrease the time your baby spends at your breast. And as you already know, breastmilk is a priority for the health of your baby during his first year of life. There is absolutely no reason at this time to begin weaning Blake from your breast!
The AAP recommends that to meet the nutritional needs of growing children, "appropriate solid foods should be added to their diets between four and six months of age." Best wishes in mothering!