I’m a mom to a eight month old baby girl, and am currently trying to balance breastfeeding, formula supplements, and semi-solids! I need advice on how to balance the three with the aim of maintaining and protecting our breastfeeding relationship.
To give a bit of background, I started giving my baby formula supplements when she was about three months old because I was really struggling with low-milk supply. Her weight gain was really poor: she lost more than 10% of her weight after birth, and gained only 100 grams between her second and third month. Her weight gain became more steady after introducing supplements – gaining around 400 to 500 grams a month – though she remained under the growth charts. The most I’ve given her was 3 bottles of 3 oz a day, which I’ve (very slowly) started to decrease. She’s now taking two bottles of 2.5 oz and one bottle of 3 oz a day, plus solids.
When she hit five months, we decided to start her on pureed fruits and veg. I started with about 2 to 3 oz once a day, and gradually increased to feeding her 3 oz twice a day. Her pedia suggested we start introducing cereals, meat, and some yogurt into her diet, and increase her intake. I do agree with this as she still seems to want food after the 3 oz, but I am worried about maintaining breastfeeding.
For breastfeeding, I feed her on demand, including before/after her meals and bottles.
How do I increase her food intake and decrease her formula supplements to maintain breastfeeding? Can I replace one bottle with a meal (so three meals and two bottles) straight out? Is an oz of milk more or less equivalent to an oz of puree? Any advice to help me maintain breastfeeding will help!
I also want to ask if, as late as eight months and still on supplements, there is any hope that we will one day completely wean her off them while continuing breastfeeding? Do you think the goal of weaning her off supplements by 12 months, while maintaining breastfeeding is a realistic one?