Qn of the Month: Will Baby Drop Breastfeeds Quickly After I Introduce Solids?

It’s understandable to be worried about this, especially if you are anxious to keep up your breast milk supply.  There are many factors that may affect this, like how old baby is when solids are introduced, how much solids you give baby at a meal and in a day, how close it is to the next breastfeed session, and how fast baby takes to solids!

If solids are introduced gradually, you may not notice too much of a change at the beginning, especially if baby is not taking much solids at a time (e.g., only 2-3 teaspoons in a sitting), and also if baby still considers the breast milk as the ‘real’ food. When I introduced my little one to solids once or twice a day at about 24 weeks of age, she still took a couple of weeks just to get the hang of pureed solids, and to realize that this is food like breast milk!

But as baby gets used to solids and starts to eat a larger amount at a time, you may find the baby’s next breastfeed session may not be as long. Overall I have found that baby will still feed the same number of times at the breast (generally will take some if I offer the breast at the same set times during a day) but the duration of the feeds gradually shortens or seems to drop off in length (e.g., instead of 10 minutes a side, it becomes 5-6 minutes). I guess it could all be nature’s way of dropping the breast milk supply gradually, as baby is still feeding the same number of times but the duration lessens, and your body also gradually as a result drops off in breast milk production – that is, if you don’t keep pumping of course!

Also after 7-8 months, I’ve noticed that the hunger cues in a baby appear to be not as immediate or urgent so baby may not alert you that he or she needs to breastfeed as readily. But if you offer the breast at the usual times, baby will often ‘remember’ the hunger and take some. As a result, I had to take more of an initiative and be more proactive in offering the breast.

So don’t worry, your milk supply may not be affected much when baby first starts solids. And even after baby starts to get used to and take more solids in a day, there are still many ways to keep up your breast milk supply to continue to meet baby’s needs!


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