Having the right balance of milk and food during the early will months will ensure you have a successful weaning journey with your baby. I had a really informative talk with Jen Crawford from Doula Care on 'your baby’s milk feeds once you start to introduce solid foods'. This is definitely one of the most asked questions I have when it comes to my Weaning Wednesday Q&A on Instagram stories. Jen kindly came into the Mummy Cooks kitchen to help us shoot our Academy series on milk feeds. So if you want a more in-depth knowledge of milk feeds during weaning then check out or on-line Academy.
Breastfeeding and introducing solids
Unlike bottle-feeding, breastfeeding is very much baby-led and it’s about the mothers capacity to hold milk and how babies are efficient when feeding. The guidelines are currently to exclusively breastfeed for six months and then introduce solid foods. However, every baby is different and if you were to start solid food before this time its important not to drop breastfeeds. By sticking to the Mummy Cooks portion size of 1oz/30ml this should not affect the milk feeds.
At six months although you may be feeding on demand the aim is to have some sort of schedule and to leave about an hour gap between milk and food. Making sure that you are offering the food when they are happy and not when they are cranky or starving, as this will frustrate your baby.
The quantity of milk at six month may deplete because your baby is now on 3 solid meals a day. However, it is important to still look at portion sizes your baby should be on about 2oz/60ml per meal. It is about trying to structure the feeds a bit more whether your baby is just having a small drink of milk a number of times a day or 5 big feeds. Again its about letting baby lead the way.
At nine months your baby may still feed throughout the day or they are more efficient and only feeding twice in the day. There is not right or wrong, we just want to make sure they are also taking their solid food meals. So keep the hour gap between the milk and food.
Bottle Feeding when introducing solid foods
If you start to introduce solid foods before six months we do not want to deplete the milk so it’s important to stick to the portion size of 1oz/30ml per meal building to 3 meals by six months. From six months your baby will start to reduce the amount of milk they are taking. There will be feeds during the day that your baby is not finishing and this is the feed you stop first, usually around 7 ½ months.
Up to six months of age babies are on 5 or 6 bottles a day. The quality of this stage should be between 900ml to 1100 a day.
At nine months it’s a good idea to remove the mid-morning and the mid-afternoon feeds and if your baby is hungry in between meals you can introduce healthy snacks. At nine months your baby is on 2 or 3 bottles about 500ml in 24 hours.
A nine-month-old baby should be on 2 to 3 bottles of about 500ml per day.
"Jen Crawford is co-founder and owner of DoulaCare Ireland. DoulaCare Ireland is a national doula agency offer Fertility, Bereavement, Birth & Postpartum support to families across Ireland. She was the first EVER certified DONA Postpartum Doula in Ireland. Jen is a breastfeeding counsellor, antenatal educator and was one of the first doulas in Ireland trained as a Kangaroula (a doula who supports skin to skin care / kangaroo care) In these changing times with COVID-19 DoulaCare Ireland are offering many supports online. They offer a full range of live 1:1 antenatal courses, video calls for early labour at home or parenting questions. Email queries to firstname.lastname@example.org "