Introducing Solids While Breast- or Bottlefeeding
Common Age: 4 to 12 months
When babies begin to discover the joy of solids, they may start to drink less and less formula or breast milk. This leaves parents confused about which is more important: the nutrients in the milk or in the food.
It's a dilemma many moms face. But despite the fact that your baby is graduating to solids, says Roberts, breast milk or formula is still a very important part of your baby's diet, particularly because milk fat is essential for brain development and the calcium helps build strong teeth and bones. That said, it is safe and healthy to slowly reduce the amount your baby drinks. When you look at how thriving babies split their intake, there is a wide range of normal; as long as your baby is growing normally while eating and drinking within these parameters, you have nothing to worry about.
So which should you give first, milk or solids? There are varying opinions, but experts recommend starting out with breast milk or formula, saving solids for a second course, and washing them down with more milk. The reason? If your baby is very hungry, he may be too distracted to concentrate on maneuvering solids in his mouth and may reject them.
Here are some guidelines to help you determine the proper daily ratio of milk to solids for your baby. Note: One medium jar of baby food usually contains 35 to 50 calories.
At 6 months
- Up to 100 calories of solids
- 50 to 150 minutes of nursing; 28 to 38 ounces of formula
At 9 months
- 200 to 300 calories of solids
- 40 to 120 minutes of nursing; 24 to 34 ounces of formula
At 12 months
- 300 to 500 calories of solids
- 10 to 90 minutes of nursing; 20 to 30 ounces of formula