Saturday, September 4, 2010

Starting solids

I'm conflicted. As per usual... my mother claims it's the curse of being an Aquarian because we can see both sides of the argument, but I think I'm just indecisive :-). Arguments against starting are that she's just over four months old, she's my last little baby, and why am I rushing this? She's doing fine on breastmilk, she's huge for her age, compared to where Sam and Jess were at this age. I tend to err on the side of attachment parenting, I co-sleep, carry the kid everywhere, don't do CIO, etc - and following along with that trend would be to delay solids. Plus I really, really like the baby stage -I love looking at her and knowing that I'm completely responsible for all that health and vibrancy.

But... she's able to sit with support, holds her head up fine, has started waking up at night after sleeping thru for weeks. She's more and more interested in food, and I think it'd be fun. I want to expose her to new tastes and new textures. She's still nursing pretty much every hour during the day, sometimes an hour and a half, but she's nursing a LOT. I'm not looking to replace nursing sessions, but she's definitely added some lately, with the night waking and the lack of napping. I used to pump at least once a day, but I haven't had a chance to for the past week or so, because she's been nursing pretty much constantly. She's putting everything in her mouth.

Not sure yet, but I think she's ready. I can't come up with any reasons, other than my own selfishness in not wanting her to grow up. I'm not ready for her to start, not that I think she's not ready. And it's not a do or die decision, it's not like if I give her a spoonful of bananas then I can't continue nursing. God knows, I can and have nursed well into toddlerhood - Sam was closer to four than three when he finally stopped. And I started him on solids right around four and a half months. He ate everything, and it never affected the amount of nursing. However... Miss Jessica started on solids and finished up nursing by the time she was eight months old. Ahhh - here's where my hesitation is coming from (this is why I love writing, it helps me to figure out what I'm actually thinking). BUT - Jess was never a comfort nurser, she was a girl who loved her pacifier, and I think she just figured out that it was easier to eat solids then to nurse. Plus, I wasn't as experienced a nurser back then, I didn't know about continuing to offer, Jessie just seemed less and less interested, and I thought that I should respect that, and just switched her over to formula.

And what's the alternative? Never give her solids in hopes that she'll nurse forever? I want to nurse her until she's at least a year, and honestly would be happy if she'd stop closer to two. Giving her real food is clearly a step on the weaning road, and I'm not sure I want to get on that road too early. But weaning Sam was really hard - on both of us - and I was way ready to stop before he was. I don't want to nurse that long again either, at least not wishing that I wasn't. You know what I mean? Maybe I'll love nursing her when she's three and a half. I just don't want to hate it at the end.

I don't know... I guess I'll hold off for a while. See what happens. Until I can see definitely that one way is the right way - holding off until she's at least six months or older, or starting her, just experimenting with it, then I'll just exist in this odd state of being on the cusp of starting solids.

3 comments:

Queen Bee said...

((hugs)) it's a suprisingly difficult decision to make!!

Anonymous said...

Mine started cereal at 4 weeks and then I moved them to fruits and veggies soon after. I say start her....This is my opinion also my opinion is at about 10 months start sippie cup and wean off breast milk....

Melissa said...

Four weeks? I'm going to wait and see what the pediatrician says, she's got her four month check up in a couple of weeks. I might start experimenting before then, but I don't see me even thinking about encouraging weaning until she's at least a year and a half. Probably closer to two... I'm definitely an extended nursing fan. Would like to wean earlier than Sam did, but he went until he was almost four. I'd actively work to keep her breastfeeding if she shows signs of weaning before she's a year.