Author Topic: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids  (Read 2049 times)

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Offline Regina Phalange

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Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« on: September 19, 2013, 14:34:08 pm »
I'm trying to figure out the ideal way to balance both as solids are introduced, and what to offer when. In the chart on page 136/7 of TBWSAYP, Tracy says to always offer solids first. But reading through the threads here, I noticed most people are advocating breast milk or formula first so that they don't fill up on solids and still get enough liquid. I don't know the reasoning behind Tracy's suggestion, as she doesn't offer an explanation in the book, but on the one hand, it does seem to make sense that they'd show more interest when they're actually hungry, and they'd take to it more quickly and easily (assuming they aren't overly hungry of course, and unable to handle the frustration). And when you're first introducing solids, it's only a couple small spoons, so, not enough to majorly affect how much milk they get.  But on the other hand, it also makes sense that as they start to eat more solids, you would want to make sure that they get enough milk before filling up on the solids.
I think the tentative plan in my head is to offer solids first until my son seems to be getting comfortable with the process, and then switch to breast first. Because then we can naturally go to the basic schedule I am aiming for. Nurse in the morning, and have breakfast an hour or so later. Nap, breast, lunch. Nap, breast, supper. And one more nursing session at bedtime.
Does this make sense? Am I missing something?

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2013, 14:46:04 pm »
Nurse in the morning, and have breakfast an hour or so later. Nap, breast, lunch. Nap, breast, supper. And one more nursing session at bedtime.
This is great. I don't think anyone offers solids first, I'm sure Tracy had her reasons for suggesting this but with a few things more recent research has had an impact on guidance and I'm sure Tracy would have updated her books had she been able to.  You'll find on the forums we follow Tracy's ethos, but not always 100% of what is in the book because of recent research and guides.

I'm guessing you are just about to introduce solids, there is a great saying "food before 1 is just for fun"  Your baby's primary food source until 12 months is milk, even better if it is your breast milk :)  Solids are introduced to explore textures and taste sensations and to see what happens when you mush it in your hand or drop it from the high chair ;) Lots and lots of learning going on even if there is not much eating going on.  In general a baby's would only really be given solids before milk if they were approaching 12 months or over and still not taking a reasonable amount of solids and beginning to share family meals.  Offering some tastes about an hour after breast feeding would be ideal and fits with the routine you would like to head towards - all good.
It is also now advised that finger foods be introduced at 6 months so you might want to look into that too.  Some people skip puree feeding altogether and follow BLW which involves baby feeding himself and having tastes of what the rest of the family is eating.

hth


Offline Regina Phalange

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #2 on: September 20, 2013, 15:32:33 pm »
Thanks! That does help. I'm discovering that one of the most difficult things about parenting, is sifting through all the conflicting "knowledge", and advice, and determining what decision, what method, what path is best for you and your child. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed and tired, and just want someone to tell me exactly what to do, and how, and when. But it doesn't work that way, so I guess I'll just have to suck it up!  :D

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2013, 18:41:49 pm »
Yeah, I know what you mean. I remember they gave me a pile of handouts like a foot deep when I left the hospital with my baby and I just thought "Why the **** you giving me this NOW? I've had months of pregnancy I had time to spend reading stuff and you give me all this when I have a new born to take care of! Who in hell planned that??"

There's a post somewhere about how BLW (baby led weaning) fits with Tracy's BW philosophy of respecting baby and taking their lead on development.  I can hunt it down for you if you wanted.  I'd never heard of it before I had my baby and was gearing myself up for making home made purees to wean the traditional way, but once I read up on it a bit and also read that (in the UK) guidance is to introduce finger foods at 6 months, I just didn't see the point of purees.  I was also really surprised by the purees time line I was given, like 1 - 2 weeks of puree then moving on to mashed for a couple of weeks along with finger food then lumps and finger food. It was really fast, not what I'd thought at all.  The idea of months and months of purees really comes from previous generations when solids started at a much much younger age so purees and the 3 day rule were needed.  If you wait until 6 months when baby's gut is more mature it's fine to go straight into 'real' food.
Hope I'm not confusing you further!


Offline Regina Phalange

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2013, 00:29:59 am »
Thanks for the offer :)
I am though, starting a little early. I was absolutely planning on waiting until 6 months, but he just seems so ready right now - just shy of 5 months. He's a very big baby (10lbs 4oz at birth, 17lbs at 3 months, and probably over 19/20lbs now), and was early on a few other developments as well, which makes me unsurprised that he seems to need a little more right now. He nurses so much that I suspect he's overly full as he'll sometimes vomit up a fair bit afterward, and often still doesn't seem quite sated. And he's begun early wakings in the last couple weeks too, when he used to sleep so well at night! And on top of that, he's shown all the signs of readiness that you're told to look for. Seemed like the right decision.
What kinds of finger foods do you introduce at 6 months?

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2013, 07:19:29 am »
Does your LO have reflux at all?  Sometimes the desire to nurse and then bringing it back up is because they find the sucking gives pain relief from the discomfort of acid reflux.  Some LOs with bad reflux are advised to start solids early, but on the whole waiting is really the better option, baby's gut isn't really ready for solids until 6 months, and beginning solids can often lead to sleep disturbances rather than helping them sleep longer or better - it's a myth that more food, solids, will help them sleep.  They get more fat, protein, nutrition and a fuller tummy from milk than they do solids.
did you know it is common for at 4 months to have a sleep regression and not sleep so well as they did previously?

Finger foods at 6 months really can be just about anything, avoid small round foods such as cherry toms, blueberries, sausages cut into discs as these are choke hazard size, but other wise a wide variety can be offered, such as steamed carrot batons or green beans, baked apple wedges or sweet potato wedges...and really anything you are having yourself so long as it is prepared without sugar, honey and nuts.  Cut pieces into adult finger sized pieces which provide a good sized baton or wedge for LO to pick up and hold in a fist, they can then eat the bit that protrudes from their fist.  For foods such as mashed potato or yoghurt they can dip their fingers in or grab a hand full, alternatively some people like to load a spoon with the food and give the spoon to LO to self feed.


Offline Regina Phalange

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2013, 21:00:56 pm »
Not sure if it would technically be reflux or not. He has always been a "spitty uppy" baby. And not just small amounts. We would often go through one blanket a feeding, and some days were worse than others. It seemed to be getting a bit better, but now it's gotten worse again. I mentioned it to the doctor at either two or three months, but because he has had no issues with weight gain, and it doesn't usually seem to be causing any pain or discomfort for him, he wasn't concerned. Of course, it's really quite frustrating for me, because there's just soooo much laundry. Usually three blankets a day, fresh crib sheets every few days, plus he often goes through an extra outfit or two, and sometimes I do too. Pretty certain we will have to have the couch steam cleaned as I think it has a general spit up aroma. Lol.
I have heard that solids can help with reflux, and was wondering if it might do some good for him too.

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2013, 10:15:53 am »
Oh dear, sounds messy!  You know, from what you say I think I'd be asking the doc for a meds trial for reflux, you said he can bring up a fair amount of his milk and seem dissatisfied with his feed and from the sounds of how much laundry you're doing it does sound more than a bit of spit up to me.  I  know solids are some times suggested for reflux babies but I think it can also cause some problems as their gut is not fully developed, my personal choice would be to hold off on solids if at all possible. My boy was roughly the same age when we started reflux meds, the change in him was miraculous, wish I'd pushed for it earlier.  However, I'm not that experienced or knowledgeable in the reflux area so I've asked one of the mods to pop by to take a look.
xx


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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2013, 13:11:39 pm »
Thanks for that :)
I had considered pushing for reflux meds, but then I wondered if I really wanted to start giving him meds, when it doesn't seem to be negatively affecting him. Sure, it's awful annoying for me, and I get quite frustrated with the whole thing at times, but as far as I can tell, it doesn't cause him any problems (unless those times where he's fussy and crying for no reason I can discern is actually because there was some delayed or residual discomfort from reflux...but that doesn't seem very likely)
Do you happen to have any links for the suggestion to always wait until 6 months for solids? There's so much conflicting advice out there, so I always try and research, and find good sources so I can really get to the bottom of an issue, and make an informed decision. Also, my husband is fully on board for starting solids now, and if I end up suggesting we hold off, I better have a good case to present. :D I'm happy to look for myself of course, but just thought if you have anything on hand....?

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2013, 13:18:38 pm »
Oh, right - the dissatisfaction with feeds seems to have tapered for now I think. It was a new thing that started in the last few weeks, but now that I'm thinking about it, it hasn't really happened since last week I think? Maybe growth spurt? It's so hard to catch those, because he rarely complains when he's hungry, and was only seeming dissatisfied after a feed, but other than that went about his day as usual.

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2013, 18:37:42 pm »
There is some info here about guidance on weaning being between 4 - 6 months but that starting earlier than 4 months should not be done without a health professional's support
Is your baby ready for solids?
There are some other FAQs which you might find useful here
FAQ's - Frequently Asked Questions & Related Information

And this page has helpful info too, esp with regards to health professional not always being tottally up to date with the most recent research
http://kellymom.com/nutrition/starting-solids/delay-solids/
also gives info regarding protection from illness, less chance of food allergies, protection from iron deficiency and future obesity...

In the YK (and I believe most countries now, there is a list on that above link) the guidance and strong advice is not delay solids, however yes it can help babies who have reflux.  I'd think that it would be a careful decision to make though given the research of the benefits of delaying.

I understand how you wouldn't want your baby on meds unless absolutely necessary which is one of the reasons I've suggested a mod pops in the help you out more than I can. I'm just going by my own experience of my DS starting meds at about this age, what scared me was the long term negative effect of acid in the oesophagus and possible food and eating aversions due to the pain of the reflux.  But yes, I am totally with you that you that no one would want to medicate unnecessarily.

There's a GS around 4 months so there's a good chance this has had an impact on his feeding and needing more.
I'm sure Sara will be along when she can, she has much more experience than I do, and she has a LO who needed both meds and early solids.
xx


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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2013, 18:52:56 pm »
Thank you so much for all your help!  :) :)

Offline *Ali*

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2013, 19:29:27 pm »
I see you are already getting some great advice from Creations.  :D

We had a similar question before about the contradiction in what to give first and After trawling through the books we realised that actually Tracy meant at the solids sittings (such as 8.30, 12.30 and 5.30) you offer solids first and then some kind of liquid (FF, BF or nowadays most people just give water) after as a drink/top up. The Routine Tracy recommends in the BWSAYP book around page 96 suggests offering solids about an hour after milk. There is more of an explanation here Re: Help with solids and milk for 6mo

After the post I also saw more evidence that is what Tracy meant in one of the other books but I don't know the page reference off the top of my head.


HTH
Cadan Dec 2009 and Colby Aug 2011


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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2013, 21:26:35 pm »
First, thanks Ali for dropping by.
I don't remember those specifics from the books so it's great you could clarify that.  I do remember very clearly though DS almost doubling his number of milk feeds when I introduced solids - exactly as you describe the regular milk feed then and hour later the solids feed (with water) then immediately after he would demand milk even though he'd already had his milk an hour before and water through the solids meal.  It really took me by surprise but the phase didn't last a long time before he became happy with just water.

Secondly - so sorry about all the typos in my last post, wow it barely makes sense. I was in a hurry as DP was waiting for me and didn't check my post at all.
It should have read starting before *6 months* shouldn’t be done without support from a health professional, and in the *UK* the advice is to delay until 6 months.
Gee - I hope you managed to decipher it. That'll teach me to be in a hurry!


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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2013, 01:45:20 am »
Thanks Ali! That makes a lot more sense!
And Creations, no worries about the typos. I understood what you were trying to say. :)
Is it normal then to have to start nursing more when introducing solids?? Oh lord, I hope not! I work from home so I'm already kind of stressing about how to find the time to squeeze in extra meal times on top of play time, snuggle time, and the usual work and home maintenance stuff. Oh well...we'll have to figure something out I guess!

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #15 on: September 23, 2013, 06:38:15 am »
I never did extra feed. We just offered a sippy of water with the meal and BF every 4hrs or so.
Cadan Dec 2009 and Colby Aug 2011


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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #16 on: September 23, 2013, 07:20:31 am »
Mine wouldn't have shut up screaming and demanding milk if I hadn't just given him an extra bottle after the solids (and I've read some similar threads but it's not every baby that's like that). It didn't last very long though.  I offered both a sippy of water and a bottle of water throughout the meal as he wasn't very good with the sippy and I wanted to ensure he got whatever fluid he needed.  I did find solids hard work and very time consuming in the early days though, my DS took to solids in a big way, immediately, so we were rapidly onto 3 meals and each one took 45 mins feeding time! It felt like all he did was eat and sleep because his entire A time was taken up with eating and I barely got him down for his nap fast enough. His A time also decreased slightly in those early days from the extra effort of eating, sitting up for that amount of time, using muscles he wasn't used to using, and the high stimulation of new experiences all made him tired before his regular A time was up.  We didn't really have any play time, well it felt that way, but remember that play is about experiences and eating is a new experience so it doesn't matter if there isn't much in the way of other play. Gradually he was less tired from eating and also ate faster. Although it was hard to keep up, I enjoyed every minute of it, such an amazing journey to take with your LO.
Not all babies take to solids in such a big way from 6 months though, it is also very normal to have just one solids meal per day for a while and for them to only take a few bites, totally normal. Just depends on your baby.


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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2013, 18:31:39 pm »
Hi Regina,
Does is spitting up cause him any discomfort?- or just messy? If he is settled, sleeping well, gai mg weight but just a bit spitty then solids probably will help with that. Alternatively you can thicken feeds, or try infant gaviscon to help keep the milk down.

Given his age I personally would keep away from grains if possible. Things like pumpkin, sweet potato, pear, avocado are all gentle first foods. I you can, offer in the am too. I helps prevent night time issues if your LO is going to have an adverse reaction to a food.
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DS1 - Our sensitive soul. Silent reflux.

DS2 Our cheeky chipmunk. Reflux, MSPI.

Offline Regina Phalange

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2013, 22:30:56 pm »
Fingers crossed that he's not one of the few who will need more feeds!  ;D
ZacsMumme: I don't believe the spitting up causes him discomfort. There was one occasion where he seemed unwell, and would cry after spitting up, but that only lasted a day or two, and just as I was about to bring him in to the doctor, it subsided and went back to normal. He's been extra fussy lately, and there's been a lot of crying, but I think it's due to frustration with not being able to make his body do what he wants it to (moving around and manipulating toys), and a bit of boredom. But he doesn't react at all when he spits up. I don't think he even notices. We have another appointment with the doctor next week, so maybe I'll ask what he recommends. If we do this, I'll definitely keep it to gentle foods for a while. Certainly don't want to overdo it.

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Re: Confused about the best way to balance solids and liquids
« Reply #19 on: September 26, 2013, 00:43:33 am »
Sounds like he is doing well then :)
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