Celebrating Six Months!

Abigail Walston

Posted By: Abigail Walston

I'm returning to work as a teacher in September. I'm not a big fan of pumping and my son has rarely used bottles so I know that going back to work is going to be a big adjustment for both of us.

I'm so happy and proud to write this: Joshua has been breastfeeding for six months! Back when I was pregnant, and even before, I always knew I wanted to breastfeed but didn't really have a goal of how long. I just figured I'd nurse my children for as long as was mutually desired, and I assumed that would be measured in years, not months. After doing some research about it, I decided that a nice initial goal would be to exclusively breastfeed for six months, as recommended by the World Health Organization. We made it!

For the first five and a half months, exclusive breastfeeding was easy for us. Joshua really took to nursing and aside from cluster feeding in the evening for the first few months and nursing all day and night during growth spurts, we really didn't have any challenges. I might have felt a little tired of sitting down and nursing him for such a long time, but looking back I remember those times fondly. Now that I'm back at work, I long to just sit and nurse Joshua for hours on end. I enjoy and appreciate our nursing sessions so much more now that they're limited. The whir of the electric pump just can't compare with my snuggly, sleepy baby with a milky smile.

My plan is to continue breastfeeding Joshua for as long as we both enjoy it. I'm not going to set a timeline, but I can guarantee I'll be celebrating again when we reach his first birthday. When it comes to introducing solids, we plan to take it slow and follow baby-led weaning. Since I'm a proponent of whole, local, seasonal foods, I'm planning to skip cereals and purees and allow Joshua to try different foods and experience their textures, flavors and colors on his own developmental timeline. As a biologist, I tend to look at this from an evolutionary perspective, and I agree that this is most likely how we evolved to eat solids. While we haven't started to introduce solids just yet, I have enjoyed the following resources.
Baby Led Weaning by Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett
Real Food for Mother and Baby by Nina Planck
Solid Foods and the Breastfed Baby and Toddler from KellyMom.com
Is Iron-Supplementation Necessary? from KellyMom.com
Starting Solids from La Leche League
Breastmilk will continue to be Joshua's main source of nutrition throughout his first year, and I will continue to nurse him and express milk for as long as he wants to have bottles. After being separated at work and daycare all day, I'll be happy to nurse Joshua then share healthy solid foods with him. We're going to start offering solids at supper time, as we sit down together for family meals. I have visions of him sampling my homemade applesauce, winter squash, bananas, avocados, sweet potatoes and greens. I imagine him picking up and playing with these soft chunks of food and eventually learning to enjoy eating them along with Mommy's milk.
Did you set breastfeeding goals for yourself? How did you introduce solids?

3:11pm on Thursday November 4
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8 comments

Comments



Chase
4:34pm on Monday November 8

Congratulations on breastfeeding for six months!

I just weaned my first born at 4 years and my second is still going strong at two years old. You can measure it in years not just months. We didn't start introducing solid foods until they were at least six months old.

Abbie
4:22pm on Monday November 8

Thanks for all the support mamas! I have come to love the support shown here in the comments section!

Christa
8:52pm on Friday November 5

I love that, you sound a lot like me when it comes to your breastfeeding goals! Mason is 9 months old, I haven't given him very many solids but when I do it's normally things that are in season no purees for us. I introduced him to his first food on his six month birthday but I'm not strict with what I give him or when I give it to him. I set a lofty goal for myself right from the beginning, 1 year and with 9 months down I think I can do it!

Veronica
8:50pm on Friday November 5

You are amazing and have overcome a lot of obstacles. Keep up the good work!

Rebecca Meyer
8:25pm on Friday November 5

Congrats! 6 months is amazing!! We are at 9 months and our goal is at least 1 year! :)

We are doing Baby Led Weaning. We just recently started, when he was 8 months old, and it has been so much fun so far! We started with avocados. He loves brocoli!

Joanna
8:19pm on Friday November 5

Congratulations! I set a goal of 3 months, then 6, then 9 and now a year.

I introduced solids at 5 months and started super slow.

@crunchyvtmommy sent me here, you're a great Mom and should be proud of yourself!

Ruth
5:58am on Friday November 5

Congratulations on exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months! You and Joshua are a success story!

I think that's an awesome goal to set and then to play if by ear, and take the lead from baby and you. As you know, I also support breastfeeding as long as it's the right choice for Mom and Baby. I nursed all three of our children for an extended time (talking years here), but never really set a deadline, just continued to do what was right for us.

We usually began to introduce solids, like bananas, applesauce, and butternut squash, at about 6 months of age. There's no need to introduce all that mess earlier with breastfeeding! And, we continued to nurse. As time went on, it was about comforting and nurturing as much as nutrition, especially at nap and bed time.

All the best to you, Abbie. You're a wonderful role model for the nursing mother of today, who works full-time and pumps to keep up the commitment to nursing her baby! That shows a greater commitment than I had at the time you and your brothers were babies! I couldn't be more proud of YOU!

Love,
Mom

Nancy
10:23am on Thursday November 4

We also did BLW with my older daughter. It worked out great. We introduced solids slowly towards the beginning of her 7th month. With my second daughter (now 6 months), we are also using whole foods but I have been spoonfeeding oatmeal because I don't feel like dealing with the mess! I was more willing with my older one to deal with the mess because it was just the two of us, and we had all the time in the world. Today, I bought my little one some delicata squash... can't wait to give it to her!

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