At Ryan's 4 month doctors appointment we started the conversation about transitioning to formula and starting stage 1 solids. The whole process is a little overwhelming (I think overwhelming is my new favorite motherhood word). Breastfeeding is just so EASY! After those first few weeks of trouble, I have really come to love breastfeeding.
**Anyway, lets start with the transition to formula. I go back to work in September, and I need to have Ryan on formula by then. I would LOVE to continue nursing him for longer, but my job makes it very hard to pump. Also, I really struggle with pumping. I am never able to get more than a few ounces. It would be very hard for me to get full bottles of breast milk in order to keep up. In addition, I feel like recently my milk supply has decreased. I never feel full, Ryan finishes his feedings very quickly, and he seems to still be hungry when he is finished. So all of this leads to the decision to start feeding him formula. I think the transition is going to be much harder on me than it is on him.
Here is the plan, I am going to start taking away 1 nursing session during the day and replacing it with a bottle. I started that this week. He takes the bottle for his 5pm feeding. Then next week I will replace one of his morning feedings with a bottle too. I will keep adding the bottles until there are no nursing sessions left. I hope the last feeding I get rid of is his bed time one. This is for selfish reasons, nursing him to sleep at night is one of my favorite things!
I will be totally switched to formula by the beginning of August. That will mean that I successfully nursed for 5 months. I am both proud of the accomplishment and disappointed that I didn't last longer. Such a bittersweet feeling.
**Solids is a whole new topic. Some mothers start solids with their little ones at 4 months but I am not quite ready. There are few things that I feel should happen first before starting solids. For me personally, I need to be finished with the nursing/formula switch first. It would be to much for Ryan to start formula and solids at the same time. But besides that I also feel that he needs to be able to sit better, show interest in food, open his mouth for a spoon, and hopefully have teeth.
My chiropractor (who as I explained in previous posts is also very much into natural health) explained to me why it is important to wait for a child to have teeth before starting solids. Without going into too much detail, when the digestive system is ready and able to properly digest food, teeth will then cut to through the gums. I know some babies don't get teeth until later, but I am going to try to hold off for a little bit and see what happens.
**So in a nutshell... July will be the formula switch, August may start some solids, and by September when he is 6 months old, we will officially start solids!