Breastfeeding Beyond 6 Months

You have reached the 6 months breastfeeding mark.  So what now?

It’s recommended to feed babies breastmilk for 6 months. Now  that you have reached that milestone you may be wondering why it’s still a good idea to keep breastfeeding.

The World Health Organization recommends breastfeeding for to two years and beyond.

Breastfeeding past infancy is normal!

Even though baby is starting solid foods from around 6 months it is unlikely that the amount of breastfeeds baby needs will drop significantly just yet, they need breastmilk as their main component of their diet until 12 months.

Most babies are still breastfeeding 6-8 times per day but may start to take slightly less milk at each feed from now on.

By continuing to breastfeed alongside the introduction of foods not only ensures good nutrition but breast milk helps with the digestion of those other foods.

Breastfeeding Benefits After 6 Months

  • Helps Baby Digest Solid Foods
  • Baby is more likely to Eat a Range of Flavoured Foods
  • Helps Baby with Teething
  • Provides Ongoing Protection and Antibodies

Baby is More Likely to Eat a Range of Flavored Foods

Breastmilk is able to change in flavor, allowing your baby to have a wide variety of tastes from what you have been eating, making the introductions of foods easier.During this phase of first introducing solids keep a closer eye on your baby’s diapers.  Sometimes too many solids and not enough breastfeeds can lead to constipation. If you are noticing smaller more pellet like stools it is a good idea to increase your breast milk feeds again.

Breastfeeding Helps with Teething

Your baby may become uninterested in breastfeeding on occasion.This can often be mistaken for weaning, but it is very unusual for babies to self-wean before 12 months.

During these teething phases your baby may want nothing other than to breastfeed and forgo solids for a few days or weeks as this can be extremely soothing when new teeth are popping through.

  • Follow Baby’s Cues
  • Unusual for a Baby to Self Wean Before 12 months
  • Maintain Milk Supply with Expressing

Breastfeeding Also Provides Ongoing Health Protection

During the months 6 -12 babies are more active and will try to put everything in their mouth.Your breastmilk is packed with protection and antibodies.

Breastfeeding protects baby while they are exploring their surroundings with all their senses.

Signs Baby is Ready For Solid Foods

  • Sit and hold head in a high chair without help
  • Interested in your food and tries imitate you eating
  • Able to grab items and bring them to their mouth
  • No longer has the tongue-thrust relex that pushes food out of their mouth
  • Can take a spoonful of food into their mouth and swallow
  • Beginning to Chew