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Q&A: Why is baby drinking less breast milk?

After starting solids (about a month ago), my baby doesn’t want to nurse as much. Is this normal?

Re: After starting solids (about a month ago), my baby doesn’t want to nurse as much. Is this normal?

The Bump Expert

It's absolutely normal for baby to drink less breast milk if she is eating a significant amount of solid foods. She's simply beginning to move toward a more “grown up” diet. If you think it's because she's just too distracted to breastfeed, though, try moving feedings to a dark, quiet room. (Some babies have a tough time concentrating on nursing once they are interacting more with the world around them.) And as always, keep an eye on her weight gain for assurance that she's staying hydrated and getting enough nutrition. Speaking of nutrition, make sure you're starting baby on a healthy path by offering a balanced diet full of vitamins and nutrients as she grows. (If she's filling up on fresh fruits, veggies, and whole grains instead of breast milk, that's great. If she's filling up on cookies and juice, that's not so great.)Baby will eventually drop more and more feedings as she grows older and eats more solids. But even if you get down to one or two feedings per day, the breast milk you're providing is an awesome source of nutrients that she may not be getting in her diet -- so keep it up. The general recommendation is that from six through nine months you should breastfeed first -- to assure that your baby gets the milk she needs -- then “top her off” with solids. From nine to 12 months you can then reverse this and offer meals first, “topping her off” with your milk after and in between meals.

Jeanne Cygnus, IBCLC, RLC