What's a Typical Nursing Schedule Once You Start Solids?

Updated on June 03, 2010
A.K. asks from Mountain View, CA
6 answers

My child is almost 5 months old. My pediatrician didn't want to discuss solids yet because she recommends we don't start until 6 months, but I'm just curious about breastfeeding and how it works with solids. Once you introduce solids, how often do you nurse? Is it still every 2 hours? Or at every meal? My baby doesn't always give clear indications of when she's hungry anymore- at least not like she used to when she was a newborn-now that so many other things in the world interest her!

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answers from Honolulu on

STILL nurse on-demand.
For the 1st year of life... breastmilk/Formula is a baby's PRIMARY source of nutrition... NOT solids and NOT other liquids.
And when on growth-spurts, a baby needs even more so, to feed/nurse on demand.

Solids at this age and for the 1st year, is ONLY an "introduction" to foods. NOT the main course. Their body/digestion is still developing.

ALWAYS nurse, BEFORE solids. On demand. NOT according to a schedule. If you nurse 'after' solids for example, you will be 'weaning' your baby... and your breastmilk supply will decrease. You do not want to do that. Feeding solids before nursing, will make the baby too full to then nurse. And breastmilk is still very essential.

Bear in mind, 'scheduling' nursings, is not good. A baby will not be getting what they need that way. Especially during growth-spurts or periods of 'cluster feeding' in which a baby will even need to nurse every single hour. So, you need to go by baby's cues and nurse on demand. Not a 'schedule.' Babies don't thrive that way.

Since she does not seem to indicate 'hunger' as much.... for me at least, I nursed every 3 hours (though my kids were 6 mos. old and on solids), but my kids as babies still indicated when they needed a nursing. I nursed my kids upon waking in the morning, then as needed, then before solids, then after solids, then before any naps, then after waking from naps, then before 'dinner' then after and before bedtime. And also during the night. My kids started 'solids' at 6 months old. BUT... at that age, it is not eating 3 meals a day. You have to slowly introduce that volume and frequency, over time. Not just in 1 day. In the beginning of solids, my kids just ate 1 'meal' a day. Then up until 1 year old... slowing introduce other 'meals' like a lunch time or dinner time. But for the 1st year, for me at least, breastfeeding was STILL the focus.

all the best,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Pocatello on

I actually never did baby food with my babies I just nursed them until they were old enough for table food. But even when I started that I still nursed on demand. I would feed them some food at the table and then when they were done after about a 1/2 an hour or so they still wanted to nurse so I let them. The thing with baby food is that it doesn't have much calories, vitamins, or fat in it like breast milk so yes you can feed it to your baby but breast milk should still be biggest source of nutrition.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I nurse on demand through at least one year. We don't intro solids til late however....after 8 months.

They eat such small amounts early on, that I would at least end every solid food "meal" with a nursing.

I would continue whatever "schedule" you are on before you intro solids, because unless you are shovelling food in your baby's mouth (which I don't agree with), they will get very little food and it won't be nutritionally well-rounded, so you will still want to nurse them with that good nutritious mama's milk! :)

Remember, breastfeeding is not only good nutrition, it provides lots of immunity (which they will need once you intro solids) and those emotional benefits, as well as pain relief from teething, etc.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

My 6mo daughter has always been a champion nurser, and even though she's been on solids since she was a week past 4mo, I still nurse on demand. I started her early because she was nursing 12-16 times each day and always seemed to want more (and trust me, I could feed a village!!!), she was sitting very well supported with excellent head control, and she was almost obsessed with watching the fork go from plate to mouth and back again. I also talked to her pediatrician before I started just to make sure. She says that the AAP recommends 6mo more because of possible food allergies.

She nurses when she wakes in the morning, then again about an hour later. After the 2nd nursing, I give her breakfast of cereal (made with expressed breast milk) and fruit. She nurses again at naptime @2 hours later. She nurses when she gets up from her nap, then eats a little snack (usually Cheerios). From there, it's all up to her. She eats solids about 3 times each day and still nurses 8-10 times.

Her hunger cues are usually fussiness, sucking on her fist/fingers, and it's always a sign if the whole front of her shirt is wet!! haha I ALWAYS give her the breast before solids. This has helped maintain my milk supply. If she wants solids, she won't nurse as long, and if she'd rather nurse than eat solids, she'll fuss in her highchair and refuse the food. She gets the nutrition she needs from my breast milk while being able to play with different tastes and textures. She definitely needs the extra solids to help her stay full longer!

As as peer breastfeeding counselor with Nursing Mothers Counsel here in the Bay Area, I definitely recommend offering the breast first, and if there comes a time where she starts missing or aborting feedings, you'll need to express manually or with a pump if you want to maintain your supply. Other than that, go with the flow and try to follow her lead. I usually recommend the following websites for great info:
http://www.nursingmothers.org (our website)



answers from St. Cloud on

We didn't introduce any solids till our son was 9 months old. (We just nursed on demand.) And then we only did ONE "meal" (lunch) a day with solids. There were still days where he would only nurse after we introduced solids. And we did baby food for about one week and then introduced table foods during that meal as well.......

As for how often he nursed yet. It varied greatly! If we would go shopping for the day, he would go ALL DAY with NOTHING! He was too busy checking out the world around him to be bothered with food! LOL. But he would let me know when he was hungry. Or I would make sure to nurse as soon as we returned home if he chose not to eat while we were out.

So I wouldn't rush the solid foods yet. And don't fret too much about schedule once you do! Your baby WILL let you know when she's hungry eventually. They go through the growth spurts where they just need more or less at times........



answers from Reno on

you may want to buy a pump. If you're not a stay at home and can't nurse on demand introducing solids may slow down or decrease milk production sharply ( at least it did for me) I still nurse/ bottle ( when I am at work) every 3 hours and only do about 2 tbs of solids morning and 2 at night. Hope this helps. Good luck

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