Milk feeds and solids: How to know which feed to drop

Weaning mum Harjeet explains how she worked out when to drop a milk feed

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When my son was 6 months old, I started him on three meals a day but I found that he was still demanding the same amount of milk. I got worried as family and friends told me to cut down on milk feeds to stop him gaining too much weight. So when I took him for his 7 month weigh in I was worried that he might be too heavy, but he was tracking perfectly on his percentile. The health visitor told me that babies know how much they need and will adjust their milk feeds to their needs.

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By 7 months old he was eating well at lunch-time and dinnertime, but breakfast was a real struggle – he wouldn’t eat much at all (one or two spoonfuls), so I decided to drop his wake-up milk feed. Within a few days, he started eating more for breakfast. For the first week, he was having his milk straight after breakfast, but then he dropped it completely.

Just before he turned 8 months old, he dropped his morning and afternoon milk feed and some days he would miss his lunch-time milk feed, too – I got worried that he wasn’t having enough milk then! But I was adding milk, cheese and yogurt to his diet so I felt that he was getting enough calcium.

Now he’s 9 months old and has settled into a good routine. He has breakfast at 10 or 11am, then a milk feed, then lunch between 11:30am to 1pm, then a milk feed, then dinner at 6pm, then milk feed at 7pm. In between meal and milk feeds, I give him a snack in the morning and afternoon. So we have gone from having 6 or 7 milk feed during the day to 3.

It took time to get the balance of milk and food right for my little one, but we got there. I would recommend missing the morning milk feed if your baby does not have much food for breakfast as I felt this helped a lot in progressing on our weaning journey. After that, because I breastfeed, I left it up to my little one when he wanted his feeds and which ones he dropped – this is what was recommended by the health visitor. If you formula feed, one feed can be dropped, as long as they have at least 600ml of milk a day at 9 months.

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