Will I still make milk after my baby starts other foods?
Your milk still matters to your baby. And it feels great to see your breastfeeding baby thrive. Here are the basics from 6 to 12 months.
- You will make milk as long as your baby breastfeeds. Your baby's time at the breast drives your milk production.
- Health organizations recommend breastfeeding for at least 1 year.
- Your baby begins to need other foods, too, at about 6 months.
- Babies get teeth and learn to sit up, so they can help feed themselves. Now meals get really messy!
- As your baby consumes other foods, he needs less of your milk. As he takes less milk, your milk productions slows. This is fine.
What to Expect
- Weight gain slows. Expect a weight gain of at least 2-4 ounces (60-120 g) a week or ½ pound (240 g) a month.
- At this age, breastfeeding becomes as much about comfort as food.
- Babies love to play during breastfeeding.
- Expect lots of growing, crawling, and walking!
Things to Learn
- Try each new food for a few days before starting another.
- Try offering liquid in a cup at around 8 months.
Seek Breastfeeding Help When
- Breastfeeding hurts.
- Baby gains weight too slowly.
Even when breastfeeding is going well, you may experience some of the following:
- Your baby has fussy times. (Most babies do.)
- She wants to feed again soon after breastfeeding. (Most babies do.)
- She wants to feed more often. (This adjusts your milk production.)
- Your breasts no longer feel full. (Usually at about 3-4 weeks.)
- She wants to feed less often or for a shorter time. (Babies get faster with practice.)
- She wakes a lot at night. (Babies need to do this to get enough milk.)
- She will take a bottle after breastfeeding. (Babies like to suck.)
- You can't express much milk. (This skill takes practice.)
You Know You Have Plenty of Milk When
Baby Gains Weight Well On Breast Alone
6-12 months: 2-4 ounces (60-120 g) a week or ½ lb. (240 g) a month
- 6-12 months: 2-4 ounces (60-120 g) a week or ½ lb. (240 g) a month
Nancy Mohrbacher, IBCLC, FILCA, Lactation Consultant, Ameda Breastfeeding Products
Coauthor of Breastfeeding Made Simple: Seven Natural Laws for Nursing Mothers