Ihsan turned 6 months young last Sunday, February 21st, 2010. Normally that’s the usual age we heard for a mom to start introducing solid food to her baby. Some said we could already start when the baby reaches 4 months old. During our last 3 to 4 months check up and baby class, we were told by the health officer that we could introduce solids once the baby enters the 6th months of his life, meaning once when he reaches 5 months and 1 day old. The most latter is a very common thing here in Japan since their system is quite standardized throughout the whole country if I’m not mistaken. However no matter how many months are stated as the right time to wait before introducing solid food to baby, I’m determined to delay giving solid foods to Ihsan as later as I could. Until today, I still exclusively breastfeeding Ihsan, Alhamdulillah and I wish to continue as longer as I could, InsyaAllah.
I don’t actually decide about this just in 1 night but only after sufficient research, deep thinking and a lot of discussion with hubby, we are confident enough to come up with the conclusion. There are actually particular reasons that have been as big contributors in affecting me towards making this decision. The first is because it has already been stated in the Quran that a baby can live until 2 years just by consuming his mother’s milk solely. As we know, Quran is applicable in all times which also means I should have no doubt with Quran’s reliability. Each teaching in Quran has its own reason. So, there are also reasons and good benefits behind this fact of breastfeeding that I wish to get advantage of by following what has been stated. Secondly, among the good benefits of exclusive breastfeeding, it is stated in the Quran that a baby boy who only consumes his mother’s milk solely, his excrement is considered as the lightest impurity (najis mukhaffafah). But I don’t really keep breastfeeding Ihsan exclusively past 6 months in order to maintain the purity of his excrement. In fact, I do this for the goodness of his health in the future. I don’t say that my son won’t get sick ever because after all he is a human being and not an angel. But at least by doing this, I could help to maintain his health at a better level compared to if I introduce solids to him sooner. Thirdly, I’m confident to proceed with this plan because I have a good health, Alhamdulillah and I don’t have any major sickness (at least not that I know of) to continue lactating Ihsan. So is Ihsan, Alhamdulillah. Which means we are free from any factors or special needs that require us to leave this idea of exclusive breastfeeding aside. Fourthly, Alhamdulillah we have sufficient resources or needs to equip us along this journey of exclusive-breastfeeding for example nutritious foods, supplements, no time constraint since I’m currently a SAHM, breastfeeding equipment, numerous breastfeeding information and etc. Last but not least, the fifth, I have a strong willingness, I’m happy with my decision, I never feel it’s burdening me, Ihsan or our little family at all, Ihsan seems happy and healthy being exclusively-breastfed and lastly I got hubby’s continues blessing and support to keep me going throughout this journey of exclusive-breastfeeding.
According to Kellymom Breastfeeding & Parenting website, there are several benefits in delaying solid foods to baby. To which if you read each and every of the reasons listed, they are supported by reference link from reliable WHO. Here I’m gonna list down in point form the advantages of delaying solid foods to baby:
- Delaying solids gives baby better protection from illness.
- Delaying solids gives baby’s digestive system time to mature.
- Delaying solids decrease the risk of food allergies.
- Delaying solids helps to protect baby from iron-deficiency anemia.
- Delaying solids help to protect baby from future obesity.
- Delaying solids help mom to maintain her milk supply.
- Delaying solids help to space babies.
- Delaying solids makes starting solid easier.
During our last baby class, we got to know that the reason why we should start introducing solids to baby once he turns 5 months and 1 day because once the baby enters the 6 months of his life; the baby required more iron than the breast milk could supply. So, that’s why the baby needs solids in order to cater the needs of iron in his body. However, again according kellymom.com and also there are facts resources listed; the percentage of iron absorbed from the breast milk is the most highest compared to other kind of milks. Which means, I could give my baby more breast milk instead of topping up with solids. Yet, as you can read from the link above, baby who was born with birth weight less than 3000 g or born prematurely, usually would have low iron level in the body thus they need additional iron earlier. Those are the health benefits of why I wished to delay introducing solids to Ihsan. I don’t do this because I’m reluctant to spend on his solid foods. Owh come on, how big is his stomach anyway? In fact, I bought toys which I believed more expensive compared to the budget needed to fill his tummy. I also don’t do this because I’m lazy. Although breastfeeding seems easier because I don’t need to prepare foods for Ihsan but breastfeeding also has its own challenges too. To me, breastfeeding is more tiring and it constantly requires more efforts compared to giving solids.
To me, to continue exclusively-breastfeeding Ihsan hence delaying solid foods is not really an easy thing to do. It has been 6 months and throughout this period I’ve gone through a lot of challenges of breastfeeding world itself. For example, I had gone through low milk supply, I think breastfeeding also affected my quality of sleep at night because of frequent feeding, sore nipples, fatigue especially when I’m not healthy yet I still have to nurse and Ihsan most of the times still needs to be with me, so on and so forth. I hardly have time for myself because I have Ihsan who is really dependent on me. But I believe there’s always pros and cons for each decision. One more thing, as at the moment, besides the 5 reasons I listed above; I myself still feel not ready yet to introduce solid foods to Ihsan. Once I stopped exclusively-breastfeeding him, it would make me slowly loosing the attachment between us. I think that as symbolically the first step of letting go my baby to venture into his own world. Ihsan would slowly learn to be independent. I’m not ready for that since I still feel that I need my baby. But of course that’sjust my feeling and I shouldn’t let myself got carried away with the emotion. Plus I do love to see Ihsan growing well 🙂
However of course if suddenly any of the reasons from the third to fifth as listed earlier is jeopardized, I would introduce solid foods to Ihsan very soon. After all, Ihsan’t health is my biggest priority. Despite knowing the benefits of exclusive-breastfeeding and delaying solid foods as the latest until Ihsan is 2 years old, I only plan to delay until he is at least 7 or 8 months old. Although I wished I could prolong until at least he is 10 months old. But 1 thing I have to consider is that Ihsan was born less than 3000 g too and although I believe it is just the genetics run down from his parents but just to be safe; that’s why I decided not to delay solids for so long so that his body won’t deprive of iron needed for development. Actually we could bring Ihsan for blood check if we want to. Other reason, is because from day to day I do realized that my baby is getting bigger so his demand for foods is also increasing. At some point I might start to feel tough if my baby depends solely on me for foods. Plus, I’m not a milk factory which could stay stationary but I’m a human, a mom, a wife and I need to function as one. Unless if I could be the lady of the house with many maids and my only job is to nurse and play with my baby 😛 I do believe it’s possible for a mom to exclusively-breastfeed her baby until 2 years old. Alhamdulillah I have successfully exclusively-breastfeeding Ihsan for 6 months. But I just pray to Allah to give me constant strength, patience, guide and ability to exclusively-breastfeed Ihsan until as long as I could and followed by fully-breastfeeding him until he is 12 months, 18 months and finally 24 months. And I pray to Allah to make ease for us along the journey, InsyaAllah. Amin. Perhaps, I could do better for Lil’ Munchkin No. 3 and the rest, InsyaAllah.
Hasil rembatan Mama penuh 1 trolley 😀 (Masa nk byr Papa kata sbb tu laa dia xnk amik trolley dia nk amik bakul je n pgg je brg sbb dia tau kalau amik trolley mesti akhirnya bli byk brg. Dh la trolley tu bsr :P)
Recently we went to BabiesRUs with the main intention to buy the Bumbo seat for Ihsan which dh lamaa nk beli tp xsempat2. Tp bila dh smpi sana tetiba rasa mcm byknyer brg yg penting n perlu 😛 So, jd la mcm gmbr kt atas ni blk rmh bwk 1 bag bsr. Itu pun ada brg2 yg Mama xletak dlm gmbr, diapers Pampers Ihsan 1 kotak xyah la tnjuk kan. As in the picture we already bought Combi feeding set and Pigeon cooking set for Ihsan. I didn’t plan to buy them this soon but they looked so tempting as if screaming, “Please buy me! Ihsan will surely love me! :P”. Mama yg lebih2 rambang mata xtau nk pilih mana satu. Kejap2 rasa yg ni best. Kejap2 rasa yg tu lagi cantik. Padahal Ihsan sket pun xkisah. Tp xpela sbb Mama yg nk suap Ihsan mkn nnt. Biarlah Mama yg gedik2 excited ye tak? Rasa xsabar nk guna n mcm xsabar nk tunggu Ihsan mkn pun ye jugak 😛 Anyway, this entry is written specially for myself and only myself with the intention just to remind why I do this at the first place and to give inspiration to myself. I’m not a pro or hardcore breastfeeding mom in fact I think I’m pretty open because I always believe each people has their own reason for whatever decision they choose. After all, I don’t care about others even 😛 Breastfeeding, exclusively-breastfeeding, fully-breastfeeding, formula feeding, baby-wearing, cloth-diapering, or whatever-ing doesn’t really make you the best mom. But I’m trying to do what I believe best for ME and MY BABY. What’s best for me might not be the best for others. Each decision comes with very particular reason that no other people could understand. Perhaps, I always do the right thing at the first place.