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I`m confused about how and when to introduce her to using a cup

Hi Leanne,
I`m nervous about weaning. My bubs is 5 months old, I`ve just started offering her a taste baby rice after her 11am feed but shes not interested. She gets 4 (sometimes 5) breast feeds a day. I`ve never expressed so shes never experienced a bottle.

I`m confused about how and when to introduce her to using a cup. And should this cup have water or breast milk or formula?

Also my plunket nurse said breast milk or formula until 1 yr old, then she can have cows milk. But I don`t want to breast feed 4/5 times a day for another 7 months. I want my freedom back, if you know what I mean. Does this mean I need to buy formula? If so, whats best?
Thanks

Leann...
Answer: Hi There, The first time around it can seem like a minefield of questions, but it all gets easier and easier, month by month. So, regarding solids, it can take bubs a little while to get started. You may like to try baby on something that has a little more taste to it, I think avocado is a great starter food and of course requires no cooking. See if this inspires baby a little more than rice cereal. Don`t worry if she takes a while to get started, its all very normal, keep offering small amounts but take it away if baby rejects it. Let bub handle a spoon herself too, you can dip the end of it in her food so she may get a little taste that way too. You can even let babies suck food from a very clean finger as sucking is more their natural mouth motion in the early stages. If you would like a bit of info on what foods and when, I have a tip sheet, fridge chart and a book on starting solids on Huggies the links are: Solids Which foods when and fridge chart Water is generally started at the same time as solids to help avoid constipation. You can pop a little cooled and clean water into a stage one sipper cup and offer sips to baby during the day. Some baby bottles can also be used as sipper cups by swapping the lids so you have the flexibility that way too. Sometimes babies take a while to adjust to a sipper cup and also to water, but again gently persist, it will happen. You don`t need any other fluid than breastmilk and water in the first 12 months if you choose. Yes, milk (your choice of type) is fine from 12 months but offered after food and snacks so it doesn`t interfere with appetite. I promise you won`t be breastfeeding every few hours for much longer. Around 9 months you can offer solids before breast and at about this stage you will find (if not earlier), that food really begins to take over and you will be down to 3 or so feeds a day. Like everything in childhood it all passes faster than you will believe. There`s no reason you would need formula at this stage, it sounds like you and baby are going great, so keep on as you are. `Cross each bridge` when or if you get to it and savour the moments before they are gone. All the best, Leanne
Answered: 08 Jun 2009