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Raising a paleo baby; what's next after breast milk?

by (75)
Updated about 10 hours ago
Created August 31, 2010 at 6:22 PM

Hi all.

My son is 10 months old, as my wife and I have raised him with a 'whole foods' approach. Primary calories are still breast milk, when a few small meals throughout the day, consisting of real food: avocado, salmon, beef, sweet potato, squash, and fruit.

The typical recommendation from doctors is to transition kids to cow's milk around 1 year of age, if not early. This makes no sense to me: swap human milk for cow's milk?!

Anyway, once we finish up breast feeding (in the next couple of months), what should his diet consist of? Should he simple eat what we do at our meals?

Thanks, Chris

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2022 · June 05, 2012 at 5:59 PM

I agree with above. If she is looking to wean only because she is sick of pumping (completely understandable reason, btw), her body would adjust to bfing on nights and weekends. If that were the case, there wouldn't be any reason to suppliment with another form of dairy (I wouldn't think).

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10 · June 05, 2012 at 5:33 PM

I'm not sure about coconut milk, but coconut fat is very easy to digest (medium chain fatty acid), and is used in infant formulae (nerd:) ) and hospital feeding IVs...

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e
4553 · June 23, 2011 at 4:05 AM

Oh, he's still 95% breast milk. And at 14.5 months now, that is still the case. No rush to get off the mom's milk. Just interesting to see him grabbing at anything/everything.

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439 · June 21, 2011 at 3:27 PM

check out milkshare.org and look for breast milk donors through facebook groups by searching for "Human Milk For Human Babies" or "HM4HB" and your state/country. there are women with freezers full of milk that needs a home!

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439 · June 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM

18 weeks is way too young for any food other than Breast milk, especially a whole egg. Babies can't digest egg whites till closer to 9 or 12 months, I can't remember for sure. Yolks are good at 6 months. However, breastmilk has so many properties that protect the developing gut from distress that I don't understand why you're in a hurry to feed food at 18 weeks!!! here, read more on open gut: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/delay-solids.html#reasons

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9948 · June 06, 2011 at 1:48 AM

Do not forget supplementation with Vit D3 for Mom, Dad and the little one.

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22913 · February 18, 2011 at 4:39 PM

i recommend against the fruit solely in the interest of avoiding creating a sweet tooth that may negatively impact cravings later in life.

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1288 · September 01, 2010 at 6:50 AM

I kinda have an issue with Coconut milk and almond milk as I am sure they were not eaten in the same quantities 100's years ago - I see no real problem having a bit here and there each month but giving something so concentrated to a baby as a major sauce of nutrition I am not so sure about - go back to basics what do you think babies had back then - prob BF longer ( I do get that its not as possible now day ) Then prob ate what parents did - Its so hard to know as the guidelines are based on the SAD diet and we all know how wrong this is??!!

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18671 · September 01, 2010 at 4:44 AM

My 10-month-old's first food was steak. It's still his favourite.

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1085 · August 31, 2010 at 9:33 PM

I breastfed my daughter until she was between 2 and 3 years old.

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2283 · August 31, 2010 at 7:00 PM

What about going as long as she can with the pumping and then just breastfeeding when she is home and on the weekends? The body will adjust. I *do* understand the fatigue of pumping! It is so hard. Kudos to her for going this long, though. He could have coconut milk or almond milk as a sub. I am not against organic, raw, or at the least non homogenized dairy. I lean towards goat milk, though.

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4163 · August 31, 2010 at 6:46 PM

I was also breastfed until four years of age. I really think it does the world of good.

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75 · August 31, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Thanks for responding. The issue is that my wife is growing weary of pumping at work, and so we'll see how much longer she'll do so. In an ideal world, he'd breastfeed for longer. However, he'll still probably nurse in bed at night and in the morning.

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56616 · August 31, 2010 at 6:33 PM

Not completely paleo, but Nina Planck's Real Food for Mother and Baby is a great resource. I was personally breastfed until I was 4. More is better.

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16 Answers

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd
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2283 · August 31, 2010 at 6:31 PM

There's no reason to stop breastfeeding at 1. The WHO recommends going until age 2. I personally breastfed my daughter til 28 mos. My youngest is almost 8 mos and I'll continue to breastfeed him as long as he wants. Look into child led weaning. That approach is likely the most paleo-primal approach to feeding our children.

Ae3b7ea9f3755af32287825db8d98796
2022 · June 05, 2012 at 5:59 PM

I agree with above. If she is looking to wean only because she is sick of pumping (completely understandable reason, btw), her body would adjust to bfing on nights and weekends. If that were the case, there wouldn't be any reason to suppliment with another form of dairy (I wouldn't think).

25438785ea803adbd842993fad179921
10 · June 05, 2012 at 5:33 PM

I'm not sure about coconut milk, but coconut fat is very easy to digest (medium chain fatty acid), and is used in infant formulae (nerd:) ) and hospital feeding IVs...

286a4ff7c362241c5c4b020df4972212
1288 · September 01, 2010 at 6:50 AM

I kinda have an issue with Coconut milk and almond milk as I am sure they were not eaten in the same quantities 100's years ago - I see no real problem having a bit here and there each month but giving something so concentrated to a baby as a major sauce of nutrition I am not so sure about - go back to basics what do you think babies had back then - prob BF longer ( I do get that its not as possible now day ) Then prob ate what parents did - Its so hard to know as the guidelines are based on the SAD diet and we all know how wrong this is??!!

0dc1d63c3d5975f5115f535c6a90c9dd
2283 · August 31, 2010 at 7:00 PM

What about going as long as she can with the pumping and then just breastfeeding when she is home and on the weekends? The body will adjust. I *do* understand the fatigue of pumping! It is so hard. Kudos to her for going this long, though. He could have coconut milk or almond milk as a sub. I am not against organic, raw, or at the least non homogenized dairy. I lean towards goat milk, though.

3e50edec642d6b3ed1dec90c7b91a25c
75 · August 31, 2010 at 6:39 PM

Thanks for responding. The issue is that my wife is growing weary of pumping at work, and so we'll see how much longer she'll do so. In an ideal world, he'd breastfeed for longer. However, he'll still probably nurse in bed at night and in the morning.

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4163 · August 31, 2010 at 6:51 PM

Steak! Not joking, tough steak is great for teething and babies love it. Look at youtube vids of babies eating steak, they really relish it.

+1 recommendation for Nina Planck's book.

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18671 · September 01, 2010 at 4:44 AM

My 10-month-old's first food was steak. It's still his favourite.

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12174 · August 31, 2010 at 8:05 PM

Congrats to your wife on nursing/pumping so long! I myself did 6 months of pumping with my first, and so know how much dedication that takes. Check out kellymom.com for a WEALTH of practical breastfeeding info, in particular this fact sheet and link list on nursing past one year (frequently referred to as "extended nursing"). Good luck!

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/bfextended/index.html

Also, for solids - get a mini chopper/food processor. (Walmart sold ours for $9.99 five years ago.) These easily puree bananas, avocado, other soft-cooked foods, etc. And dishwasher-safe pieces make for easy cleanup.

Edit to add: Sorry - all these ideas are coming to me over the past couple of days. Check out wholesomebabyfood.com if you like. It's definitely not fully paleo compatible but it does offer some tips on making whole foods palatable and nutritious for your baby in terms of cooking/prep/storage.

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4553 · September 01, 2010 at 11:31 PM

So pumped up to watch my 18 week old mow down an entire soft boiled egg (whipped up with a hand blender) followed with a mother's milk chaser. He's a little cave-boy! Plenty of good baby foods are just regular paleo-foods smashed, blended or strained to prevent a choking: liver, egg/egg yolk, steak, coconut milk w/ berries, yams, etc.

I'm not even opposed to the local raw dairy products we have available locally, fermented cream etc as a food now and again.

0d2dec01a5ed9363a9915e111ae13f7e
4553 · June 23, 2011 at 4:05 AM

Oh, he's still 95% breast milk. And at 14.5 months now, that is still the case. No rush to get off the mom's milk. Just interesting to see him grabbing at anything/everything.

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439 · June 21, 2011 at 3:25 PM

18 weeks is way too young for any food other than Breast milk, especially a whole egg. Babies can't digest egg whites till closer to 9 or 12 months, I can't remember for sure. Yolks are good at 6 months. However, breastmilk has so many properties that protect the developing gut from distress that I don't understand why you're in a hurry to feed food at 18 weeks!!! here, read more on open gut: http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/delay-solids.html#reasons

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2312 · September 01, 2010 at 1:51 AM

pureed steamed vegies. pureed meats. easy on the fruit. Introduce one food at a time. go easy on the spices at first. Many times I'd puree whatever food we were eating with a little water or broth added.

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2604 · August 31, 2010 at 7:55 PM

Although my wife is not paleo (I'm trying to change her!), we give our 3 and 1 year old what we eat. Apart from anything else, it's easier for the whoever is preparing the meals and doesn't allow them to dictate what they eat (believe me, they will try). I find babies can cope with most foods. I don't go against the admittedly CW advice that some common allergic foods should be avoided (nuts especially) until they are a certain age. And some foods require some assistance - meat needs chopping up (or chewing it a bit for them first like some cultures do).

Interestingly, I found that both my children gravitate towards fruit, soft vegetables, eggs, and dairy naturally (but not meat). It's only when they are a bit older that they 'learn' to eat crap like cookies, pastries, etc.

Finally - in this day and age - well done to your wife for getting this far with breast feeding. Many mums give up after a few weeks. Good luck.

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22913 · February 18, 2011 at 4:39 PM

i recommend against the fruit solely in the interest of avoiding creating a sweet tooth that may negatively impact cravings later in life.

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10919 · June 06, 2011 at 1:24 AM

Just thought I'd share my little paleo baby 6 months old enjoying a meaty lamb bone.

From Paleo Baby eats some lamb

He also chewed on some sauteed spinach with olive oil and garlic tonight. :-)

Let baby eat what you eat!

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75 · September 03, 2010 at 5:39 AM

Hey everyone.

Thank you so much for these great replies. I really appreciate it.

For the most part, you have confirmed what I originally conceived: Just feed him what we eat. Seems logical enough to me. We've already done this more and more as he's eaten more solid foods; it's been a joy to watch him enjoy foie gras, runny egg yolks, salmon, ground beef, and even a bit of bacon.

It's great to know I'm not alone as a paleo parent :-)

-Chris

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2261 · September 01, 2010 at 4:34 PM

I just finished watching on YouTube Loren Cordain's "The Paleo Diet and MS." and at the very end of part 7 of 7 an audience member asked him that exact question: what to do about calcium needs when done breast-feeding. I don't want to get his answer wrong. But I found this entire series very informative. He goes in great detail explaining how these "bad" proteins cross over into our blood stream. Watch the entire series if you get a chance. But here is the link to part 7:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzyreAZzif0&feature=related

I breast fed all of my children. When they were little I was not paleo. They all got a ton of milk/dairy products and we still do. They are all above average in height and intelligence, but I am struggling with getting them off the grains first. WE eat a lot of eggs. I always tell people kind of half joking, "We eat a lof of eggs!" I know they are very nutrient dense. I don't know when it is recommended to start eating eggs.???

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415 · August 31, 2010 at 7:22 PM

Goats milk is the closest you'll find to human breast milk...

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1169 · July 30, 2013 at 9:17 AM

My mother used to grate rump steak for me when I weaned apparently a long time ago as in those days meat was good (as it is becoming so again). I think she bothered much less with her subsequent children as her hands were fuller by then.

Our just ate real foods (certainly not cow's milk) - no one needs to drink milk ever once they stop getting it from their mother. You can chew it in your mouth and hand it over or give them foods to chew on once they have teeth like a lump of raw carrot.

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0 · July 30, 2013 at 9:00 AM

My daughter is just shy of 6 months old. We've adopted so breast feeding wasn't an option for us. I'm using S26 gold as her formula but she's already on the solids - we realised she was ready when she started trying to take food from our mouths hahah

I am new to paleo but already I am planning her food around the paleo diet. My natro has recommended we use organic goats milk as her main milk and coconut milk in between as a 'filler'. It's easier to digest than anything else out there. We have been recommended to steer clear of milk share - the is currently limited control over who is 'donating' and checks on the quality.

Molly's already knowing bones - they make awesome teething pegs haha. She has also been known to suck a piece of my raw steak but we don't share this info with her vegetarian father hahaha

You're all inspirational - thanks for the great ideas etc. hope my learning is helpful

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10 · June 05, 2012 at 5:37 PM

My 6.5 month old LOVED sucking and gumming the juice out of a nice tender strip of steak. Great for iron too.

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0 · February 18, 2011 at 4:06 PM

I am also searching for the best way to transition from breast milk to paleo. I was in an accident when my baby was 6mo and I lost my milk supply by the time she was 8 months. In a desperate effort to keep her off formula, I started mixing up the Weston A. Price baby formula. Although I use raw dairy, goats milk is probably a better choice. but neither is paleo so what does one do? I'm sure paleo woman nursed until baby could take part in eating what the family ate. I agree that babies need to nurse for as long as possible. AFter 5 children, I found they have a need to be held and to suckle long past the one year mark and although my kids only averaged one year....I totally agree with the 2-3 yr. nursing. the big question becomes....what do you do if you just can't?

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439 · June 21, 2011 at 3:27 PM

check out milkshare.org and look for breast milk donors through facebook groups by searching for "Human Milk For Human Babies" or "HM4HB" and your state/country. there are women with freezers full of milk that needs a home!

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2399 · September 01, 2010 at 3:22 PM

I'm kind of busy right now so might want to check Cooling Inflammation blog. There is quite a lot of talk about babies and diet in the comments section.

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20787 · September 01, 2010 at 4:21 AM

I'd let them try whatever you are eating for the most part (of course, no alcohol, I'd not do honey, and all those normal exceptions. But it's natural for them to want to eat what you eat. Set a good example and the child will follow.

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