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Too early of an interest in solids? Just curiosity or is he hungry?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I was reading the earlier thread about intros to solids, but has anyone dealt with a baby who seemed to be showing an interest in solids before you were comfortable introducing them?

I had planned to wait until around 6 months, then see where my little one was at, maybe offer one thing that he could hold if he was interested, basically trying to do the BLW method skipping the purees and cereals. He's at five months now though, and already seems fascinated with our food. Whenever we eat, he stares intently at us and will make a grab for whatever we have on our plates. I wasn't paying attention for a second the other night and he grabbed a piece of boiled potato right off my plate, started to bring it to his mouth. Five months is too young for solids, right? I don't want to discourage his curiosity, but I don't want to mess with his insides or for him to choke. He's EBF on demand and I'd thought to keep it that way for a while longer...but should I consider trying out some barley cereal or something? Any advice from the more experienced mamas out there?
post #2 of 30
Well, what are his other signs of readiness? Is he sitting independently? Does he still have the infant tongue thrust? If he seems otherwise ready, I would skip cereals entirey, and let him play around with solids. He probably won't eat much of it, especially not at first, but a soft chunk of potato, a cooked carrot stick, etc. are fine to play with.
post #3 of 30
I personally think it is too early for solids but I do not spport giving any before 6 months and bavy having all readiness signs.

Both of my boys were fascinated with meal times. They loved banging around cups and spoons and mimicing us eating.

I would also give them breastmilk slushies in a bowl and spoon feed them that. They loved it!
post #4 of 30
I think that's a pretty common scenario-- a baby 5-ish months old who is really intently interested in solids, but not six months yet. We spend so much of our time engaged in this activity-- eating-- and it's natural that they're curious, and want to understand what it's all about. I would wait until six months, honestly-- the evidence is pretty good that it's best for baby's long-term digestive health, prevention of allergy, etc. But there are things you can do to content baby and satisfy baby's curiosity about food, in the meantime.

We tried freezing some breastmilk into slush, and offering that to baby. My kids LOVED it. We also experimented with making breastmilk yogurt-- it's really not that difficult at all. Another thing you might try is offering baby an empty bowl, plate, and spoon to play with. Sometimes it's the PROCESS of eating that interests them, and they're happy for awhile longer just imitating your use of utensils. This might also be a nice time to introduce a cup-- with some breastmilk, or a small amount of water-- and let baby learn to drink from it.
post #5 of 30
I woudln't worry if he managed to shove a handful of food into his own mouth- eagerness to do so IS one of the readiness signs. The 6 month recomendation is just a guideline- some kids are ready a bit younger than that, others not for a while after.

But I would do everything in my power to discourage a 5mo from eating solids. Sit him in the high chair during meals and give him stuff to play with: an empty bowl and spoon to bang around, a cup of water to learn how to drink from. I'd have no inhibitions about giving plain water to a 5mo- if he's drinking it himself (vs being fed it via bottle) he won't take in more than his body can handle, and he's likely to wear more than he drinks.
post #6 of 30
i think one of the senses we neglect is the sense of taste. dd has been curious since she was 3 months old when i would give her pinky dips to taste. she loved that. at around 6 months she showed the usual signs of readiness - watching, wanting, putting food in her mouth. however she still wasnt ready to eat and didnt till she was 9 months old.

but this is a child who needed more sensory input. so she would put food in her mouth and push it out with her tongue. so i wouldnt call it 'eating' but playing with her mouth - needing a variety of textures to feel with her tongue and lips.

we sorta totally passed the mushy baby food. we never bought baby food and she was eating chunky from day 1. she never touched any kind of baby cereal and devoured avacado.
post #7 of 30
I agree with the sense of taste thing.

My DD showed many signs of readiness at about 5 months. At just under 5.5 months we started letting her play with some solids. But very very very little made it to her mouth before 6 months. She's just now starting to eat enough to affect her poop at all.

I was very comfortable with that decision.
post #8 of 30
In response to your question curiosity or hunger, I read the other day that perceived interest in solids (or the spoon or plate) is often a young baby's general curiosity in the world around him-sampling the environment too.
It also can be a a search for teething relief (such as grasping a hunk of steak) yet often doesn't lead to ingesting food. The hunger though can be displayed early on if eating solids offers some relief to a diet the baby may associate with discomfort (such as a milk protein allergy in formula).
post #9 of 30
Thread Starter 
This is all great advice, thank you! I didn't want to ask our ped because I was sure he'd just say give him cereal. I think my little guy is just very curious about the world around him - he's been a busy bee since he "woke up" around 12 weeks. I tried giving him some slushy breast milk on a spoon this evening and he loved it. I think the texture, the coldness and the novelty of a spoon were all exciting to him. We'll keep going with things like this until solids are more appropriate. Thanks again!
post #10 of 30
I personally think showing an interest in what we're eating is one of the weakest signs of readiness.

1) I don't believe she is able to identify the link between her feelings of hunger and what we're doing with those interesting things in front of us. Her only experience of food so far is what comes out of Mama


2) She is interested in everything DH and I hold/pay attention to and everything goes in her mouth. She will grab my phone if I am holding it and put it straight in her mouth. Same with keys, sunglasses, books etc etc. I have absolutely no doubt that, if I gave her a chunk of food, it would go straight in her mouth.

I really think it's just the stage of development. It's helping her to get ready to eat, definitely but, IMO, it doesn't equal readiness.
post #11 of 30
I tend to agree, babies are interested in EVERYthing we have, but we don't let them drive the car I like keeping a gut virgin for the first half year, too. BUT if a kid is showing ALL the signs of readiness, then I'd let them suck on a whole apple or lick mashed sweet potatoes off their hand, that sort of thing, from foods I was eating. I think there are variances in development!
post #12 of 30
I let my baby play with food from five months.

I never planned to allow solids before six months, but she literally took food from my plate. We have followed the BLW idea that what a baby can physically pick up and put in her mouth she is probably ready to eat. She hasn't had cereals or purees or anything, just sticks/chunks/pieces of food from our plates.
post #13 of 30
My kids have all started showing an interest at 3-4 mos. I let my oldest start at 5 mos. and he got food allergies. Obviously there's no way of knowing if waiting until 6 mos. would have made a difference but I wished I'd waited (he's outgrown them now so it's not a huge regret, but still). I waited until 6 mos. with my second although he grabbed a few bites on the sly before then (he was sitting, crawling, cruising, and climbing before 6 mos. and I had a 3 yr. old so my best wasn't quite enough). He's never had any allergies. I'll wait until 6 mos. with my now 3 mo. old although she is showing interest already and close to sitting independently. I will let her have a sippy with water or breastmilk at 4-5 mos. and will let her have breastmilk slush on a spoon if needed to get through a meal without a tantrum.
post #14 of 30
Anothing thing that worked well for Cecilia before she was ready to play with solids was frozen breastmilk cubes in a mesh feeder. She loved that! And it was great because she could do it herself.
post #15 of 30
My good friend would always retort the, " He was just STARING at our food and lunging for it. He really WANTED the food we were eating" with...." If you were having a glass of wine, would you have given it to him? He REALLy wanted it!" because of course, you wouldn't give your baby wine...lol.

They are just naturally curious about what WE are doing of course...it's not the biggest sign of readiness...at all. Sitting up unassisted and no tongue thrust is what I look for in terms of readiness. And that isn't until at least 6 months. No hurry for me either. I hate solid diaper changes and it is so much eaiser when they are on breastmilk alone!
post #16 of 30
Originally Posted by Parker'smommy View Post
Sitting up unassisted and no tongue thrust is what I look for in terms of readiness. And that isn't until at least 6 months. No hurry for me either. I hate solid diaper changes and it is so much eaiser when they are on breastmilk alone!
It's not unheard of for sitting unassisted and loss of tongue thrust to occur before 6 months, just as an FYI. 6 months is the average time for those to occur, not the earliest. I agree with waiting until after 6 months to start solids personally, but my daughter had 3 of the 4 criteria by 5 months 2 weeks-- she was sitting unassisted, she was able to pick things up and put them in her mouth, and she showed interest. I waited until she lost the tongue thrust, which was just after 6 months.
post #17 of 30
Sorry to hijack but my DD1 didn't sit independently until she was 9months, should i have waited that long? I actually gave her solids from 5.5 months, because in other ways she seemed ready and was already having formula to supplement my poor supply so she didn't have a virgin gut anyway. Obviously i don't know if DD2 will sit later or earlier than that, but really? 9 months before ANY solids? She's already making chewing faces when we are eating and grabs anything and shoves it straight in her mouth (never food yet, but any toy/clothing/hand/objects within reach). I don't know if she has the tongue thrust as i don't know how to check without putting food in her mouth and she's not 5 months yet (i'm waiting until 6 at any rate).
post #18 of 30
Some people would for sure say yes, wait until sitting independently at whatever age that is. Personally, my thought on it is, if you put a dab of avocado or mashed sweet potato or something like that in your baby's mouth after 6 months and she doesn't have the infant tongue thrust, she's able to self-feed, and she's interested in food, then propped sitting is probably ok. But that's just my opinion. I would think that she would at least need to be able to remain in a sitting position propped up for a good while before I would try.
post #19 of 30
Well, my experience is different from most mamas here. I started my DS on oatmeal mixed with breastmilk, and then peas mixed with oatmeal, at four months. He was already a big boy and advanced for his age. He never had any trouble with eating or digestion and gobbled up whatever he was offered even though he continued nursing. So YMMV (your mileage may vary.)
post #20 of 30
While showing all the signs are a good indicator, I wouldn't say "sitting unassisted". Maybe "sitting without wobbling with back straight" or something?

Because DD didn't sit until she was nearly 9 months old. By 5 months she was pulling herself up on furniture , and cruising them. She certainly had body control. But if we sat her down anywhere except our laps she just fell/rolled herself over (and either pulled herself up on something, or screamed her head off).

She's been self-feeding since a week before 6 months. She wasn't ready before that, we tried a few times (pushed by ped and LC as DD was very underweight, and not gaining well - on any chart), and while she could even spoon-feed herself at 5 months, everything just fell out, she had no idea how to manipulate food, and just laughed. But at six months she fed herself with a spoon, and ate whole pieces that she picked up herself and ate.

But I can't say when she could sit un-assisted, as she didn't until she sat down after she started crawling, at nearly 9 months.
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