I'm on kid 3, and you'd think I'd know the answer to this by now, but I have been questioning my once secure belief that you should wait until 6 mos. to introduce solids. I started my oldest a couple weeks shy of 6 mos., and felt so guilty that we waited until exactly 6 mos. with my second, even though he showed all the signs of readiness (sitting independently, teeth, no tongue thrust, etc) at 5 months. Now, I have a 4 month old who *really* wants food, and while I was prepared to deny her until 6 mos., the research I'm doing (mostly abstracts from the journal Pediatrics) seems to suggest that it is actually not better, and may be worse, to delay the introduction of solids. Specifically, that the risk of food and inhalant allergies is higher with a later introduction of solids. I'm wondering if all the things I've read about delaying solids to prevent allergies, "open gut", etc. are actually research-based. Instinctually, it seems to me that if a baby wants food, and can pick it up and eat it, they're probably ready, and that snatching stolen bites of food from my crawling 5 mo. old didn't really make sense (and was mean!)
So, can anyone wow me with legitimate sources that support delaying solids until 6 months to help me make up my mind?
Edited by MJB - 11/15/10 at 5:48pm