or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Life With a Baby › Babies and foods
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Babies and foods

Poll Results: Do you think it's ok for babies to have anything enter their gut before 6+ months?

 
  • 2% (2)
    Nothing but breastmilk
  • 17% (12)
    Only if medication is absolutely necessary, but no foods or supplements of any sort, just breastmilk
  • 27% (19)
    Nothing but breastmilk and supplements (like oral vitamin K, probiotics, possibly tea or gripe water for colic, etc)
  • 20% (14)
    I think it's fine for babies to get small amounts through mouthing things or supplements as long as you aren't actually spoon feeding them solids
  • 8% (6)
    I think it's better if babies get SMALL tastes here and there, I'm not too worried about baby's gut
  • 15% (11)
    I think it is fine to supplement before 6 months with foods/formula/cereal
  • 2% (2)
    I think supplementing with formula is fine, but I wouldn't allow my baby to get any tastes of food before 6 months
  • 4% (3)
    Other (explain)
69 Total Votes  
post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

for my older daughter, we didn't let ANY food touch her lips until she was about 7 months old (though she did get nystatin when she had thrush, vitamins when she was little, and probiotics).  But now that I have a second child, I keep thinking about the fact that 1) they say it's best to start solids at 6-7 months, but there are always other foreign materials other than breastmilk entering her gut, even residue that she mouths off of toys/fingers/the floor and I'll include medications/vitamins/probiotics in this category and even nipple creams or anything on your skin when baby nurses as well and 2) babies by nature shove everything in their mouths

 

So my question is not whether I should break out the rice cereal at 3 months (never used that with my older daughter either), but what you think about allowing her to get residual foods without panicking that I'm ruining her gut and causing lifelong allergies.

 

For example, today I'm eating lunch with her on my lap and she grabbed an apple slice from my hand and started sucking on it.  I really wasn't too worried because she wasn't getting off any chunks (she's 4 months old and totally toothless) and she wasn't even mashing it with her mouth, but by putting it in her mouth at all, I'm sure she got some teeny tiny amounts of apple juices into her gut.

 

Do you allow your babies to get small amounts of food materials in their mouth before actually "starting solids" at 6+ months?  And where do you draw the line?  (as in, are you cool with probiotics or gripe water, but not cool with your baby gnawing a celery stalk?)

post #2 of 36
What a great question and I can't wait to read everyones responses!

I voted for number too because I believe there is nothing better than moms milk. Supplements have their place for sure but when the child is a bit older. Why mess with or try to "improve" upon the plan laid out by God?

As for your question, I'd say not to worry about it. It's all normal
post #3 of 36
I have only my one daughter so far, but from stories I hear from my other friends with more than one, they tended to follow a similar pattern as what you're describing. I think it's actually really common to be very gung-ho with your first-- it's a lot easier to regulate everything when you only have one child to do it for! And for most of them, they relaxed a lot on things like you're describing with the apple slice with their next babies, whether it was out of necessity or out of just a relaxing of parenting methods altogether.

For the record I voted for the third option since that is what I've done with my daughter.
post #4 of 36

I voted I think it's fine for babies to get food before 6 mos. 

With my first two I thought you should wait until 6 mos., so they did, but with #3 the new research seems to suggest benefits of starting solids before 6 mos. My 4.5 mo. old started them a couple weeks ago. Also, you'd be surprised. She's eaten most of an apple slice, sweet potato fries, bread, etc. without teeth. We have also spoon fed her a couple times. 

post #5 of 36

I know my baby is fine having food before six months. He's doing quite well. Gaining weight finally, thanks to the avocado. My little guy never stops moving. Despite frequent nursing, he wasn't gaining much weight at all once he attained some basic mobility. 

post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 

Could you link me some of this research?  Right now I feel like all the research says to wait, but naturally she'd be grabbing and mouthing everything, way more than what I'm allowing her to get into her mouth.  I feel like it's counter-intuitive to prevent her from getting anything into her mouth.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post

I voted I think it's fine for babies to get food before 6 mos. 

With my first two I thought you should wait until 6 mos., so they did, but with #3 the new research seems to suggest benefits of starting solids before 6 mos. My 4.5 mo. old started them a couple weeks ago. Also, you'd be surprised. She's eaten most of an apple slice, sweet potato fries, bread, etc. without teeth. We have also spoon fed her a couple times. 

post #7 of 36
I have found that, unfortunately, you can find research to support whichever you want, delaying solids or starting them early. Such is the nature of the internet...
post #8 of 36

Well, I have this consensus paper in German. The paper is very breastfeeding friendly, mentions the WHO recommendation, and then discusses why this paper departs from the WHO rec, (European babies aren't in danger of starving) and goes on to discuss why solids should be starrted between 4-6 months. Among other reasons, it is mentioned that waiting 6 months to introduce solids does not prevent allergies. And introducing glutens early reduces the risk for certain diseases like Diabetes mellitus Type 1 and even reduces the risk of developing celiac by 50% as long as the baby is still nursing. Really wish this paper was translated into Englisch. It's a good read.

post #9 of 36

I voted other, as the one answer about "better" for them to have tastes I don't really agree with. I do think it is ok for them to have tastes though. DS did, certainly before 6 months. He probably started having tastes of things around 5 months or so, because he showed interest. FWIW, only in the last couple months (maybe around the 10 month mark?) have I really tried to encourage more solids and he has been eating real meals maybe the last month.

 

He has NEVER had rice cereal. I don't see the point or the need. He does have jarred food occasionally, and for that, I may thicken it with Earth Best's organic oatmeal if it is kind of runny.  Otherwise he eats what we do, within reason. (he doesn't really care for spicy food just yet! but if he takes after us, he probably will eventually).

 

I think mostly likely the longer you can EBF, great! but also if a child is showing extreme interest - DS did and I know others that do - I see no real harm in letting them have tastes of things. I don't think there is a magical switch in the gut that says other food is ok at 6 months. Some babies are ready for more variety in their diet at 5 months, others aren't really interested at all until the are a year or older.

post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrilein View Post

Well, I have this consensus paper in German. The paper is very breastfeeding friendly, mentions the WHO recommendation, and then discusses why this paper departs from the WHO rec, (European babies aren't in danger of starving) and goes on to discuss why solids should be starrted between 4-6 months. Among other reasons, it is mentioned that waiting 6 months to introduce solids does not prevent allergies. And introducing glutens early reduces the risk for certain diseases like Diabetes mellitus Type 1 and even reduces the risk of developing celiac by 50% as long as the baby is still nursing. Really wish this paper was translated into Englisch. It's a good read.


This is interesting, because my pediatrician is adamant that it's completely the opposite-- that there is an enzyme in babies' digestive systems for digesting grain products that isn't present before 12-18 months and that I, as a diabetic person, should hold off on grains for my daughter for as long as possible to allow her body to develop that enzyme in hopes that she won't be afflicted herself.
post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 

The issue I have with these studies is that I don't see differentiation between using a baby-led weaning approach, which to me is a very natural laid back approach that people probably used before there were studies, and using a "shove a bowl full of cereal into baby's mouth and make sure s/he swallows it all" approach that many parents who introduce solids early now probably take.  If I let my 4 month old mouth lots of food, I really wouldn't expect her to ingest much at all until she's older.  My older daughter started tasting foods at 7 months, but barely ate much of anything until maybe 18 months or so and nursed for a solid 3 years. So I'm definitely not trying to replace any nutition with solids, just wondering if any damage would be done to her open/virgin gut if she ingests traces of materials other than breastmilk.  It's a hard answer to find!  Though my husband and I both survived the "solids by 3 months" generation :D and we don't have any food allergies in our family at all.

 

I appreciate the responses!

post #12 of 36

I let my babes start eating at around 5.5 months when they started showing all the signs of being ready.  They never had any troubles are both self led weeners.

 

DS nursed until he was 3.5 years old and DD is still nursing but both needed to have the odd bottle of formula to supplement as I simply am not a machine and hungry babies need to eat whether there is milk in the fridge or not.

 

I had no problem with that.  I think if 90% of their nutrition comes from mama (if possible) within the first 12 months, you're doing great.

post #13 of 36

I voted for the third choice:  breastmilk and supplements, because I think that's ideal.  However, I think that if supplementing with formula is necessary (which I think would be a fairly rare case) obviously that is a fine choice for parents to make, and is not the same as introducing solids early.  If I hadn't had colicky babies, I might have voted breastmilk only, but my experience of trying EVERYTHING has certainly affected my opinion.

post #14 of 36

I voted that I think it's fine for babies to have some supplement or solids before 6 months but that's not always true. I actually should have voted other because I think this is a very case specific question.

 

My first baby I felt very strongly about not starting any solids before 6 months. When we did start solids I went by the book about when and how to introduce which foods. She breast fed for 3 years and never had one drop of formula. She ended up having pretty serious egg and peanut allergies. I don't think I caused them by waiting until 6 months, or over a year for eggs, never for peanuts etc. Just like I now feel like I can't cause my child to have allergies by introducing things before 6 months. My new baby is challenging everything I thought to be right. He's constantly hungry. He screams at the breast because he doesn't like waiting for the let down, but he'll gobble down a bottle of breast milk in 60 seconds (he's only ever had 3 in his life though). He grabs at our food and puts it in his mouth. If we don't give it to him or he can't manage to get it in there he screams. He has no tongue thrust and he's almost tripled his birth weight. He's 4 months!!! I absolutely could not hold this child off from eating food until 6 months. I would feel like a horrible mother if I did, and I would have a very very unhappy baby who would likely scream all day long.

 

So my official answer is that this is one of those things I chose to follow my babies cues about. I think it's ideal to only give a baby breast milk until 6+ months, and if I have a number 3 I'll make that my goal again. But I also don't think it's necessarily damaging if a particular baby seems to need it before the 6 month mark. And now I understand moms who say their baby actually needs more because I'm right there.

post #15 of 36

Both of my kids started sucking on chunks of food around 5mo.  They had all the signs of eating readiness and really WANTED to eat.  Both went on to be good eaters with no issues what-so-ever.  I think that you should listen to your kids needs and if he/she seems honestly ready then it's fine imo.  I would say that 4mo is kind of on the really young side, but each kid is different with different needs.  Good luck!  Oh, and NO NO NO NO rice cereal!  ;)

post #16 of 36

Yeah, this is pretty much how we're going. My dd refused solids when we introduced them at 6 months until she was 10 months old. I was cool with ebf for that long and I tried offering solids once a week to see if there was any interest developing. She had developed coincidentally neurodermititis at 6 months, but all allergy tests came back negative. This baby, however, is like yours. Cranky at the breast, screaming when everyone else was eating. Now he's just 4.5 months old and devouring everthing you set in front of him. He freaks out at meal times if he doesn't get to eat, too. However, his coordination is woefully lacking so I have to help him handle spoons, pieces of food, etc. So I get to feed him before we eat. I had been planning on waiting until 6 months again. I was shocked at the information my ped gave us, told him I'd wait for signs of readiness, and decided to research a bit. In the end, it was ds who decided when he was going to start solids and chucked all my BLW plans out the window.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MammaB21 View Post

I voted that I think it's fine for babies to have some supplement or solids before 6 months but that's not always true. I actually should have voted other because I think this is a very case specific question.

 

My first baby I felt very strongly about not starting any solids before 6 months. When we did start solids I went by the book about when and how to introduce which foods. She breast fed for 3 years and never had one drop of formula. She ended up having pretty serious egg and peanut allergies. I don't think I caused them by waiting until 6 months, or over a year for eggs, never for peanuts etc. Just like I now feel like I can't cause my child to have allergies by introducing things before 6 months. My new baby is challenging everything I thought to be right. He's constantly hungry. He screams at the breast because he doesn't like waiting for the let down, but he'll gobble down a bottle of breast milk in 60 seconds (he's only ever had 3 in his life though). He grabs at our food and puts it in his mouth. If we don't give it to him or he can't manage to get it in there he screams. He has no tongue thrust and he's almost tripled his birth weight. He's 4 months!!! I absolutely could not hold this child off from eating food until 6 months. I would feel like a horrible mother if I did, and I would have a very very unhappy baby who would likely scream all day long.

 

So my official answer is that this is one of those things I chose to follow my babies cues about. I think it's ideal to only give a baby breast milk until 6+ months, and if I have a number 3 I'll make that my goal again. But I also don't think it's necessarily damaging if a particular baby seems to need it before the 6 month mark. And now I understand moms who say their baby actually needs more because I'm right there.

post #17 of 36
We went through a little bit of the "freak out because everyone else has food" when Cecilia was under 6 months so my answer was to give her frozen breastmilk cubes in a mesh feeder. It worked like a charm, and it made me feel better because I really didn't want to give her solids before 6 months and I was adamant about BLW. So far so good on all of it. smile.gif
post #18 of 36

my dd got small tastes of things before 6 months. she put everything in her mouth, so inevitably, some food items were among them. there was a clear distinction in her mind between "food" and "not-food" that occurred at about 8 months though.... before that, food was not more worthwhile to gum on than anything else. but i am still amazed at that lightbulb moment concerning food though, where we went from occasional experimentation with food to "give me a meal now how DARE you sit down to eat without offering me something ARGGHH!" having witnessed that, i would not be concerned with a baby having solids before 6 months anymore, because it's clear to me that that moment occurs at different times in each baby. what's more important is that food is offered, not forced, and that breastmilk still be the main source of nutrition.

 

my nephew, for example, was one of those babies who had that "ahah!" moment fairly early... before 6 months i'm pretty sure. but it concerned me that my sister was spoon feeding him  large amounts of cereal and purees from 4 months (i.e taking his first signs of interest to be signs that he needed a full meal) and that solids were used to replace breastmilk. recommendations for early introduction to solids might be fact-based, but i think that lots of parents, especially those having a hard time with breastfeeding (or not completely comfortable/supportive of it) can use that recommendation to shift a baby's main nutrition from breastmilk to solids.

 

my one concern with early solids is that logically, it doesn't make sense that we evolved to feed very young babies (i.e under one year) very much in the way of solids. food has been a very precious commodity for most of our existence as humans, and if you've ever seen a baby eat, you know that they are not the most efficient eaters. they would require soft, sweet, ripe foods, and those foods are not plentiful in nature. no way our ancestors were sitting around letting precious ripe fruits get smushed into the ground by an uncoordinated baby... whereas an adult female can take the more plentiful coarser foods and turn them into a concentrated, efficient energy source for a baby. today we have perfect baby foods in abundance, so it doesn't bother me when my dd drops a whole piece of banana on the ground or smushes it into her hair. but if that was the only banana we were going to see all week? heck no! i would be eating that banana myself, and giving her breastmilk instead.

post #19 of 36

yeahthat.gif And that's probably also one of the reasons why historically children were the last in line to be fed.

post #20 of 36

I'm pretty laid back about babies and solids... I voted for option number four.  My husband and I may or may not have given our babe TINY tastes of a variety of foods from several months on...it was fun to watch his reaction. ;)  Heck, I gave my seven month old half a chocolate chip yesterday; mother of the year right here!  But we haven't fed him any rice cereal and actually started doing "official" BLW (and spoon feeding a few things) around 5.5 months, when he showed all the signs of readiness.  I'm all for EBFing until 6ish months old, but little tastes or starting a few weeks early doesn't bother me.  Since my mother (and many in her generation) was supposedly gumming STEAK at 3 weeks old, I'm pretty chill about this. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Life With a Baby
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Baby › Life With a Baby › Babies and foods