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To sit or not to sit? Solid food question!

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

I'm (not so) patiently waiting until I can start offering solids to DS.  He's only 4 months now and is just starting to take an interest in the things I'm holding so he's definitely not ready yet.  I was wondering though... how important is the whole sitting independently thing?  I'm just googling around and finding a lot of babies aren't sitting independently until 10 months!  Do people really deny solids to a baby over 6 months with a strong interest for food just because they can't sit by themselves?  If you would delay solids waiting for this milestone, until how long would you delay?  8 months?  10 months?  A full year?  I'm not particularly worried that DS isn't going to be able to sit on his own but if it happened it wouldn't be the first case I've personally seen of a 'slow' baby who couldn't sit on their own until nearly a year (the other I knew was 11 months!).

post #2 of 31

According to the Rapely book on BLW, sitting with the family is an important part of BLW, and sitting with little to no support needed is vital for that. I also would like to point out that while it does happen that a baby doesn't sit well until a year, it's not as common as a baby sitting well by 6 months. So I would imagine that if you were in the situation that your baby wasn't sitting well by 8 or so months, you might reevaluate waiting for that milestone to start solids.

 

Also, don't be in a big hurry to start solid food. 6 months is generally the earliest recommendation. It's a fun milestone to reach, but it's not a race. smile.gif

post #3 of 31


 

Quote:
 Do people really deny solids to a baby over 6 months with a strong interest for food just because they can't sit by themselves?  If you would delay solids waiting for this milestone, until how long would you delay?  8 months?  10 months?  A full year?


YES.  I don't really look at it as "denying", they aren't ready yet if they aren't sitting up.  During baby's first 12 months breast milk is the PERFECT food and all that baby needs. It has the perfect ratio of carbs to fat to protein, and changes with your baby's needs.  When you add any sort of solid food during this first 12 month period it is only for "fun" not for nutrition as BM is their source of nutrition.  Baby doesn't NEED solids until they are developmentally ready - this includes sitting on their own. If EBF for 6 months is the minimum recommended why only do the minimum? Wait!! WAIT! It certainly won't hurt - they have a looong time ahead to be eating solids....

post #4 of 31

I loved the expression "food before one is just for fun". Really put things in perspective for me.

 

And honestly, I've never understood the hurry or the excitement in SO many ways once they get into eating real food on a regular basis life becomes more complicated. It was SOOOO easy when ds was ebf, so easy. I never had to plan ahead!

post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by lifeguard View Post

I loved the expression "food before one is just for fun". Really put things in perspective for me.

 

And honestly, I've never understood the hurry or the excitement in SO many ways once they get into eating real food on a regular basis life becomes more complicated. It was SOOOO easy when ds was ebf, so easy. I never had to plan ahead!


Ditto this!  I often think, "life was so simple when DS was EBF"!

 

post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by nstewart View Post


Ditto this!  I often think, "life was so simple when DS was EBF"!


Yup, it was way easier when I didn't have to worry about her eating so little, and worse, defending the fact that she's not a big eater! angry.gif

post #7 of 31

DS2 is 4.5 months and he just sat by himself for a few seconds tonight.  Hurray!  We literally have to tear the plates out of his hands when he sits at the table with us (on our laps).  He's HUGE and shows a HUGE interest in food.  *MY* reasons for wanting to delay are: the horrible thought of solid food poop, and not burning my 500 calories a day by nursing!  So selfish.  I think it would be very difficult to delay solids by much more than 6 months if there are older siblings.  Because...the siblings tend to pop things in their mouths, and then let you know later....

post #8 of 31
Food is just for fun until baby's one!

The sitting independently (or with only a little support from you in your lap) is important because it means choking is less of a risk.

Choking is also less of a risk if the baby's the only one putting (appropriate, prepared by you) foods in his mouth. Think about it -- or better, yet, try it -- have a partner feed you with a spoon, and you're not allowed to talk or use your hands.

If you're really gung-ho to start solids at 4 months, make baby a part of your meal time and offer him some food. Most likely, he'll throw it on the floor and smear it in his hair. Maybe in a few weeks, some of it will start making its way to his mouth (when he'll promptly push it back out again), and then in a month, he'll get the drift and start chewing and finally still, when he's ready, swallowing.

Personally, I feel more comfortable following the AAP and WHO guidelines and waiting until about 6 months to start solids. I think a baby is ready for solid foods when she can grab it off your plate, bring it to her mouth, and eat it.
post #9 of 31

Here are some good reasons to delay solids.

 

http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/delay-solids.html

post #10 of 31

My dd is 6 months and I plan on delaying solids for a while.  It is sooooooooooooo messy.  I can do w/o another mess to clean.  So every other reason be darned, I'll admit that is my top reason for delaying. 

post #11 of 31



My DS2, just turned 5 months yesterday, has done this twice already!

Quote:
 I think a baby is ready for solid foods when she can grab it off your plate, bring it to her mouth, and eat it.



we still plan to wait until 6 months to start offering regularly in a highchair though, and my reasons are because he has so many food intolerances through my milk already! and i dont want to mess up his already troubled tummy

 

 

post #12 of 31

Interest in food is the least "necessary" part. A baby needs to have good head control to ingest and swallow solid food. You have a serious choking risk if you don't. But more to the point= the colon and digestion processes have nothing to do with whether baby wants your spoon.

post #13 of 31

I delayed solids for my first until she was interested in finger foods, grabbing, etc. and introduced them very slowly, starting around 7 months. She has done pretty well developmentally, but at 3 she is a picky eater (not at all unusual, I know!), is unenthusiastic about food, and when she was 1-2 years old gained very little weight, like maybe a pound over the course of a year.

 

DS was a preemie, so things were different from the start. With preemies, iron deficiency is a much bigger concern (Yes, it is.  All that advice about not needing iron until 6 months is for full term, normal birth weight babies. LBW babies have different needs). We had to give him some supplements, which was a hassle, and it encouraged me to start the iron fortified baby cereal earlier than I would have otherwise. I started him on solids at 4 months adjusted age (5 1/2 months after his birth).

 

There is recent research from Europe (the Netherlands or Denmark or maybe one of the Scandinavian countries, I can't remember) which shows that babies started on solids before 6 months have fewer food allergies in the long run, on average. Our pediatrician says that recent research shows that starting solids earlier doesn't increase risk of childhood obesity in breastfed babies (but does for formula fed babies). I also read something about how babies started on solids earlier are more open to new tastes, and more likely to be enthusiastic about vegetables.

 

DS has now been eating solids for almost 3 months, and he is a much more enthusiastic eater than DD ever was (except when she gets her hands on a pile of something sugary!). He has gone through some worrying spells of not being too interested in nursing, but he's far from stopping, and still nurses lots at night.

 

I found that on this forum there was a lot of opposition to starting solids earlier, and I'm kind of sad to see that it's persisting, because there is recent research which supports slightly earlier feeding of solids, and it's good to know about that too. 

 

Also, I don't think that sitting independently is necessary. Good head control and supported sitting, yes. Independent sitting? Not so much. My kids just aren't that interested in sitting -- they just want to stand up and run!

post #14 of 31

Both my babies sat independently before they began solids--but for me, that meant sitting independently in their high chair, which is seat-shaped, and helps maintain balance. It took them longer to be able to sit up on the floor, or to get independently to a sitting position from lying down. I consider interest in food to be the only milestone that needs to be reached before I start solids, and both of mine developed enough head and tongue control to handle food before their interest in food developed. For one, that meant 4 months, and she snorked down half an avacado at her first outing. For the other, he wasn't interested until five months, and preferred mashed beans and rice to fruits and veggies.
Both kids are healthy eaters now, at ages 8 and 5, eat a variety of foods, and are a good weight. I think this is a wide window, and you don't need to agonize too much over one month's difference in solid food--by next year, they'll almost all be eating something.

post #15 of 31

We started at 4 months and it's worked out very well for us. You don't have to wait until 6 months. 

 

I find Kelly Mom to be quite anti-solid. It's fine for them to have that perspective, but yes, if you set the bar for solids-eating ridiculously high (flawless pincher grasp for example), then babies will be EBF for something like 10 months. Keep in mind that Kelly Mom is a perspective, not some universal truth about solids eating handed down from on high. 

post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by crystal_buffaloe View Post


Personally, I feel more comfortable following the AAP and WHO guidelines and waiting until about 6 months to start solids.


Me too!

 

post #17 of 31

The current AAP guide to young children's health recommends from 4-6 months as the time to start solids. 

post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah32 View Post

We started at 4 months and it's worked out very well for us. You don't have to wait until 6 months. 

 

I find Kelly Mom to be quite anti-solid. It's fine for them to have that perspective, but yes, if you set the bar for solids-eating ridiculously high (flawless pincher grasp for example), then babies will be EBF for something like 10 months. Keep in mind that Kelly Mom is a perspective, not some universal truth about solids eating handed down from on high. 



KellyMom's recommendations are evidence-based, not opinion, and I don't see their guidelines as "ridiculously high".  I think most babies meet the basic readiness signs around 6 months.

 

The problem with too-early introduction of solids is that the negative effects may not be seen for years.  If the gut is not yet closed, damage can be occurring without an obvious reaction until many years later.  External readiness does not equal internal readiness.  Hence the KellyMom recommendations that echo those of the CDC, WHO, AAP, etc., which are based on the fact that most baby's guts will be closed by 6 months, not 4.

 

FWIW, both of my kids were preemies and I didn't start them on solids until 6 months adjusted age.  They got the iron they needed through an iron supplement, and I've never given them baby cereal (though my youngest would never have taken it, as she didn't want anything to do with food until after a year). 

post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by JudiAU View Post

Interest in food is the least "necessary" part. A baby needs to have good head control to ingest and swallow solid food. You have a serious choking risk if you don't. But more to the point= the colon and digestion processes have nothing to do with whether baby wants your spoon.



Totally agree. Our LO was grabbing for things well before 6 months and could take objects reliably to her mouth. At meal times we gave her a spoon and she was more than happy with that. She just wanted what we were holding, which was mostly cutlery. 

post #20 of 31
Just want to say I really really miss EBF poo! Ds is still BF the same amount as always (daycare) but gets mashed something most days. Ugh, the dipes are HORRIBLE!

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