Babies Fed Solids Too Early Possibly Leading to Obesity, Diabetes, Eczema, and Celiac Disease - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 22 Old 03-30-2013, 05:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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A recent article in the New York Times shares information from a study conducted by the C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control) linking the early introduction of solids to babies with serious illnesses including obesity, eczema, and Celiac disease. 

 

The article says:

 

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For at least 20 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics had advised against feeding babies solid food before they turned at least 4 months old. Last year, encouraged by growing evidence of the health benefits of breast milk, the group raised that age, saying babies should be fed nothing but breast milk for six months. When breast milk is not an option, formula is an acceptable alternative, the group says.

But the survey suggests that mothers are not aware of the recommendations or find them difficult to follow. Popular reasons for giving solid food to babies before 4 months included “my baby is old enough,” “my baby seemed hungry,” “I wanted my baby to sleep longer at night” and — most alarming to researchers — “a doctor or health care professional said my baby should begin eating solid food.”

 

It goes on to say that socio-economic factors tend to play a large role in how well-educated a parent is about the appropriate time to introduce solids. 

 

This article really resonated with me as I am among the group of mothers who was given very bad advice by a pediatrician and told to begin introducing solids at 4 months. I did not follow the advice because I knew better, but I am fortunate enough to have a lot of resources at my disposal. This study and article really highlight how childbirth, diet and health are not just medical issues but social issues as well.

 

You can read the article here on the New York Times website and then come back here and share your own experiences with introducing solids. Were you given good advice by your pediatrician? Did you feel pressure to introduce solids before 6 months? How did you handle it? 

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#2 of 22 Old 03-30-2013, 07:04 PM
 
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After I laughed at my pediatrician when he tried that if I didn't get my six week old out of my bed immediately, he would still be sleeping with me at age 35, he NEVER offered me parenting advice again.

However, I was given cooked, ground liver younger than 6 months old, on the advice of the family doctor to deal with anemia. It was added to my bottle. I have multiple food allergies/intolerances. I believe there is a connection, especially since both liver and dairy are two of my food issues.
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#3 of 22 Old 04-01-2013, 01:25 PM
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Wow, cooked ground liver in a bottle....that's amazing.  

 

The literature at my ped's office still says to start rice cereal at 4-6 months.  I never did with my older child and I won't be with this one either.

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#4 of 22 Old 04-01-2013, 01:40 PM
 
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I must have been born in the modern Dark Ages. I met a woman at my breastfeeding support group whose brother had been given the same thing for the same reason, the same year. We both had positive rh, and our mothers were negative. Both of us had older siblings, so the rh problem had been identified in earlier pregnancies. Neither hospital was prepared for the possibility of blood transfusion being needed. Both of us had ongoing anaemia, and that's when the liver was recommended.

I completely ignored all recommendations concerning starting solids, and followed my son's lead.
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#5 of 22 Old 04-01-2013, 01:42 PM
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That's really interesting.  Both of my daughters are rh + and I am negative, so that is especially interesting to me.  


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#6 of 22 Old 04-01-2013, 01:53 PM
 
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Sorry to be taking this thread so far off topic, but you should know a simple warning sign of a problem.

When my mother was pregnant with me, her blood samples were increasingly containing more and more antibodies. Nurses commented on multiple occasions. My mother used to laugh as she told the stories. She found it funny that the nurses were asking her if she knew why there were so many antibodies. By the end, more than half the sample was antibodies, and the nurse said that an additional sample might be needed, because she wasn't sure the remaining sample was large enough. When I asked my mother why she didn't mention that for my brother (3 years older than me), the hospital was prepared to do a transfusion, she laughed and said it was their job to figure it out. I was born anaemic, and it took 6 months for me to start recovering. That fits with antibodies having a six month lifespan.

So, if blood samples start having a lot of antibodies, that seems to be a sign of a problem.
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#7 of 22 Old 04-03-2013, 12:42 PM
 
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I didn't feel any pressure to start feeding solids earlier than 6 months. I knew a few people who started earlier than that, but everyone in my social group seemed to be aware that the recommendation was 6 months.

 

The thing that got me, was that once the babies turn 6 months there is like this race to stuff as many solids into them as fast as possible. And if they don't like them right away people get all worried and freaked out and start thinking of ways to get their kids to eat more solids.

 

I just want to tell everyone to relax, it's ok if they don't want solids, they all develop at their own pace and anyway "under one is just for fun" - the main source of nutrition for infants under 12 months is supposed to be breastmilk or formula. But soooo many people are rushing their babies to grow up in every way possible (along with sleeping thru the night). 

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#8 of 22 Old 04-03-2013, 02:57 PM
 
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I never felt pressured to start solids early but I did start them earlier than 6 months, at 5-1/2 months when my child showed interest in solid food.
 

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#9 of 22 Old 04-03-2013, 08:00 PM
 
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I have to say that I am a believer in offering solids at 6 months, but not forcing them and especially not before 6 months. I waited for my DS to show signs that he was ready to eat solids, despite my then pediatricians attempts to scare me into believing he would end up having an "eating disorder" if I did not start giving him cereal right at 6 months! He ended up grabbing a banana out of my hands around 7.5 to 8 months old and proceeding to eat it. That is when I knew he was interested (ready) in eating solids. 

 

I was always disturbed by women in the generation prior to mine (like my MIL) talking about how they put cereal in their babies bottles so they would sleep longer, and I can't help but wonder if this has something to do with my husband's wheat/gluten/oat/yeast intolerance. Needless to say, I was quite surprised when I came across this article and am not sure why the author is trying to discredit the claims made by the CDC about this issue:

 

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/03/28/solid_foods_for_infants_are_not_dangerous.html


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#10 of 22 Old 04-03-2013, 08:25 PM
 
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My medical provider was very clear about waiting until six months. She asked about it and reminded us at each well baby visit and explained why it was important. I know a LOT of women who start before then and even before 4 months, though.
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#11 of 22 Old 04-04-2013, 07:44 AM
 
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I think every baby at DD's daycare started solids at 4-5 months. They were really surprised, but not pushy, that I waiting until 6 months. My pediatrician gave me the "go ahead" to start cereal at 4 months if I wanted to, but did say it was fine to wait when I said I was going to wait until 6 months per the new recommendations, so I guess that's something. So I wasn't pressured really, but it was definitely still the norm with DD to start solids before 6 months. I took it slow too as yeah, it does seem to be a "race" to get them eating as much as possible once you start. With my family history of food allergies (and DD does have food allergies) I wanted to take things nice and slow.

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#12 of 22 Old 04-04-2013, 08:31 AM
 
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I started my ds on solids at 4 mos because he has such a bad GI problem anything that is watery or formula or breastmilk he threw up. Every single drop of it. For a while after starting solids he threw them up too, but then he started eating more and more. He really likes to eat now and only vomits when he drinks too much. Im not too worried about allergies later on because I already know he's lactose intolerant to an extreme, if we can handle that I'm sure we'll manage what ever else.

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#13 of 22 Old 04-04-2013, 09:20 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rebbecky View Post

I have to say that I am a believer in offering solids at 6 months, but not forcing them and especially not before 6 months. I waited for my DS to show signs that he was ready to eat solids, despite my then pediatricians attempts to scare me into believing he would end up having an "eating disorder" if I did not start giving him cereal right at 6 months! He ended up grabbing a banana out of my hands around 7.5 to 8 months old and proceeding to eat it. That is when I knew he was interested (ready) in eating solids. 

I was always disturbed by women in the generation prior to mine (like my MIL) talking about how they put cereal in their babies bottles so they would sleep longer, and I can't help but wonder if this has something to do with my husband's wheat/gluten/oat/yeast intolerance. Needless to say, I was quite surprised when I came across this article and am not sure why the author is trying to discredit the claims made by the CDC about this issue:

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/03/28/solid_foods_for_infants_are_not_dangerous.html

You know, I don't really have an issue with the content of that article. It emphasizes letting your baby lead rather than the AAP's arbitrary "x months" that's always changing. I do think the title is misleading though.

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#14 of 22 Old 04-06-2013, 07:29 AM
 
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Mother's instinct....does anyone else believe that a mother knows what is best for their baby and not pediatricians?  What magical physiological gastrointestinal occurrence happens to a baby when they turn 4 or 6 months old?  It's sad that our culture is so dependent on "experts" for everything to do with our children.  I understand that our cultural influences make it very difficult for us to determine what is instinct and what is a cultural influence....but I think that mothers need to trust their instinct more than looking to experts for everything.  I think that "Mothering" mothers rely on instinct more than most mothers do-- and that is why I love this site.

 

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#15 of 22 Old 04-06-2013, 08:55 AM
 
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My son was not ready for solids until a year. And even now at 16 months he more plays than eats. My partner got a lot of pressure from his family to give the baby solids at 2 months. AT LEAST RICE CEREAL. I held them all at bay until 6 months when I finally caved.

 

My son is now allergic to rice. I trust my mama instincts from now on.
 

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#16 of 22 Old 04-06-2013, 01:40 PM
 
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At 4-6 months babies guts mature and become less permeable. It's not just a randomly selected age.
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#17 of 22 Old 04-29-2013, 03:50 AM
 
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Thanks for the article. DD did not really eat anything other than breast milk before 8 months. We did baby-led weaning and once she could sit up by herself at around 6-7 months, we put her at the table next to us and just let her play/try whatever we were eating. Only at 10/11 months did solid food become a part of her nutrition.  She's a very brave eater (licking mustard off a spoon, liver, sardines) and would try so many strange-tasting foods. I secretly believe it's because we let her experiment early on with so many different and intense flavors (against the advice of our doctor and family...).

 

I tried to tell other moms about baby-led weaning because it was so relaxing and stress free (I never pureed anything, bought any baby food and sat there for half an hour trying to get her to finish a plate). Unfortunately, the idea seems to be way out there still, at least here in Germany.


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#18 of 22 Old 04-29-2013, 05:18 AM
 
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When DD was born in 2011, the recommendation here was start solids at 6 months if nursing or 4 months if formula feeding. I wonder if that has to do with breastmilk being a more complete source of nutrition. I did start DD a teeny bit early (like 2 weeks early; i was silly eager FTM) but she was early for many milestones and seemed ready. In fact she looooved purées to the point that I had to back off so she wouldn't be replacing nursing sessions. After about 2 weeks of baby food, I discovered baby led weaning and never looked back. In retrospect I feel silly for being taken in by the hype but we all live and learn. Since 6 months she's had nothing but the real food DH and I eat and she's a super adventurous eater, eagerly stuffing her face with raw veggies and fruit while most of her peers (she's 2) live on goldfish crackers and other junk.
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#19 of 22 Old 05-01-2013, 03:25 PM
 
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We started at 5 months, i had supply issues thanks to inverted nipples and supplementing because of nipple shields, so i would lay all day on the sofa bf (i actually mean all day except for toilet breaks and shower which i would rush) so my pediatrician recommended cereal with breastmilk, we tried it but she didn't take to it so we gave her fruit and it was love at first sight and for once my child was not crying from hunger if she wasn't attached to me. she's never been overweight, she a fairly long baby, very healthy and happy and has not been sick yet at 21 months of age. we still bf though and she eats solid foods, a little picky now that shes a toddler though. :-/

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#20 of 22 Old 05-01-2013, 03:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diana Cote View Post

We started at 5 months, i had supply issues thanks to inverted nipples and supplementing because of nipple shields, so i would lay all day on the sofa bf (i actually mean all day except for toilet breaks and shower which i would rush) so my pediatrician recommended cereal with breastmilk, we tried it but she didn't take to it so we gave her fruit and it was love at first sight and for once my child was not crying from hunger if she wasn't attached to me. she's never been overweight, she a fairly long baby, very healthy and happy and has not been sick yet at 21 months of age. we still bf though and she eats solid foods, a little picky now that shes a toddler though. :-/


I am so sorry you had such difficulties. I also used shields, but didn't have supply issues. I am amazed that you didn't start solids sooner. You deserve credit for all you did. I wish you had been given better help during those early months. Both you and your daughter deserved a better beginning. It shouldn't have been like that. Still, you did well with what you had been given!
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#21 of 22 Old 05-02-2013, 01:36 PM
 
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my husband was amazing! he cooked, cleaned, changed diapers when he got home from work and even helped bathe her. we didnt really have much family around so it was just us, but a lot of mothers do the same. :) had i not been scared into getting an epidural things probably would have gone better. They missed the first time, did it a second time, i was allergic to it so i had to hold off my labor because of fevers and blood pressure... then i had a spinal leakage because they pierced my spine and i was leaking brain fluid so i had severe migraines for weeks... i really think this affected us.

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#22 of 22 Old 05-02-2013, 01:46 PM
 
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I am soooo sorry you went through that! And you were very fortunate indeed to have had such support from your husband!! What a wonderful attitude to focus on the positive! I admire that!
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