Thanks for starting this thread. I think there is definately a need for this discussion.
Theoretically, it might be in the best interest of the child who shows signs of food sensitivities to delay the introduction of solid foods until most, if not all, allergens have been found and eliminated. But we all know it's now always so cut and dried.
Research shows that exclusively breastfed babies may not start needing more iron till 7 months (though other studies have shown babies who are exclusively breastfed till around the end of the first year have better iron levels than those who were introduced solids at around 6 months). Also exclusively breastfed babies may not start needing more zinc until about 9 months. Of course, these are generalizations. Some babies can go beyond a year being exclusively breastfed and are in good health.
While I've heard lots about why to delay solids, I have also heard that there is a window of time when your baby is most likely to be very ready for solid foods. The idea is if you wait too long then you run the 'risk' of having a reluctant eater later on. So, as you can see, there is a large variation of when you can start solids and when is the best time to start solids.
Now in light of an elimination diet: Typically I would think that just because you have elimiated a few different foods, it does not necessarily mean you are not getting the nutrients you require to be healthy (you would simply eat more of other foods, and hopefully a good variety too). But all cases are individual and should be treated as such. IMO however, breastmilk would still be my preference over solid foods, but again there are exceptions (eg. where the mother feels very depelted) where another course of action might have to be taken.
|And if you do the above [delay solids till allergens are found], what if you're waiting and waiting to start solids and your baby really shows interest?
That difficult to answer. The only reasons why I have started my little guy on solids is because he is showing all the signs of developmental rediness an partly for my own sanity.
"Signs that indicate baby is developmentally ready for solids include:
* Baby can sit up well without support.
* Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue.
* Baby is ready and willing to chew.
* Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. Using the fingers and scraping the food into the palm of the hand (palmar grasp) does not substitute for pincer grasp development.
* Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth.
We often state that a sign of solids readiness is when baby exhibits a long-term increased demand to nurse (sometime around 6 months or later) that is unrelated to illness, teething pain, a change in routine or a growth spurt. However, it can be hard to judge whether baby’s increased nursing is related to readiness for solids. Many (if not most) 6-month-old babies are teething, growth spurting and experiencing many developmental changes that can lead to increased nursing – sometimes all at once! Make sure you look at all the signs of solids readiness as a whole, because increased nursing alone is not likely to be an accurate guide to baby’s readiness."http://kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/solids-when.html
I admit I am not confident with the decision we have made, but if it weren't for the little taste (often literally just a taste) of food I give him at lunch and supper, I am afraid I will never get much food in to me (he fusses and really squirms and makes life very difficult for me at the dinner table otherwise
|So what sequence do you follow with a really sensitive baby?
The Joneja Food Allergen Scale
might be helpful. I know I refer to it quite frequently. Of course just because something is not very allergenic doesn't mean your baby doesn't have a sensitivity or is allergic to it.
Another article giving general information about food sensitivities... Dairy and other Food Sensitivities in Breastfed Babies