Exclusively breastfeeding at 8 months, when to start solids? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 07-03-2010, 11:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My DS is 8 months old and is exclusively breastfed. I've been told that I should at least give DS some rice cereal. I'm not sure why I would need to do that, as he is still doing well on breastmilk. He's 28.5 inches tall and 21 pounds. So my question is: What age is the best time to start introducing solids? Thanks!

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#2 of 18 Old 07-04-2010, 12:19 AM
 
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I never did rice cereal at all - no purees, no baby foods either. I did Baby Led Weaning (doesn't mean coming off BM, just introducing sold foods). I nursed my DD until she was 18mo, but I started her on solids at around 6.5-7 months by just giving huge pieces of things to man-handle and suck on, including 1/2 a piece of fruit (or whole), an entire poached ckn tender (gripped it in her hand and sucked on it), broccoli florets with the stalk attached (raw or cooked - but cooked only a bit so it retained its firmness), scrambled eggs (supposed to wait til after a year old but we gave her a little and watched for reactions, of which she had none), and cheese... and a few other things that I can't recall right now actually...lol. Even without teeth, they can eat these foods, and you'll want to be right there with them and watch them while they explore and taste their new foods. My DD never choked even once, but there's a learning curve for a few months while she learns about her new menu items. Because of doing it this way, I'm totally convinced it's why my kid will eat ANYTHING you put in front of her. ANYTHING.

I think food issues with kids is far more a texture thing than a taste thing, so when I read up on Baby Led Weaning (BLW), it all made sense to me. I thought I'd try it and the worst that could happen is that I go back to my original plan of making my own baby food. Well, it worked and I never looked back. Google Baby Led Weaning and at the very least, it'll give you some good ideas on first foods. Have fun!

ETA: don't think there's a set age to start them on solids. Some kids are ready when mine was, some kids are ready much later (I know of a few women who EBF only until their DC was about 11mo). Test the waters and if he's not into the food, then wait a few weeks and try again. He's obviously growing big and strong just off of your alone!

Heather (40) DH (41) Georgia Mae b. 9/3/08, Charlotte Grace 7/17/10.
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#3 of 18 Old 07-04-2010, 12:21 AM
 
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There is no need to feed rice cereal now or at any point, really, as it's basically empty calories. You can start with avocado or sweet potato, for example: http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/solids.htm

If your baby is meeting all the signs of readiness, you can start solids at any time since he's already over 6 months, but there is no hurry. I introduced solids to my baby when she was 7.5 months old and she hardly ever swallowed any until she was about 12.5 months!

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#4 of 18 Old 07-04-2010, 03:40 AM
 
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The best general guideline I've heard was Dr Sears': When the baby starts mooching off your plate (i.e. he can sit up, reach out, grab your food and stuff it in his mouth), he is ready for solids.

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#5 of 18 Old 07-04-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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I've been trying to do baby led weaning but she has 3 sharp teeth and can rip pieces off anything when I try to give her big pieces to chew on. Tiny pieces she picks up fine and wants to eat but gags a lot on everything.
I'm beginning to wonder if I should try purees. I did get one of the mesh feeders and she mushes food through it and really likes it (although so far has had a reaction to everything we've tried)
So, still EBF here too. She's big too, 20 pounds and 27 inches.

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#6 of 18 Old 07-04-2010, 09:58 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mambera View Post
The best general guideline I've heard was Dr Sears': When the baby starts mooching off your plate (i.e. he can sit up, reach out, grab your food and stuff it in his mouth), he is ready for solids.
This. FWIW, ds wasn't interested in solids until 2 weeks before his first birthday. If your lo isn't showing signs, isn't losing weight & is hitting milestones, there's no need to introduce solids. Breastmilk is just fine

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#7 of 18 Old 07-04-2010, 10:11 AM
 
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I've been trying to do baby led weaning but she has 3 sharp teeth and can rip pieces off anything when I try to give her big pieces to chew on. Tiny pieces she picks up fine and wants to eat but gags a lot on everything.
I'm beginning to wonder if I should try purees. I did get one of the mesh feeders and she mushes food through it and really likes it (although so far has had a reaction to everything we've tried)
So, still EBF here too. She's big too, 20 pounds and 27 inches.
The gagging is totally normal - she'll eventually stop once she gets used to the feel of solid foods in her mouth. My DD could get pieces of ckn off the big pieces I gave her too, and she did the gagging thing at first but eventually got the hang of it. I was SO proud of her (and of myself for actually sticking with it) and shared video of her eating these foods at such a young age, and all I got back was family members screaming at me that I was going to watch my baby die choking on food one day. They even sent me links to infant CPR (which I already know) to drive their point home. Now they're shocked at how well she eats... and gently remind them that it's because I introduced solids so early (and of course, they act as if they were always all for it from the start... typical).

How old is your DD? If she's having a reaction to things, I'd hold off on whatever is giving her a reaction for a few months and then try again.

Please do what you feel is best, however knowing what I know now and never having any food issues with my DD at all (and having tons of ppl always comment on what a great eater she is), I would never give purees now that I know what I know. And yes, I agree with the poster who said that as long as your DD is gaining well, then BM is all she may need for now if she's not into the food thing yet.

Heather (40) DH (41) Georgia Mae b. 9/3/08, Charlotte Grace 7/17/10.
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#8 of 18 Old 07-14-2010, 10:12 AM
 
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I exclusively breastfed until 8 months. The feedings just started seeming like they were constant, and so I decided she was ready for food. I started with purees, but I didn't give her any grains. Just fruits and veggies.

I don't think they should actually get grains until all their teeth are in. Hubby disagrees, though, so she gets oatmeal. I have to say in a selfish way, it's nice. She sleeps through the night most of the time now.

I do believe, though, it's different for everybody and you should follow your instinct.
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#9 of 18 Old 07-14-2010, 04:35 PM
 
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I kind of go with the flow. Dd2 I started giving chuncks right away for her to pick up when she first seemed interested. But with Ds1 he seems to want to eat - he stares at our food like a atarving person - but he isn't that co-ordinated yet so I have given him a bit of rice cereal. He is really keen on it now. I also tried some sweet potato but he made a face like a prune.

What do you mean by a reaction? Some things are normal when they first try eating.

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#10 of 18 Old 07-14-2010, 08:33 PM
 
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My daughter is 9 months and still breastfeeding. Yep, my doctor told me the same thing but I am a liitle wiser since this our second child. She weight 20 lbs wearing 2t -3t clothes. You should introduce food when your child actually shows she wants to eat not because your ped says so. Also cereal are allergy foods best to start with avocados, sweet potatoes, vegetable puree. Our first daughter didn't start eating till she was 1 year old.
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#11 of 18 Old 07-15-2010, 12:55 PM
 
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The reason a lot of folks have in the past and still do recommend rice cereal is the concern for the baby having enough iron. It's a little silly though since iron in cereal is not well absorbed Also, the mistaken belief that all breastfed babies don't get iron or enough iron from breastmilk, this is true for some Mom's who don't get enough iron in their diet, but not all by a long shot.

But yeah, I agree with introducing food when your child seems ready (though ready is defined differently by different people, I say go with your instincts). Some recent studies I have read show that babies don't really start swallowing any food until 6 months on average and I do think before 6 months for most babies it is unnecessary to do any solids. So if your child seems ready, go for it, and feel free to start with something that isn't rice (or oatmeal) cereal. I started a little after 6 months with bananas myself, but tried cereal soon after too and purees and she loves both, so both worked out fine for us I do some other more softened or already soft table foods too, but she prefers right now to be fed and is very clear in communicating when she is done

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#12 of 18 Old 07-15-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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At 8mo, I'd plop the baby in the high chair during family meals and give them small amounts of food to play with- or sometimes just a sippy cup of water, plus a bowl and spoon to bang together and throw on the floor.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#13 of 18 Old 07-16-2010, 12:45 PM
 
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My son is almost 9 months and EBF. Our pediatrician is content with his development and said no need to intro solids yet, BM is all he needs for now.
He said if we wished we could intro solids but it is not necessary right now.

I, like you, was confused also. It concerned me that the recommendations have changed so much over the last century (surely they will change again).
Since the human species is millions of years old, I began to read material about anthropology, to get a broader perspective of the natural introduction of solids and when it occurred in various cultures. I found it very helpful.
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#14 of 18 Old 07-18-2010, 01:06 AM
 
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I have heard that you should look for the bottom teeth to come in. This changes their saliva, and readies their intestines for food. I started foods for my baby when his teeth came out and we never had any issues.
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#15 of 18 Old 07-18-2010, 02:22 AM
 
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My ds would not eat ANYTHING until 14mo. I began to worry after the 1yo mark but it is not uncommon for them to refuse solids until well into the second year. My point is that there is no rush - my second was very ready at 10mo and has been eating everything lately (she will be 1yo on monday Every baby is different - healthy babies will let you know when they are ready. "Watch your baby not the calendar"

Also - as its been said, rice cereal has "fortified" empty calories - just as you would not feed a child a vitamin instead of a nutritious piece of "real" food, there is no need to feed an infant "fortified" "baby food" - Think beyond labels Just because something is advertised and packaged "for babies" does not mean that it is good for them
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#16 of 18 Old 07-18-2010, 10:24 PM
 
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#17 of 18 Old 07-18-2010, 11:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SustainablParentng View Post
My ds would not eat ANYTHING until 14mo. I began to worry after the 1yo mark but it is not uncommon for them to refuse solids until well into the second year. My point is that there is no rush - my second was very ready at 10mo and has been eating everything lately (she will be 1yo on monday Every baby is different - healthy babies will let you know when they are ready. "Watch your baby not the calendar"

Also - as its been said, rice cereal has "fortified" empty calories - just as you would not feed a child a vitamin instead of a nutritious piece of "real" food, there is no need to feed an infant "fortified" "baby food" - Think beyond labels Just because something is advertised and packaged "for babies" does not mean that it is good for them


Both of my kids NEEDED to eat by 5mo and were self feeding small pieces by 6mo. There was no way that I was going to deny them food while the rest of us were eating. While I've known several other babies that weren't ready to eat until 14mo. Go with your baby's needs.

Abra, Married to George, Mother to DS 12/03 & DD1 08/09 & DD2 12/11.  We are planning our next adventure to South America in April 2014!
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#18 of 18 Old 07-18-2010, 11:50 PM
 
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What Ruthla said...

I don't do rice cereal or jarred or homemade "baby" foods. They get whatever they can have off my plate whenever they show interest in it after around 6mo.

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