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#1 of 13 Old 10-20-2010, 03:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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When do you plan to introduce solids, or when did you introduce solids? My ped says 6 months at the latest, but I'd like to wait until around 9 months or so. My mom waited until 1 year and all of her kids are healthy and were never underweight.... curious to hear your thoughts. I plan to do child led weaning and also don't want solids to interfere with that.
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#2 of 13 Old 10-20-2010, 10:09 PM
 
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we started at 6 months, but solids weren't a daily thing until 9 months. The AAP, WHO, and LLLI all recommend waiting until at least 6 months to start solids based on the must up-to-date research. (There are several other reputable organizations that should be on that list, but I don't remember them off the top of my head). old recommendations for like, 20 years ago, were to start solids between 4 and 6 months, but research has found that wasn't the best idea, though many docs still cling to that recommendation (and so do baby food companies, who sponsor the majority of articles about introducing solids and solids feeding schedules)

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#3 of 13 Old 10-20-2010, 10:37 PM
 
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My guy is 6 months, and I am waiting until he can:

sit assisted (without slumping forward like he does now!)
take something in his mouth without the tongue-thrust reflex
reach for food and put it in his mouth

He watches me eat now, but is not reaching for food.

I have no worries about iron deficiency as his cord was left alone for at least 10 minutes after birth. I'm happy to let him tell me when he is ready for solid foods.

I keep wondering which food 'I' will introduce first, but I bet my DS decides for himself and is one of those babies who takes his first food off Mama's plate!
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#4 of 13 Old 10-21-2010, 11:00 AM
 
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With my dd we started at 6 mos (ooh, way before my mdc days) and she promptly got eczema all over her body. We backed off until about 10 mos when she really wanted to eat with us. She had (still has at 41/2) allergies, so that influences everything. Also, she only really started to eat for real at around 18 mos. Nursed until 4 yrs 5 mos when I was just really done.
Ds is now 7 mos. I want to be careful with what we give him and will definitely not do baby food. Physically he seems to hit some milestones quicker than dd. He has been sitting for a while and doesn't have the tongue thrust anymore. He likes to chew on everything he can find outside and on the floor where he sort of crawls. His first food was some lentil pancakes of dd's that fell on the floor. He doesn't have teeth yet, but likes mashing them up with his gums. He has also had teeny bites of goats milk kefir and sucked on bones. To me food for a little one before a year is mostly arts and crafts. And experimenting for them, I think. I personally think it is best to get most of their nourishment from breast milk for the first year.
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#5 of 13 Old 10-21-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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#6 of 13 Old 10-21-2010, 10:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post
My guy is 6 months, and I am waiting until he can:

sit assisted (without slumping forward like he does now!)
take something in his mouth without the tongue-thrust reflex
reach for food and put it in his mouth

He watches me eat now, but is not reaching for food.

I have no worries about iron deficiency as his cord was left alone for at least 10 minutes after birth. I'm happy to let him tell me when he is ready for solid foods.

I keep wondering which food 'I' will introduce first, but I bet my DS decides for himself and is one of those babies who takes his first food off Mama's plate!
We waited until Cecilia showed interest in eating, sat independently, lost her infant tongue thrust, and was able to self-feed. For her that was 6 months. Had it been 9 months or a year, I would have been fine with that. Even with her doing solids now, it's very, very casual. We do one food at a time, about 3 times a week, and it's all self-fed. No purees, no cereals. We're holding off on dairy products and meat until around a year and grains until at least a year, hopefully more like 18 months. So far she has had avocado, apple and butternut squash.

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#7 of 13 Old 10-22-2010, 12:37 PM
 
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there really needs to be a sticky about this, doesn't there! i think there are questions about solids nearly every week!

we took (are taking) a VERY laid-back approach. we started making some foods available at about 6 months, but really only on a tasting level. she wasn't swallowing, but she liked to play with, taste and gum foods like melon, sweet potato, peach, apple etc. she had tastes of more complex mixes like lentil curry from the beginning too. again, wasn't really swallowing anything, but was sitting up and very interested in our meals. she's 8 months now and we're still very laid back. she gets a little something off our plate at almost every meal (unless she's napping), but doesn't eat much of it. maybe three times a week i'll make something specifically for her and sit with her and really help her eat it (like loading up her spoon, helping her pick things up, once in a while spoon feeding or holding something so she can get a good mouthful).

honestly, at least 60% of the reason we haven't been more proactive with offering foods is that i'm lazy! it's a lot of work to prepare something she can really handle, help her eat it, and then clean her up afterwards. if we are having something like steamed broccoli, she can have a floret or two, she gets pieces of veggies from our soup, i cut up a piece of fruit for her in the morning sometimes, but if we're having spicy curry and rice, i don't bother making something she can actually eat (although she might get a spoonful of rice grains to play with).

in terms of allergies and so on, i really don't worry about it. she's had mixes of foods from the beginning. if she gets a bit rashy on the bum or something (happened twice) i just don't offer that food for a while. she hasn't shown any reactions to anything otherwise. she is swallowing SO little right now (just this week her poop has started to change) that i'm not really worried about it affecting her nursing. milk is still her only real food for sure. if you have a kid who is really into solids though, you can't force them not to be, i don't think.
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#8 of 13 Old 10-22-2010, 01:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post
We waited until Cecilia showed interest in eating, sat independently, lost her infant tongue thrust, and was able to self-feed. For her that was 6 months. Had it been 9 months or a year, I would have been fine with that.
Pretty much the same here, except that continuing to have a tongue thrust much past 6 months and I would've gotten her checked out, or not sitting by 9 months, or no interest by a year.

If everything else lined up and she hadn't being able to self-feed within a week or so of getting to try, I would've helped her out. I'm not big on unnecessary frustration for babies.
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#9 of 13 Old 10-22-2010, 01:51 PM
 
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I agree, had she not been sitting independently by 9 months I would have worried, but what I was trying to get at is that it's not uncommon for all four of those criteria to take longer than 6 months to appear and here we would have waited for all four to start solids whether it was at 6, 9 or 12 months.

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#10 of 13 Old 10-22-2010, 10:45 PM
 
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My DD had everything but interest by 6 months, by 8 months we began giving her stuff to taste and only at 9 months did she want more than a bite or a lick. Now she likes apples and yams, at 10 months, and has a couple of wedges a day. Otherwise she is all boob. And she is healthy and happy. They don't need to be eating much until a year though every baby is different in terms of solids. I think they will let you know. My DD still doesn't even bat an eye lash when we eat in front of her.

My grandmother tells me that my dad also was not interested in much until a year. And he is the healthiest 60 year old I know.

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#11 of 13 Old 10-27-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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I found this article interesting:

Quote:
http://www.naturalnews.com/027418_iron_food_foods.html

(NaturalNews) It is commonplace among modern mothers to begin introducing solid food to their babies as early as 4 months of age, yet babies in more primitive societies were mostly exclusively breastfed until 2 years of age. Given the archeological studies, babies` immature and developing digestive enzyme production, along with evidence that prolonging exclusive breastfeeding may also confer health benefits, it may be time for both moms and nutrition experts to reconsider the timing of a baby`s first introduction to solid foods.

While many pediatricians still recommend starting babies on solid foods between 4 to 6 months of age, the WHO now recommends that babies remain exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. To prevent allergies and food sensitivities, some doctors now recommend delaying the introduction of solids until baby is at least 12 months of age.

Most experts recommend that if mothers want to delay starting their babies on solids, they should not continue exclusive breastfeeding beyond 9 months. It is assumed that the iron stores in mothers` milk are deficient and may lead to the baby developing anemia.

According to Dr. Linda Palmer who has done extensive research on this subject, most studies on nutritional status, in regards to the delaying of solids, were done on populations where mothers are malnourished. She says that deficiency of iron is more common in breastfed babies, but that this factor co-relates with the introduction of solids, rather than with exclusive breastfeeding itself or because mothers` milk suddenly becomes deficient at 9 months.

This window of deficiency occurs, as the result of a natural physiological shift whereby the iron in baby`s first foods, binds with the mother`s lactoferrin, thus making her iron less bioavailable. The iron that baby does get from food sources, ends up first feeding iron-hungry and less beneficial intestinal bacteria. It is because of this factor that baby has a higher requirement for iron, at least until the intestinal flora rebalances.

So while it seems necessary to at least account for this physiological shift when mothers do introduce solids, what about delaying the inevitable until baby is 12 months or older? Is there any harm in waiting to introduce solids? Once again, according to Palmer, "The few studies performed on extended exclusive breastfeeding are in non-industrialized areas, showing a marginal advantage to beginning supplemental foods by 24 months. The only good studies on fully breastfed infants performed in the US go only as high as 9 months, demonstrating superior health at this age for those who are exclusively breastfed".

According to archeological studies, many human babies had little, if any, foods other than breast milk before two years of age. Palmer concludes, "While I DO think it is natural to have a wide variation in timing for natural infants` introduction to solids, (the initial weaning process), and final weaning, I don`t think it`s naturally common for first foods to begin as early as 6 months in most babies".

What about those experts that feel that we should wait until babies are at least 1 year of age before introducing solids? Is there any merit to these recommendations? David Rowland, author of Digestion: Inner Pathway to Health, says, "Salivary amylase (ptyalin) is not normally present in any appreciable quantity until about six months of age. Pancreatic amylase is not produced in adequate amounts until the molar teeth are fully developed, which may not be until ages 28-36 months". For this reason, he recommends that we should not be feeding babies, bread, crackers and other starchy foods. This advice strongly conflicts with the conventional wisdom that deems iron-fortified cereal to be a baby`s ideal first food.

Palmer disagrees with Rowland; she does not feel that infants have trouble digesting carbohydrates. She feels that gluten-containing grains may pose the biggest challenge. On the other hand, she also disagrees with the conventional perspective. She says, "Iron-fortified cereals have high doses of iron that may stunt growth slightly when not needed. If baby has risk factors for developing anemia, (low iron stores from rapid cord cutting, smoking parent, food-intolerance reactions, lower birth weight), one might consider a blood test around 9 months (or sooner if recommended) to alleviate concerns".

While evolution and physiology seem to suggest that there is no specific time to introduce solids, along with no harm in delaying them, does extending exclusive breastfeeding confer any health benefits?

While there are no studies on exclusive breastfeeding beyond 9 months in industrialized societies, Palmer lists the following in her very informative slide show entitled, "Beyond Breastmilk". The following list conveys the potential benefits of delaying solids: delays iron competition, delays the loss of full immune protection (immune protection extends beyond weaning and lasts even longer the more breast milk baby receives), provides baby with a more "natural feeding progression" and reduces the risks of allergies.

Given that our ancestors in more primitive societies were likely more in tune with nature`s plan for feeding babies, it seems reasonable to call the early introduction of solids into question. Because pancreatic amylase is deficient in babies (until their molars come in) we might as well also question the wide spread introduction of iron fortified cereal grain, as an infant`s first food.

While there is a lot more room for research to be done in this area, delaying solids gives babies` digestive system more time to mature, and may decrease the risk of allergies due to reduced immunity and enzyme deficiency. The evidence suggests that we need not deviate too far from the natural feeding pattern that has thus sustained and ensured the survival of the human race, thus far.

References:
http://www.mothering.com/sections/e...
www.babyreference.com/BEYONDBREASTM...
http://www.babyreference.com/Natura...
http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/s...
Digestion: Inner Pathway to Health, David W. Rowland

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#12 of 13 Old 10-27-2010, 01:44 PM
 
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Interesting. Particularly in light of the new indications that gluten sensitivities are reduced in babies who get wheat before 9 months.

However, it's not going to happen until MATERNAL nutrition is drastically improved.
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#13 of 13 Old 10-27-2010, 04:15 PM
 
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I wait at least 6 months, but then follow the baby's lead. #1 waited until 12 months, but #2 was desperate for solids before 6 months even, though I did hold off until 6 months. I wouldn't have felt good about waiting another 3 months with how she was wanting them, unless there were allergy issues in our family or something.
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