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#1 of 18 Old 11-15-2010, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm on kid 3, and you'd think I'd know the answer to this by now, but I have been questioning my once secure belief that you should wait until 6 mos. to introduce solids. I started my oldest a couple weeks shy of 6 mos., and felt so guilty that we waited until exactly 6 mos. with my second, even though he showed all the signs of readiness (sitting independently, teeth, no tongue thrust, etc) at 5 months. Now, I have a 4 month old who *really* wants food, and while I was prepared to deny her until 6 mos., the research I'm doing (mostly abstracts from the journal Pediatrics) seems to suggest that it is actually not better, and may be worse, to delay the introduction of solids. Specifically, that the risk of food and inhalant allergies is higher with a later introduction of solids. I'm wondering if all the things I've read about delaying solids to prevent allergies, "open gut", etc. are actually research-based. Instinctually, it seems to me that if a baby wants food, and can pick it up and eat it, they're probably ready, and that snatching stolen bites of food from my crawling 5 mo. old didn't really make sense (and was mean!)

 

So, can anyone wow me with legitimate sources that support delaying solids until 6 months to help me make up my mind?

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#2 of 18 Old 11-15-2010, 03:28 PM
 
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I think you need to go with your gut and feed baby when you think he or she is ready.  DD was there a week or 2 shy of 6 months.  Others I have heard of it is much later or a little earlier.  Babies develop at a different rate in almost every aspect of life why would food introduction be any different?

 

 

 

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#3 of 18 Old 11-15-2010, 03:44 PM
 
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lurk.gif  I'm also curious where the information comes from on this. I haven't read any studies...

 

My DD is 6 mo and doesn't seem ready for solids. She's sitting, and grabbing like crazy, but her tongue thrust seems very strong. I don't see any harm in waiting, but expect to hear otherwise from our HCP when we see her next week. She told us to start rice cereal (she's a ped) at our 4 mo wbv, we just smiled and nodded. Most of my friends start their babes early too. I have no desire.

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#4 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 07:56 AM
 
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I was just coming on here to post a similar thread, but I'l just add to this one instead. DS will be 4 months on Dec 5th. He is already showing signs that he wants to eat. I didn't start DD until 6 months and I think that for her, that was even too soon. She has food allergies and as a baby she preffered nursing to eating. I never thought I would consider starting DS earlier than 6 months but my mama gut is telling me he's ready and wants it. He stares intently at us while we eat and he mimics us by smaking his lips together. He's started reaching out for our food even. He's sitting up supported and holds his head up completely. He's never really been a big nurser. He only nurses when he's hungry (never for comfort) and he gets really upset waiting for the let down. Sometimes he seems satisfied afterward and other times he acts like he's still hungry. I tested out his tongue thrust by putting a baby spoon (empty) in his mouth and to my surprise he took it in and didn't reject it at all. I'm really struggling with myself on this one. My personal opinion is that we can't make or prevent food allergies. But I'd also like to hear others opininions on this. Anyone think it's harmful to start solids at 4months? (Sorry for taking over your thread MJB, I hope we both get an answer to this).


 

 

 

 


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#5 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 08:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post

I'm on kid 3, and you'd think I'd know the answer to this by now, but I have been questioning my once secure belief that you should wait until 6 mos. to introduce solids. I started my oldest a couple weeks shy of 6 mos., and felt so guilty that we waited until exactly 6 mos. with my second, even though he showed all the signs of readiness (sitting independently, teeth, no tongue thrust, etc) at 5 months. Now, I have a 4 month old who *really* wants food, and while I was prepared to deny her until 6 mos., the research I'm doing (mostly abstracts from the journal Pediatrics) seems to suggest that it is actually not better, and may be worse, to delay the introduction of solids. Specifically, that the risk of food and inhalant allergies is higher with a later introduction of solids. I'm wondering if all the things I've read about delaying solids to prevent allergies, "open gut", etc. are actually research-based. Instinctually, it seems to me that if a baby wants food, and can pick it up and eat it, they're probably ready, and that snatching stolen bites of food from my crawling 5 mo. old didn't really make sense (and was mean!)

 

So, can anyone wow me with legitimate sources that support delaying solids until 6 months to help me make up my mind?



 Six months is the earliest they suggest starting solids and this is research/evidence based.  Here are some legitimate sources that go into it further. 

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15384567 

 

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/85/2/635S 

 

I would suggest further reading - especially if you are breastfeeding. 


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#6 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 08:29 AM
 
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I edited to add onto that but it doesn't appear to be there? lol

 

http://www.allsands.com/kids/health/babysolidfoo_xrl_gn.htm 


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#7 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 08:35 AM
 
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Thanks Ann! Our babes are 2 days apart.

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#8 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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 Six months is the earliest they suggest starting solids and this is research/evidence based.  Here are some legitimate sources that go into it further. 

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15384567 

 

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/85/2/635S 

 

I would suggest further reading - especially if you are breastfeeding. 


Thanks. The second link didn't work for me. The first is from 2004 and honestly, isn't really convincing. It doesn't differentiate solids from formula or developing from developed countries (which is really relevant when it comes to food/water safety) and it seems the only risk found in starting before 6 mos. is a higher number of gastrointestinal tract infections; which obviously makes sense if we're talking about water in developing countries. It clearly states there is not a higher risk of allergies or asthma. 

Here are links to the studies I was looking at yesterday.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/121/1/e44?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=1&andorexacttitle=and&andorexacttitleabs=and&fulltext=solid+food&andorexactfulltext=phrase&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/125/1/50

The "allsands.com" link claims that the AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 mos. but the AAP website says 4-6 months in many places. Do you have a link to the AAP policy statement that says that? 

Honestly, I believed this to be true with my (now school aged) kids but the new research seems to disagree with that common knowledge. Here's what I'm specifically concerned about "A delayed introduction of solids (past 4 or 6 months) was not associated with decreased odds for asthma, allergic rhinitis, or sensitization against food or inhalant allergens at 6 years of age. On the contrary, food sensitization was more frequent in children who were introduced to solids later." 

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#9 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 09:53 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJB View Post


 

 Six months is the earliest they suggest starting solids and this is research/evidence based.  Here are some legitimate sources that go into it further. 

 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15384567 

 

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/85/2/635S 

 

I would suggest further reading - especially if you are breastfeeding. 


Thanks. The second link didn't work for me. The first is from 2004 and honestly, isn't really convincing. It doesn't differentiate solids from formula or developing from developed countries (which is really relevant when it comes to food/water safety) and it seems the only risk found in starting before 6 mos. is a higher number of gastrointestinal tract infections; which obviously makes sense if we're talking about water in developing countries. It clearly states there is not a higher risk of allergies or asthma. 

Here are links to the studies I was looking at yesterday.

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/121/1/e44?maxtoshow=&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=1&andorexacttitle=and&andorexacttitleabs=and&fulltext=solid+food&andorexactfulltext=phrase&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&sortspec=relevance&resourcetype=HWCIT

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/125/1/50

The "allsands.com" link claims that the AAP recommends exclusive breastfeeding for 6 mos. but the AAP website says 4-6 months in many places. Do you have a link to the AAP policy statement that says that? 

Honestly, I believed this to be true with my (now school aged) kids but the new research seems to disagree with that common knowledge. Here's what I'm specifically concerned about "A delayed introduction of solids (past 4 or 6 months) was not associated with decreased odds for asthma, allergic rhinitis, or sensitization against food or inhalant allergens at 6 years of age. On the contrary, food sensitization was more frequent in children who were introduced to solids later." 



 Thats all I've got! lol...  I have to say allergies is the least of my concerns when deciding to hold off on solids in all honesty.  I don't doubt that children who are introduced to solids later on in life, have more sensitivities to some foods.  These are probably foods that should be avoided anyhow.  For example, I went vegan for a year....when I stopped, I suddenly found I was intolerant to foods I wasn't before hand!  My most excellent vegan diet probably cleared my body of a lot of crap and I can think of a million reasons why one should avoid dairy.  The human body is actually not capable of handling a lot of foods we eat - but we tolerate a lot.  We 'tolerate' it because we have a little bit every day....I have my 'introlarants' because I avoided them for so long.  So, it stands to reason that if a babies diet didn't include certain foods or foods at all - that they would be a bit 'intolerant' of some when they finally did start to digest solids.  Now, some may say 'that makes sense! - Introduce foods earlier!'...but for me, thats not really a sound reason to introduce foods earlier in a diet. 

 

There is a decent list of signs to solid rediness - and most babies don't have all these capabilities until 9 months of age.  Maybe they hold onto the tongue-thrust relex for a bit longer or maybe they still don't have the pincher grasp...but I honestly have yet to meet a 4 or 5 or even 6 month old capable of all the signs of rediness.  And when you look at the whole human picture this makes a lot of sense.  Taking in that certain stomach enzymes don't reach a peak until 9 months of age as well.  Compare our human genstation to that of other close related mamamls - if it were not for our upright position (and as a result, smaller pelvises) - babies would be born at 18 months gestation (thats 9 months of age, after 9 months gestation of what we currently manage)...where, like other primates, they could get away from danger on their own two feet.  It stands to reason that they could 'eat' other foods apart from breastmilk then.     

 

What I have thought about - and what it comes down to for me is that breastmilk is better than any solid food I could offer him at this time in his life.  Perfectly balance and perfectly nutritious.  His virgin gut absorbes it beautifully as well.  If food were introduced, then his gut flora would change and that would change the way he digests breastmilk.  Also - you can look this up on kellymom - breastfeeding exclusively for 7 months gives a baby iron stores for life. 

 

I know none of that is specifically what you asked for but other people are reading this and this is just food for thought! :)


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#10 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 01:36 PM
 
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I had this question come up at our last well-baby visit. My ped said that the recommendation is no longer 6 months EBF, but only 4 if your child is at risk for allergies. I've been looking for information and finally found something today, but it's all in German so its not much help for you. The one interesting thing I read from the article is that between the 16th and 25th week babies have a window of best tolerance to newly introduced foods. That's just the usual recommended age of 4-6 months though. However, they do say that babies can go ahead and try a little bit of everything to build up their tolerance instead of avoiding knows allergenes altogether.

Here's the article and there are two links at the bottom to two other organizations, but I haven't read up what they have to save yet.

http://www.eltern.de/gesundheit_ernaehrung/allergien/allergie-und-babyernaehrung.html?ttid=2003943


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#11 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 04:20 PM
 
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Quote:ann_of_loxley
 

 

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/85/2/635S 

 

I would suggest further reading - especially if you are breastfeeding. 


From the above link:

 

"Others have raised concerns that the evidence is insufficient to confidently recommend exclusive breastfeeding for 6 mo for infants in developed countries, that breast milk may not meet the full energy requirements of the average infant at 6 mo of age, and that estimates of the proportion of exclusively breastfed infants at risk of specific nutritional deficiencies are not available."

 

 

I'll be upfront. We started at four months. With purees. He loves them. He also loves mashed avocado, which I think was responsible for his weight gain. He really hit a plateau at 3 months, as he became incredibly active. He's a week away from five months and is already rocking on all fours, getting ready to crawl. He never stops moving.

 

Avocado does have more fat and calories than breastmilk.

 

I think it's an individual decision, but I don't buy the six months recommendation for everyone. The evidence is hardly iron clad.

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#12 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 05:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hannah32 View Post



Quote:ann_of_loxley
 

 

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/85/2/635S 

 

I would suggest further reading - especially if you are breastfeeding. 


From the above link:

 

"Others have raised concerns that the evidence is insufficient to confidently recommend exclusive breastfeeding for 6 mo for infants in developed countries, that breast milk may not meet the full energy requirements of the average infant at 6 mo of age, and that estimates of the proportion of exclusively breastfed infants at risk of specific nutritional deficiencies are not available."

 

 

I'll be upfront. We started at four months. With purees. He loves them. He also loves mashed avocado, which I think was responsible for his weight gain. He really hit a plateau at 3 months, as he became incredibly active. He's a week away from five months and is already rocking on all fours, getting ready to crawl. He never stops moving.

 

Avocado does have more fat and calories than breastmilk.

 

I think it's an individual decision, but I don't buy the six months recommendation for everyone. The evidence is hardly iron clad.



I agree.  I have read (from other reputable sources) a different list of signs of readiness that makes sense to me, including the ability to sit well while supported, good head and neck control (with the ability to turn the head to indicate fullness), and not getting full/satisfied on breastmilk/formula alone.  At four months, my DD was showing all those signs, particularly the last one.  Breastmilk alone just was not cutting it.  She was constantly crying because she was hungry, even after marathon nursing sessions topped off with full bottles of pumped milk.  So, we started with pureed veggies and fruit mixed with cereal.  She gobbled it up and was finally satisfied (and happy!)  She's now seven months and eats everything.  We have no allergies in the family, so we don't have any restrictions on what we give her (with the exception of cow's milk and honey, of course).

 

The AAP guidelines are a bit contradictory.  Some publications indicate that babies should be exclusively breastfed for 6 months, and others say that solids should be introduced between 4 and 6 months.  I would say to follow your baby's lead.  Babies can begin solid foods at four months.  They can begin with purees.  No guilt.  Just enjoy feeding your baby.  Doing so is so much fun!

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#13 of 18 Old 11-16-2010, 07:57 PM
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There is a decent list of signs to solid rediness - and most babies don't have all these capabilities until 9 months of age.  Maybe they hold onto the tongue-thrust relex for a bit longer or maybe they still don't have the pincher grasp...but I honestly have yet to meet a 4 or 5 or even 6 month old capable of all the signs of rediness.  And when you look at the whole human picture this makes a lot of sense.  Taking in that certain stomach enzymes don't reach a peak until 9 months of age as well.    

 


really? dd started solids "early" at 5.5 months, well frankly, because she grabbed a handful of food and shoved it into her mouth.

but she showed all the signs of readiness, including pincer grasp which i wasn't even going to wait on. we did blw and she gagged all of one time. and although as her mother i think she's amazing, it's not like she's some child protegy who is leaps and bounds advanced for her age, yk?


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#14 of 18 Old 11-17-2010, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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There is a decent list of signs to solid rediness - and most babies don't have all these capabilities until 9 months of age.  Maybe they hold onto the tongue-thrust relex for a bit longer or maybe they still don't have the pincher grasp...but I honestly have yet to meet a 4 or 5 or even 6 month old capable of all the signs of rediness.  And when you look at the whole human picture this makes a lot of sense.  Taking in that certain stomach enzymes don't reach a peak until 9 months of age as well.    

 


really? dd started solids "early" at 5.5 months, well frankly, because she grabbed a handful of food and shoved it into her mouth.

but she showed all the signs of readiness, including pincer grasp which i wasn't even going to wait on. we did blw and she gagged all of one time. and although as her mother i think she's amazing, it's not like she's some child protegy who is leaps and bounds advanced for her age, yk?


Yeah, like I said, I was grabbing food away from my crawling 5 mo. old.... he definitely had all the readiness signs (including teeth, which I don't think should really be a factor as I've known 1 yr. olds without any). My 4 mo. old is sitting without support, grabbing things, and working on her first tooth. I think she still has tongue thrust (I gave her an empty spoon and she was pushing on it with her tongue) but doesn't that just show that babies who aren't ready won't eat? So offering solids won't do her any harm. 

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#15 of 18 Old 11-17-2010, 05:06 PM
 
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I feel like this is one of those "to each his own" type things. If you think your baby is ready, why not try it out?

 

Babies aren't all born at 40weeks, not all mother need to be induced at 42weeks, not all babies WANT to breastfeed past 9, 12, 16, 18, 24 months, not all mamas are ready to wean baby by 2 years, not all babies roll, crawl, walk, talk, laugh, smile, potty train at the same age. It seems pretty common sense to me that not all babies will be ready for solids at the same time.

 

Personally, DS is 4 months and is starting to show some interest in my eating. I plan to introduce food when it seems right to me, maybe in a few weeks, maybe not until february. I especially don't see any harm in introducing foods for PLAY, soft avacado and banana, things that DS can play with and mash into his hair and if he eats some, great. If he doesn't, well, at least he has fun. I don't plan on stopping breastfeeding anytime soon, either, so I figure he can enjoy the best of both worlds for as long as it works for us.

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#16 of 18 Old 11-17-2010, 06:18 PM
 
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Personally I wouldn't 'offer' solids before 6 months but if he's going to grab it off my plate at 4.5 or 5 months and shows the other signs of being ready then a random date on the calendar doesn't seem so important anymore.  It also doesn't make sense that there would be one specific time for all babies to be ready for solids.  Why should a baby born at 37 weeks be exactly the same as one born at 42?  Even though they both would be considered term they were born over a month apart!


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#17 of 18 Old 11-18-2010, 06:48 AM
 
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I think that every kid is different. They shouldn't draw a line about when to start solid food. If the baby is ready, why not? My pediatrician suggested me to start solid food from 4 month old and her theory is that the earlier you start solid, the less possible there would be food allergies. But my baby is not ready until 6 and half month old, so I started when he was ready. Now he is eating very well, almost everything. So i would say you know the best time for your baby to start solid.

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#18 of 18 Old 11-18-2010, 08:23 AM
 
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My 5 month DD loves food- she puts her hands in my food all the time, watches us eat like it's the most fascinating thing in the world. Sometimes I give her things like cold mini cucumbers and she gums those like teething toys. That being said, she also tries to put our pet dogs in her mouth! She really REALLY wants to "drink" from our cups, so I got her a plastic one and she will "drink" from it (empty) and seem very satisfied. I am not at all convinced that wanting to do something we do is a sign of readiness. That's just learning. Her hands go everywhere and everything goes in her mouth.

 

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

 

that is the only real source I've bothered to find regarding delaying solids, it looks good enough to me. We have no family allergy history,DD is gaining well, and I don't really want to fuss with feeding so I plan to wait till DD REALLY shows me she's ready.I don't know what that will look like yet! She probably meets all the markers now.

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