Babies and foods - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: Do you think it's ok for babies to have anything enter their gut before 6+ months?
Nothing but breastmilk 2 2.90%
Only if medication is absolutely necessary, but no foods or supplements of any sort, just breastmilk 12 17.39%
Nothing but breastmilk and supplements (like oral vitamin K, probiotics, possibly tea or gripe water for colic, etc) 19 27.54%
I think it's fine for babies to get small amounts through mouthing things or supplements as long as you aren't actually spoon feeding them solids 14 20.29%
I think it's better if babies get SMALL tastes here and there, I'm not too worried about baby's gut 6 8.70%
I think it is fine to supplement before 6 months with foods/formula/cereal 11 15.94%
I think supplementing with formula is fine, but I wouldn't allow my baby to get any tastes of food before 6 months 2 2.90%
Other (explain) 3 4.35%
Voters: 69. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 36 Old 12-05-2010, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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for my older daughter, we didn't let ANY food touch her lips until she was about 7 months old (though she did get nystatin when she had thrush, vitamins when she was little, and probiotics).  But now that I have a second child, I keep thinking about the fact that 1) they say it's best to start solids at 6-7 months, but there are always other foreign materials other than breastmilk entering her gut, even residue that she mouths off of toys/fingers/the floor and I'll include medications/vitamins/probiotics in this category and even nipple creams or anything on your skin when baby nurses as well and 2) babies by nature shove everything in their mouths

 

So my question is not whether I should break out the rice cereal at 3 months (never used that with my older daughter either), but what you think about allowing her to get residual foods without panicking that I'm ruining her gut and causing lifelong allergies.

 

For example, today I'm eating lunch with her on my lap and she grabbed an apple slice from my hand and started sucking on it.  I really wasn't too worried because she wasn't getting off any chunks (she's 4 months old and totally toothless) and she wasn't even mashing it with her mouth, but by putting it in her mouth at all, I'm sure she got some teeny tiny amounts of apple juices into her gut.

 

Do you allow your babies to get small amounts of food materials in their mouth before actually "starting solids" at 6+ months?  And where do you draw the line?  (as in, are you cool with probiotics or gripe water, but not cool with your baby gnawing a celery stalk?)

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#2 of 36 Old 12-05-2010, 12:06 PM
 
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What a great question and I can't wait to read everyones responses!

I voted for number too because I believe there is nothing better than moms milk. Supplements have their place for sure but when the child is a bit older. Why mess with or try to "improve" upon the plan laid out by God?

As for your question, I'd say not to worry about it. It's all normal

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#3 of 36 Old 12-05-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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I have only my one daughter so far, but from stories I hear from my other friends with more than one, they tended to follow a similar pattern as what you're describing. I think it's actually really common to be very gung-ho with your first-- it's a lot easier to regulate everything when you only have one child to do it for! And for most of them, they relaxed a lot on things like you're describing with the apple slice with their next babies, whether it was out of necessity or out of just a relaxing of parenting methods altogether.

For the record I voted for the third option since that is what I've done with my daughter.

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#4 of 36 Old 12-05-2010, 03:07 PM
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I voted I think it's fine for babies to get food before 6 mos. 

With my first two I thought you should wait until 6 mos., so they did, but with #3 the new research seems to suggest benefits of starting solids before 6 mos. My 4.5 mo. old started them a couple weeks ago. Also, you'd be surprised. She's eaten most of an apple slice, sweet potato fries, bread, etc. without teeth. We have also spoon fed her a couple times. 

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#5 of 36 Old 12-05-2010, 04:17 PM
 
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I know my baby is fine having food before six months. He's doing quite well. Gaining weight finally, thanks to the avocado. My little guy never stops moving. Despite frequent nursing, he wasn't gaining much weight at all once he attained some basic mobility. 

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#6 of 36 Old 12-05-2010, 08:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Could you link me some of this research?  Right now I feel like all the research says to wait, but naturally she'd be grabbing and mouthing everything, way more than what I'm allowing her to get into her mouth.  I feel like it's counter-intuitive to prevent her from getting anything into her mouth.
 

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I voted I think it's fine for babies to get food before 6 mos. 

With my first two I thought you should wait until 6 mos., so they did, but with #3 the new research seems to suggest benefits of starting solids before 6 mos. My 4.5 mo. old started them a couple weeks ago. Also, you'd be surprised. She's eaten most of an apple slice, sweet potato fries, bread, etc. without teeth. We have also spoon fed her a couple times. 



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#7 of 36 Old 12-05-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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I have found that, unfortunately, you can find research to support whichever you want, delaying solids or starting them early. Such is the nature of the internet...

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#8 of 36 Old 12-05-2010, 11:59 PM
 
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Well, I have this consensus paper in German. The paper is very breastfeeding friendly, mentions the WHO recommendation, and then discusses why this paper departs from the WHO rec, (European babies aren't in danger of starving) and goes on to discuss why solids should be starrted between 4-6 months. Among other reasons, it is mentioned that waiting 6 months to introduce solids does not prevent allergies. And introducing glutens early reduces the risk for certain diseases like Diabetes mellitus Type 1 and even reduces the risk of developing celiac by 50% as long as the baby is still nursing. Really wish this paper was translated into Englisch. It's a good read.


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#9 of 36 Old 12-06-2010, 09:23 AM
 
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I voted other, as the one answer about "better" for them to have tastes I don't really agree with. I do think it is ok for them to have tastes though. DS did, certainly before 6 months. He probably started having tastes of things around 5 months or so, because he showed interest. FWIW, only in the last couple months (maybe around the 10 month mark?) have I really tried to encourage more solids and he has been eating real meals maybe the last month.

 

He has NEVER had rice cereal. I don't see the point or the need. He does have jarred food occasionally, and for that, I may thicken it with Earth Best's organic oatmeal if it is kind of runny.  Otherwise he eats what we do, within reason. (he doesn't really care for spicy food just yet! but if he takes after us, he probably will eventually).

 

I think mostly likely the longer you can EBF, great! but also if a child is showing extreme interest - DS did and I know others that do - I see no real harm in letting them have tastes of things. I don't think there is a magical switch in the gut that says other food is ok at 6 months. Some babies are ready for more variety in their diet at 5 months, others aren't really interested at all until the are a year or older.


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#10 of 36 Old 12-06-2010, 09:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrilein View Post

Well, I have this consensus paper in German. The paper is very breastfeeding friendly, mentions the WHO recommendation, and then discusses why this paper departs from the WHO rec, (European babies aren't in danger of starving) and goes on to discuss why solids should be starrted between 4-6 months. Among other reasons, it is mentioned that waiting 6 months to introduce solids does not prevent allergies. And introducing glutens early reduces the risk for certain diseases like Diabetes mellitus Type 1 and even reduces the risk of developing celiac by 50% as long as the baby is still nursing. Really wish this paper was translated into Englisch. It's a good read.


This is interesting, because my pediatrician is adamant that it's completely the opposite-- that there is an enzyme in babies' digestive systems for digesting grain products that isn't present before 12-18 months and that I, as a diabetic person, should hold off on grains for my daughter for as long as possible to allow her body to develop that enzyme in hopes that she won't be afflicted herself.

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#11 of 36 Old 12-06-2010, 03:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The issue I have with these studies is that I don't see differentiation between using a baby-led weaning approach, which to me is a very natural laid back approach that people probably used before there were studies, and using a "shove a bowl full of cereal into baby's mouth and make sure s/he swallows it all" approach that many parents who introduce solids early now probably take.  If I let my 4 month old mouth lots of food, I really wouldn't expect her to ingest much at all until she's older.  My older daughter started tasting foods at 7 months, but barely ate much of anything until maybe 18 months or so and nursed for a solid 3 years. So I'm definitely not trying to replace any nutition with solids, just wondering if any damage would be done to her open/virgin gut if she ingests traces of materials other than breastmilk.  It's a hard answer to find!  Though my husband and I both survived the "solids by 3 months" generation :D and we don't have any food allergies in our family at all.

 

I appreciate the responses!

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#12 of 36 Old 12-06-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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I let my babes start eating at around 5.5 months when they started showing all the signs of being ready.  They never had any troubles are both self led weeners.

 

DS nursed until he was 3.5 years old and DD is still nursing but both needed to have the odd bottle of formula to supplement as I simply am not a machine and hungry babies need to eat whether there is milk in the fridge or not.

 

I had no problem with that.  I think if 90% of their nutrition comes from mama (if possible) within the first 12 months, you're doing great.


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#13 of 36 Old 12-06-2010, 05:08 PM
 
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I voted for the third choice:  breastmilk and supplements, because I think that's ideal.  However, I think that if supplementing with formula is necessary (which I think would be a fairly rare case) obviously that is a fine choice for parents to make, and is not the same as introducing solids early.  If I hadn't had colicky babies, I might have voted breastmilk only, but my experience of trying EVERYTHING has certainly affected my opinion.

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#14 of 36 Old 12-06-2010, 07:23 PM
 
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I voted that I think it's fine for babies to have some supplement or solids before 6 months but that's not always true. I actually should have voted other because I think this is a very case specific question.

 

My first baby I felt very strongly about not starting any solids before 6 months. When we did start solids I went by the book about when and how to introduce which foods. She breast fed for 3 years and never had one drop of formula. She ended up having pretty serious egg and peanut allergies. I don't think I caused them by waiting until 6 months, or over a year for eggs, never for peanuts etc. Just like I now feel like I can't cause my child to have allergies by introducing things before 6 months. My new baby is challenging everything I thought to be right. He's constantly hungry. He screams at the breast because he doesn't like waiting for the let down, but he'll gobble down a bottle of breast milk in 60 seconds (he's only ever had 3 in his life though). He grabs at our food and puts it in his mouth. If we don't give it to him or he can't manage to get it in there he screams. He has no tongue thrust and he's almost tripled his birth weight. He's 4 months!!! I absolutely could not hold this child off from eating food until 6 months. I would feel like a horrible mother if I did, and I would have a very very unhappy baby who would likely scream all day long.

 

So my official answer is that this is one of those things I chose to follow my babies cues about. I think it's ideal to only give a baby breast milk until 6+ months, and if I have a number 3 I'll make that my goal again. But I also don't think it's necessarily damaging if a particular baby seems to need it before the 6 month mark. And now I understand moms who say their baby actually needs more because I'm right there.


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#15 of 36 Old 12-06-2010, 09:46 PM
 
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Both of my kids started sucking on chunks of food around 5mo.  They had all the signs of eating readiness and really WANTED to eat.  Both went on to be good eaters with no issues what-so-ever.  I think that you should listen to your kids needs and if he/she seems honestly ready then it's fine imo.  I would say that 4mo is kind of on the really young side, but each kid is different with different needs.  Good luck!  Oh, and NO NO NO NO rice cereal!  ;)


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#16 of 36 Old 12-06-2010, 11:17 PM
 
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Yeah, this is pretty much how we're going. My dd refused solids when we introduced them at 6 months until she was 10 months old. I was cool with ebf for that long and I tried offering solids once a week to see if there was any interest developing. She had developed coincidentally neurodermititis at 6 months, but all allergy tests came back negative. This baby, however, is like yours. Cranky at the breast, screaming when everyone else was eating. Now he's just 4.5 months old and devouring everthing you set in front of him. He freaks out at meal times if he doesn't get to eat, too. However, his coordination is woefully lacking so I have to help him handle spoons, pieces of food, etc. So I get to feed him before we eat. I had been planning on waiting until 6 months again. I was shocked at the information my ped gave us, told him I'd wait for signs of readiness, and decided to research a bit. In the end, it was ds who decided when he was going to start solids and chucked all my BLW plans out the window.
 

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I voted that I think it's fine for babies to have some supplement or solids before 6 months but that's not always true. I actually should have voted other because I think this is a very case specific question.

 

My first baby I felt very strongly about not starting any solids before 6 months. When we did start solids I went by the book about when and how to introduce which foods. She breast fed for 3 years and never had one drop of formula. She ended up having pretty serious egg and peanut allergies. I don't think I caused them by waiting until 6 months, or over a year for eggs, never for peanuts etc. Just like I now feel like I can't cause my child to have allergies by introducing things before 6 months. My new baby is challenging everything I thought to be right. He's constantly hungry. He screams at the breast because he doesn't like waiting for the let down, but he'll gobble down a bottle of breast milk in 60 seconds (he's only ever had 3 in his life though). He grabs at our food and puts it in his mouth. If we don't give it to him or he can't manage to get it in there he screams. He has no tongue thrust and he's almost tripled his birth weight. He's 4 months!!! I absolutely could not hold this child off from eating food until 6 months. I would feel like a horrible mother if I did, and I would have a very very unhappy baby who would likely scream all day long.

 

So my official answer is that this is one of those things I chose to follow my babies cues about. I think it's ideal to only give a baby breast milk until 6+ months, and if I have a number 3 I'll make that my goal again. But I also don't think it's necessarily damaging if a particular baby seems to need it before the 6 month mark. And now I understand moms who say their baby actually needs more because I'm right there.




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#17 of 36 Old 12-07-2010, 02:35 AM
 
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We went through a little bit of the "freak out because everyone else has food" when Cecilia was under 6 months so my answer was to give her frozen breastmilk cubes in a mesh feeder. It worked like a charm, and it made me feel better because I really didn't want to give her solids before 6 months and I was adamant about BLW. So far so good on all of it. smile.gif

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#18 of 36 Old 12-07-2010, 06:24 AM
 
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my dd got small tastes of things before 6 months. she put everything in her mouth, so inevitably, some food items were among them. there was a clear distinction in her mind between "food" and "not-food" that occurred at about 8 months though.... before that, food was not more worthwhile to gum on than anything else. but i am still amazed at that lightbulb moment concerning food though, where we went from occasional experimentation with food to "give me a meal now how DARE you sit down to eat without offering me something ARGGHH!" having witnessed that, i would not be concerned with a baby having solids before 6 months anymore, because it's clear to me that that moment occurs at different times in each baby. what's more important is that food is offered, not forced, and that breastmilk still be the main source of nutrition.

 

my nephew, for example, was one of those babies who had that "ahah!" moment fairly early... before 6 months i'm pretty sure. but it concerned me that my sister was spoon feeding him  large amounts of cereal and purees from 4 months (i.e taking his first signs of interest to be signs that he needed a full meal) and that solids were used to replace breastmilk. recommendations for early introduction to solids might be fact-based, but i think that lots of parents, especially those having a hard time with breastfeeding (or not completely comfortable/supportive of it) can use that recommendation to shift a baby's main nutrition from breastmilk to solids.

 

my one concern with early solids is that logically, it doesn't make sense that we evolved to feed very young babies (i.e under one year) very much in the way of solids. food has been a very precious commodity for most of our existence as humans, and if you've ever seen a baby eat, you know that they are not the most efficient eaters. they would require soft, sweet, ripe foods, and those foods are not plentiful in nature. no way our ancestors were sitting around letting precious ripe fruits get smushed into the ground by an uncoordinated baby... whereas an adult female can take the more plentiful coarser foods and turn them into a concentrated, efficient energy source for a baby. today we have perfect baby foods in abundance, so it doesn't bother me when my dd drops a whole piece of banana on the ground or smushes it into her hair. but if that was the only banana we were going to see all week? heck no! i would be eating that banana myself, and giving her breastmilk instead.

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#19 of 36 Old 12-07-2010, 07:17 AM
 
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yeahthat.gif And that's probably also one of the reasons why historically children were the last in line to be fed.


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#20 of 36 Old 12-07-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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I'm pretty laid back about babies and solids... I voted for option number four.  My husband and I may or may not have given our babe TINY tastes of a variety of foods from several months on...it was fun to watch his reaction. ;)  Heck, I gave my seven month old half a chocolate chip yesterday; mother of the year right here!  But we haven't fed him any rice cereal and actually started doing "official" BLW (and spoon feeding a few things) around 5.5 months, when he showed all the signs of readiness.  I'm all for EBFing until 6ish months old, but little tastes or starting a few weeks early doesn't bother me.  Since my mother (and many in her generation) was supposedly gumming STEAK at 3 weeks old, I'm pretty chill about this. 


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#21 of 36 Old 12-07-2010, 02:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terrilein View Post

Well, I have this consensus paper in German. The paper is very breastfeeding friendly, mentions the WHO recommendation, and then discusses why this paper departs from the WHO rec, (European babies aren't in danger of starving) and goes on to discuss why solids should be starrted between 4-6 months. Among other reasons, it is mentioned that waiting 6 months to introduce solids does not prevent allergies. And introducing glutens early reduces the risk for certain diseases like Diabetes mellitus Type 1 and even reduces the risk of developing celiac by 50% as long as the baby is still nursing. Really wish this paper was translated into Englisch. It's a good read.


Haha that's funny, my SIL presented me with an article about this research recently (we are also in Germany), and I sort of got annoyed and snippy, because she was coming at me saying "Yeah PJ, this says breastmilk is not enough after 3 or 4 months and you should start with purees now, etc". I was annoyed because I like to believe, quite firmly, that exclusively BFing is the very best for all babies for the first six months, and sometimes beyond if the baby hesitates in starting solids right at six months. I voted for the third option, because it's what we've done. And I agree with Cecelia's Mama that you can find research to support ANY opinion these days (I mean, the CIO folks have their research too). We are also doing BLW so I didn't even want to get into it with SIL about why we're skipping purees because this research is not compatible with that. 

 

Aaaanyway, I don't think it's going to cause any major harm to give a baby under 6 months an apple to gnaw on. I didn't do it, but I try not to be too uptight about this stuff and once my hubby gave DS some bread at 5 months and he of course put it right in his mouth...and this was before we started solids and our plan is to give only very limited grains at first....but I didn't really mind because, well, ya gotta choose your battles so to speak and this just didn't strike me as such a big deal.


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#22 of 36 Old 12-07-2010, 03:39 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abraisme View Post

Both of my kids started sucking on chunks of food around 5mo.  They had all the signs of eating readiness and really WANTED to eat.  Both went on to be good eaters with no issues what-so-ever.  I think that you should listen to your kids needs and if he/she seems honestly ready then it's fine imo.  I would say that 4mo is kind of on the really young side, but each kid is different with different needs.  Good luck!  Oh, and NO NO NO NO rice cereal!  ;)



First-time mom here. Why no rice cereal?

 


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#23 of 36 Old 12-08-2010, 02:58 AM
 
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I can't believe your SIL tried pressuring you with this article! That's totally NOT what I got out of it. How's your German, and did you read the paper through yourself? (For the rest of you ladies interested in it) It says that ideally you should start solids between 4-6 months (definitely NOT before 4 months), and that this is a very individual thing (every baby is different), and that you should NOT stop nursing. At no point did I read anything about a mother's milk lacking anything (vitamins, minerals, etc) or not being enough. (But maybe one of the studies this paper is based on says that.) So basically you can exclusively bf until 6 months according to this article. You'd just be starting solids at the end of this optimal time window which is really no big dea. I understood this paper as basically giving everyone a green light to start solids earlier if baby is showing readiness and that waiting due to allergies is not necessary since there's no proof that this helps prevents allergies at all. But the paper does recommend those with allergy concerns to start earlier than later. Still, the paper takes the individual child's development, interest in food, and ability to eat into consideration. So starting at 4 months is definitely NOT required for every baby.

The paper specifically recommends introducing solids NOT before the 17th week (4 months), but not later than the 26th week (6 months) either. Further it specifically says that nursing exclusively for 4-6 months accommodates the developmental needs of each child and is scientifcally documented. So if your SIL still uses this paper to give you grief - which I doubt since your baby has probably already started solids in the meantime? -  tell her she needs to put her glasses on and re-read it.

Anyhow, I exclusively nursed my dd 6 months before offering solids and ended up nursing her exclusively for 10 months because she wasn't interested in solids at all. At that point we practically skipped purees and switched to table food or BLW very quickly. We also nursed for 3.5 years. So I'd be the last person on earth to claim that a mother's milk isn't enough after x months. I think that as long as everyone keeps in mind that solids are for experimenting in the first year and that milk remains the most important source of nutrion, then it's ok to start solids before the 6 months if the baby is ready. I wish I could have done BLW with this baby, but he's very happy to be getting his purees and I'm hopeful that his coordination will soon improve so that he can start feeding himself more.

And yes, you can find studies to support anything your heart desires, but this paper makes really good sense and is still very bf friendly. That's why I recommend reading it.
 

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Haha that's funny, my SIL presented me with an article about this research recently (we are also in Germany), and I sort of got annoyed and snippy, because she was coming at me saying "Yeah PJ, this says breastmilk is not enough after 3 or 4 months and you should start with purees now, etc". I was annoyed because I like to believe, quite firmly, that exclusively BFing is the very best for all babies for the first six months, and sometimes beyond if the baby hesitates in starting solids right at six months. I voted for the third option, because it's what we've done. And I agree with Cecelia's Mama that you can find research to support ANY opinion these days (I mean, the CIO folks have their research too). We are also doing BLW so I didn't even want to get into it with SIL about why we're skipping purees because this research is not compatible with that. 

 

Aaaanyway, I don't think it's going to cause any major harm to give a baby under 6 months an apple to gnaw on. I didn't do it, but I try not to be too uptight about this stuff and once my hubby gave DS some bread at 5 months and he of course put it right in his mouth...and this was before we started solids and our plan is to give only very limited grains at first....but I didn't really mind because, well, ya gotta choose your battles so to speak and this just didn't strike me as such a big deal.


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#24 of 36 Old 12-08-2010, 03:22 AM
 
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Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?

 

With DD1 i had to supplement with FF from 5months and then began on solids with spoon feeding AND rice cereal from 5.5months.  I cannot recall what her signs of readiness were - i think she didn't have any actually.  But she didn't seem to suffer.  It was a LOT of work feeding her, and i couldn't have meals "with" her because mine would get cold while i fed her, or she would cry while i ate and she waited.  It was just silly!  With DD2 of course i have both experience and have read/thought more and we are theoretically doing BLW.  BUT a) the first "food" DD2 had was given to her, at 5.25months, by a friend's toddler (it was a bit of croissant!) so that was the 6months holy EBF wrecked (not really, being dramatic! lol) and then about 10 days after that she took the toast crust from her sister's hand (it was NOT being offered!) and shoved it straight in her mouth and when it was taken back she screamed and screamed.  So from then we just offered her what we were eating.

 

She was "officially" 6 months on Saturday just, and she has already tried steak, brocolli, curry, rice, naan, chapati, red pepper, pasta with many-veg sauce, other breads and a LOT of toast (we are bread people!), egg, cheese, sushi, carrot, avocado, apple, banana, onions, a chip and those organic baby biscuits (which i bought because she's teething and loves to get something hard to chomp on, and i like to have something in my bag to offer if we're eating something unsuitable so she doesn't sit and cry through the whole meal), porridge, yogurt (greek and fruit).  She really loves tasting things so i don't mash anything, i just give her a little portion of whatever we're having.  If it's sloppy i load the spoon for her but i don't spoon it in very often, i just leave her to it.

 

I don't plan on making any effort to help her eat bigger portions, i'm just going to keep offering food and BFing her and expect she will gradually switch over to eating more.  Not worrying about it right now anyway.

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Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?


The next argument that people make is that rice cereal is good because it is iron fortified. Well, there is some evidence that the iron in fortified rice cereal is not easily absorbed by the baby's body, like iron would be in foods that are naturally iron rich. So beyond it being a bulk filler, it also may not be as good for low iron babies as the cereal companies claim.

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#26 of 36 Old 12-08-2010, 06:19 AM
 
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Yep, i have also been told "you can mix things with it so the baby gets used to the new flavours" but i have heard that breastmilk takes on the flavours of what mama has been eating and anyway, i don't think onions taste like rice-cereal-with-onions-in-it, i think they taste like onions.  I do think the whole "methodology" and mindset we have in the West surrounding baby foods and feeding is due to the influence of formula and baby food companies for the last 60+ years.  The insistence that babies are fussy little things which will get ill at the drop of a hat stems back from times when babies would refuse or drink but then die of drinking formula's made of things like pea flour and potash (which the manufacturers claimed were "the exact ingredients of breastmilk").  There is this whole "mystique" and medicalisation of how it's done (like "fortified with iron") which is a symptom of that.  Really if it's so hard to feed babies and they are so delicate and fragile, how on EARTH did we survive the last 80million years?  I was once told VERY vehemently by someone that i was cruel to offer my baby curry and that it would make her very ill.  I asked "what do you think babies in India eat!?" and was met with stunned silence.  I really really think it's ok, probably ideal, to give the baby breastmilk for as long as they need it and let them eat the food they grab at from when they do so.  Unless one lives on fast food, junk food and candy that's going to be the most natural way to introduce the family's normal diet to the new family members, right?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?




The next argument that people make is that rice cereal is good because it is iron fortified. Well, there is some evidence that the iron in fortified rice cereal is not easily absorbed by the baby's body, like iron would be in foods that are naturally iron rich. So beyond it being a bulk filler, it also may not be as good for low iron babies as the cereal companies claim.


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Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?

 

 Okay, so I have to agree that fortified "baby" rice cereal from a box is probably gross and void of nutrition, as you say.

 

However, we eat a lot of rice cereal around here...it's one of my favorite breakfasts.  I soak and roast brown sweet (sticky) rice, then grind it in a stone flour mill, and use it to make porridge.  It is nutty and delicious, and certainly not void of nutrition, and I definitely would not prefer carrots or yams for breakfast, although I love both.  I would not compare the rice cereal to breastmilk nutritionally, but then I wouldn't make that comparison with carrots or yams either.

 

I know some avoid grains until their babes are older, but brown rice is a delicious and nutritious food that is easy to digest.

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#28 of 36 Old 12-09-2010, 05:28 AM
 
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I don't want to restate the obvious, but the thing you are making in your home (which sounds delicious) is NOT what the babyfood companies are selling.  I LOVE brown rice, and even a puffed white rice cereal can be nice for an occasional change, but the powder you get in the box from the store is just, well, not that, you know?  Have you ever seen/tried the commercial babyrice?  It's something else!  I wouldn't call your rice porridge babyrice, i would call it homemade rice porridge.  I'm not saying ALL rice is void of nutrition, just the shop-bought-babyrice one gets thrust on one with every turned page in the baby mags, pamphlets in supermarkets, ads in "weaning advice" leaflets etc.
 

If i lived closer i would be trying to buy a bag of your ground rice (the process sounds labour intensive for a lazy susan like me :))!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?

 

 Okay, so I have to agree that fortified "baby" rice cereal from a box is probably gross and void of nutrition, as you say.

 

However, we eat a lot of rice cereal around here...it's one of my favorite breakfasts.  I soak and roast brown sweet (sticky) rice, then grind it in a stone flour mill, and use it to make porridge.  It is nutty and delicious, and certainly not void of nutrition, and I definitely would not prefer carrots or yams for breakfast, although I love both.  I would not compare the rice cereal to breastmilk nutritionally, but then I wouldn't make that comparison with carrots or yams either.

 

I know some avoid grains until their babes are older, but brown rice is a delicious and nutritious food that is easy to digest.



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#29 of 36 Old 12-09-2010, 03:32 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

Rice cereal is pretty void, nutritionally speaking - you often see on the box "with added vitamins" because it has almost NOTHING good in it.  It's just bulk and calories (i'm pretty sure breastmilk has more calories, per ounce, though).  A lot of folks avoid it in favour of "real food".  And by that i mean table foods, mashed or not, as you prefer.  Arguably rice cereal just gets babies used to swallowing something less runny than breastmilk, but wouldn't you rather have a bit of carrot or some sweet potato than mushed rice?

 

 Okay, so I have to agree that fortified "baby" rice cereal from a box is probably gross and void of nutrition, as you say.

 

However, we eat a lot of rice cereal around here...it's one of my favorite breakfasts.  I soak and roast brown sweet (sticky) rice, then grind it in a stone flour mill, and use it to make porridge.  It is nutty and delicious, and certainly not void of nutrition, and I definitely would not prefer carrots or yams for breakfast, although I love both.  I would not compare the rice cereal to breastmilk nutritionally, but then I wouldn't make that comparison with carrots or yams either.

 

I know some avoid grains until their babes are older, but brown rice is a delicious and nutritious food that is easy to digest.



These are totally different things. Brown rice is totally different than white rice. Super Baby Food has lots of "super porridge" or whatever it is. Our kids eat and still eat variations of it for breakfast. But it always has fruit and whole milk yogurt.

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#30 of 36 Old 12-09-2010, 03:48 PM
 
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To quote my sister, mother of four, "solids are great at first, so fun, but then you realize you have to feed them every day." As a result each of her kids nurses longer and longer longer until she started solids. It just wasnt worth the hassle.

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