Pressure to start solids - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 08:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey folks. My son is 4 months and 2 weeks old right now, and he was born 3 weeks late, so adjusting for gestational age he's five months old. He is still exclusively breast fed.

Recently, I'm getting some pressure (mostly from the grandmothers) to start him on solids. I work nights, and DH does nighttime parenting on the nights I'm at work, and some nights are rougher than others, so solids has been offered as a way to make their nights easier (I don't see how, every mother I've talked to says they do not sleep through the night just because they had some cereal). DS is showing some signs of physical readiness, like making chewing motions, and he's been grabbing for my food, though I think that's less him wanting the food and more him wanting whatever I have.

I honestly feel like it's too early. The AAP advises to wait six months, and Dr. Sears said that their digestive systems are too immature before six months, and while I don't have a family history of food allergies, I don't really want to take a chance, yanno? Plus, when we start solids, we're going to start vaxing, and I'm not ready for that either.

I don't know why I'm getting the solids pressure, because it's not like I don't have bottles of breastmilk available to him (for other people to feed him), and he's still growing really well on my milk. I kind of want him to be able to sit unsupported, and also to have a high chair (we don't have one yet, and I'm waiting for tag sale season to buy one on the cheap). Maybe teeth would be nice, too, as a sure sign that he's ready to chew food.

Am I being selfish? Anyone have some good comebacks to people trying to get me to start solids?

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#2 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 09:00 PM
 
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Ignore them. Tell them you're the mom. Tell them that all major medical organizations say to wait until at least 6 months. Tell them he doesn't meet all the current readiness signs.

Wait until he can sit on his own and feed himself. Before then he's not ready.

-Angela
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#3 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 09:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Angela,

I love you. Didn't you used to have more posts than that?

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#4 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 09:08 PM
 
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I honestly feel like it's too early. The AAP advises to wait six months, and Dr. Sears said that their digestive systems are too immature before six months, and while I don't have a family history of food allergies, I don't really want to take a chance, yanno? Plus, when we start solids, we're going to start vaxing, and I'm not ready for that either.

I don't know why I'm getting the solids pressure, because it's not like I don't have bottles of breastmilk available to him (for other people to feed him), and he's still growing really well on my milk. I kind of want him to be able to sit unsupported, and also to have a high chair (we don't have one yet, and I'm waiting for tag sale season to buy one on the cheap). Maybe teeth would be nice, too, as a sure sign that he's ready to chew food.

Am I being selfish? Anyone have some good comebacks to people trying to get me to start solids?
What you wrote above are good comebacks! They are evidenced based and how are the grandmothers going to agrue with the AAP. You are not being selfish you are looking out for the health of your baby.

Unfortunately this is a part of motherhood- everyone has an opinion on what you should be doing whether you ask or not.
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#5 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 09:19 PM
 
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Yeah, I agree with the previous posters. I just always said "The recommendation now is nothing but breastmilk until at least 6 months." and left it at that. People like to argue but when I just repeated different variations of that, they left me alone. I'm stubborn though and they knew they weren't going to change my mind.

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#6 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 09:21 PM
 
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Angela,

I love you. Didn't you used to have more posts than that?
Yes... it was an april fools joke..

-Angela
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#7 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 09:31 PM
 
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FWIW chewing motions and grabbing at your food aren't really signs of solid readiness. They are normal developmental milestones. So tell that to the grandmothers. My DS2 tries to grab our remote control and put it in his mouth; so according to that theory he's ready to start eating remotes

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#8 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 09:54 PM
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I agree with the pps - you're the mother, and that should be all you really need. But citing the AAP can help. I think sitting up unassisted is an important readiness sign, as is being able to feed himself. Teeth, not so much. DD just got her first one (still not really visible) a week ago, and she's been an enthusiastic self-feeder of everything we eat for a few months now. No purees, she just has learned to chew it all with her gums...
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#9 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 10:18 PM
 
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I agree, ignore them. DS is 8 months and just started a *little* solids. no spooning for us either.
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#10 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 10:41 PM
 
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Nod and smile, and then stick to what you know is best for your baby. In my experience, arguing with family about childrearing is typically stressful and unproductive. If you've already told them why you're waiting and they persist in offering their advice, just listen and then talk about something else. You don't have to answer to them for your choices.

Another thing that helps is to be very selective about what you tell family members who approach parenting from a different perspective. In this case, you might want to avoid talking much about your DS's sleep habits. He's a normal baby and you're a normal, tired mom, but if you know somebody is going to offer non-child-friendly advice, you might want to answer inquiries about your choices or his habits with "everybody's fine, how was your weekend?"

may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living whatever they sing is better than to know  - e.e. cummings
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#11 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 11:31 PM
 
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Although my mom and mom-in-law are both wonderful people, they also started pressuring me about starting DD on solids at around 6 months. I really felt like she wasn't ready (not sitting up on her own yet, no teeth, wanting to grab everything and put it in her mouth with no special distinction for food, plus just a strong feeling that she wasn't ready). After she started really watching us eat and slurping, I finally let my mom give her a taste of broccoli, and a week later of squash. That was it. After the squash DD showed NO interest in solid food any more! No more slurping, nothing! I guess she figured, "If that's what it tastes like, I'll stick with milk!"

When she was 8 months I was eating a banana and she suddenly started making sounds like she does when she wants to nurse. So I let her taste it, and she went on a huge banana kick for a week or so. Every time she saw a banana she asked for some. She didn't really eat it, though, just tasted it. Now, at 8 1/2 months we're starting to offer her more types of food, but she's mostly more interested in playing than eating yet. No pressure, because we have a nursing relationship that we both find satisfying, she's growing big and strong, and there's still no food better for her than my milk.

All this to encourage you to listen to your instincts and your baby. Your son will let you know when he's ready. And as far as I've read, the longer you exclusively breastfeed the healthier for your child.

DD 7/07 DS 1/11

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#12 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 11:38 PM
 
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you don't really need a comeback. just say that you don't think your child is ready, and you'll start solids when he is. if they keep bringing it up, change the subject. if they get really pushy, bring out the big guns--something along the lines of, "i'm the mother of this child, and my decision is final."

also, i didn't read the whole thread so maybe this has been addressed already, but why are you going to vax when you start solids? if you're not ready to vax, you can continue to hold off. it doesn't have to matter about the solids.

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#13 of 24 Old 04-09-2008, 11:45 PM
 
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Our lo is just over a year and we just started solids@!! I agree with everyone and just keep repeating the aap info. I also read that (the who said) that if all babies under 6 months were exclusively breastfed there'd be something like a million babies a year saved. (I might be butchering this quote--check it out!) I like to use the who (world health organization) because they're better than aap and who can argue with them.! Your baby will be perfect whether you start at 6 months or 12 months. Our lo is SO healthy and our doc supports waiting because of the evidence. They don't actually NEED food for SO long. Plus, everyone told me she'd never learn to eat if I didn't start by 6 months. My comeback for that is, "funny, my mom started me at one year and look at me now--obviously I learned to eat!" hth!!
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#14 of 24 Old 04-10-2008, 12:52 AM
 
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Plus, everyone told me she'd never learn to eat if I didn't start by 6 months.
What, is it like language, the window closes and then . . . she'd just have to take it from a bottle for life??? Hm.

One thing that seems to help w/MIL is to say, "DH and I agree that . . . ." Apparently she thinks he's the reasonable one.
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#15 of 24 Old 04-10-2008, 02:44 AM - Thread Starter
 
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also, i didn't read the whole thread so maybe this has been addressed already, but why are you going to vax when you start solids? if you're not ready to vax, you can continue to hold off. it doesn't have to matter about the solids.
I'm not vaxing before solids because the baby is getting all his immunity from me. When I'm not his primary food source anymore, I'm going to start shots. But I'm doing selective vaxing, and my pedi is on board, and just because he has two teaspoons of rice cereal doesn't mean I need to vax, I just...I don't know. I always put the two together.

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What, is it like language, the window closes and then . . . she'd just have to take it from a bottle for life??? Hm.
My mother and I were talking about co-sleeping, and she said, "if you dont' get him out of your bed now, the next thing you know he'll be four and crying every time you leave the room!" I had several problems with that, but the biggest one was that she was conveniently forgetting about three years worth of parenting in there. Seriously.

Thank you guys for all your support. Between you and my LC (who agrees that it's too early) I'm going to continue to wait. It's nice to have such a big support system!

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#16 of 24 Old 04-10-2008, 02:56 AM
 
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good for you for sticking to your plan!

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I'm not vaxing before solids because the baby is getting all his immunity from me. When I'm not his primary food source anymore, I'm going to start shots. But I'm doing selective vaxing, and my pedi is on board, and just because he has two teaspoons of rice cereal doesn't mean I need to vax, I just...I don't know. I always put the two together.
to be quite honest, i've never heard of this rationale about vaccinating/breastfeeding before. my dd is almost 2 1/2 YEARS old and i still know that she is getting a big immune boost from breastmilk. can you elaborate more on your ideas about this?
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#17 of 24 Old 04-10-2008, 03:22 AM - Thread Starter
 
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good for you for sticking to your plan!



to be quite honest, i've never heard of this rationale about vaccinating/breastfeeding before. my dd is almost 2 1/2 YEARS old and i still know that she is getting a big immune boost from breastmilk. can you elaborate more on your ideas about this?
I'll be honest with you and tell you it's not too well researched, but my feeling is that breastmilk is designed to provide immunity to the baby, whose immune system is not well developed. We know that there are maternal white blood cells and immune factors in it. When the baby is exclusively breastfeeding, he'll be getting enough of all those things. When you start solids, however, eventually the baby starts taking more solid food and less breastmilk, so he needs his own immunity, separate of mine.

When he was born, I got the flu vaccine, and I got the pertussis vaccine, to protect him. As he weans, the pertussis vaccine and the polio vaccines are the first ones he's going to get, though I am going to space them out as much as possible. Since he's not in daycare, I'm holding off on the hepatitis vaccine and the MMR and the chicken pox, until I absolutely have to.

I'm doing more research into vaccines. I had never considered not vaccinating until I joined this board, now I'm still sure I want to vax, but I'm not as concrete on how. Does that answer your questions?

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#18 of 24 Old 04-10-2008, 03:36 AM
 
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FWIW chewing motions and grabbing at your food aren't really signs of solid readiness. They are normal developmental milestones. So tell that to the grandmothers. My DS2 tries to grab our remote control and put it in his mouth; so according to that theory he's ready to start eating remotes
Ayep.

I always told my MIL (who fed my husband mushed up MEAT at 2 WEEKS b/c she thought that's what the GP said to do...took an expensive phone call to Seoul and her mother screaming that American doctors didn't know what they were talking about, and a follow-up convo with the doctor to clear that up) that my son would lick the cat's behind and eat whatever's on the bottom of our shoes, too, and that didn't mean I was going to serve up shoe and cat bottom to him.

I knew he was ready when he was ready. He toddled up to me while I was sitting on the ground, pushed me over, grabbed the organic apple I was eating, and took a bite, chewed, and swallowed it. He was just over 11 months. He was READY. And even then, he had that bit of apple, he had some pear, and then he was done for awhile. Made art with bananas but didn't eat them. At some point well into his 2nd year he finally really started eating food, and we never did the mushed up food for him, he just ate what he ate from what we were eating. (he's almost 4 years old now and just the other night had some SPICY Thai soup that none of us had had, he's so experimental with food, and that's something that has SHOCKED our friends and relatives, but we always knew it would be fine)

By the way, adjusting his age b/c he was "late" doesn't make all that much sense. If he wasn't ready to come out, he wasn't ready (and by your sig I see he, like my son, didn't make the decision on his own). My hubby was a 44 week baby whose mother had him when he decided he was ready to come out, and back in '72 the OB simply offered surgery as an option and she said no and that was it, and they waited. But we don't consider him to be a month older than he is, just b/c he was born at 44 weeks. So I wouldn't keep adding those weeks to his age, b/c that just confuses things when it comes to figuring out the age to do things.

I'm "lucky" in that there are food and environmental allergies on both sides, and I lay the blame solely on the early food that both DH and I had. Absolutely no one could argue with me on that, everyone knows the troubles I have with allergies, and they know that DH had to go macrobiotic to cure a brain tumor he had...since he gave up meat and got rid of it, obviously the meat was a problem, meat is a food, meat was his FIRST food...there were NO arguments after we reminded friends and family about all that.

Since you don't have any allergies (any? on any side?) it's not as easy, but you don't really NEED arguments. "No" is a complete sentence, and if anyone tries to feed him anything, they don't get access alone to him anymore. My MIL learned that when I walked in as she was about to give DS non organic apple juice at only a few months old. She didn't get to be alone, even in the living room, with him any more. Simple. Not easy, but simple.

I wish you the best in continuing your research into vaccines. You coudln't pay me to inject myself with one, as I find any of the diseases more palatable than the injections, but I didn't spring forth with that attitude. I heard about it in chiropractic school, rejected it, thought more, learned more about the immune system, met some never-vaxed incredibly healthy people, and finally came around to the way I think now. I won't even step foot in the grocery stores when they are giving their nasal flu vaxes now. But like I said, I didn't start off like that. Have fun researching!!!!
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#19 of 24 Old 04-10-2008, 04:43 AM
 
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Stick to your guns and do what you and your dh feel is best for your baby, I had two very different experiences with introducing solids, ds was sitting up, crawling and cruising around at 5.5 months and really wanted to eat at 6 months, dd wasn't interested at all and didn't really eat or taste things until 13/14 months - do what you feel is the right thing and forget what others think. There's a great book called 'My Child Won't Eat' by Carlos Gonzales (sp?)!! not that you have a problem that way BUT you may find some solutions to the constant pressures.

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#20 of 24 Old 04-10-2008, 10:19 AM
 
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Kind of O/T but I've never heard of adjusting a baby's gestational age for being "overdue." Is this common?
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#21 of 24 Old 04-10-2008, 10:31 AM
 
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Kind of O/T but I've never heard of adjusting a baby's gestational age for being "overdue." Is this common?
Me neither, a due date is just a rough estimate. You only adjust for a preemie, and usually when a preemie is a month or more early. Even then, you only adjust for a period of time.

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#22 of 24 Old 04-10-2008, 10:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Kind of O/T but I've never heard of adjusting a baby's gestational age for being "overdue." Is this common?
Honestly, I've never heard of it being done, but we do it for preemies, when they hit milestones later, and there are milestones my son has hit "earlier", like holding his head up and doing the baby push up and stuff. It makes sense to me, and it would be one reason to start him earlier on solids, but whatever.

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#23 of 24 Old 04-13-2008, 03:25 PM
 
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My son is 7 mo old and ive just started introducing him to solids. Don't listen to anyone pressuring you. I had that problem when I moved to TX when baby was 4 mo old. His pediatrician in Las Vegas thought that it was perfectly acceptable to wait until he was 6 mo. old. His first pediatrician in TX looked at me like I didn't know what I was talking about. I found another pediatrician and she thought it was perfectly fine. Ultimately, your the one that knows what's best for your baby.
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#24 of 24 Old 04-13-2008, 04:48 PM
 
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Do what you feel ready for. My MIL was pressuring me when dd was only 1 month old that she needed to start rice cereal at 3 months because my milk alone isn't enough! I informed her that my Dr. and the rest of the medical community states 6 months and I'll feel it out from there. DD just turned 6 months yesterday and she's had a couple of tastes of pears, apples, bannas and some rice cereal over the last few weeks. It's not regular and I don't feel the need for her to be eating meals just yet.

Though I have a funny story about MIL and solids. Dh talked to MIL 2 days ago and she was telling him that I told her about giving dd a few grains of rice to see what she'd do. She ate it and had no problem (besides, it was plain and what is rice cereal anyways?!) and a tiny pinch of mashed potatoe (plain)- from my finger. She was horrified that she was eating as she's way too young- did I Ok with with my ped? What the hell! She just said a few months ago she needs to be eating by 3 months and now she's flipping out at 6 months for 5 grains of rice- ha ha! I think she needs something else to occupy her time. I LOVE dh's response: "Mom, she's been eating lots of things: pears, apples, bannas, etc and loves them AND she's 6 months old! The doctor says she's fine!). She also thinks that dd should be on purees only- solid food isn't good for her as she's too young! Any solids she has is in her mesh feeder! just my rant...
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