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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
OK, DS is 4.5 months old. Exclusively BF. He took a bottle of EBM great from birth until around 8 weeks and gradually started refusing them....we've tried everything, he won't take any of them. He will sip out of a regular cup though. He is 18.5 pounds - very chunkalicious!!

I am on call at night as a hospice nurse and am gone for shorter periods of time, but never know when I'll be gone. At times DS has been hungry during that time and had a melt down until I came home (I had a meltdown too, until I got home.)

At his 4 month check up the ped said we could start solids if we wanted to anytime now...I had no desire to start until after 6 months as I've read how beneficial waiting can be. But I did buy the gerber rice cereal and a natural food brand to compare the labels at home. I ended up being gone much longer than I anticipated last night (somebody died unexpectedly) and DS was hungry, the sips out of a cup weren't cutting it. DH took it upon himself to try some cereal...DS attacked it and ate every last drop.

Now I don't know what to do, I don't really want to feed it to him regularly yet, but it looks as though he may be ready to try it since he did so well. DH taped it, he looks so funny opening his mouth wide when the spoon was coming!

So do I start to give him some cereal every day or save it for emergency situations when he won't take any EBM in any way? It's so hard to know what the "right" thing to do is...
 

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I don't see the problem with feeding him rice cereal on occassion while you are gone, especially since he devoured it and was interested in eating it. I always went with my children's cues, not necessarily a book or a ped recommendation. With my oldest child she didn't start solids until after 6m old, but with my second child at 3-4 months he started looking at our food when we ate like he was missing out on something. He was sitting up and crawling around five months old, so I decided to try him on cereal. He LOVED it! We then moved to fruits and yogurt. He loved eating and never had any problems with it. My youngest son didn't eat solids until he was over 13m old due to hypotonia. So I have had three children that really range in age when they started solids.
 

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What about yogurt? I don't think there is anything magical about rice cereal that it needs to be the "first food". Or better, make yogurt from your BM! Then he will think he's eating and be getting your BM at the same time. I agree 4 months is young but sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do!
 

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I agree with others that posted, that I would only give solids at this young age when absolutely necessary (and not regulary till a at least 6mths) and if he wouldn't take water or breastmilk in other containers while I was gone. It is good that he is showing signs, that would put me more at ease. But I still would choose something besides gerber cereal. Iron fortified cereal can interfer with the iron absorption in your breastmilk. Better choices are mashed banana or cooked mashed sweet potato as first foods and more nutritious and are whole foods. I even have put a little breastmilk in as I mashed it so they would be more used to the taste.

And just to add it sounds like your guy may really like solids so be careful during the first year that you maintain the balance of more breastmilk than solids--solids being a dessert portion. There is plenty of time for solids-his whole life- and only a small amount of time that he will get breastmilk.

Best of luck!
Kim Ann
 

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I really think yogurt is a bad idea. Milk is the #1 most common food allergy. It's especially a problem in kids under 6 months of age. People who don't have the allergy in their family should wait till at least 9 mos to try ANY dairy products other than formula and people who do have it in their family should wait at least a year. I am allergic to milk (and eggs and tomatoes) and my older son had a severe reaction to dairy (it was formula when I had to go back to work full-time, but before I bought my PIS and couldn't pump enough w/ my Isis) at 7mos. He also had an anaphylactic reaction to soy formula. He isn't allergic now, though. I think the standard recommendation is for people w/ no history to try yogurt, but nothing else, at 9 mos or later, then milk, cheese, etc ata year, and people w/ a history to not try ANY dairy until at least one year.

That said, I didn't give my first real meals until he was close to a year old. He wanted to taste what I was eating ocasionally starting around 7 mos old, but didn't take more than a bite or 2 until around 9 mos. They tried to feed him at daycare starting at 6 mos, but he wasn't interested at all. He did drink about 30oz of ebm every day, though, not including what he got when he nursed every 3 hours at night! When he was around 10 mos old, he started eating chunky food at daycare. I think his problem was that he hated the mushy pureed stuff and just refused to eat until he was offered real food. Being a first time mom, I didn't know better, but I think it turned out for the best for him anyway b/c of his food allergies. He outgrew every single one of them, and I think his self-delaying solids had a lot to do w/ that. He suddenly switched, on his own, from mainly bm to mainly solids around 13 mos. It was a very sudden switch, very different from the very gradual way my 2nd ds did it.

My second started showing definite signs of wanting to eat solids before he was even 4 mos old! I was planning on holding off as long as possible, but finally he blew up about it at a dinner at our synagogue of all places when I was there w/ the 2 kids w/out dh. He was around 5 mos old. Our rabbi was sitting next to me watching me struggle with him screaming, refusing to nurse and grabbing at my food. I said I think he wants my food! (You can imagine how embarrassed I was w/ him screaming and making a scene, trying to nurse him, etc. At least I knew my rabbi was an extended bf, so I knew she was ok w/ seeing me trying to get him on the boob, even if some of the older people around weren't. LOL!) She said, well that's the beauty of waiting till they're ready, you can just give it to him w/out worrying about mashing it up, etc, and suggested I give him a carrot. I was like oh duh! So I gave him some mushy cooked carrots and he gobbled them up like they were going out of style. Since that day, he has been a 3 meals a day man w/ snacks in between (used to be only bm, but now he just eats constantly).

If he is ready, I see no reason to not give him solids, although I would try to find something a bit more nutritious than baby cereal, which is basically white refined bleached flour w/ added (i.e. mostly undigestible) vitamins and minerals. My ds liked veggies a lot at that age, and fruit of course. He also like the jarred meats, but we rarely got them (organic is hard to find and I would only buy organic jared food. He wouldn't eat meat I ground in the baby food grinder for some reason.) And I wouldn't give him much. Maybe just when you're gone, or if you want him to have a schedule, just a tiny bit once a day for now. That's what I would do anyway. My 2nd ds, I just gave him whatever we were eating at meals if it were non chokable. Sometimes he'd eat a lot (like 2 mouthfuls--I consider that a lot at that age at every meal) and sometimes he'd eat nothing. I would cook the veggies longer than usual just for him. And I spiced the food as normal. He actually likes spicy food while ds1 will still not touch anything that has anything hotter than a tiny bit of black pepper in it. Since I'm allergic to milk and eggs myself, which are the big no-no's, I didn't have to worry about what was in the food. He didn't show any signs of food allergies, but I don't think he's ever had anything w/ eggs. And I'm not going to try that until I have him allergy tested. My ped wanted to wait till he was 2 for that, though. He eats cheddar Goldfish crackers though.
 

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Hi - I was a hospice nurse in my life before babe - I know how stressful those on call situations can be - I can only imagine how you felt knowing little on was at home freaking out!!!

Anyway - I always thought that I would have this baby who would be EBF for at least 9 mos or longer, but boy is he showing me!!! He is precocious in every way, and at 4.5 mos, EBF, 21#, practically sitting up on his own he started to stare at me and dh while we ate...and drool... hmmmm... I have held him off as long as I could but this past week he has meltdowns watching us eat, grabs at food, etc. He can sit on his own, basically has mastery of pincer grasp, no tongue thrust, gag is not a problem. So, we started banana for a week and introduced avocado tonight. When I sign for "more?" he grabs my hand and shoves it in his mouth (I scrape the food and feed it with my finger). He is digesting well, no gastric distress or weird poop changes. I am floored. The TWO things I wouldn't give him right now, though, are dairy and cereal/grains. Just based on allergenicity alone, not to mention what it would do to his GI tract (if I eat cows milk or gluten and then bf it does a number on him!) I just keep reading over and over that banana, avocado, sweet potato are the best 1st foods. Try it,and see if that satisfies him. Tonight we had dinner a little late - I couldn't figure out why "little" one was crying so much, despite nursies and every other trick that usually comforts. Well, he was also wanting "solid" food. He squealed with joy when dh got out a banana! He ate a bunch and then went on to have a wonderful lengthy nursing!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well, it's two weeks later and DS hasn't had any more cereal as I've been home. Now we are just about 5 months. I feel so conflicted about the whole feeding issue. DS is starting to get very aggrevated when we eat, if you hand him a toy as he sits in his highchair he tries to devour your hand!! And today at lunch I had him in my lap and he nearly stold a piece of broccoli from my plate! He is constantly trying to take things off our plate when we eat the last week or so, we are going to have to stop holding him while we eat or soon he may sneak something past us!! I bought some sweet potatoes today at the store and thought of making them with supper, if DS continues to look interested can I give him tastes? Or should I try to hold out? Why is parenting so hard
!!
 

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I think it's fine to give him tastes. I wouldn't be so worried about it, just take things as slow as he will allow you to.
 

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Have you tried sitting him in a high chair at the table with you, and giving him a bowl, spoon, and cup to play with? Maybe some water or ebm in the cup?

If you do offer some "tastes" of solids at 5mo, I'd keep it to REALLY small portions.

BTW, Hannah's first food was a fistfull of apple cobbler from my plate when I held her at my lap during lunch at a friend's house. My friend pointed out that Hannah had grabbed some food, and I said "Well, I guess she's ready for solids!!" I had been planning to wait until she was over 6mo
 

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I HIGHLY recommend Super Baby Food by Ruth Yaron.

It really goes into detail when a baby is ready to eat and what they should or should not have at certain stages.

Unless you feel you are empty all the time in the breasts, I probably see no reason to feed the baby at 4 months. The book I named also talks why 6 months is more appropriate. I will admit I started my baby at 4 months on organic: avocado, sweet potato, and banana but that is it (their little body doesn't have certain enzymes to effectively digest milk stuff or other proteins so be careful at 4 months)..and the reason I did is because I'm drained all the time in the breasts, I can't keep up. I make sure I empty my breasts tho before she gets an ounce of the liquid food. That is all I give her is an ounce though.

I was really suprised that my little one knew to open her mouth and look at me when I sat her in the high chair. I was like huh???? I then gave her a child cup with a tablespoon of water after her solid/liquid and all be darned if she didn't realize she had to drink it! Of course it dribbled everywhere but it sure reinforced to me how much they watch us...I always had heard but never saw it in practice.

Sherra
 

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Hi again - I had posted above about my ds starting solids. I just wanted to update you. He was doing what you are describing - grabbing and getting pi$$ed while watching us eat. So, we did try the banana and avocado, but that only lasted a few nights. Over the next few days, he didn't want it anymore. I almost feel like he just wanted to "try it". Maybe this is what your babe is going through, too. The bits he had seemed to curb his enthusiasm and now he is back to ebf, happily playing with a cup and colored block at mealtime.
 

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That is a good point. Very important that we watch the baby's cues. If my baby even shows disinterest, We'll stop. I try to think of her since she can't talk...how would I feel if someone did this to me? Like shoving in food if I do not want it.

The la leche leagues book made me feel confident that if baby just breastfeeds for a year and nothing else, she'll do just fine. So I am just going with the flow and letting her guide me.
 

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Sorry, I didn't mean to imply it was OK to feed a baby yogurt, I was more thinking of BM yogurt.

But is the dairy in yogurt really worse than that in formula? In my Baylor Pediatric Nutrition Handbook that has the list of ingredients of all the formulas, most of them are basically made out of nonfat milk and whey protein concentrate. It seems, to me, that giving formula would be just as bad, dairy wise. At least in yogurt there are the enzymes that help make it more digestable, especially for lactose intolorant types (not allergies AFAIK). But so would it really be worse to give yogurt than formula? I personally wouldn't give either to such a small kid, but I am just wondering if we can really say one is better or worse. Of course if you were going to give alot of either food formula would be better since it has more of the nutrients (like if we were talking about replacing breastmilk), but just from the standpoint of "introducing dairy" to the kid's body, is one better than the other?

To the OP, if it were me, personally, I would just tell my DH next time to let the baby get hungry and eventually he will take the EBM. That is what happenned to my son when I returned to work, he didn't want to eat at first, DH panicked, but eventually the baby figured out if he wanted to eat, he had to take it. If it went on day after day with the baby not eating anything the whole time I was gone I might start to worry but not over a feeding or two. I totally can relate, I work 12 hour shifts, add time onto that to get to and from work and I am gone long hours. It is scary at first, I worry about my baby and if he is eating and stuff too.

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.how would I feel if someone did this to me? Like shoving in food if I do not want it.
Exactly. This is why I don't give my kids solids until they pick it up and put it in their own mouths.

Your DH did the best he could. Especially figuring it is considered so normal to most people to start solids at 4 months, most would assume that was the absolute right thing to do.
 
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