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I expected to breastfeed my son exclusively for at least six months, but he is a hearty four-month old (16 1/2 lbs) and is nursing every couple of hours. We couldn't get him to take a bottle, and although he was pretty much sleeping through the night last month, now he wakes up every few hours. I am thinking maybe he would sleep better if I started him on solids, but most moms on here seem to think breastmilk is best for at least six months. Did anyone start earlier? I'm thinking about giving him oatmeal or avocados, and continue to breastfeed of course. Any suggestions/thoughts?
 

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Well, IMO, I wouldn't do it. My ds is also 4 months and he's a pretty big kid. I'm almost positive he could handle solids (he's showing interest) but I want his digestive system to mature more, and I would like to help avoid allergies and prevent obesity (two things that can happen by starting solids early).<br><br>
From what I understand, starting solids is no guarantee that your babe will sleep longer stretches at night. I would continue with breastmilk until at least six months.
 

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I kinda started at between 4-5 months with all of mine. My eldest was born during a time when they told you to introduce them at 4 months guarunteed, my second showed all the signs of rediness so I introduced her at 5 months. Both of them did fine and are healthy weights with no alergies still. It is also perhaps interesting to note that both of them teethed early.<br><br>
Now I have Sam. I tried to introduce food at about 5 months. She was ok for a couple of weeks but then started having horrible tummy pain. I took her off solids and have just now (at almost 7 months) reintroduced them. She seems to be doing better on them this time but I am taking it very slow. Unlike her sisters she still has no teeth.<br><br>
I don't know if the teeth thing means anything or if this is just an example of different rates for different kids. Anyhow, I would suggest waiting until at least 6 months to maximise tummy development but I would not think it will make a huge difference. Follow your babies lead and you should do ok.<br><br>
MM
 

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is his tongue thrust reflex gone?<br>
can he sit up by himself?<br>
can he grasp food and get it to his mouth and swallow without choking?<br>
does he have any teeth?<br>
those are signs that a baby is ready for foods other than breastmilk. also, the ability to digest the food, but you don't know that until they've consumed it.<br><br>
and it's not that "moms here" think breastmilk is best for the first 6 months, that's a recommendation from LLL and the AAP.<br><br>
it's exciting to think of giving them other sources of food, but 4 months is REALLY early. just because people do it doesn't make it the best choice for your baby. and giving him solids may very well backfire on you and cause him to wake more because of the digestive distress he ends up with after eating foods he's not ready for.<br>
if he's waking up more, he may be teething or he may just need more milk from you, and that's normal. it will pass, and you'll all survive.
 

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if your main reason for wanting to start solids is to have the babe sleep longer, it may backfire...<br>
sometime the intro of food can be upsetting on their little tummy and actually cause them to get less sleep!<br><br>
have learned how to "sleep nurse"? can you lie down with the babe and sleep while he nurses? it took me a little while to get the hang of nursing lieing down, but well worth it!<br><br>
has he started to drool a lot? if so it might be teething<br>
there are some great homeopathic teething remedies out there you could try<br><br>
also it is good to keep in mind that bm takes about 90 min to metabolize, so us humans were desogned to feed our babes frequently
 

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I tried giving rice cereal to dd a couple of nights in a row, with no change in night waking. The pediatrician said that if I wanted to feed her solids.... I could (for fun), but that she did not need it nutritionally until 6 mos., and he does not think it makes a difference in sleep patterns. (at least in our case)<br><br>
(BTW.... dd is a big kid, and a voracious eater)
 

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Watch for all the signs of readiness. The other posters here have done a good job describing that. I was looking forward to starting solids late. I just didn't think ds would want them or be ready. To my sirprize at 5.5 months it was clear to me that he wanted and was ready for solids. Watch your baby not the calender. Babies will let you know.
 

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at 4 mo, my ds was 18.5 lbs. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> can relate to the hearty child... that said, ds also had been sleeping thru the night from about 8 weeks (up to 8 hours in a stretch) then started waking up frequently around 4-5 months. about 2 weeks after he started waking up again, he got 2 teeth. he didn't sleep thru the night again until he was about 10 months and had 12 teeth. We didn't start solids until after 9 months (like 2 T a couple of times a week) and weren't consistent with solids until he was a year old (didn't have a choice as he self-weaned 2 days before his birthday and refused bm in a bottle).
 

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Here's the facts about starting table foods, when, why and how:<br><br><a href="http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/delay-solids.html" target="_blank">http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/so...ay-solids.html</a><br><br>
It is a fallacy, just not true, that starting solids will help babies sleep through the night. It is actually good for babies to rouse at night to feed anway. They need the calories. It prevents sleep apnea. Co-sleeping and feeding a few times in the night prevents SIDS.<br><br><a href="http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t102200.asp" target="_blank">http://www.askdrsears.com/html/10/t102200.asp</a>
 
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