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This is a question I've been meaning to ask for some time, and wish I had found these boards when my first child was still an infant. I nursed her exclusively for 6 months, and then slowly introduced rice cereal, and homemade purees. It was hard to hold out THAT long. I was being pressured by everyone to start solids practically as she left the womb. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Her pedi was the only person that made me feel good about holding out until 6 months. She didn't start eating purees regularly until about 8 months, and gained weight just fine, so I don't know what my family/friends were babbling about. :p<br><br>
Anyway, with the new baby on the way, I started thinking about holding out on food for longer. Breastfeeding is just so convenient. You don't have the mess and headache of making babyfood, cleaning goop off the baby, taking little tupperwares of puree with you everywhere, etc. Breastfeeding is so tidy. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I'd like to nurse her exclusively for as long as possible. I'm sure my family will not approve, and I haven't had a chance to ask the pedi about it yet, but I wanted to ask here to see if any of you had any advice/links regarding waiting on introducing food. How long can you nurse exclusively for? Is it still a sufficient source of nutrition after 6 months? What's the deal with having to introduce rice cereal? Is all that stuff necessary, or is the "discovering texture" thing a load of crap? :p Anyone know? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I started DS on solids at 6 months and we skipped all the rice cereal and pureed foods. He went straight to baby-friendly tablefoods (i.e. banana squished with a fork, avocado, baked sweet potato). You don't have to do the whole rice cereal and little jars of food thing.<br><br>
As another data point, my MIL exclusively BFed my DH for 9 months. She kept BFing him until he basically took the banana out of his hand and ate it himself. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> She says that it was the LLL recommendation at the time.<br><br>
Manda
 

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DS had no interest in solids at 6 mos and I asked my ped. She said it's OK to wait up to 12 months old. She had a familiy that did peace corp or a mission, and they were concerned about water/parasites, so they held off on solids until returning to the states when their baby was almost 1.<br><br>
With DS, I just occas tried cereal or pureed veggies, but he just wanted to fingerpaint! Then As he got older, I would give hime soft cubed veggies and fruit. He had no set meals or real demonstrated desire to eat solids until past 9 months.<br><br>
He stayed above 90% for weight and height too! until he started walking at 14 mos. and slimmed down.
 

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We exclusively nursed with only occasional solids (to see if she wanted them) until 10 months. She really didn't take many bottles either.<br><br>
We don't do well-baby visits, so I don't know what her %ile is, BUT she was 20 lbs at 6 months and was 22 lbs when we weighed her at 1 year.
 

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I don't think that there is enough data to conclusively say exactly how long you can exclusively breastfeed, exactly. But, using the "what did the cave mamas who didn't have baby food do?" approach, I think it's most likely you could breastfeed for the first year and possibly beyond.<br><br>
Breastmilk is PACKED with nutrition and calories, so I can't really think of anything that solids provide that breastmilk would not.<br><br>
Just to relay my own personal experience, DS wasn't interested in solids until around 10 months, when he began eating finger foods. Now, at 1 year old, he eats like a madman. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> I was all worried about that "window of opportunity" thing for solids, but then I learned that's just something that scientists "think" and there seems to be no basis for it.<br><br>
HTH!
 

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My DD is 12 months, and is still nearly exclusively breastfed. She eats a few bites of solids each day. Some days none at all. She skipped purees and went right to finger foods. A typical day's worth of solids for her is: two or three bites of bread, a few bites of soft fruit or veggies, a few cheerios (5-10), and an occasional taste from what's on my or DH's plate.<br><br>
She is very healthy. We had her 12-month ped visit today, and our ped was pleased with her growth. She is 19.75 lbs and 27.5 inches.<br><br>
We started letting her experiment with finger foods sometime around 9-10 months of age.<br><br>
I don't take much stock in the idea that babies will never learn to eat if they are not started on solids within an established time frame. Humans survival instinct will kick in if we get hungry. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Good luck!
 

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With ds#1-I waited 6 months, then began introducing solids and nursed for 14 months.<br><br>
With ds#2-I waited 8 months and then was pressured into introducing solids by the daycare, so he got a little bit of solids 3 days per week to appease them. Was well over a year before solids were a regular offering. Never fed him baby cereal, went straight to mashed solids. I was affirmed by my doctor that waiting to a year was absoutely fine, and that some people wait even until 18 months and the far stretch is 2 years. But that in order to get enough calories to continue normal growth, the amount of BM must increase significantly, until it is inevitable to need to include solids to the diet.
 

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Great thread everyone!<br>
I know from my LLL meetings, that babies can be BF'ed exclusively for the first year. BM has all the nutrients and dietary requirements needed for the 1st year.<br><br>
I introduced solids to my DS (now 8mo) at 7mo. Boy, I got the pressure also. I started with mashed banana and mashed steamed sweet potatos. At 8mo, I started giving him Cheerios so he could have something easy and fun to play with while we ate.<br><br>
DS got a cold 2 weeks ago and was at a point where he would not keep down solids, so I eliminated all solids until just today. (It's been about a week). He definitely is interested now in eating what we eat and I can see a big difference in his readiness now compared to 6mo.<br><br>
Use your baby as a guide. They'll tell you if they're ready by whether they swallow the food and express an interest for more. I'm "restarting" solids again and my DS has never had a problem with weight gain. He's 19lbs of breastfed muscle!! Honestly, I'd love to continue just breastfeeding, but baby is ready for other foods. Your baby will let you know and the signs will be obvious.<br>
HTH!
 

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DS didn't start solids until 2 weeks before his first birthday, just when he started teething. His first tooth came in the day before his first birthday <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> He was only moderately interested for the first year on solids, he'd eat a meal about every day in a half or so. Shortly after he turned 2 years old he started eating 3 good meals and gradually added in snacks. I weaned him from the breast at 3 1/2 years old. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> He was always in the 15th - 25th percentile, but DH and I are both on the short side, his weight always matched his height and he not only hit all of his miles stones, but he was precocious. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Interesting thread...I was just thinking about this as I just received photos from a friend with a just-turned 5 months old baby, and in the photo, mom is feeding her what looked like apple sauce to me...I was kind of shocked and didn't think anybody pushed fruits and veggies that early--she is formula fed, but even then, why bother with fruits so early?<br><br>
DD was bf for 19 months. We pretty much skipped the cereals--she wasn't interested and neither was I. I bought about 20 jars of baby food (total-ever), and relied on some mashed table foods, but dd decided to eat tiny pieces of chicken, carrot, fish, banana etc. on her own quite early. She definitely preferred finger foods to mashed anything--whether it be store bought or home made. I held off on the allergenic items until past a year, but othewise she's been a great eater on her own terms from the start, thank goodness!<br><br>
I've also heard a year before starting solids is fine...
 

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I've read that the optimum time to start solids is somewhere between 6-9 months and that the risk of starting later is that your baby may not accept them as easily...<br><br>
The thing is, you are not starting solids to make your baby full, or take less milk, but moreso to introduce them to different tastes and textures. I agree with the pp who said let your baby be your guide. It would not be unusual for your baby to get 90% of it's nutrition from the breast and the remaining 10% from solids up to a year of age...<br><br>
Although it was easier before my son ate solids, he really seems to need them now. At 9 months he eats three meals a day and still nurses at least 6 times on top of that throughout the day and night. I wouldn't mind EBF him but I don't think we'd ever be doing anything but nursing if that were the case!!
 

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Ds is almost 10 months and he is ebf, with the ocassional bowl of organic steamed apples, so basically no solids yet. My pediatrician told me that I can give him more when my ds is ready, he's definetely not ready yet.
 

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We started offering various solids to our son around 7 months but he really wasn't interested for the longest time. At our 9-month appt our ped lectured us that he was going to be "a picky toddler" if we didn't get him eating more solids, and she also basically said I should wean and give him formula and babyfood instead <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: . I ignored her and found a new doctor. Around 11 months or so he began to accept a moderate amount of pureed foods and gradually increased the volume and variety of texture he would eat. I'm pleased to report that at 14 1/2 months he eats 99% of what we offer him, no matter the texture or flavor. The only time he spits food back out is when it seems he is not really hungry in the first place. He has happily eaten strong-flavored cheese, garlic-y greens, mildly spicy mexican dishes, fish, etc. Definitely not picky!<br><br>
I agree tho that it truly is easier to just put the baby on the boob. Now if we are going to be out running errands I have to think ahead to what I will be feeding him and bring it along. Sometimes I just get fast food for myself <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: but I want better for him, you know?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>wakeUpMama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">At our 9-month appt our ped lectured us that he was going to be "a picky toddler" if we didn't get him eating more solids, and she also basically said I should wean and give him formula and babyfood instead</div>
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As opposed to NORMAL toddlers, who are famous for not being picky, right? :LOL
 

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DS is 9 months old and weighs almost 27 pounds. On some days he eats a few bites of sweet potato and banana or avocado but most days he just nurses. On the days he eats those bites it is because he seems interested and on the days he eats nothing it is because he clamps his mouth shut. I think he is doing great.
 

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We exclusively breastfed for 13 months. I introduced solids after that. Then I was stuck for ideas as to what to feed him, ds had definite opinions at that point and didn't want anything to do with me putting a spoon in his mouth or being put in a high chair, so we waited. At about 14-15 months he got his molars and since then has really wanted to eat whatever we're eating (no baby food for him - he acts like it's the most disgusting thing in the world!) Right now, for lunch, he's eating pasta and 4 bean soup, corn on the cob, carrots and pretzles. Small amounts of each, but each definetly gets eaten.<br><br>
Ds actually crawls over to his high chair when I ask him/tell him that it's time for breakfast/lunch/dinner, but to start, I just put a plate on the floor and kept the dogs in another room. Dh and I sat on the floor to eat and so that ds could see our food and us eating without freaking out because he was in his high chair. We would offer a small piece of something to him and if he didn't take it, we would show him how we put it in our mouths and then chew w/our mouth open. Gross yes, but he got the idea that the food went in our mouths. His explosion into eating started w/him putting food in our mouths and later that same meal he put it in his mouth.<br><br>
As far as pressure for solids - well at 4 weeks my mil was telling me to give him cereal, and it got worse from there. She offered to pay for a therapist so ds could be taught to eat and didn't let up until about a month ago.<br><br>
Here's a link to an excellent thread a while ago about this very topic.... <a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=166694&highlight=solids" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ghlight=solids</a><br><br>
Like everything else in mothering, follow your instincts, follow your baby and it'll all work out!
 

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My son is probably an extreme example, but he exclusively breastfed for 15 months. It's no exaggeration when I say that he didn't take his first non-bm calorie until he was that old. He had an oral aversion though, as well as other oral issues, and long story short, he was unable to eat until that time. (It required speech therapy and osteopathic manipulation to correct.)<br><br>
Anywho, he was big and growing and thriving on breastmilk alone for all that time, so his nutrition was never a concern for me. The only issue was when he had the finger prick hemoglobin test at 12 mos old to determine if he was anemic, and it came back as 8, which is in the severely anemic range. Pushing iron-rich foods wasn't an option at that time given his oral development issues, so we had to do the iron drops mixed with OJ in a dropper.<br><br>
But he grew well on breastmilk alone: 20 lbs at 4.5 months old! (Oh, my aching back! :LOL )
 

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I have exclusively BF two babies for 12-13 months. That was their choice more than mine. they just didn't like any other source of food.<br><br>
I imagine you could exclusively BF as long as you had enough milk to satisfy DC's appetite.<br><br>
There are African societies that live on nothing but cow's milk for long parts of the year, so why couldn't a person/ young child live just on human milk?
 

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I'm so glad you asked this question! My DS is 7 months and everyone is pressuring me to give him "real food" <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/rant.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rant">:<br>
He's growing well for sure...about 23 pounds. The only thing that concerns me is iron consumption. How do you get enough iron into an infant without processed cereal and drops?
 
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