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<p>... if baby seemed ready and eager?<br><br>
DD2 is 5 months and 5 days old, sits on her own, can easily coordinate putting stuff in her mouth, demands to sit at the dining table on my lap (she's not AS insistent on being involved in other actibities - food seems to fascinate her) and tries to GRAB every bite I try to put in my mouth.<br><br>
We half-heartedly started solids with DD1 when she was 6.5 mo, and even then it was just a few spoonfuls a day until she was a year old. She LOVED nursing and was OK with solids, but not too enthusiastic.</p>
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<p>This one is DIFFERENT and I feel like a cruel mother depriving her of something she seems to really want just so I'd get to the seemingly arbitrary age of 6mo of exclusive nursing. If 6mo is something recommended by all as the 'right' age, then it's probably the normal average age for babies, and as all babies are different, then it only makes sense that some will be ready sooner and some later.<br><br>
Thoughts? What's the earliest you'd start and why?</p>
 

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<p>We started about 5.5 months with a baby that sounds just like yours! I think the turning point was when he was sitting in dad's lap, dad got distracted, and we noticed that had both hands in the salad bowl and was about to munch on a handful of leafy greens. We figured that meant he was ready.</p>
 

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<p>I dunno. I really feel strongly that grabbing at food and the like is about curiousity and not about being ready for food. If baby was grabbing at my wine glass, I wouldn't let her have it, right? She doesn't know what is approriate for her to have. That's why she has me, to guide her and make those decsions. I would try and hold off as much as humanly possible. Her gut is so perfect right now with being ebf, and I think the longer we can keep it that way, the better. I would distract baby with toys at mealtimes or even give her a spoon to bang around. I've heard of people making breastmilk slushies for baby to play with and put into their mouths during mealtimes. Also, consider going the BLW route and give whole foods for baby to eat instead of purees. Chances are she'll play with the food more than anything. It IS exciting to start feeding baby solids, so I can see the allure to doing it earlier.</p>
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/forum/thread/1279816/what-s-the-earliest-you-d-start-solids#post_16050844" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Parker'smommy</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279816/what-s-the-earliest-you-d-start-solids#post_16050844"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br><p>I dunno. I really feel strongly that grabbing at food and the like is about curiousity and not about being ready for food. If baby was grabbing at my wine glass, I wouldn't let her have it, right? She doesn't know what is approriate for her to have. That's why she has me, to guide her and make those decsions. I would try and hold off as much as humanly possible. Her gut is so perfect right now with being ebf, and I think the longer we can keep it that way, the better. I would distract baby with toys at mealtimes or even give her a spoon to bang around. I've heard of people making breastmilk slushies for baby to play with and put into their mouths during mealtimes. Also, consider going the BLW route and give whole foods for baby to eat instead of purees. Chances are she'll play with the food more than anything. It IS exciting to start feeding baby solids, so I can see the allure to doing it earlier.</p>
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This is exactly how I feel as well, and I think I've even made the same analogy before with beer as the reference. <img alt="lol.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/lol.gif"><br><br>
We did frozen breastmilk cubes in a mesh feeder with Cecilia, until we felt that she was old enough for solids (over 6 months, sitting independently, no infant tongue thrust, able to self feed). We also went the BLW route and skipped purees.
 

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<p>Both of my kids started eating solids just after 5mo.  They showed all the signs and WANTED to eat.  I really think that it's okay to go with your baby's lead on this.  I highly doubt that our anchestors would have waited for some "magical" age of 6mo to start solid foods.  They would have waited for the child to show interest and gone from there.  If you child can sit, self feed, chew and swallow, then I think it's perfectly fine to start slightly before 6mo.</p>
 

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I agree with you that our ancestors most likely didn't wait until some magical age. However, the way I see it, they probably <i>did</i> wait until the babies were grabbing food for themselves to introduce food, and that was probably most likely to occur once the child was mobile-- or after 6 months. Personally I think that we've been taught for a couple of generations now to push food on a baby far too early. Breastmilk is designed specifically for babies and is higher calorie, more nutritionally complete and more easily digested than anything else we could possibly give our babies. Honestly, I wish I had not been pushed into trying solids at 6 months.
 

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<p>You may find some interesting info in this link regarding introduction of solids throughout history:</p>
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<p><span class="Apple-style-span" style="font-family:Verdana, Geneva, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;"><b><a href="http://tinyurl.com/2wqytkf" target="_blank">http://tinyurl.com/2wqytkf</a></b></span></p>
<p> </p>
 

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<p>I wouldn't do it before 6 months regardless of interest and even with a lot of interest I would keep them minimal for a long time. Interest is a small part of the puzzle. Changes in the physical body matter more. And no solids, no matter how nutritious, are as good as bm. And solids replace bm.</p>
 

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<p>I would say to follow your baby's lead.  We began solids at four months, which I know is earlier than most here.  The AAP says that solids can be introduced any time between four and six months.  At four months, my DD was consuming huge amounts of breastmilk and still crying constantly from hunger.  The introduction of solids did *not* replace breastmilk in any way.  She still nursed as much as before, and solids were just an addition.  It does not have to be all or nothing.  If she is interested in solids, then give her a little taste.  All babies are different.  Go with your gut.</p>
 

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<p>I have never understood, particularly on this issue, why people passionately feel like their way is the only/right way.  <span><img alt="shrug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/shrug.gif"></span><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sorin</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279816/what-s-the-earliest-you-d-start-solids#post_16051276"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I would say to follow your baby's lead.  ...The introduction of solids did *not* replace breastmilk in any way....  It does not have to be all or nothing.  If she is interested in solids, then give her a little taste.  All babies are different.  Go with your gut.</p>
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<p>I agree.</p>
 

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<p>I've given DS [almost 5 months] some solids in addition to his breast milk. Nothing crazy, and not all the time</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Mulvah</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279816/what-s-the-earliest-you-d-start-solids#post_16051290"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I have never understood, particularly on this issue, why people passionately feel like their way is the only/right way.  <span><img alt="shrug.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/shrug.gif"></span><br>
 </p>
<div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Sorin</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279816/what-s-the-earliest-you-d-start-solids#post_16051276"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>I would say to follow your baby's lead.  ...The introduction of solids did *not* replace breastmilk in any way....  It does not have to be all or nothing.  If she is interested in solids, then give her a little taste.  All babies are different.  Go with your gut.</p>
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<p>I agree.</p>
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um is this your first time on this forum a lot dare I say MOST of the people on here think their way is the only way. RIghtly so, to believe in what you do, but to be harsh about it or not understanding is just ridic in my opinion...</p>
<p>and yes I agree. I mean babies reach for a lot of things but if my baby wanted my cell phone and remote I don't give it to them, and yes they put it in their mouths, </p>
<p>Be careful for allergies, go slow and continue to bf and I think you will do just fine...!</p>
 

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<p>The research out there shows pretty conclusively that it's best to start solids between 4 and 6 months.  Starting before 4 months or after 7 months is linked to higher chances of food allergies and digestive problems.  There are a bunch of available studies on this if you go to PubMed or Google Scholar and search for things about age to introduce solids.  My DD started at about 5 1/2 months, my son just after 5 months.  </p>
 

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<p>If the baby is going to be spoon-fed, I would try to wait at least 'til 6 months.If the baby is going to self-feed, I might start a little earlier, IF she was incredibly interested, sitting well unassisted, etc. and it seemed impossible to hold off. DS started at 5 months, because he kept grabbing food off my plate & stuffing it in his mouth faster than I could stop him. But, I think he swallowed very little (if any) until he was closer to 7-8 months so he was still 99.5% breastfed. He did enjoy tasting the foods & playing with the textures and I think that was appropriate for his age. My impression of spoon-feeding though is that it's more intake-focused so I would be less comfortable starting solids early with that feeding method. Don't know if I'm making sense here.</p>
 

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<p>I personally haven't done it, probably because it's a little bit more work for me and I like the idea of waiting until 6 months.  If you think your baby is ready, I think it's fine though.</p>
 

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<p>i find it interesting that it seems that on mdc, when people say to follow your baby's lead, that it's ok to go on your own timeframe....it usually only means that it's ok waiting (although it doesn't seem to be the case with pp here :) ) it's almost like bragging rights on whose baby isn't eating solids yet. but following your baby's lead might also mean starting a little early. i also was planning on waiting....until dd grabbed not only a handful of meatloaf but also the entire pyrex dish. she was 5.5 months, sitting, no tongue thrust, and actually had the pincer grasp down pat (although i wasn't aware of it until i gave her cheerios to practice on.)</p>
<p>big deal. she's been going strong ever since and it never seemed to affect her nursing as our meal schedules and her nursing needs never really coincided. give your babe a hunk of banana and see what happens and enjoy!</p>
 

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<p>We started letting DS suck on chunks of food (cucumber slices, rib bones, green beans, fruit) when he became interested in it around 5.5 months. I don't think he really swallowed much till after 6 months of age but he had fun and explored lots of tastes. We still do BLW exclusively and he's now probably eating 2 tiny meals a day. We had no problems so far, and while he gagged a couple of times early on, he's great at eating safely now. <span><img alt="thumb.gif" height="18" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/thumb.gif" width="23"></span></p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Cecilia's Mama</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1279816/what-s-the-earliest-you-d-start-solids#post_16051003"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
I agree with you that our ancestors most likely didn't wait until some magical age. However, the way I see it, they probably <i>did</i> wait until the babies were grabbing food for themselves to introduce food, and that was probably most likely to occur once the child was mobile-- or after 6 months. Personally I think that we've been taught for a couple of generations now to push food on a baby far too early. Breastmilk is designed specifically for babies and is higher calorie, more nutritionally complete and more easily digested than anything else we could possibly give our babies. Honestly, I wish I had not been pushed into trying solids at 6 months.</div>
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Some babies (including mine) crawl before 6 mos. (and climb <img alt="yikes2.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/yikes2.gif">). Also, breastmilk is not higher calorie than many solid foods. All 3 of my babies have started grabbing food at 4-5 mos. There's evidence that starting solids earlier helps reduce the occurrence of food and inhalant allergies. I don't think anyone should force solids on their babies and I'm sorry if you felt pressured to give your baby solids before s/he was ready. </p>
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<p>I just started a thread called "starting solids" a couple days ago that basically has the same question. I've decided to let my baby have food whenever she wants-- I will begin offering finger foods to her at the dinner table and if she wants it, she will eat it. She's 4 mos. </p>
 

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<p>Not to mention that feeding the babe solids is a more efficient use of calories than the mother eating them and converting them to breastmilk.  In societies where food is scarce, it makes practical sense to start children on solids as soon as they they can handle it.  The modern trend for delaying solids (as well as nursing through pregnancy and tandem nursing) is definitely linked to the ease and affordability of calories in our society.</p>
 

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<p>Honestly, I think this (like all parenting decisions) has to be what you feel comfortable with.  I have done my research and follow the recommendations from the Canadian Ped Society, Alberta Health (where I live) which state starting solids at or after 6 months.  This is what I was comfortable with and was what worked for my family.</p>
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<p>I know that research is something that is constantly changing and can be conflicting.  Everyone here could find 20 different opinions supporting their choice and spout it as the "gospel truth".  That's where parenting comes in... take the available information and figure out what works for you.  Like all decisions (i.e. CIO vs parenting to sleep), you can always have someone telling you that what you are doing is wrong and can harm your child, etc. etc.  However, if you are truly comfortable with your choice to feed solids at 4 months, 5 months, 8 months, really, does it matter to anyone else but you and your child?</p>
 
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