food at 4 months? Common practice?

Alexandra - posted on 12/23/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Hi there to all the mums out there,

I live in Australia, i have a 4 months old little girl, and the common practice and professional recommendations over here are a little different i think. And please i really hope i dont offfend anyone, So i would love some feed back on this as i find it very interesting how different places work.



So the practices/ professional opinion over here are,



- That its NOT recommended to feed your baby anything but breastmilk, or infant formula BEFORE 6 months of age to ensure that your baby can handle it,

- They also recommend not to feed your baby till he/she can support her own head, and sit up by themselves.

- Not to feed your baby milk and cereal in a bottle.

- Not to mix different food together and try each food and wait 3 days incase of an allergic reaction.

- Not to give your baby cows milk, peanuts or honey till 12 months,

- Breastfeeding exclusivly is widely promoted, recommended age for breastfeeding, with supplementary feeding is 12 months.

- encouraged breastfeeding, & demand feeding.

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Jessica - posted on 01/02/2010

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In all honesty many of the doctors here say the same thing but most of us don't listen. My youngest is 4 months and I have been feeding him rice cereal and jarred fruits and veggies for about 2 months

Beverley - posted on 12/30/2009

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where in the uk and my health advicer says 6 months but ive moved my kids on when they where ready my oldest was 4 months cos she was very greedy and my middle child was 4 and half months and i think i will have to start my youngest at 4/5 months cos he wants feeds every 2 hours even on 2nd stage milk but my middle child cryed everytime we was eating cos she wasnt getting any

Nicole - posted on 12/30/2009

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My son is just over the 4 month mark and I started him on pablum just before he turned 3 months. I found he was constantly on the boob because he just wasn't getting full. He took to the cereal right away. I try to give it to him at least once if not twice a day.



Last week I started him on solid foods. So far just some tinned pears, fresh bananas and frozen mango. I started it because he was watching me eat the pears and licking his lips. I gotta say it was one of the funniest things I've ever seen! I put pieces of pear in a bit of cheesecloth and let him eat it through that because I was worried about him choking on it. Recently I found these whole food feeders. It kinda looks like a soother with a mesh bag attached. You just put the food (fruit, veg or meat) into the bag and the baby can eat it though the mesh without a whole lot of worry of choking. I highly recommend it.



As for the honey thing I think it has to do with the bacteria and whether or not it is pasteurized

Avery - posted on 12/29/2009

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they have the same feeding guidelines here in canada as well, my little boy is 4 months today, and he has been eating wheat cereal since he was 18 weeks, and has been tryinh different soilid foods like bananas and pears, and sweet potatoes since he was 3 months old, he loves it all, i started feeding him solids because he would drink about 14oz of milk and still be hungary, and he looks at our plates while we eat and licks his lips,

as for mixing the cereal in a bottle i agree not to do this because then they dont really understand the difference between a "solid" food and a liquid, it does however help them sleep longer through the night, but i havent done this because my little man has been sleeping through the nite sice 2 1/2 months.

only giving them one food to try in between three days is a good idea, and i agree with this because of a personal experience, at a family dinner he was given a few differnt choices, and then when we got home he had sprouted some hives, and i wasnt sure what it was and i may chance giving him the same thing again.

for the cows milk thing, what would they give there little ones back in the day? and honey im not sure what the reasoning for that would be,

i feel as though since i am the one that is with him everyday all day i would have a better idea of what he needs then a doctor or health nurse that only sees him every two months

Christina - posted on 12/29/2009

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i had started my daughter on cereal mixed with formula or breast milk because she has acid reflux. it basically was to thicken it up so it was harder for her to throw it back up. my doctor has also recommended i start on orange vegetables sometime this month (my daughter is 4 months old) and to try them for a week at a time each for allergies.

Nadine - posted on 12/29/2009

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In the UK, the advice is very similar. They try to encourage you to wait until 6 months before introducing any solids - definately not earlier than this. They definately promote breast feeding - for the good of all I suppose as it clearly has benefits for mother and child. But they are quite heavey handed about this and for first-time mothers the emotional pressure can be counterproductive.

I think the 6 months is arrived at as a combination of when most babies are able to sit unaided and keep their head still as well as the development of their digestive system. The earlier you introduce food the more likely (apparently) they are to develop allergies etc.

Foods to avoid - nuts...recommended age in uk is not before 5. Honey I think is supposed to be avoided and strawberries until 12 months. Personally, I'm for taking the lead from the child....if they seem happy without the solids, wait. If they are obviously hungry - feed them!

Christine - posted on 12/29/2009

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Very similar, but I will mention I had to start my 4 month old on baby food, he was always so hungry and was sucking back numerous bottles, more than his sister was at 8 months, and I incorporated baby food early and it worked on controlling his food intake. He was trying to eat a whole can of formula a day. But he, like his sister, sat up early, holds his own head, and also has teeth early. Other than than that I followed most of the rules you mention though I do add cereal to a night time bottle, only about a tbsp, not a whole lot. The Honey thing is really important to follow because there is some ingredient in it that can kill an infant.

Amber - posted on 12/29/2009

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When I found out i was having a baby I went out and read every book I could find. And all of them said the same thing.
-Your baby will let you know when they are ready for solid food. You will notice that they are watching you eat more and maybe even reaching out for you food. Which mt 4 month old will do, and I have made up my mind to start her on solids on the 1st of the year.
-The being able to sit up I think is everywhere you go no mater where you are at in the world.
-Everything I have read was not o.k with giving your baby cereal out of the bottle. This does not allow them to learn that when they eat things like cereal they need to eat it with a spoon.
-I was told to wait 4 days to make sure that you baby is not allergic, but that is the one things some ppl cant seem to agree on. I think 3 to 4 days is great that way the baby will come to really taste the food and you will see within a few hours even most of the time if your baby is allergic to something.
-And again not giving milk or peanuts until age 1 seems to be the same thing all over. It is said that baby's bodies just cant handle that stuff until then.
-I breastfeeding I was told 6 months but I have seen ppl still breasting their kids until age 3, so I think something like that is really up to you. If you can handle breastfeeding that long great, if not thats o.k too. I had to stop breastfeeding my baby very early b/c my body just could not handle it. And I have to say that she is very healthy, and moving right along in her milestones. Don't get me wrong I felt like the worst person in the world for not being able to breastfeed my baby but as her doctor told me formula is so close to breast milk now-a-days mothers have nothing to worry about.
I really hope that helps.

Amy - posted on 12/29/2009

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Quoting Jaime:



Quoting Satty:

I live in the USA too and although my pediatrician told me it was okay to feed Maya at 4 months (as long as she could support her own head and sit up with/without support) I have friends who were told to wait until 6 months. I think it depends on your pediatrician and your own preference.

I was told not to mix the cereal into the bottle - this was just to not upset her regular routine as she learns to eat. And I'm suppose to feed her cereal once a day at the beginning until she gets the hang of eating. Maya turns 4 months officially on the 31st, so we are starting the New Year with some rice cereal!

I was also told about keeping baby away from Cows milk, peanuts and honey in the first year because their stomachs can't digest the bacteria in them.

Oh yes and the breastfeeding was pushed on me. Maya couldnt latch on properly because she's a little tongue-tied and I had nurses and even one pediatrician make me feel like such a bad mother because my baby couldn't breast feed - as if it was my fault or choice! I did pump until my milk ran out - which wasnt too long after she was born.





yep i was beat up also for not b/feeding because my son wouldnt latch and i tried so hard.......






 






alexandra, im in nz and they tell us not to start before 6 months but 4 months is ok. iv started my boy who turned 4 months on boxing day, and we are going alright, he just eats and eats and eats so ive really had to cut back on how much i am giving him cos it make him sick. they tell u that they shoukd tell u wen they have had enuff but he doesnt just keeps eating. im really stuck with what time of the day it is best to feed him. can anyone help?



  Jamie, the info I have been given says to feed first bottle/breast in the morning, then food after second bottle/breast, when up to 2 food feeds give after 3-4 bottle/breast, and 4-5 feed just bottle/breast. depending on how many milk feeds your little one is having. hope this helps


 

Amy - posted on 12/29/2009

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Wow I live in Australia as well and my community nurse has told me completely different info and has paper work to back it up.
I now have a 4 month old she is my youngest of 4 children, I started her on formula at about 3 weeks as a supplement feed and started her on solids at 5 1/2 weeks cause this is when she was ready she never wanted pureed food and started straight on the chunky stuff (not to chunky of course).
I have been told by the nurse that Honey is a no no until 12mths + as it is not processed and can carry bacteria. Everything else though is a go peanut butter and cows milk, yoghurt and egg (but make sure your eggs are well cooked as they to can carry nasty bacteria if not fully cooked).
With recent studies they have found the longer you hold off if your child does have an allergy it makes it worse as they get older instead of them building an immunity to it.
I was told the whole 3 day thing but seriously if you go to the supermarket and buy jar food you can't buy individual foods- its all mixed!!
If you want to contact me with your address I can send you the info I have, or if you visit your local pharmacy with a health care nurse, they should be able to give you the info.

Jessica - posted on 12/29/2009

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I also live in Australia and my daughter is nearly 5 months old. She is exclusively breastfed. I have alot of mum's around me, telling me I should be introducing her to solids, including my mum. I have decided not to introduce her to soilds just yet, and not for a while as she is still gaining an average of 150 grams a week. I feed Jayde on demand and has not introduced any other fluids. I guess I have my own way of how I want to do things.

Sarah - posted on 12/28/2009

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Very similar here in the US. Docs in my pediatrician's office do say it's o.k. to start solids around 4 or 5 months, but we decided to wait until at least 6, as recommended by the WHO (World Health Organization) and US Academy of Pediatrics. My older daughter's eczema began when we began solids and so did some gut issues. The longer you can hold out on introducing new foods, the lower the risk for allergic reaction, so I'm not too eager for new foods this time around. Common allergens include: nuts, eggs, milk, citrus, and for us, wheat. (Raw honey carries a risk of botulism, so it is not given to babies.) We will wait until past 1 year old for those. Also, we will be giving each new food on its own (or with already established foods) for 2 weeks before introducing new foods. Also, the WHO recommends breastfeeding until age 2.

Hannah - posted on 12/28/2009

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Quoting Kristy:

I live in Australia and I have a 4 month old baby..she spent 2 weeks in special care as she was 5 weeks early, she was a healthy 6lb 12.5oz so jer weight wasn't an issue. One of the nurses in special care told me when bub is about 8-9 months old don't bother putting them onto the next level of formula its a waste of money, put them straight onto cows milk. When my son was a baby, (now 11years) babies were started on solids at 4 months...things have changed alot since then....


 



Really?!!  That sounds very strange. 



However, in my mother's day babies were weaned from the breast to cow's milk.  One of my sisters was breastfed for only 6 weeks and developed an intolerance to cow's milk but did well on goat's milk.  As an adult she is now fine with cow's milk but her young son has developed a similar intolerance to cow's milk.

Emily - posted on 12/28/2009

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Quoting Falicity:

My daughter is 4 months, and has been on cereal since she was a month old. She has reflux, and the doctor said to try thickening her milk with cereal. She was breastfed until 3 months, but due to lack of supply eventually made the switch to formula. I was told the same things you were told as far as feeding, but our extenuating circumstances changed that.
However, I have a question of my own. At her 4 month checkup, they gave me the handy-dandy pamphlet of things she should be doing, how to introduce solids, etc. That pamphlet was completely opposite of everything the hospital, the breastfeeding clinic, everyone told me. It said to introduce solids at 4 months, and by 6 months she should be eating 3 full meals a day (meat, veggie, fruit, cereal) with little to no formula/breastmilk. That just seems so different, that it caught me off guard. I am kind of an oldschool mom anyways, so had planned on starting cereal at 4 months before she was born. But the idea of her eating a 4 square meal just seems outrageous. Anyone else been told something like this?



I agree with you that that seems outrageous. Everything I have read and heard from reputable sources is that breastmilk or formula should still be the bulk of their nutrition for the first year. At 6 months they should just be starting out on food.. not having 3 meals a day. I didn't do 3 meals with my son until around 10 months old.

Falicity - posted on 12/28/2009

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My daughter is 4 months, and has been on cereal since she was a month old. She has reflux, and the doctor said to try thickening her milk with cereal. She was breastfed until 3 months, but due to lack of supply eventually made the switch to formula. I was told the same things you were told as far as feeding, but our extenuating circumstances changed that.

However, I have a question of my own. At her 4 month checkup, they gave me the handy-dandy pamphlet of things she should be doing, how to introduce solids, etc. That pamphlet was completely opposite of everything the hospital, the breastfeeding clinic, everyone told me. It said to introduce solids at 4 months, and by 6 months she should be eating 3 full meals a day (meat, veggie, fruit, cereal) with little to no formula/breastmilk. That just seems so different, that it caught me off guard. I am kind of an oldschool mom anyways, so had planned on starting cereal at 4 months before she was born. But the idea of her eating a 4 square meal just seems outrageous. Anyone else been told something like this?

Shamiela - posted on 12/28/2009

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Hi there i have started my little one on solids a week before she turned 4 months an she enjoys eating. I do breastfeed but some how its not enough, its funny though as i breast fed my 2yr old till 18 months with no formula in between. Some how my second is totally different she breast feeds all day along (which i will continue doing till she is 18months too)with breakfast and lunch in between and still has a 200ml formula bottle every night an she finishes it. I think most kids are different and you would know when is the right time to put you child on to solids. And as for peanuts, my 2 yr old enjoys eating any nuts and has no allergies and she cant go with out her peanut butter sandwich either, in Cape Town south africa where i am from peanut allergies are not high at all, i only learnt that in Australia it can be quite deadly to eat peanuts but by the grace of the Lord my daughters are doing great with no allergies.

Krystal - posted on 12/28/2009

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I live in Canada and the feeding reccomendations are exactly the same as the ones of Australia.

Mona - posted on 12/28/2009

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Hi there,I just started my 5mth old baby on solids 2weeks ago.Ive been told to feed 1 hr after having breast milk or formula.After lunch time.Hope this helps.

Jaime - posted on 12/27/2009

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Quoting Satty:

I live in the USA too and although my pediatrician told me it was okay to feed Maya at 4 months (as long as she could support her own head and sit up with/without support) I have friends who were told to wait until 6 months. I think it depends on your pediatrician and your own preference.

I was told not to mix the cereal into the bottle - this was just to not upset her regular routine as she learns to eat. And I'm suppose to feed her cereal once a day at the beginning until she gets the hang of eating. Maya turns 4 months officially on the 31st, so we are starting the New Year with some rice cereal!

I was also told about keeping baby away from Cows milk, peanuts and honey in the first year because their stomachs can't digest the bacteria in them.

Oh yes and the breastfeeding was pushed on me. Maya couldnt latch on properly because she's a little tongue-tied and I had nurses and even one pediatrician make me feel like such a bad mother because my baby couldn't breast feed - as if it was my fault or choice! I did pump until my milk ran out - which wasnt too long after she was born.


yep i was beat up also for not b/feeding because my son wouldnt latch and i tried so hard.......



 



alexandra, im in nz and they tell us not to start before 6 months but 4 months is ok. iv started my boy who turned 4 months on boxing day, and we are going alright, he just eats and eats and eats so ive really had to cut back on how much i am giving him cos it make him sick. they tell u that they shoukd tell u wen they have had enuff but he doesnt just keeps eating. im really stuck with what time of the day it is best to feed him. can anyone help?

Emily - posted on 12/27/2009

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The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends only breastmilk or formula for the first 6 months of life. I have heard moms starting solids earlier than this, but I don't think it's necessary, and there are even some studies that show that starting solids too early causes an increased risk of allergies. I'm in no hurry to start solids.

It seems like in my circle of breastfeeding friends, most don't start solids until at least 6 months.

Kristy - posted on 12/27/2009

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I live in Australia and I have a 4 month old baby..she spent 2 weeks in special care as she was 5 weeks early, she was a healthy 6lb 12.5oz so jer weight wasn't an issue. One of the nurses in special care told me when bub is about 8-9 months old don't bother putting them onto the next level of formula its a waste of money, put them straight onto cows milk. When my son was a baby, (now 11years) babies were started on solids at 4 months...things have changed alot since then....

Sarah - posted on 12/26/2009

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i have a 4 month old daughter just want to her 4 month check up on the 23 and they told me to start her on cereal once a day then twice a day and so on...then do the fruits and then vegetables...i live in pennsylvania which is in the united states. it is common around here to start children at 4 months on food if they are ready and my lil one was just ready she has ate rice cereal since she was 2 months bcus she wasnt holding food down that much...she loves the food and still takes the bottle..and the doctor just figured it was the right time:)

Laken - posted on 12/24/2009

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Quoting Alexandra :

food at 4 months? Common practice?

Hi there to all the mums out there,
I live in Australia, i have a 4 months old little girl, and the common practice and professional recommendations over here are a little different i think. And please i really hope i dont offfend anyone, So i would love some feed back on this as i find it very interesting how different places work.

So the practices/ professional opinion over here are,

- That its NOT recommended to feed your baby anything but breastmilk, or infant formula BEFORE 6 months of age to ensure that your baby can handle it,
- They also recommend not to feed your baby till he/she can support her own head, and sit up by themselves.
- Not to feed your baby milk and cereal in a bottle.
- Not to mix different food together and try each food and wait 3 days incase of an allergic reaction.
- Not to give your baby cows milk, peanuts or honey till 12 months,
- Breastfeeding exclusivly is widely promoted, recommended age for breastfeeding, with supplementary feeding is 12 months.
- encouraged breastfeeding, & demand feeding.



My baby has acid reflux and does not hold down formula well at all. The doctor told me to start him on baby food and see if that helps. The only problem I have withbaby food is him not getting it as fast as he wants, but that takes time and practice. My husband was like that when he was  a baby.



My baby can sit with support and can even lean on his hands and sit up for about a minute. That was one of the questions the doctor ask before making the reccomendation of baby food.



I feed my son milk with cereal in it in a bottle. I don't think my current doctor really likes this idea, but I had to do something to keep him from spitting up all the time. My first pediatrician told me if he ate more than 24 ounces in 24 hours to put cereal in it.



My doctor told me to wait three days and only give the one food at a time.



I have not heard about the milk, peanuts or honey, but I guess it does make some since.



I was not able to breast feed. My baby did not latch on AND  I tried to pump but it only produced like one ounce between both breasts. I was sad about this because breast milk is the best for a baby but I just could not do it. For those of you who can, no matter the pain, if you produce it you should use it!!! It is so much better for babies!



On another note: When I was in the hospital my son did not want to really eat anything. He might have eat one ounce at a time and that was it. The nurses kept telling me to only feed him every four hours, but that is not what the doctor said. The doctor told me that if he eats three ounces feed him in three hours. An hour for every ounce that he would eat. In the end no matter what though, you know your baby better than anyone. You know what your baby will need, if he is still hungry of gets full before the bottle is gone. This is for you to decide. If you feel that it is best to listen to what the experts say then that is your choice. But it is your child and your decision, unless you are harming your child, on what to do when it comes to feeding.

Madelaine - posted on 12/23/2009

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I'm from the US and I started my daughter on solids right at 4 months at the doctors recommendation. She was gaining too much because the formula has so many calories. I asked the doctor about it, and she said that for smaller babies she recommends starting solids later (6 months), but for larger babies she usually recommends right at 4 months, no earlier though. She also said that cereal in the bottle can cause a baby to choke.

[deleted account]

I'm also from Australia but am originally from Hungary and was there when I was pregnant so therefore was bombarded with the customs there which is very similar to here.
However in Hungary they recommend solids from about 3-4 months.
I have found that I cannot get a consistent answer to when to start solids. My MCHN said 6 months, then it was 4 and now she says 5.
I think you just have to understand your baby and listen to what they need. I started my little one on solids a day before she was 4 months and since then she sleeps better, is much happier when she is awake and is overall much happier.

Oh and in Australia they recommend babies/kids don't eat nuts till about age 5 not 12 months. They say if you start them before that it can lead to allergies

Alexandra - posted on 12/23/2009

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It makes it hard if your little one couldnt attach properly, i think people forget is that not all babies can breastfeed, and that they have to learn to. If everything is right, than its easy to breastfeed, but with alot of support from friends and family. Most health professionals are not trained in breastfeeding, over here they have a breastfeeding association (www.breastfeeding.asn.au) which is extremely helpful.



Some other useful links:

http://www.cyh.sa.gov.au/HealthTopics/He...



http://www.bellybelly.com.au/articles/ba...

Satty - posted on 12/23/2009

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I live in the USA too and although my pediatrician told me it was okay to feed Maya at 4 months (as long as she could support her own head and sit up with/without support) I have friends who were told to wait until 6 months. I think it depends on your pediatrician and your own preference.

I was told not to mix the cereal into the bottle - this was just to not upset her regular routine as she learns to eat. And I'm suppose to feed her cereal once a day at the beginning until she gets the hang of eating. Maya turns 4 months officially on the 31st, so we are starting the New Year with some rice cereal!

I was also told about keeping baby away from Cows milk, peanuts and honey in the first year because their stomachs can't digest the bacteria in them.

Oh yes and the breastfeeding was pushed on me. Maya couldnt latch on properly because she's a little tongue-tied and I had nurses and even one pediatrician make me feel like such a bad mother because my baby couldn't breast feed - as if it was my fault or choice! I did pump until my milk ran out - which wasnt too long after she was born.

Summer - posted on 12/23/2009

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that is very similar to the practices here in the United states. I have a 4 mo. old and I have already started him on rice cereal with his formula. I introduced him to the rice cereal at 3 months due to the formula not holding him over for more than 2hrs. the rice cereal also helps him sleep through the night due to him being full. it is up to you if you choose to give your child rice cereal.If you do choose to give her rice cereal, I would start off with about 2-4tbsp in a bottle of 4oz. of breastmilk or formula. And only do it once a day, if you notice she is starting to get constipated then back off on the cereal and do it once everyother day. once my son got used to the taste of rice cereal i started using the spoon. I do not believe that it is bad to give a child cereal and milk in a bottle. But that is also your choose as well. You are the one who knows your child well.

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