BABY FOOD?

Cynthia - posted on 02/20/2010 ( 22 moms have responded )

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Just curious on when to start giving baby food. The books say you can start as early as 3months. But I don't know. My daughter is 3months and a few weeks and she always looks at me like if she wants my food. and when I act like im going to give it to her she opens her mouth.

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Chelseaszidik - posted on 02/20/2010

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I would like to remind you all that there is a reason that this group does not support or recommend giving solids before six months of age. These are the follow things that can happen if food is given too early:
Although some of the reasons listed here assume that your baby is breastfed or fed breastmilk only, experts recommend that solids be delayed for formula fed babies also.

Delaying solids gives baby greater protection from illness.
Although babies continue to receive many immunities from breastmilk for as long as they nurse, the greatest immunity occurs while a baby is exclusively breastfed. Breastmilk contains 50+ known immune factors, and probably many more that are still unknown. One study has shown that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 4+ months had 40% fewer ear infections than breastfed babies whose diets were supplemented with other foods. The probability of respiratory illness occurring at any time during childhood is significantly reduced if the child is fed exclusively breast milk for at least 15 weeks and no solid foods are introduced during this time. (Wilson, 1998) Many other studies have also linked the degree of exclusivity of breastfeeding to enhanced health benefits (see Immune factors in human milk and Risks of Artificial Feeding).

Delaying solids gives baby's digestive system time to mature.
If solids are started before a baby's system is ready to handle them, they are poorly digested and may cause unpleasant reactions (digestive upset, gas, constipation, etc.). Protein digestion is incomplete in infancy. Gastric acid and pepsin are secreted at birth and increase toward adult values over the following 3 to 4 months. The pancreatic enzyme amylase does not reach adequate levels for digestion of starches until around 6 months, and carbohydrate enzymes such as maltase, isomaltase, and sucrase do not reach adult levels until around 7 months. Young infants also have low levels of lipase and bile salts, so fat digestion does not reach adult levels until 6-9 months.


Delaying solids decreases the risk of food allergies.
It is well documented that prolonged exclusive breastfeeding results in a lower incidence of food allergies (see Allergy References and Risks of Artificial Feeding). From birth until somewhere between four and six months of age, babies possess what is often referred to as an "open gut." This means that the spaces between the cells of the small intestines will readily allow intact macromolecules, including whole proteins and pathogens, to pass directly into the bloodstream.This is great for your breastfed baby as it allows beneficial antibodies in breastmilk to pass more directly into baby's bloodstream, but it also means that large proteins from other foods (which may predispose baby to allergies) and disease-causing pathogens can pass right through, too. During baby's first 4-6 months, while the gut is still "open," antibodies (sIgA) from breastmilk coat baby's digestive tract and provide passive immunity, reducing the likelihood of illness and allergic reactions before gut closure occurs. Baby starts producing these antibodies on his own at around 6 months, and gut closure should have occurred by this time also. See How Breast Milk Protects Newborns and The Case for the Virgin Gut for more on this subject.


Delaying solids helps to protect baby from iron-deficiency anemia.
The introduction of iron supplements and iron-fortified foods, particularly during the first six months, reduces the efficiency of baby's iron absorption. Healthy, full-term infants who are breastfed exclusively for periods of 6-9 months have been shown to maintain normal hemoglobin values and normal iron stores. In one study (Pisacane, 1995), the researchers concluded that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months (and were not give iron supplements or iron-fortified cereals) had significantly higher hemoglobin levels at one year than breastfed babies who received solid foods earlier than seven months. The researchers found no cases of anemia within the first year in babies breastfed exclusively for seven months and concluded that breastfeeding exclusively for seven months reduces the risk of anemia. See Is Iron-Supplementation Necessary? for more information.


Delaying solids helps to protect baby from future obesity.
The early introduction of solids is associated with increased body fat and weight in childhood. (for example, see Wilson 1998, von Kries 1999, Kalies 2005)

Delaying solids helps mom to maintain her milk supply.
Studies have shown that for a young baby solids replace milk in a baby's diet - they do not add to baby's total intake. The more solids that baby eats, the less milk he takes from mom, and less milk taken from mom means less milk production. Babies who eat lots of solids or who start solids early tend to wean prematurely.

Delaying solids helps to space babies.
Breastfeeding is most effective in preventing pregnancy when your baby is exclusively breastfed and all of his nutritional and sucking needs are satisfied at the breast.

Delaying solids makes starting solids easier.
Babies who start solids later can feed themselves and are not as likely to have allergic reactions to foods.

ALL of the follows criteria should be met before introducing solids:

Baby can sit up well without support.
Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue.
Baby is ready and willing to chew.
Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. Using the fingers and scraping the food into the palm of the hand (palmar grasp) does not substitute for pincer grasp development.
Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth.

This is all taken from kelllymom.com

Martha - posted on 02/21/2010

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http://kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/ind...

You should not give ANYTHING but breastmilk until 6months the EARLIEST.
My daughter didn't get anything besides her milk until almost 7 mos and she didn't eat solids everyday until about 11mos. Never did baby cereal because its junk food for babies, and will most likely constipate a breastfed baby because of all the artificial iron. Never did baby food either because well baby food is kinda flavorless and watery. Her first food was avocado, and she ate when she could feed it to her self by picking it up. Before 12mos old breastfed babies do not need any ANY other nutrition other than breastmilk. Any solids are for fun/practice, and should only be offered AFTER the baby nurses.

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Firstly, your pediatrician should be able to tell you when is the appropriate time to start trying solids (even though that can vary from doctor to doctor). Secondly, the general rule I think is that your baby needs to have enough neck control and be able to sit up pretty well so that s/he won't choke on the food you're giving him/her. The other thing the ped. looks for in solids readiness is their tongue reflex. Babies are born with a reflex for pushing things out of their mouths with their tongues. This means that if you try to feed him/her something on a spoon s/he will act like they're taking in the food but then, because of the tongue reflex, end up pushing it all out with their tongue. This means that they're NOT ready yet to eat solids. Thirdly, in my own personal opinion based on what I've read and also having had 2 children, I think it's best to delay introducing solids til at least 5 mos at the earliest. And even if you start at 5 mos exactly -- assuming your baby can sit up and no longer have the tongue reflex -- you should just start of with rice cereal mixed with breastmilk / formula. [Unless your ped. tells you otherwise of course. Some babies may have other issues and reasons that the ped. MAY say you can introduce some rice cereal earlier.]



My own thinking about delaying introduction of solids is to avoid the development of food allergies later on. Human babies are born with underdeveloped digestive tracts that are somewhat porous but then becomes less porous as they get older and bigger. If you introduce solids too early food particles will tend to seep through the intestinal walls and can irritate the baby's bowels and can lead to development of certain food allergies later on. There is no deficit in delaying solids til 5-6 mos if your breastmilk production is healthy and strong and the baby is growing at a good rate. Your breastmilk has everything a baby needs for it's development in the first 5 so months of it's life.

Chelseaszidik - posted on 02/21/2010

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I would like to share my sources with you and to point out that pediatricians do not all give the same answers on this topic which is why it is so important to do your own research. Pediatricians have been told various things on the topic of the introduction of solids depending on when they got their degree and how up to date they stay on the AAP guidelines (These guidelines state that solids should not be introduced until 6 months and this was put into effect in 1997). The most recent studies however have proven that there is more benefit to waiting until 6 months to introduce solids.

American Academy of Pediatrics:

"Exclusive breastfeeding is ideal nutrition and sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months after birth." (Published 1997 and still in their recommendations)

http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi...

UNICEF:

"Exclusive breastfeeding is the perfect way to provide the best food for a baby’s first six months of life, benefiting children the world over."

http://www.unicef.org/nutrition/index_br...

Here is a list of other organizations that have taken the same stance worldwide:

World Health Organization
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
American Academy of Family Physicians
Health Canada

There are more and here is a link to a website that has links to a number of these organizations on this issue.

http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids...

Hend - posted on 02/20/2010

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Hello dear
I'd like to tell you I started feeding my baby only from two weeks when reach the sixth month, because the Dr. told me so before, but modren studies have shown that feed the child from the fourth month, much better, I would like to inform you Start from now to feed your baby Start gradually and fruits and then vegetables and then wheat Alsearlak or every three days you can enter a new category
I hope to happiness and fun, a nice day

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22 Comments

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Shalom - posted on 02/23/2010

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Normally i don't like to jump into a conversation like this one, but I have to agree with Chelsea S.



Feeding your baby at half the age of the 6 months the World Health Organization recommends MIGHT not cause long term damage or consequences to her overall health, but consider this;



it could be years before you find out for sure it was a mistake, and when you do, it'll already be done and you can't take it back.



Exclusively breast feeding to 6 months is we know for sure is the best thing possible, and the risks of feeding solids early far outweigh ANY possible benefits. So ask yourself- is there a reason that is good enough to take that chance?

Erin - posted on 02/22/2010

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My doctor said at around 5 1/2 months my baby could start solids due to her weight at that time and she was having some issues with diarrhea that solids could help and that was really rice cereal mixed with breastmilk, water or formula. It took her 2 weeks to actually be able to eat it and I tried 2 times a day. She'd be interested, but just spit it out. My mom kept saying she'd sleep through the night when she had solids, but she didn't sleep through the night for another 4 months after solids. I'd get the ok from the doctor when your baby has reached the point capable of eating solid food. Super Baby Food was a book given to me by a friend and was really helpful when we reached the eating point.

Kimberly - posted on 02/22/2010

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I agree with Martha and Katy, for the first 6 months all babies need is breastmilk, when he was 6 months I started introducing vegtables his first food was sweet potatoes, I didnt start grains untill he was 8-9 months. I always made his food. Invest in a good blender and a manual babyfood grinder for when you are on the go.... Making homemade baby cereal is easy just pick a grain you want grind it in your blender untill its almost flour like then cook as directed add breastmilk to thin it and add some fruit once they have had them and its great,,,,,

Good luck and enjoy when baby is ready for solids is so much fun watching them explore their new world.... Its messy but enjoyable....

hope this was helpfull

Katy - posted on 02/22/2010

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I don't believe in giving solids before 6 months. That said, I know plenty of people who started at 4 months with rice cereal, then a fruit at a time, etc.. Any earlier than that is depriving them of the nutrients, breastmilk naturally carries. They need a belly full of breastmilk not rice. Everybody is going to have their stories of "I was fed this way.." or "my children were fine" And thats great! But my gut told me to stick to 6 months and thats what we've done. I have a very healthy 29 lb 18 month old son who is not afraid of eating any foods. I made all my own food at home, and while waiting the 4-5 days between trying foods. We had a great time with the introductions.



Even at 6 months, my son's main source of nutrition was breastmilk. We used solids as a new activity to practice motor skills. It gradually becomes more of a nutritional need as the months fly by.



Good Luck with your decision and have fun!

Chelseaszidik - posted on 02/21/2010

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Brook you are entitled to your belief but to recommend your belief that clearly goes against all medical research and the guidelines of this group in this group is not acceptable. This is a group for those who breastfeed and I would like to respectfully warn that the guidelines of this group are here to be followed.

Brooke - posted on 02/21/2010

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every parent needs to go by what they believe I have been taken care of children for 15 years and have seen parents wait and seen parents who have not. A lot of people I know started at 4 months and their children are fine. Also not all mothers can breastfeed so to say they should only breastfeed is not correct. Also not everything you find on the internet is correct. My son drinks over 32oz of formula and is still hungry that is why I was told to feed him baby food. As a parent you are the only one who knows what is right for your child.

Brooke - posted on 02/21/2010

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My pediatrician told me about it and my mother read it some where. also my pediatrician told me they can start between 3 and 4 moths. if you to Gerber website there is a quiz to see i they are ready.

Chelseaszidik - posted on 02/20/2010

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Brook show me a study that shows solids before 6 months of age decreases the risk of food allergies. It is true that delaying some foods past a certain point does increase the risk of food allergies but not before 6 months of age.

Melinda - posted on 02/20/2010

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nope. wait till 6 months. Interest on human food and willingness to try are not the only signs she's ready. Wait! Although regardless what any of us say follow your gut and your pediatricians advice

Amber - posted on 02/20/2010

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you need to wait. there little bodys can not handle it. Breast milk is the BEST!!

Brooke - posted on 02/20/2010

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Chelsea I have heard studies that say the opposite about Delaying solids decreases the risk of food allergies. I have heard that the earlier you start the less likely they will have allergies to food. People really need to go by what they think. I was feed cereal as an infant at 3 weeks I am fine.

Debbie-shea - posted on 02/20/2010

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6 Months started with rice cereal. She may not be trying to tell you she's hungry by watching and opening her mouth... babies put everything in their mouths. Keep ebf as long as possible. You'll miss the days when you could go out of the house without carting around food.

Jacqueline - posted on 02/20/2010

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I found it was easier to give my daughter baby food around 6 months, even then, she nursed most of the time... And even now she is 13 months and still mainly nurses. i say you dont need to rush it at all... Maybe mix some rice cereal with Breast milk and try that if you really want it :)

Brooke - posted on 02/20/2010

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I started cereal at 6weeks and baby food a week before my son turned 3 months. He is now 4 and a half months and eats all stage two we are just working on meats. He also drinks 32oz of formula. that is why I started early he was still hungry.

.anna - posted on 02/20/2010

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i started all 3 of mine between 3 and 4 months.
start with rice cereal, and a few 1st foods, like applesauce or carrots. don't use just fruit or they won't want the veggies later on ;)
one at a time, and wait a couple days after you give one food before you start another, to see if there is an allergic reaction.

Samantha - posted on 02/20/2010

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my baby boy is 3 months old and has started havin half a rusk mixed with formula everyday.i give it him around the same time i have dinner. if they dont want it then its simple, they wont eat it. My boy cant get enough and when he's had enuf he just wont eat it or open his mouth for the spoon. Go ahead, give it a try.

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