start food @ 4 or 6 months?
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I wouldn't go by age. I would go by signs of readiness which are: around 6 months, sitting up *unsupported*, lost tongue thrust reflux (they don't push the food back out), showing an interest, and some wait for the pincer grasp to develop (picking up food between thumb and finger). Here's some great info on why to delay solids:
If you wait until they're ready you can skip cereal which is hard to digest and can cause constipation and go straight to healthy veggies and fruits. Look into baby led weaning. It's an easy way to do solids because they baby is totally in charge of what they eat. No spoon feeding. Regardless of what you choose remember that solids are just for fun before one. Always nurse before solids and make sure that breast milk is their primary source of nutrition until one year.
Just do what you think is right and don't worry about anything else you have motherly instincts and I think that people just forget to use them because all the opinions floating around. I have 3 kids under 4 and when my first was born the dr told me to start cereal at 3 months now with my newborn they are saying wait till 6 months. needless to say my 4 month old is eating rice cereal and i mix it with formula or breast milk he loves it and it helps him sleep. So trust yourself and do what you think is best bc I promise our advise is just advise and you know your baby we don't.
Meghan - posted on 11/21/2011
It really depends on the child. With our first we tried giving her cereal and she would have nothing to do with it until she was 6 months old, but our youngest is ready and very willing at 4 months. She grabs the spoon and screams if I don't get it in fast enough lol. My niece on the hand just wasn't ready for any type of food until she was 10 1/2 months old. She just never showed any interest in it before then. So it really does just depend on the child. Good luck with whatever you decid. And remember if you do try it and your baby doesn't like it hold off and then try again later.
Holly Janelle - posted on 11/13/2011
I waited until 6 months. I read up on it and was told their GI tract isn't ready for anything besides breastmilk until then, but if they don't show signs of readiness I would wait until you feel your kiddo is ready. Everyone is different.
I go by readiness rather than just age...my son was started on solids at 3.5 months because he had all the signs of readiness and was eating 8 x 9oz bottles a day....my daughter on the other hand has only just started solids at 5.5 months because she has shown all the signs of readiness, although she haphazardly eats solids...she much prefers bf!
Signs to look out for are:
~ No Tongue thrust (they don't push food out their mouths)
~ they can sit unsupported (for short periods)
~ they can support their neck
~ they show an interest in food
~ they can bri g food to their mouth (banana is good for this)
It totally depends on the kid. My girls started at 3.5 months (yes, early) and while we had zero problems.... It IS early. My son didn't take his first bite til 6 months, but still wasn't eating on a daily basis til around a year.
My girls started on baby cereal and had a lot of it. My son only had baby cereal a few random times to thicken up some of the extra soupy baby foods.
All 3 of my kids are fairly equal in health and growth.
Jessica - posted on 11/09/2011
I started my first child shortly after 4 months and my 2nd after 5 months. They both got very grabby for my food, could sit for a short period unsupported, and didn't push the food back out. They are both great eaters now. I think it's all in knowing your child and feeling they are ready. I agree with watching for the "signs of readiness". The only think I feel I should mention, after the previous poster suggested skipping cereal, is that cereal is where they get their iron, which they are starting to run low on after 6 months. So, just make sure you are giving other iron-rich foods if you decide not to go with cereal first. :)
Katie - posted on 11/08/2011
I think it totally depends on the kid. My oldest was ready at 4 months. He watched us like a hawk when we ate dinner, he could hold his head up while sitting in his highchair. He was getting grabby with other peoples food when he could get within arms reach. My youngest on the other hand is 4 1/2 months old and he isn't even close to being ready for solids. He has little to no interest in food that doesn't come out of a boob, and he is still a little weak in the neck when it comes to having to hold his head up while sitting for longer periods of time. I you think he's ready give it a try, and if he doesn't take to it as well as you would like give it a break and try again in a few weeks. Good luck!
Edited to add that this is only my opinion, I know that a lot of breastfeeding moms wait until 6 months regardless before including solids in their babies diets and that's cool too :)
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