Starting solids??!!??

Adrianne - posted on 12/30/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Hello I am new to the group and have been breastfeeding exclusively, unless I am at work and my daughter gets expressed breastmilk in a bottle. She is getting to the point now that she is interested in food but I am becoming apprehensive about it. Will she start to reject nursing and prefer solids? How much or how many meals of solids do I offer. I want to breastfeed her until she decides that she wants to wean but I feel so overwhelmed with the fact of introducing solids. Can you ladies give me some words of encouragement, how did things go for you when offering solids?

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Cherish - posted on 01/01/2011

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We waited till our daughter was 6 months too. She rejected the traditional pureed foods that I first offered (cereals, applesauce, etc.), so we're doing baby-led weaning too, which is just giving the baby solid food that hasn't been pureed. (Really, I think "baby-led eating" would be a better name, since I have no desire to wean her from nursing any time soon!)

And I totally agree, food before one is just for fun and practice, so I don't worry about how much she gets. It's fun to have her really participate at meals - she and I eat meals together, joined by dad when possible. I started with one meal a day, and now she joins me at all three, but I don't worry when she misses one because she's napping or whatnot.

As for which foods, I started with foods that are least likely to cause allergic reactions and are most friendly to her digestive system - I like the list in Baby411, one of my favorite reference books (recommended by my pediatrician as well). Some of our first foods (after the purees) were apple slices and bananas. Now, I try to incorporate some food she eats into my meal, so we get to eat the same things - i.e., tonight, we had burgers, steamed carrots, and potatoes, so she got to munch on steamed carrots, chunks of potato, and some toast.

One thing I found important - we always nurse shortly before I offer any solid food, since BF is still her main nutrition. (And how long that time is ranges from immediately beforehand to an hour beforehand, now.) My daughter is now almost 9 months, and we still nurse frequently - so I still get that nice close bonding time with her. Really, I've found having her eat with me is fun together time too, though - it's bonding as well. And we both really enjoy it. Don't rush it though. :) (It's a little more work, I've found - and it's messy!)

Good luck! :)

Jodi - posted on 12/31/2010

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There is a saying, "Food before one is just for fun!". So, there is no *need* to start solids if you're not ready and baby isn't ready! Do what feels right and natural for you, we waited to start solids with my firstborn until I wasn't worried it would cause constipation, or the runs, or vomiting, or belly aches or that we were pushing it too soon. I think feeding should be stress free for you and baby, by all means, wait if that's what feels best!

Becky - posted on 12/31/2010

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Hello :)

I too breastfeed and had planned to wait until 6 months to introduce solids to my son but we ended up starting a month earlier when he turned 5 months. My pediatrician gave me the go ahead at 4 months but I didnt feel he was ready at that point. I gave it a lot of thought before I did it because I had heard so much about waiting until 6 months...but the fact of it is, he was ready! We would take a bite of something and he would literally go for it so hard he would head butt me and my husband! I would go to take a drink and he would grab the glass and pull it to his mouth...he had been really watching me eat for about a month. I decided to try a 'taste test' to see how he did on the day he turned 5 months. I wanted to see if he rolled his tongue forward and if he would even be willing...well he definitely was! He is a fantastic eater...and was completely ready...in fact I would have felt bad waiting a day longer. Im not one to push solids but sometimes a baby is ready. Like I said, my doctor had given me the go ahead so I felt right doing it a month 'early' as far as that goes. I was pretty overwhelmed at first too but we just started with Gerber 1st food- banana and have done pear as well. I feed him either once or twice a day...he either does a half a jar or the whole thing at a feeding.



I too was worried about my son replacing solids with breastfeeding and losing my supply...I voiced my concerns to my lactation consultant and she informed me that our breasts regulate what the baby needs when it starts solids, it doesnt suddenly diminish or anything...in fact Im still breastfeeding my son just as much as before solids, which is quite often.



By all means wait to 6 months if you baby isnt ready, but if you can check off that list and the dr. said it is a GO then dont stress about it, she may be ready a little earlier and that is totally okay :)

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Kirsi - posted on 01/03/2011

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In Finland its recommended start solids when baby is 6 months old (if necessary for nutrition 4-6 months). Start feeding with spoon, potato, carrot, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli. Add 1-2 new food / vegetable in one week. Use cooked food in the beginning. It's supposed to be better for breastfeeding to start with vegetable mash + milk than with gruel (?) from a bottle.

Noreen - posted on 01/01/2011

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If you decided to start on her solids (which I don't recommend until her 6mo b-day) start with purreed apples or a mashed up banana. Rice cereal will just fill her up. Giving my son Noah Rice cereal at 5mo was one of my biggest bfing mistake because he started dropping nursing sessions and then weight afterwards. SO with my dd Abby, I waited until 6mo and would give her half a mashed up banana every few days just for fun. Then I started giving her pureed homemade apples and alternated apples and banana's on a daily basis. I never gave her more then 2ounce of solids AFTER a nursing session. When she was 9months, that is when I started giving her more. She went to 3ounces of solids 2x a day. At a year, she was getting 3ounces 3x a day. Now at 15months, she gets between 4-6 ounces of solids 3x a day plus a sippy of 2ounce aj and 2 ice cubes (that equal 2ounces of water) maybe 2-3x a wk.







I make all of her food (and juice) which is SO easy! You can buy a rice maker that also steams veggies and fruits really cheap if you don't already have one. Peel and dice up apples, pears, carrots, peas, and green beans and let them steam for 20min or until really tender. Put in a bowl and stir. That's it.



Banana's and avocado's you peel them, mash them, serve them.



For sweet potato's, pumpkin, and butternut squash (don't use spaghetti squash, it's gross!) bake in oven for 50-60min on 400 degrees. Before baking squash and pumpkin, cut in half, clean out seeds wrap in aluminum foil and bake with the skin side down. Scoop out squash after cooled, stir, serve. Sweet potato's you clean them, wrap them in aluminum foil, bake, peel them after they've cooled, stir in bowl, serve.



Apple Juice is easy too! I peel about 8 golden delicious apples and dice them up. Put them in a crock with about 2inches of water in it. Cook on low heat most of the day. Drain the apples into a bowl with a regular colander, put the apples to the side, and then drain the apple juice again through a smaller colander into a jar and wowlah! Apple juice! The apples I put to the side, I add a squeeze of lemon juice, some nutmeg, and cinnamon and there is my apple pie apple sauce for the rest of the family!



You can use ice cube trays to freeze them then put them in a zip lock baggy to store. Or you can buy little 4ounce containers made by rubber maid at any store and store you baby food in that. :)



As they get older you can add cinnamon to your apples and pumpkins, mix avocado with banana and pumpkin and bananas together.

Lise - posted on 12/31/2010

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We really enjoyed babyled weaning, as our daughter got to go at her own pace. I'd suggest looking into it. Our daughter's first food was avocado (good for a toothless 6 month old).

Adrianne - posted on 12/31/2010

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Thanks ladies, I have done some reading and I do want to start her at 6 months. She needs to eat before 1 to get the hang of it, but she isn't ready for it and I don't want to force it. She sits up but I think she is a little young for the pincher grasp and she still has tongue thrust. We will make it eventually but I want to feel comfortable with it.

Lise - posted on 12/31/2010

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Keep in mind that rice cereal is constipating and not necessary. That's not to say NOT to start with it, but something to consider. :)

Lise - posted on 12/31/2010

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There are benefits to delaying solids and none to starting early - http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids...

My daughter had all the readiness signs by 4 mo old - sitting (unassisted even), watching us eat, pincer grasp, etc. We still waited until 6 mo. She loved starting (we did baby-led weaning), but didn't want to eat the food at first - just squish it in her mouth then spit it out. Around 7-7.5 mo old she started loving them and she is a fabulous eater! Favorite food group is veggies, followed by meats.

We followed these suggested guidelines: http://mother-2-mother.com/samplemenus.h...
She now eats 4-5 small meals and still nurses at 14.5 mo old.

Adrianne - posted on 12/31/2010

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Thanks ladies! Her dr said if she acts interested at 5 mo then start her with rice cereal. I think its just me who's worried that I'm not ready. She is not real interested yet but she watches us. A couple days ago she was grabbing my hubby's plate but not the food on it. I just dont want her to grow up I guess!

Janice - posted on 12/31/2010

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When my daughter started solids at 5 mo. (she sat well and was really interested in our food) my milk adjusted accordingly. Usually you start solids really slowly so it doesn't interfere with BFing. My daughter never had an issue with eating and breastfeeding she definitely enjoys both. I agree to wait till 6 mo. if you can but don't stress out, your baby will definitely still want to nurse.

Adrianne - posted on 12/31/2010

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Thank you Deanna I am gonna wait until she is 6 months unless she starts to dive bomb my plate. She will be 5 months on the 12th but I just don't want to give up the closeness of being her only nutrition. I think the issues are more mine than anything...

Deanna - posted on 12/30/2010

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These are good basics to when to start solids

* Baby can sit up well without support.(VERY IMPORTANT)
* 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.

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