When is the best time to start solids? What should I star with?

Nilda - posted on 08/31/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )

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Baby boy is almost 5 months. He has been exclusively breast fed. Do I mix the cereal with breast milk? What are your experiences?

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Minnie - posted on 09/01/2009

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At five months no solid offers any benefit over your own milk.



The best time is when baby is ready for them. And that means that you would wait until your baby can pick up food, put it in his mouth, chew it, and swallow it. This happens usually in the second half of the first year.



Purees typically involve baby being fed solids before he's truly ready for them.



There really isn't any particular food that you need to start with.



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Anna - posted on 09/01/2009

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an important sign that a baby is ready to start solids is that they are able to sit up unsupported as this is an indication that their stomach muscles are strong enough to digest food properly.
Its also a good idea to start babies on a vege such as pumpkin instead of something sweet like fruit. I'm sure its not hard to imagine a baby not wanting pumpkin after being used to eat sweet apple!
Indroduce food slowly - you don't know if your baby is allegic to anything. Try a single ingredient one at a time and for a week or two at a time untill your baby is well used to food and then you can start mixing foods together. Homemade veges is more nutrious the bought products and very easy to make. Just cook up a pumpking or some carrots and you could freeze portions or freeze them in ice cubes or it will keep in the fridge for a few days. You will define your babies eating habits for life in his first few years.

If your baby won't swallow the food then he isn't ready - try again in a few weeks.

Tara - posted on 08/31/2009

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Depending how long you want to continue BF will determine when you start solids. If your goal is over 6 mos you may want to wait on cereal. Once you start solids your milk will start to taper off... If you are ready to taper off, yes mix the cereal with breastmilk. If you have any more questions let me know. I am a Certified Lactation Educator and will be happy to help!

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Anna - posted on 09/02/2009

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hi nilda:-) re the cereal everyone will have differing opinions. I tend to steer clear of as many packaged, processed products as possible leaning more towards the fresh fruit and vegetable side of things.
You can encourage your babies sitting by placing a toy in between his legs on the floor and spreading his legs a little bit.
Don't feel pressured to start solids until your sure your baby is ready. Mothers today are defintiely pushed into starting solids by commercialism and money making companies. all the best!

Nilda - posted on 09/01/2009

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I was wondering if cereal had any nutritional value. It looks like when he is ready, I will start him on vegetables better. I definitely do not want to take him off my breast until he is ready 6+ months. He can sit unassisted but not with hands support, although he is starting to look at us when we put food in our mouths.

Annika - posted on 09/01/2009

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Hi Nilda,

My little baby boy started eating solids on 4 months already! I started to give him porridge in the morning (you know, maize porridge I cooked myself) and finely squashed, fresh veggies (like carrot and pumpkin) in the afternoon. I only started to give him beans on 6 1/2 months, and rice and chicken on 9 months, when he started to chew. If you have queries, you are welcome to ask me. Good luck with the solids!

Anna - posted on 08/31/2009

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It is different for different babies. Some signs that they are ready for solids are: they will be interested in watching you eat and try to grab your food, they can hold their heads up, they are unsatisfied after breastfeeding. If he is not ready, when you put food in his mouth he will push it straight out again - it's a reflex they are born with to prevent choking. It goes away when they are ready to eat.

I started with pureed pumpkin, apple, pears. You can mix the cereal with breast milk but I don't recommend the cereal - it is not nutritious and it causes constipation in many babies.

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