Rushing babies to grow up?

Katarina - posted on 04/27/2010 ( 131 moms have responded )

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Why do Moms feel the need to start their babies on solids so soon?



I understand if your little one just isn't getting what he/she needs but I find starting solids at 2 months a little crazy!



Their bodies just aren't ready. We'd all like a full nights sleep, and to feed less often but it's part of being a new Mom,deal with it.



But to start feeding solids because you're anxious to do so or just want more time for yourself isn't quite right.



Enjoy them while they're still so little and so new. Enjoy the time spent cuddling and feeding your baby! Soon enough they'll be feeding themselves and you'll wish for those moment backs.

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[deleted account]

Christa, I appreciate that you are expressing your opinion here, but I have to take exception to your comment that "Sometimes I think mother’s breastfeed longer because THEY want to and their kid could care less." As a long term breastfeeder (at least 2 years with all my kids, and they were't interested in solids until after a year), I did find this a bit insulting. Also, I found your use of words like "lazy" and "selfish" to be less about expressing your opinion and more about being judgemental.

Our babies develop at different rates and we parent in different ways.

[deleted account]

I agree about the solids part. Some children are ready for solids before six months and that's fine, but 2 months is taking things a bit far unless there's a medical reason for it.

I remember one mom who couldn't understand why my son wasn't sleeping in his own room from day 1 and she was grossed out by the fact that I was still breastfeeding my non-crawling baby at 8 months. But some other moms think it's cruel if you pick a date to throw the paci/bottles away, wean and potty train.

Some moms brag about what their baby can do and assume that your lazy if you let your child go at their own pace. Other moms look down on you if you encourage your child to do anything that wasn't child led. I don't really buy into either extreme.

Sarah - posted on 04/28/2010

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I think there's a fine line......you have to pick your battles.
No, i don't give in to every little thing, i've used my own little version of CIO, i took the dummy away etc etc.
However, there are times when i ''give in''.
I don't think any mother is ''text book perfect''
You do what you feel is best at the time.
We rush into some things and then stall at other things.
At least i do! lol :)

~Jennifer - posted on 05/03/2010

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I too could not find anything that says this 'virgin /open gut' is any more than a theory, and therefore it holds no weight in my opinion.

I find it amusing though that 'starting solids' early is considered 'rushing' them, but trying to force them to 'read' at 9 months, and potty train from 'birth' is acceptable.

Christa - posted on 05/01/2010

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One of the theories on the increase of allergies is our societal sterilization. Because we have sterilized everything our children's young immune systems don't get the chance to fight off as many pathogens. Basically there are two ways your immune system fights off germs. It has two different receptors for different antigens. By not giving one of the receptors normal pathogens to work with the other one becomes hyper-sensitive. They believe this is why allergies are on the rise. So it would be a combination of keeping your baby’s environment too sterile and then introducing these new foods too early. I think that's why some have no problems and some do. They've found that children in bigger families (more kids = more germs) have a less occurrence of allergies. Genetics obviously also plays into it. Sorry I just love this kind of stuff, I'm a nerd that way. :-P



I've never thought of the altered foods in terms of allergies, that's definitely a thought. I believe they definitely play into the rise in cancer rates, but that's a whole other topic. :-)

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C. - posted on 05/03/2010

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@Joanna.. That's the only thing my son would do when I was trying to potty train him (he's not quite ready, so we're taking a little break). He would poop in the potty, he just wouldn't pee!

Jodi - posted on 05/03/2010

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I figured..... ;)

And my baby reads - just as well as anyone else in her Kindy class, which suits me just fine :)

I don't get the early push to academics AT ALL. My kids have both known their alphabets, been able to read some basic words (like "cat"), been able to write their names plus mum and dad, count and recognise numbers and some other basics, before they started school, but that's really all they need.

On the other hand, my kids have the most amazing imaginations from playing dressups, lets pretend, building lego houses, playing with blocks, and so on. Imagination is such a wonderful part of childhood that I think is really underrated by some people.

~Jennifer - posted on 05/03/2010

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my 5 yr old hacks into NASA pretty often, so I'm not too worried about the whole 'job' thing....eventually the FBI will come take him from me and stick him in a room with no windows and a laptop.....

Johnny - posted on 05/03/2010

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I know Jodi, I'm just bugging you :-)))

I did elimination communication. It worked well from months 4 to 8 and was kind of fun. But I wasn't really serious about it, and it is not meant to be "potty training" in the traditional sense. It does not require anything from you child, but for the parents to learn the child's cues.

Jenn, you don't want your baby to read? How will they ever get a good job?

Jodi - posted on 05/03/2010

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God no, Carol, that's not what I was suggesting, I was just saying I threw in the first couple of links I found, LOL!!! If I'd had more time, I may have looked a bit further.

And Jenn, I'm with you. I don't get that either.

Joanna - posted on 05/03/2010

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in regards to the "potty train from birth" comment, isn't there a term for it? something like "elimination communication", something like that... I know some more natural moms who successfully did that, by listening to their babies cues and introducing sounds/ways of communicating the need to have a BM, they had their newborns going poop in a potty 4 out of 5 times. And they said that it made it a lot easier A) washing the cloth diapers, and B) not having to potty train a defiant toddler (which I'm working on now, yikes!).

I'd honestly never heard about it, and never imagined something like that could work, but honestly, if I would've known about it I would've tried it, because I was home all day with my daughter anyways, might as well spend it sitting in the bathroom, right? Plus her fears of pooping in the potty now at 2 1/2 are causing difficulties in potty training, so it sure would've been nice to have had it all said and done with.

I don't think it's really rushing, I think it's using natural cues and trying something different.

Johnny - posted on 05/03/2010

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LOL What are you saying Jodi? That I need to get a life?

Gosh, conversations like this thread used to really get to me. When I was pregnant I was so obsessed with doing "the right" thing for my daughter that I'd spend hours googling crap like that and searching through books at the library. By the time I actually got around to introducing solids, all that research had flown out the window. Reading differing opinions on when the "right time" was for anything baby related always threw me into a tizzy. But now I'm armed with an array of useless factoids that has prepared me well for my eventual "Jeopardy: Motherhood Edition" championship.

Jodi - posted on 05/03/2010

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I didn't find any true medical links either Carol.....but I must admit, I didn't go through ALL the pages of sites that came up :) I had to get Madam organised for school!!

Johnny - posted on 05/03/2010

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I'd heard a lot about the idea of the "virgin gut" when I was a member of a bunch of breastfeeding forums. I did some research and never came up with any more reputable source referring to the idea than kellymom (which is a great resource). Most of the stuff I found were in someone's blog or the website of an herbal "doctor". Nothing from AAP, CAP, the WHO or any of the myriad of online health or parenting guides like WebMD, Mayo Clinic, Dr. Sears or Dr. Greene, who all promote waiting for the introduction of solids. So I spoke to my nutritionist and asked, and he just smiled and said, "yes, some people think that," but he didn't really elaborate. I still don't really know what to think, but I have my doubts that the virgin gut really works like most lactavists claim.

Hannah - posted on 05/03/2010

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I think it is great that we all have varying views on how to raise our kids. It is what helps to create such a dynamic and awesome variety of people.

?? - posted on 05/03/2010

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I've heard people say that before too but have never read, heard or seen any evidence to prove that it's real. I asked my doctor about it and she said she would have to get back to me about it cause she had never heard of it before and I just never asked again lol maybe I'll bring it up at our next appointment and see what she says

Erin - posted on 05/03/2010

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I have actually heard of this Christa. I have no idea whether it's true or not. You would think, if it was true, there would have been generations of seriously ill children, considering how early solids have been started in the past.

Christa - posted on 05/03/2010

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I just read this on another thread about giving cereal too early.

"But back to your first question: babies have what's called an "open gut" until they are at least 4 months old (but beware, it's almost always closer to 6 months before it closes). This means that the cells in their intestines have not bonded together, so there's space in between. The gap allows for whatever goes through the intestines to pass directly into the bloodstream. This space is perfect when babies are nursing/drinking formula because it allows the much-needed nutrients to be absorbed by the blood directly, without being broken down. The gap starts to close around 4 months, and is usually completely bonded together by 6 months. The gap is very beneficial to babies - unless parents give them anything beside breastmilk or formula before it's closed."

This seems strange to me and I've never heard of this. My science background makes me think this isn't correct, but I don't know for sure and I have a hungry baby so I can't look it up right now. Does anyone know if this is true???

C. - posted on 05/02/2010

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No, sadly I have heard that one for a while.. Just refused to believe that nonsense.. I hate when people make it a contest. Every baby develops differently and I think as parents, we should embrace those little differences.. That's part of what makes our beautiful little creations unique.

Charlie - posted on 05/02/2010

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Really people think it makes their kids advanced ? that's a new one !

Farrah - posted on 05/02/2010

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I know so many mum's who feed their babies solids to early because they thinkit makes the baby more advanced or turning the car seat around early. It doesn't make them more advanced it just makes the parents look stupid

[deleted account]

Christa, I'm trying to learn how to do those emoticon things: :) What I'm trying to say is, let's stop bugging each other and ALL lighten up!



All our kids seem to grow up OK :)

Charlie - posted on 05/01/2010

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I ate a lot of garlic when i BF and use it a lot in cooking , cooper LOVES it always has since he started solids :)

Johnny - posted on 05/01/2010

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My daughter is the same way Christa. She loves garlic and the other day she ate a piece of raw onion and came back asking for more. She also loves the spicy stuff. I ate lots of very garicky foods while I was pregnant and I have an addiction to hot sauce.

I do tend to think the allergy thing may have a large genetic component though. Only two people on either side of our extended family has any food allergies. My husbands sister & niece were both allergic to protein, gluten, and dairy as babies. They both grew out of it, but were raised following a naturopathic diet which is commonly done in their culture. Apparently, there are quite a number of babies born in their group that have these allergies and they have learned to manage it over the generations. Now that most young people are marrying outside the group, the allergies are becoming less common. Most of my husband's friends and relatives have family members who had all 3 of these allergies as kids. But none of his friends have married within their culture, and all of the many kids are allergy free.

Suzette - posted on 05/01/2010

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I know that my mother tried to breast feed me for as long as possible, she had no idea that the reason I was crying for more was because I was only being fed every other time she tried. She took me to the doctor and found out that her breast milk was drying up and that's when she started on formula, soon after she had to add rice cereal in with the formula in the bottle, not for every feeding of course. I believe she said I was about 3 months old. She says she made it runny and she gave it at night feedings, she used cereal in the morning as well, not through bottles though. If I recall correctly (and my memory sucks) like I said I was about 3-4 months old. She started on solids about 4.5 months old.



Of course, I realize this is dependent on every child and she did this with docs orders, not just off a whim. (Which is what I plan on doing as well, talking to the doc before I do anything.)



I don't know about the mothers who just start without talking to their docs, I've read about the food allergies and all that jazz. The way I see it is, it's their baby, it's their decision. =)



I do have to ask something though, there was a post I saw that sort of bothered me.



@Jessica,

"I.E. My great neice is 1/2 mexican... she was eating tortilla chips at 4 mos... would I feed my 4 mo old a tortilla chip? noooo, in MY culture most ppl get mad if you give a 4 mo old rice cereal."

My niece is part hispanic, actually my Dad's family is hispanic, this is not part of our culture at all, as you stated. Perhaps it is part of your great niece's family tradition, but not part of the culture. I do know that there are many different hispanic/latino cultures, so maybe you were referring to that or just the family tradition.



Has anyone else here ever heard of this being a part of a hispanic/latino culture/tradition? (I'm seriously curious.) I know in my family if anyone attempted to give one of the babies something like that (anything other than baby food or mashed solids) they would get a reaming from one of the other women.

Christa - posted on 05/01/2010

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Sara, I would buy that. I've also heard that babies can handle spicy food or strong tastes (garlic or curry), if their mother ate it while they were in the womb and then while breastfeeding. The same idea they get it through the milk and develop a tolerance to it. I agree with it, I LOVE hot stuff I ate it my whole pregnancy and while breastfeeding and my daughter who's 2 can eat salsa and small pieces of jalapeños without flinching. :-)

[deleted account]

My eldest was exclusively bottlefed from two weeks old as my hind milk never came in.... he's got no allergies despite starting solids early. I gave him loads of stuff before a year old which I've since discovered recommendations against.

[deleted account]

About the food allergies...when I asked my doc about starting solids she told me about a new study she read. Don't ask me what study, I'm just going off her word. She said that babies who are breastfed and exposed to foods through breastmilk will be okay with foods that kids tend to have allergic reactions to. She told me that peanut butter and eggs were more than okay for my daughter when she was about 10 months old. My sis-in-law had a cow because he doc told her to wait with her kids til they were three. But they weren't breastfed. Honestly, I don't know if it's true, but my daughter has no food allergies.

[deleted account]

There is also some evidence to suggest that people possessing high IQs are more at risk of allergies.

A survey at a meeting at Mensa, showed that 31% of those present reported "severe or multiple allergies"

Sarah - posted on 05/01/2010

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I genuinely don't get why people get so passionate on the solids thing. It's not that big of a deal.

Mine started at around 4 months, but i wasn't giving them 3 meals a day or anything, it was just a spoonful or 3 every now and then. If they wanted it, they ate it, if they didn't want it, they didn't eat it! Simple as that!



The bottom line is that it's going to be completely different for every single baby. That's why there are guidelines rather than rules. Do what is right for YOUR baby.

[deleted account]

I know what the studies say but I still find it highly illogical, that if early weaning causes allergies, why are allergies on the increase despite generally weaning later? If any of us listen to our grandmothers they were weaning our parents at a few weeks old. Our parents were weaning us at a couple months old. Allergies should be decreasing with our new found knowledge not the other way around.
There have to be more factors in play than that. Definately altered foods, chemicals in foods. But what about higher infant survival rates. Maybe the babies who would have previously died if it were not for medical intervention also have a weaker immune system generally and hold a greater risk of allergies.

Isobel - posted on 04/30/2010

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It totally makes sense...I just think that the altered foods are the reason for the dramatic increase in food based allergies today.

Christa - posted on 04/30/2010

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Actually Laura I'm not sure your thinking is correct on the allergies. (Although I think you do have something with the altered foods) An allergy is an immunologic response, by introducing food before the child’s immune system is fully developed they can have a negative response to it. Once they have that response it is likely their body will continue because it now see's that substance as a foreign body it doesn't like (similar to it’s reaction to a bacteria or virus). It wouldn't be something that people would develop a tolerance to as all babies immune systems are underdeveloped. It’s the same reasoning behind waiting until certain ages for different vaccines, the immune system needs to be ready to illicit the appropriate response. Does that make sense I'm really tired. :-(

Charlie - posted on 04/30/2010

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Just out of curiosity i wonder if it might have happened if he had tried it at six months ?

You bring up a good point Laura about the major increase in allergies over the years , even in 6 years teaching we would get more and more children at school not only with minor allergies but severe anaphylactic allergies , i dont recall there being so many when i was a kid or teen or it ever being an issue at school , it is interesting although i do think introducing solids too early can be harsh on their brand new digestive tracts .

Dana - posted on 04/30/2010

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I want to address the food allergy issue. I gave Ethan rice when he was almost 5 months old. After the 3rd time he had a horrible reaction. He vomited, was lethargic and his blood pressure dropped way low. Most people would call it a allergy when in reality is is a intolerance. His digestive system wasn't able to handle it.

What's funny about it all is that I knew they said you should wait until 6 months but I thought, everyone gives their child rice at 4 months, he'll be fine. No one in my family ever had any issues. Well, it does happen to someone, Ethan was that someone. Because of that happening he wasn't able to try other grains until he was over a year old and they still won't let me try rice with him. I have to wait until he's past 2. I'm someone who can honestly say it's happened to me and trust me, it's not worth the risk. Your child is better off waiting until they're 6 months old. I don't judge anyone, I don't begrudge anyone who wants to give their child solids. I just like to let people know that it can happen.

Isobel - posted on 04/30/2010

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So many topics, where to start...

Starting solids early- I don't believe the link to allergies (I believe that most of the food allergies that are most prevalent today are because of genetically modified foods) I think that peanuts (one of the first genetically modified foods), wheat (gluten...now seen as a link to behavioral problems), etc are really the big cause of most food allergies today. If starting solids early was really the cause of food allergies, they would have declined over the passed 20 years, not steeply increased.

CIO- I didn't use it...but I'm not so sure if I had another I wouldn't give it a try...I think I would have been a better mom to my kids if I had 7-8 hours of sleep every night.

Your Baby Can Read- No...they can't, that's ridiculous. Most teachers will tell you that they have to REeducate your child and erase all that garbage when they start school.

Bottles and pacifiers- I learned my lesson from my first and although my kids are a year and a half apart, they gave up bottles at the same time...and the youngest had NO problem with it, while my eldest LOST IT.

Pushing them to grow up- most of you hit the nail on the head...it should be encouragement, not pushing. (though it really does go both ways)

Cheers

Katarina - posted on 04/30/2010

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@ Dana: of course that means your little guy is ready for sharp, shiny objects!!!!!!!! We all know when they reach for something they are more then ready for it. I was giving my son sharp, shiny objects when he was 3 months old!

Dana - posted on 04/30/2010

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Jo, I've always thought that was a funny one too, Ethan reached for food, he also would reach for sharp, shiny objects, does that mean he's ready for them too. ;)

Charlie - posted on 04/30/2010

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Yeah i dont think one sign of readiness is saying " im ready for solids " that would be like if i said "oh well he holds his head up he is ready " if that were true coop would have been ready from birth but like Erin said its comment sense , parents must read ALL the signs .

?? - posted on 04/30/2010

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I can't stand it when I see people say "He was reaching for my plate, so I knew he was ready for food!" It's equivilent to a 2 year old reaching for a horse and deciding he's OBVIOUSLY ready for horseback riding!

Hannah - posted on 04/30/2010

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@ Katarina- Eh, I don't think it's such a big decision though. That is where our opinions differ. So many doctors opinions vary on so many different things anyway. If your son was 13 lbs at 3 months and he was good on just the bottle, great for you! Like I said, it is my children and I will choose whichever way I would like. I don't take it personally though. If someone wants to think that I am a bad mother or made the wrong decision, fine, however, I don't think it is their place to do so. No big deal.

I differ on a lot of new ways of thinking out there. Spanking vs. non-spanking and many other things. I am old school and I am not ashamed to admit it at all. I don't judge any that aren't though.

Erin - posted on 04/30/2010

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I also agree that anywhere between 4-6 months is appropriate DEPENDING ON THE BABY!!! My daughter was huge (8kg/18lbs at 4 months), was sitting up, had lost the tongue-thrust reflex and was consuming far too much formula (as advised by the paediatrician in the hospital). As Loureen said, too much formula can be an issue as well. So I followed the doctor's advice, and started her on one serve of rice cereal a day at about 4.5 months, and purees at 5 months. This allowed me to decrease her milk intake in line with recommendations, which is what the doc was concerned about.

Now if she wasn't showing the signs of readiness I would have had to find another solution. In my case, it had nothing to do with trying to make her sleep longer (she was already sleeping 12hrs a night by this point). If she had turned her head or resisted the spoon I would have known she wasn't ready. But she was well and truly ready, despite being 6 week short of the 6 months!!!

It's really just about common sense. Feeding an 8 week old is ridiculous. Forcing solids on a 4 month old who is still unable to sit up or showing no signs of wanting the food, is ridiculous. I do believe that if you're going to start before 6 months you should get the all-clear from your doctor first. But as Loureen mentioned, if you have a child that is clearly ready at 5 months, are you going to wait until the day they hit 6 months and start feeding them 3 meals a day?? What can possibly change overnight to make the child 'ready' now? If a mother has observed signs of readiness at 4 or 5 months, and has spoken to a doctor, I see no problem starting solids.

Charlie - posted on 04/30/2010

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Im in Australia and the recommendation is 6 months again ITS A RECOMMENDATION our midwives and doctor informed 4 months was the absolute minimum not to mention all baby foods start at 4 month feeds on the packaging , babies dont just hit 6 months and on that day exactly they need or want food , some start to express interest on their own before 6 months and some are not interested at all for months afterward , In regards to Christina's comment about her sisters child , in Australia on the side of my sons formula container there were warnings to not exceed the recommended amount of formula directed on the side , this would obviously change with age but was never more than 4 feeds after 6 months , now this is not an attack on your sister feeding every hour and a half its to illustrate the differences between countries recommendations and how people perceive them , In Australia its recommended to stick to the directed amounts of formula as it can also cause many digestive problems however , not sure where your from but it may be considered the norm to feed by ear and not as directed , we are all different , all of our babies are different and develop at different rates there is being beyond ridiculous and feeding at say 6 weeks and there is taking notice of your child and their needs of course most parents should know the signs of a baby who is ready to feed on solids : when they can hold their head up well , sit well supported , makes chewing motions , is curious about what you are eating and reaches out for food , and when a baby has doubled their birth weight , most parents aren't foolish enough to give a baby a peanut butter sandwich as their first food or something that could contain a bacteria risk as long as you take the normal precautions when feeding them their first solids and do so when THEY are ready i agree that feeding solids anywhere between 4 and 6 months is fine .

?? - posted on 04/30/2010

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I don't get why anyone would want to make or try to make their baby grow up any faster than they have to regardless of what aspect of life it's in, eating, sleeping, playing, learning...

I cried when my son decided he didn't want his pacifier anymore.. I've been on an emotional roller coaster the past 2 weeks because he's refusing his bottle now... he's eating an apple whole... he's doing all these toddler things so fast, one after another now and he's only 18 months, he's choosing to do all of these things on his own and I am getting all emotionally tripped up cause my baby is not a baby anymore, on his own accord.

Obviously I'm not going to 'hold him back' so that he stays a baby longer but why ANY mom would want their precious, fragile but durable child to grow up into the mess of a world we have any sooner than they need too is beyond me.

One thing that gives me comfort though... my son is his daddy's mini-me... it's astounding how Gabriel is a miniature Devon and everyone always teases me, asking me if I'm sure he's mine. At least I know that with his independant behavior there is a part of me in him too !

Christa - posted on 04/30/2010

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I'm in the US and my doctor still says not before 4 months, but if I wanted after that is fine. I do wait until 6 months because I think it's better, but if someone did do it at 4 months I don't think that's the end of the world. I agree any earlier seems too early to me. My daughter is almost 11 wks right now and the thought of even attemping solids soon seems odd. I have a hard time even keeping her tounge out of the way to give her medicine on occasion.

Johnny - posted on 04/30/2010

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I think there are lots of people who still start their children on solids at 4 months. Either because that is how it is done in their country or that was the advice from their doctor or because they have already raised children successfully doing it that way and it makes sense to continue. But any earlier that 4 months is really questionable. I have never seen any recommendations to support that being a healthy choice. Quite the contrary in fact.

C. - posted on 04/30/2010

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@Cathy.. I understand that.. But she wanted to know why I thought it was a problem, so I elaborated.. Sorry if I got a little carried away :)



@The group.. Anyway, Katarina brings up a very interesting point. My sister's second baby (my second oldest sister) was over 11 pounds at birth and she didn't feed him solids until about 6 months. Yes, she fed him formula bottles almost every hour and a half or so (10 oz bottles, not a little dinky bottle), but that didn't matter.. Babies wake up for feedings at night and some babies need to eat more often and have bigger bottles than others, but that by no means, means that those bigger eaters are ready for solids..

[deleted account]

I was just pointing out that we are all from different cultures and receive different information dependant on when we had our children. Parents are far more likely to base their choices on personal experience of previous children than what the latest parenting manuals say.
Fruit and vegetable purees are still considered absolutely fine here from 4 months.

Katarina - posted on 04/30/2010

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Hannah: At 3 months old my son was 13lbs 2oz and bottles were just fine for him. I was feeding him every 2 hours to keep him happy but at least I know he wouldn't suffer long term effects later. It's not a mater of following everything the dr says, it's a mater of doing your research before making such a big decision. I know every parent is entitled to raise their children their own way BUT every mom faces judgement at one point or another. It's just the way it is!

C. - posted on 04/30/2010

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@Cathy.. That's not the point! Susanne wanted to know WHY it matters.. I told her WHY it matters. Whether her children are older than mine or not is beside the point. Ok, so the recommendations weren't 6 months when her kids were young.. Fine, I get that.. But they are at 6 months now and that is why I brought it up. She didn't see the big deal, so I told her why it's such a big deal.

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