starting solids later than 6 months detrimental?

Rosie - posted on 05/03/2011 ( 108 moms have responded )

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in a debate here there was a mini-debate about how it's dangerous or not to start solids after 6 months of age. do you think it is dangerous? why or why not?

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Minnie - posted on 05/04/2011

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LLL is considered the world's leading authority on breastfeeding. Despite some people not being happy with their personal interactions with some involved with LLL, that does not discount the accuracy of the information the organization provides.



Ive NEVER once been told by anyone that delayed solids is healthy. And that means pediatricans (believe me Ive seen alot of them) child health, child dieticians, childrens hospital, speech pathologist, ngala, ABA, the lot



From the ABA:



http://www.breastfeeding.asn.au/bfinfo/s...



A healthy, full-term baby needs only breastmilk for at least the first 6 months



Do I see the words "at least"?



and



Research has shown that the risk of low iron is small in healthy full-term babies still exclusively breastfed between 6 and 12 months



hmmmmm.....seems like Australia's breastfeeding authority is in agreement that it is -not- dangerous to exclusively breastfeed past six months.

Minnie - posted on 05/04/2011

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All the research says? Mel, did you not notice two peer reviewed journal articles that I posted and a page from a website maintained by an accredited La Leche League Leader and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant?



Breastfeeding is the biological standard. Don't think of it having 'less' iron than formula but the NORMAL amount. The iron in breastmilk is extremely bioavailable, meaning that it is much more easily used by the body than that in formula and fortified baby foods. In fact, the additional iron in formula and fortified foods can cause iron-deficiency anemia through intestinal bleeding and increase the risk of infections due to the high amount of iron available for bacterial use.



You say we must introduce by six months- how's that constipation working out for ya there?



And yes, I will disagree that late introduction of solids causes speech delays, as evidenced by my 2 1/2 year old's scary command of the english language. She started solids at 10 months- no purees. Not having goo to 'chew' on at six months as opposed to being able to chew on apples, eggs, meat and vegetables at 10 months is not going to be detrimental to a child's speech.



Don't link from babycenter thinking that it's reliable.

[deleted account]

Mel, your experiences may have coloured your opinions, but please be careful of making general statements. None of my daughters had solids until they were over 12 months of age. The by-passed the mushy stage and went straight to finger foods. Their speech has always been clear and articulate.
i wouldn't say that's proof of anything. I would say it's an indication that delaying solids id not always bad for speech development.
I don't think anyone here has any problems with your information - information is always going to vary. My problem (and possibly others' problem) is your tendency to make flat statements that are supposed to cover everyone. Life doesn't work that way.

Cassie - posted on 05/04/2011

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BUT, there's a difference in using what advice you want to use and changing advice given to you by doctors to what you think it should be. ie a dr saying you CAN introduce solids between 4-6 months but you change it to "my doctor said you MUST introduce solids between 4-6 months."



*edited to correct punctuation

Kate CP - posted on 05/04/2011

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"sorry Lisa if I listen to all tjhe health professionals in Australia not some crazy LLL place that has messed up breast feeding nazi ppl working for them. Ive NEVER once been told by anyone that delayed solids is healthy. And that means pediatricans (believe me Ive seen alot of them) child health, child dieticians, childrens hospital, speech pathologist, ngala, ABA, the lot. Are you saying they all must have incorrect information?"

I know this wasn't directed at me, but I have to answer it. I think you cherry-pick information you get from your health care providers. I think you hear what you WANT to hear from them. When a doctor says "You don't have to start solids at 4 months, but starting them before a year is best" you hear "You MUST start solids at 6 months of age." When a speech therapist says "Delaying solids may have an impact on speech" you hear "If you delay solids your child will have a lisp".

So yea, I think your perception of what all these health care professionals are telling you is wrong.

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Noreen - posted on 05/05/2011

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I don't nessassary think it's dangerous, but I don't think babies under 6mo are ready for solids yet.

[deleted account]

The recommended age for starting solids has changed a lot in the last hundred years. Before that, who knows -- though I'm sure somebody has researched it.

At the turn of the century, it was recommended after 12 months -- probably because they didn't have vaccines and there were serious diseases, so all the breastmilk a baby could get was protection.

Then they invented formula (I don't know? 30-40 years later?), but it was really poor quality and babies were dying. They were unable to fortify formula with iron back then, so they invented the rubbish rice cereal which they were able to fortify and it was recommended to start at a very early age. (This tradition is still with us, though for no nutritional reason whatsoever, since formula contains iron now and is of course vastly improved.)

So no, I don't think it's "detrimental" to start solids later than 6 months. At some point a kid has to eat -- and will eat. But mostly, it's cultural.

[deleted account]

If babies require food at 6 months.... there would be a heck of a lot more dead or seriously malnourished babies in this world than there already are.... It may be a GOOD thing, but require or need are definitely NOT words that I would use. Otherwise my happy, healthy, strong, bigger than his 4 year old cousin 3 year old.... wouldn't be who he is. ;)

Jenn - posted on 05/05/2011

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Yeah, I wouldn't say they REQUIRE food from 6 months, but if they are showing signs of readiness and an interest, it's time to start. If they aren't ready or interested, there is nothing to worry about, because they do not NEED solids yet. Mel, I find that you tend to take what your Dr's or Nurses tell you as gospel or you misinterpret things to hear what you want to hear. Just an observation from several things you've posted.

Stifler's - posted on 05/05/2011

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They should be offered solids from 6 months is the only thing I've read/heard. Not "it's detrimental to their health to be drinking milk only and no food".

[deleted account]

Agreed, Jodi. They do not "require" solids. And although there are no doubt a few mothers that delay solids because they don't want to reduce breastfeeding, I've never met any, and I doubt it would be a significant proportion,

Jodi - posted on 05/05/2011

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Everything says "approximately" (for very good reason - because every child is different). They do not "require" them.

Mel - posted on 05/05/2011

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yes Jenn it would be I already mentioned that in one of my first posts :) Unfortunately they do require solids after 6 months but like you say some babies just dont want to eat yet

Jenn - posted on 05/05/2011

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So really what you're saying Mel, is that you should feed your baby when THEY are ready - which is what we're all saying. If a baby is 7 months old and still shows NO interest in food, and let's say you've tried and they spit everything out - wouldn't that be an indicator to wait? I do agree with you that there are scant few who have this bizarre obsession with breastfeeding and deny their children anything but breast milk, but that isn't to say that other babies who are started "later" on solids are being denied anything or that it will harm them.

Mel - posted on 05/04/2011

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I will rephrase if I had phrased it wrong, my own personal beliefs are what I stataed before. I believe it is dangerous not to introduce solids after 6 months and I believe alot of mothers tend to become obssessed with breast feeding they cant bare the thought of having to cut down milkf eeds for the baby to have other foods, so they continue tobreast feed and tell people thier baby has no interest in solids. this is through what I have seen and heard, not on here but alot of places. I would not judge someone if thier baby genuinly did not eat solids after 6 months. The baby has to be ready of course and want to eat. Forcing a baby to eat will set them back(it did with my daughter).

Mel - posted on 05/04/2011

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sometimes these things have to be done Teresa. They did give me a list of things to look out for, but turned out if was fine. My daughter was FTT (like all tube fed babies) and losing weight on formula with extra scoops in plus calorie powders and something needed to be done. Her starting solids was extinuating circumstances, but for the speech it may have been the feeding tube yes but more then likely it was the delayed solids not chweing and swallowing like the other kids. I know this is what was noticed by people, that she wasnt able to do this. But any way continue, this isnt about my daughter just giving that an an example because of Kates theory that I was twisting things or making things up

[deleted account]

I know I'm not an expert, but the concept of having a 3 month old on solids for weight gain kind of horrifies me.....

Kate CP - posted on 05/04/2011

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"Oh and to answer your other comment Kate - I didnt get the delayed speech info from my speech pathologist I got the PROOF in my 3 yr old who doesnt use her muscles in her mouth correctly because she had delayed introduction to solids, she knew how to lick food sure or swallow tiny amounts but no proper chweing swallowing action til much later. Theres the 100% proof it can acuse speech problems"

Your three year old was tube fed for a large portion of the time her soft pallet was developing. I didn't start my daughter on solids until 6 months or later and she's fine at 5 years old. I don't think using your daughter, who had extenuating circumstances surrounding the development of her speech, as an example for what harm delaying solids can do is a valid point.

Jodi - posted on 05/04/2011

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"Jodi My pediatrician is Dr Ian Everitt you may be able to find some info on the net because he IN one of the best peds he travels to america and other countries because hes one of the best, so mine is just as good as your Im sure."



I never said your pediatrician was any less, I was just making the point that all AUSTRALIAN medical professionals advise differently and have different perspectives, that's all. It doesn't make them right.

Cyndel - posted on 05/04/2011

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I believe the whole starting solids so young started when breast feeding was thrown out the window and formula wasn't all that great yet. It didn't have all the nutrients babies need so they began to notice problems in infants and began to introduce solids much younger then was necessary when breast was the only way to feed baby. I don't think a child should be started on solids until the child shows he/she is ready.

Mel - posted on 05/04/2011

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ok will clear a few things up I dont cherry pick information Kate. My words are the same words I get form the health care professionals. Alot of which some people on here tend to disagree with , one being early solids helps prevent allergies. My dietician had my daughter on peanut buetter rusks at 3 months old for weigt gain, and eggs at 6 months old. Also Lisa, incase you didnt know my daughters constipation was not caused by solids, they were caused by lack of fluids. Upping their water intake fixes constiupation. Kids grow teeth for a reason - to eat. Jodi My pediatrician is Dr Ian Everitt you may be able to find some info on the net because he IN one of the best peds he travels to america and other countries because hes one of the best, so mine is just as good as your Im sure. I love how people query me so much but arent generally willing to do thier own research, and when I ask people to make calls themselves they dont want to do it, only to stick by thier own beliefs. Delayed solids is defiately not something tha is encouraged, at least not where I live. Sure theres babies who wont eat at 6 months but you should be trying at least once a week to start them eating. On the all the food charts you will see a list of what they eat at 4-6 months and so on. These days the general recomendation is 4-6 months. I wasnt going to post anymore but thought I would clear it up, because I have definately been involved with enough child health professionals to know a decent amount on the topic. Oh and to answer your other comment Kate - I didnt get the delayed speech info from my speech pathologist I got the PROOF in my 3 yr old who doesnt use her muscles in her mouth correctly because she had delayed introduction to solids, she knew how to lick food sure or swallow tiny amounts but no proper chweing swallowing action til much later. Theres the 100% proof it can acuse speech problems

Jodi - posted on 05/04/2011

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"Canberra ( who are one of the most up to date and progressive hospitals around )"

That probably explains why my pediatrician was quite comfortable with Taylah feeding so late, even though she was underweight - his exact comment "Taylah is just being Taylah, it's who she is." I LOVE him for that.

Nikkole - posted on 05/04/2011

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I don't think it's dangerous but i let my kids decide when they were ready for food

Charlie - posted on 05/04/2011

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Mel my Australian midwife doesnt enforce solids at 6 months or after , she is , like every other midwife here in my state and in Canberra ( who are one of the most up to date and progressive hospitals around ) all for infant led feeding .

Marina as for cherry picking I think it is foolish to accept old information based on your own needs , information , science and research is evolving all the time if my doctor says something I know is false and not up to date then i question his credibility because medical proffessionals more so than anyone should constantly be updating their information if they really give a shit about the people and not just sitting back and being ignorant , question everything , research from all angles and make sure the person you see as a proffesional has done the same .

6 months has always been a RECCOMENDATION , meaning it isnt and never has been necessary to start them at that very point in time .

Jenn - posted on 05/04/2011

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I think you should just follow each individual babies wants and needs. The only way I could see it being detrimental, is if you are denying them for your own bizarro reasons. When a baby is physically able to, and shows an interest in eating food, is the perfect time to start, regardless of age.

Jodi - posted on 05/04/2011

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Quoting Crystal:
"diabetes may be genetic but it can also be caused by other things such as lack of exercise and poor diet with haveing to much sugarbeing a key factor as well"

Firstly, that is Type 2 diabetes not Juvenile Diabetes (which has now been renamed Type 1 diabetes to distinguish the cause of the 2 types).

Secondly, I think you will find that all the research points towards feeding them to EARLY being a contributor to diabetes. There is no evidence that feeding solids later in any way contributed to Type 2 diabetes, quite the opposite.

[deleted account]

That's the exact advice I gave my best friend when her son was born 4 years ago. Take all the advice in mind and pick what seems to make the most sense. If you find it's not working... go back to your resources and try again. ;)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/04/2011

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Yeah Teresa, you get so much info when you have kids, from doctors, grandparents (lots of that info is ancient and out of date...but some is still good), other relatives, strangers on the street.,.....and my very favorite.....single people that don't have kids.

Some advice is great. I have been asked from pregnant women what advice I would give....usually I say, listen to everyones advice, but you get to chose what you try and what works for you and the baby. Don't just dismiss what people say, but don't feel forced to comply.

[deleted account]

Good point... and one of the reasons that I don't much care what the experts say when it comes to MY kids. Since you can have two very qualified experts on exact opposite sides of the same conflict..... ;)

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/04/2011

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In all Fairness Kate, we all "cherry pick" the advice by experts and friends that we want to try, or chose to believe.

[deleted account]

Kate, do you think I'm cherry picking information? I'm assuming your comment was directed to Mel?

OMFG! What is wrong with me lately?

[deleted account]

No need to clarify Dana. I don't blame you for my son's speech. lol Even if him not eating solids is a contributing factor to him missing some of his letters.... I still wouldn't have changed anything in his infancy. He ate when he wanted to and didn't when he didn't.

Rosie - posted on 05/04/2011

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i believe that's type 2 diabetes though, not juvenile. i think that is what she was pointing out. :)

Crystal - posted on 05/04/2011

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diabetes may be genetic but it can also be caused by other things such as lack of exercise and poor diet with haveing to much sugarbeing a key factor as well

Lesa - posted on 05/04/2011

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My son started solids at around 4 months as that was what was expected at the time. My daughter breastfed solely until about 10 months as I followed her cues. My son is underweight and has issues with food. He is 7 years old and weighs 40 lbs. My daughter loves food and tries everything I give her and she is 3 and weighs about 33 lbs. Every child is different and to say that all children will not like to try new foods because you delay when you give solids is ridiculous. No one is saying to not give food when the child is showing signs of wanting it or to the detriment of their health. What everyone is saying is that most children will show signs of wanting it and then to introduce it then. ( which can range around 5- 12 months)

[deleted account]

Ok, I just need to clarify my stance because I feel like I was misunderstood.



I suggested that delaying solids too long COULD affect speech because that's what my doctor told me, BUT I never said that was MY stance, and then I found an article that explained THE theory (not mine) in more detail.



I promise that **I** am not of the opinion that people NEED to feed solids by 6 months. I don't agree or disagree with what my doctor told me. I was just throwing it out there.



Anyhow. I felt this burning desire to clarify that. Carry on!



;)

Crystal - posted on 05/04/2011

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i was told that babies whoo start solids to late have a higher risk of developing juvinile diabetes both of mine started cereal and stage 1's at 4months and are fine i think it mostly depends on the baby but the longer you wait the harder time baby might have adjusing to it

Jodi - posted on 05/04/2011

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My daughter was seeing a pediatrician regularly until she was 12 months BECAUSE of the issues with her weight adn the cirumcatances with her birth.



He had no issue with her not eating solids until almost 9 months.



I am Australian.



He is one of the top pediatricians where I live.....

Krista - posted on 05/04/2011

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And even the health professionals in Australia do not say that solids HAVE to be started by 6 months. They do say to NOT start them prior to 4 months, and that "A baby is ready for food when they begin to control their tongue, start to sit upright when supported, show an interest in
food and have an increased appetite. Generally this
happens at about six months"

http://www.decs.sa.gov.au/familydaycare/...

Bonnie - posted on 05/04/2011

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No, I don't feel it is detrimental to their health if you wait, but at the same time starting early enough will help the child get use to different textures, swallowing, and tastes for when they are fully on solids.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/04/2011

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IMO and my OPINION only, I think delaying food to long may make them less likely to like and try new things, POSSIBLY leading to pickier eaters. Kids are picky anyway, I just think introducing all different flavors of veggies and fruits earlier than a year can help them along in the future. This is just my speculation, there are no facts to prove this....just what I believe.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/04/2011

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I think it is important to follow your babies ques. There is not designated time for anything. All the info out there is really a guideline.....like 6 months really means to me about 5 months on. I would not want to start solids sooner, but I think they are really ready for solids and new textures around that age.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 05/04/2011

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Lisa, my daughter got her first tooth 1 week before she was one....and the second about 3 weeks later. She is in the process of trying to cut a top tooth....looks like it might be another week or two. I heard when they teeth late, the teeth are stronger.

Mel - posted on 05/04/2011

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sorry Lisa if I listen to all tjhe health professionals in Australia not some crazy LLL place that has messed up breast feeding nazi ppl working for them. Ive NEVER once been told by anyone that delayed solids is healthy. And that means pediatricans (believe me Ive seen alot of them) child health, child dieticians, childrens hospital, speech pathologist, ngala, ABA, the lot. Are you saying they all must have incorrect information?

Minnie - posted on 05/04/2011

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Hah! Cathy, Adelaide didn't get her first tooth until a week after she turned one!

Minnie - posted on 05/04/2011

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Exactly. Most health organizations realize that babies are individuals and that there is a range of ages in which babies may be ready. If a baby is sitting up and can put food in his mounth at five months, he's probably ready. Many babies don't do that until ten months. The key is paying attention to your child's signs of readiness and signs of health. If you're concerned about hemoglobin levels and your baby isn't eating solids at ten months get them checked if it gives peace of mind.

A baby is not going to keel over or have developmental problems just because he or she was not force-fed rice cereal the day he or she hit six months.

Krista - posted on 05/04/2011

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Cathy makes an excellent point. In most cases, if a baby starts solids later than 6 months, he will skip the puree stage and go straight to finger foods.

I think that one should delay solids until at least 4 months, absolutely. After that, IF the child shows an interest in food, then yes, you can introduce it. However, if your child is breast-fed, and is healthy and gaining weight and shows absolutely no interest in other foods, then why push it on them just because they're 6 months old? There is absolutely no harm whatsoever if the baby only shows an interest in solids at 7 months, or 10 months.

Up until a year old, any solids given to the baby are really just to get them used to food and used to different tastes and textures. Breastmilk or formula are still supposed to make up the lion's share of the baby's dietary intake.

[deleted account]

Just to add my first was 5mths on solids.



My second was on them at 4mths she took a bit for a week and then stopped.She had a tooth at 3mths so i was told it was teething pain causing her to not want solids.She drank milk and only took solids again at 12mths.She was fine.I made my health nurse aware of this and i brought her in for check-ups to make sure she was gaining weight etc just on the milk.



Mothers have there wits about them..i think most of us can make the right call for our children.I always include my health nurse/gp in things that concern my children also.To back up what i feel is right for my children.To also take there advice on things i might not of known or thought about.

[deleted account]

No i don't agree.If your child is gaining weight and is clearly not wanting or looking for extra food.Indicating maybe staring solids then i feel its fine.I have to say for me..starting later is way better than starting earlier without medical reasons.Like reflux etc.

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