What age was your baby ready for solids?

Merry - posted on 05/25/2011 ( 233 moms have responded )

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My father in laws mom began rice cereal at two weeks for all her kids, also this is when she stopped breastmilk and started formula as per her drs orders. Apparently she was told breast,ilk was only good for two weeks.....

I started Eric on cereal at 6 months because my gerber info stuff all said that's when you should start solids.

He hated it, still had tongue thrust reflex and didn't really eat any of it til he was about 10 months!

Ok so since then I've found alot of info saying you should watch for readiness in the baby, not a specific age to start solids.

Such as

Sitting up alone

Pincher grasp

Tongue thrust reflex gon

Etc



When was your baby showing all the signs of readiness?(edited to add-And when did you actually begin solids?

Should you wait for all signs? Or should you go for it at x age even if the baby wasn't showing all signs of readiness?)

I assume that for most babies it's between 4-15 months or so, but this is a wide range that I've heard of from other moms.



Do you think it should be an arbitrary age? Or specific to each babies signs of readiness?

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Bonnie - posted on 05/26/2011

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I started both my boys on solids between 5 and 6 months. It's possible they may have been ready sooner or even possibly been put off longer, but I followed the guidelines.

Kellie - posted on 05/26/2011

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there's always one isn't there......

First off I'd like to ask a question, Do you think it's a possibility that all these allergies are a cause of all the additives and preservatives and chemicals used when growing/processing foods these days and not so much to do with when we do or don't start the introduction of solids? I've wondered that, especially in recent years where (sweeping generalisation warning) a lot of people/kids seem to have food allergies either from the beginning or developing them later in life.

I tried starting Rayne on solids at 4 months (she's formula fed), she wasn't interested. So I moved on and waited for her to tell me she was ready. Sometime between 5 and 6 months (she's just gone 6 months) she started mimicking me eating, full on staring at me while I ate, just to name a couple. So I tried her with Pear, hehe didn't like it but was definitely wanting to eat so I did some googling and found a comment that made sense to me.

It said Breastfed babies generally (not all of course) started off better on sweet things like fruit as Breastmilk is sweet. Formula fed babies start (again not all) off better on Farex or veggies as they are blander as Formula is bland.

So the next day I tried her on Farex and she loved it. We've now had Sweet Potato, Pumpkin, Carrot (we'll have to revisit that one as she hated it) and tonight Avocado. So far so good and she is very ready for real food.

I can't say I've considered the too early/too late reason for allergies before coming on here. I just went by instinct and by what my daughter 'tells' me.

The right time to start solids is up to your baby, they will tell you when they're ready, IMO it's really that simple.

Minnie - posted on 05/26/2011

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I'm not telling you that you shouldn't give your ten month old solids. You're the one telling me that my (former) nine month old not eating solids is dangerous.



Yes, we all can have opinions. But you are passing yours off as fact. And your opinion disagrees with peer reviewed research and major health organizations.



You keep saying 'all the research says, all the research says'... Really?

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2011

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Mel, your opinion is based on children who have specific, individual issues. That is not insult, that is fact. You then USE that knowledge to make sweeping general statements, like how dangerous it is to delay solids beyond 6 months. There are some issues on which your opinion is going to be biased based on your very unusual experiences. I couldn't imagine having to deal with what you had to deal with, but you really shouldn't presume that the advice YOU are given by health nurses and doctors for YOUR children is necessarily accurate or applicable for everyone. And that is exactly the point I am trying to make. It is NOT dangerous to delay solids beyond 6 months. Perhaps it was dangerous for YOUR children. But as a general statement? That is not corrrect.



I am not trying to be self righteous or nasty in any way. I am trying to point out that this probably isn't an issue that you should debate based on your PERSONAL experience. Because your experience is unique.

Mel - posted on 05/26/2011

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Tara - your opinon theres just as many links to say opposite about allergies. Delaying solids does not prevent allergies. And Jodi I dont make it about me you guys like to seem to make it about me, so dont tell me that. If some of you want to tell me my kid shouldnt be on solids just because she cant sit unassisted very well thats not my issue thats YOURS. I dont make it about me. Its a debate I give my opinion. I sometimes think you enjoy coming off self righteous and rude and I sometimes wonder why Im here, but then I remember the good people around here. Theres a way to debate that isnt rude

edited to fix spelling

Lesa - posted on 05/26/2011

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Yes, my niece has an epipen too. She is trained to wash her hands a lot as dairy is not something that can be banned from school. I just worry cause her mom is so involved and is crazy hahah. She doesn't let my niece go anywhere as she is worried about her having a reaction. It is intense.

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2011

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Lesa, my son has a friend with a deadly peanut allergy, and he's doing fine - they are nearly 14. He carries an epi pen, and his parents give me a spare if I am supervising. But his friends are all trained on how to use it too, just in case. His mother is terrified, but she knows she needs to start letting go. I couldn't even imagine how difficult that is.

Lesa - posted on 05/26/2011

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Yeah, Tara I guess I meant to say ironic as it seemed like it should have been my child. :-)

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2011

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And yet again, this became a debate about MEL'S children and their issues, as opposed to a general debate about feeding solids to babies in the general population. I'm done too. I have expressed my opinion. If it doesn't apply to your children, Mel, there is a reason for that. It's because every child is unique in their needs. There is not a piece of evidence ANYWHERE that calls it dangerous. Except this elusive child health nurse.

Lesa - posted on 05/26/2011

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I hope she doesn't do that Jodi as my sister micro manages everything she does and it could end up happening. It could be their way of saying they control what they put in their body even if it is not healthy or safe... scary thought.



edited for grammar

Tara - posted on 05/26/2011

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Lesa, it's not a funny thing, it's fact. lol
Delaying solids helps prevent against allergies. See my links below.
Breastfeeding exclusively for 6 months further prevents against allergens as between 6-9 months a babies intestines go through a developmental stage that "closes" or "strengthens" their intestinal wall so as not to allow pathogens and allergens through. Soo.... breastfeeding provides your baby's gut with gut flora designed by nature to protect and prevent against gastro illnesses and allergies.
So not funny, but ironic I guess since some nurse somewhere said that your child should be the one who develops allergies...
;)

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2011

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"Again, I stand by my belief that all bodies are different and we can't say ALL babies will develop allergies or hate food because the parent waited until 7 months to feed them solids... "



Exactly Lesa :)



It's a tough call having a food allergy. Especially for a kid. I have heard some people have issues with their teens with allergies, you know, the whole rebellious thing. Anyway, totally different topic, but I do wish them the best :)

Lesa - posted on 05/26/2011

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Funny thing is, my sister gave solids at 4 months and her daughter developed an allergy. I waited and my children did not... I find it curious.

Minnie - posted on 05/26/2011

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I didn't get into this thread from the beginning because of this. Apparently a child health nurse, a speech therapist and someone else, I forget, comprise the majority of peer-reviewed research and major health organizations out there. Of course.

Lesa - posted on 05/26/2011

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Thanks guys. My niece is severely allergic to dairy and no one in the family is allergic. She was told to stay away from dairy until the age of 2 and then try again to see if she was able to injest it. Last year they tried something different where my sister had to give her milk and see if she would build an immunity to it. She did not. Her allergy got worse. So now she is considered allergic to dairy for life. She is 11 years old. Again, I stand by my belief that all bodies are different and we can't say ALL babies will develop allergies or hate food because the parent waited until 7 months to feed them solids...

Jenn - posted on 05/26/2011

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ARGH! The link that you yourself posted Mel, did NOT say it was dangerous. NOTHING that any of us have found has said that it's dangerous. Only one person - your nurse - apparently said it's dangerous. Here's a thought - why not let her read this thread and then let HER type a reply so we can see what she REALLY thinks. My guess would be that she did NOT say it was "dangerous". OK - I'm done - because we're clearly not getting anywhere.

Minnie - posted on 05/26/2011

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Oh gosh, Mel. It is NOT dangerous to offer solids when your child is ready, even if the baby is older than six months.



So your child health nurse says it is. Have you never considered the possibility that she is wrong? Yep, I've never come across a medical professional who was misinformed about breastfeeding. never.



I've provided in other threads peer-reviewed research that shows it is not dangerous and your best shot is linking to babycenter articles?



Even your ABA says it is fine to wait past six months.



So your girls were delayed. The point everyone is trying to make is that we need to understand that our children are individuals. You can't make an across-the-board statement that breastfed babies need solids by 4-6 months (I think not!) The World Health Organization itself says six months.



The iron in breastmilk is far superior and highly bioavailable compared to that in formula or baby food. It's a fact, Mel.

Mel - posted on 05/26/2011

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Brianna was FF breast milk didnt have enough calorie unfortunately even before we found out of feeding issues I was told I had to switch her at 2 weeks. It was a relief though she drank her first bottle down in seconds. Im still not convinced that delayed solids is ok, for me I definately woudlnt do it with any of my kids. 6 months max

Mel - posted on 05/26/2011

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ok you may be right about the family history Toni, Im not good with that stuff because myself or my family have never had any kind of allergies, I just knew that my daughter was introduced to peanut butter on rusks at 4 months on reccomendation of the hospital because it helps to prevent allergies. I do think its best to consulkt a doctor if you have a family history of allergies

Tara - posted on 05/26/2011

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".If your baby is full-term, healthy and exclusively breastfed for the first six months,
the iron stores he or she received at birth can last well into the second half of
his/her life.The iron from breastmilk is very well absorbed (49 per cent ) because it
comes with lactoferrin, lactose and vitamin C in the right amounts. Only 10 per cent
of the iron from infant formula and 4 per cent from iron-fortified infant cereals
is absorbed."

and on allergies...

"The intestines are the body's filtering system, screening out potentially harmful substances and letting in healthy nutrients.

In the early months, this filtering system is immature. As a result, allergens can enter the blood stream, causing the immune system to produce antibodies to that food, thereby creating a food allergy.

Breastfeeding is still best between four and seven months when a baby's intestinal lining goes through a developmental growth spurt called "closure," meaning the intestinal lining becomes more selective about what to let through.

By six to seven months of age your baby is able to filter out more of the offending allergens."
http://www.infactcanada.ca/Complementary...

This is why breast feeding is particularly important to delay solids if there is a family history of food allergy, and especially to delay the introduction of foods to which other family members are allergic. "
http://www.healthdiscoveries.net/breast-...

There are more, I can post them if you want.
Breastfed babies are protected from allergens. Breastfed babies have a superior digestive system for protecting them from food borne illnesses and allergens.
Breastfed babies have excellent iron stores, well into the second year of life. And not only that but it's actually iron that baby can use, only 4% of the iron in that nasty baby cereal is actually absorbed, the rest just causes constipation.
There exists a wealth of breastfeeding information out there, lots of it agreed on by the international medical community.
Ask your baby nurse if she has ever heard of WHO or INFACT or Dr.Jack Newman.
All are excellent medical sources for the most current and up to date information on breastfeeding.
If it were "dangerous" to allow a healthy breastfed baby to continue nursing without really eating solid food past 6 months then most of the kids I know were or are in danger.
Some kids take until well into their second year of life to begin eating like a big person. Breastmilk still contains the majority of their needed cholesterol, fat and amino acids, not to mention the calories and vitamin content.
Most babies will start solids with success around 6-9 months, and only ftt babies require additional food before 4 months of age if they are breastfed. And almost all cases of FTT in a breastfed infant are a result of another underlying issue such as a development issue with their anatomy such as with Brianne.
Normal, healthy breastfed infants can do just fine with just breastmilk until after 6 months, it's not dangerous.

Mel - posted on 05/26/2011

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Jenn - no sorry but I was told otherwise so I won't acknoledge that because I know Stacey has just done courses on it. Im going to stick with her information

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2011

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I still can't find that damn article.....I am going to bed in a minute, I will see if I can find it tomorrow.... :\

[deleted account]

Mel when there is a family history of allergy they recommend delaying introduction of allergenic foods. If there is no family history of allergies then the advice now (from what I was given) is most foods can be given from 6 months, there are a few foods such as honey that should still be delayed until over a year old though.

Jenn - posted on 05/26/2011

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Mel - will you at least acknowledge that you were incorrect to state that it is dangerous to delay solids past 6 months? Even your own links do NOT say that. I think that is what most of us are taking issue with.

Merry - posted on 05/26/2011

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Mel, I looked at both links and didn't see anything saying delayed solids are dangerous. It said there's conflicting evidence, used to be to delay allergenic foods was the advise, now some say not to delay them, but nothing conclusive.
IMO allergies are much more determined by genetics and not so much by what we feed them and when. It did say that formula before 4 months was a proven allergy risk. Soi read about the studies saying to not delay solids and in each study I found they weren't working with only breastfed babies. Meaning if they are using formula fed and breastfed babies together in the studies then there's no way to know if the allergies were caused by the early or late solids, or if they were simply caused by some babies being fed formula.
So there is solid proof that 6 months is best to eat only breastmilk, and then the facts are shady for allergy stuff. So I think my stance is going to stick at, 6 months minimum for breastmilk only, thereafter watch for baby's signs of readiness and begin when baby is ready. Even if it means waiting til 10 months like my son. And WIC took his iron levels between 6-10 months and every time he was perfect with just breastmilk. So idk, I'm not too concerned about iron levels and I know WIC will check fierna's levels too so if she isn't ready til after 6 months either I'll at least be able to know if she is good with iron.

Mel - posted on 05/26/2011

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Lesa they dont peanut butter is reccommended to be started straight away, along with eggs, the longer you wait the more likely the child is to have a reaction

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2011

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Iron drops.....if you baby is not physically ready and showing signs of readiness, and is in one of the high risk categories for iron deficiency (eg. small baby, pre term baby, etc), then iron drops are an alternative solution because there is a chance (especially if they wer pre-term, what with delayed developmental milestones) that they are NOT ready for solids. How hard is it to give them a supplement?

Mel - posted on 05/26/2011

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oh also from what I have read formula fed babies are ok to wait until 6 months , where as breast fed babies 4-6 months for solids because breast milk doesnt have enough iron FROM WHAT IVE READ before anyone jumps on me. I read it on the net too but I cant remember where now

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2011

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Lesa, because SHE has the allergy, there is the chance her children will have it, so waiting until they are 3 means that their immune system is better able to deal with it. But if someone has no family history of allergies, it is extremely unlikely that they will develop allergic reaction.

Mel - posted on 05/26/2011

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Jenn - I wsnt reffering to you at all , I was reffering to Erin...I definately do take in whats said and I learn new things every day and thats why I do ask Stacey. And its not just Erin I think Lisa and a few others to had made those comments about the solids which made me hesitant to pay attention to things said by them. Because I knew it was wrong. Ill get the links from Stacey when I can :)

Toni - Im still told to not even miss one day of my vitamins while shes breast feeding and shes 10 months plus on solids so Im not too sure that just having the right diet is enough for them without food

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2011

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No, I wouldn't be comfortable waiting for 12 months either, I don't think anyone is suggesting this should be the norm. But really, unless you are introducing iron rich foods to your baby at 6 months......it's really a pointless argument.

Lesa - posted on 05/26/2011

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My friend is allergic to Peanut Butter and it is not recommended that she give her children peanut butter until after their 3rd birthday. I am confused. if doctor's feel that the earlier a child has exposure to food then the less likely they will have the allergy, then why does she have to wait until her children are 3. And why do they recommend waiting until at least 2 to introduce peanut butter to all children?? Just asking...

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2011

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Toni, apparently the mother's diet makes very little difference to the iron in breastmilk :) BUT there is something to do with the iron in breastmilk, the uptake is high, whereas the iron in iron-fortified formulas has a lower uptake.

It's actually quite complicated. Even I didn't get my head totally wrapped around it. But the point of it is, delaying solids beyond 6 months if you baby is not ready is not dangerous. At least, that is the point I am trying to make.

Now I can't find the research review. I read it several weeks ago.....

Jenni - posted on 05/26/2011

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Personally, I wouldn't feel comfortable waiting until 12 months to introduce solids. To me; it's kind of pushing the limits of what they will require nutritionally.

Let me clarify.... generally, an infant can receive all nutritional recommendations from BM alone UP TO 12 months. 12 months being the latest that is recommended to wait. Of course individual babies can require them sooner than others. This is more of a recommendation for late bloomers to solids. That by 12 months they will require solids to achieve their daily nutrition.

The reason it is recommended to start sooner is because it's best to introduce solids slowly and by 12 months HC professionals would like to see a good portion of their diet being solids.

However, with a late bloomer... or a baby who doesn't show signs of readiness until 8-10 months... they shouldn't be in danger of not receiving all that is required nutritionally.



I agree with Jodi, they show the minimum requirements to ensure all individual babies' needs are being met.

Jenn - posted on 05/26/2011

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Mel, I never said your baby shouldn't be on solids now at 10 months. You do have to look for other signs of readiness, and if your child has a developmental delay in their ability to sit unaided, you have to take that into consideration. I'm sure there are lots of babies out there who were unable to sit unaided before 1 year old for various reasons, and that doesn't mean that they shouldn't or couldn't eat solids. I'm simply trying to point out to you that NOWHERE does it say that it is dangerous (as YOU said) to start solids after 6 months. And that link that you posted did NOT say that allergies are caused or increased due to delayed OR early solids - it clearly stated that it is NOT proven.

From the link that YOU posted Mel:
"There have been some suggestions that delaying introduction of foods may actually increase (rather than decrease) allergy, however at this stage this is not proven."

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2011

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That is why we all use the 6 month guideline. But my problem is with the use of the term "dangerous" to delay solids beyond 6 months. Because it isn't "dangerous". The recommendations are based on the MINIMUM. Very few babies will be deficient before 9 months, and generally, it is only those in the high risk category. So, if you baby is high risk, deal with it. There are iron drops available for infants if someone is concerned about their childs iron levels......but there are also risks with excess iron. You don't HAVE to feed them solids at that point.

[deleted account]

I may be being really silly here but IF solids were delayed until after 6 months could the mother not make sure her diet was enriched with iron to make sure the baby is getting enough from the BM and if the baby is FF I thought formula had added iron, so babies iron levels are maintained, am I having a completely mad baby brain moment?

Lesa - posted on 05/26/2011

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I started my son at 4 months per doctors orders and he hated it. We FORCED him everyday to eat. I hated it. He was very tiny. With my daughter we let her decide when to eat and she didn't start until 9 months or so. She was a chubby little baby and breastfed exclusively. Today, my son has an aversion to food and we still have to make him eat. He is 7 and weighs less than 40 lbs. My daughter is a healthy 3 year old and very athletic. She loves meal time and enjoys her food very much. She is just over 34 lbs. I truly believe with all my heart that my son's aversion to food started when we forced him to eat too early and against his will. Baby's will eat when they are ready. Having food before one is for practice. My niece had solids at 4 months and is severely allergic to dairy products. So children can develop allergies at any stage. There is no blanket statement for when children should start solids. All children are different. That's what makes the world a wonderful and interesting place. All in good time. They will show you their readiness for everything, eating, sitting up, crawling, sleeping through the night. All of these things are individualized to each child. No one can say all kids will sleep through the night at 2 weeks. Just like not all women will go into labour at 40 weeks. All children are different, I don't know why we have to pigeon hole them and make mother's feel bad in the process.

Mel - posted on 05/26/2011

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but Jodi how could you know for sure, when your baby doesnt have enough iron, isn't it better to stick to the 4-6 months guideline to be safe (if of course your baby is happy to eat).

Mel - posted on 05/26/2011

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Jenn, I read the link Im quite happy to look at it, but I think alot of people have different information for example the allergy thing was contradictory from the link you posted to other sites Ive read and the ones I posted. Basically the thing that worried me about going by some of the links you guys have given, was that you think that my daughter shouldnt be having solids just because she cant sit up. Both my kids were developmentally delayed brianna sat up at 12 months and Paige can do it but not overly well at 10 months. It doesnt sit well with me that some people on here think it would be safer to have no introduced her to food at all. Ive never heard of delaying solids past 6 months until here...by anyone and Ive seen many people thats why I struggle to take in this information. Can you understand that? Given that I do know my baby and that others know my baby from seeing her

Jodi - posted on 05/26/2011

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"I DO, however, wonder about the statement that several of you have made about breastmilk being all that the baby needs for the entire first year. "



Krista, I don't think anyone said that..... :\ Not as a generalisation. I am pretty sure the point is that it all depends on the individual child and a variety of circumstances? I know that's the point I was making - that it isn't necessarily "dangerous" to delay solids beyond six months???



And did you read the study that CDC put out on the issue? They have based their recommendations on the MINIMUM rather than the range, because this is the safest way of ensuring every single baby is intaking appropriate iron levels, just in case. But there are also the variables that affect this, such as birth weight, mother's health, etc. Iron store levels don't suddenly cut off at 6 months. It happens gradually. 6 months is the age at which they START to deplete, which is why all of the official guidelines suggest 6 months. BUT the majority of babies would not EVER signs of iron deficiency until at least 9 months old if they were never fed solids. I sppose I should go find the link :P

[deleted account]

We started Ethan on solids at 3 1/2 months with the advice of our doctors and the health visitors - he was a ridiculously hungry baby (at 3 months he was eating 6-8 x 9oz bottles daily (we did not start him on solids early so he would sleep through the night). He was comfortably able to sit up on his own (with support for longer periods), didn't have his tongue thrust reflex, was able to not only pick up food but was also able to bring food to his mouth and feed himself, he was also showing interest in food around him. However, just because it was appropriate for Ethan to have solids at this time it doesn't mean that it is ok for other babies to have solids at this age, I feel they should be showing all the signs of readiness before starting solids - and if you plan to start solids early it should be discussed with your health care providers first.



ETA: I forgot to mention, although we did start with rice cereal it constipated my son so we stopped within a couple of days, and moved to purees which he didn't like due to the texture - within two weeks of starting him on solids we were mashing his food, and he quickly progressed onto finger food.

Jenn - posted on 05/26/2011

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There is conflicting evidence on both sides - there is no concrete answer as to whether allergies could be potentially increased due to early solids or delayed solids. I think as long as you are following your babies cues, you will be just fine. MOST babies are ready somewhere AROUND the 6 months mark - some sooner, some later - but there is NOTHING to say that starting later than 6 months is dangerous. Yes, a baby COULD get all of the nutrition they need from breast milk for the first year of life, and I personally know people who have done just that, but it isn't the "normal" route to go, I think mainly because MOST babies show an interest before that.

So Mel, are you not accepting the link I posted simply because it conflicts with what you were "told"? Or are you now open to the possibility that your nurse isn't the only source of information, and that maybe, just maybe, she doesn't actually know everything?

Krista - posted on 05/26/2011

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And that's exactly right, Jennifer -- we also have to look at our own family histories. Neither my family nor my husband's family has any history of food allergies. So I really wasn't too freaked out by it. Someone who DOES have that history will obviously want to monitor the situation much more stringently.

Mel - posted on 05/26/2011

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Krista thats exactly what the dietician at the hospital said she basically said introducing solids earlier helps prevent allergies. She tends to be very opinionated but seemed to know her stuff

Jenni - posted on 05/26/2011

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Yeah, I looked it up while waiting for the link. ;)

It IS interesting. Not sure if I would want to jump on board with such relatively new studies.

I was never too concerned about allergies with my kids. No one in mine or my husband's family suffers from food allergies. (Other than my adult milk intolerance, which isn't considered an 'allergy').



My daughter did barf up eggs last month so I'm avoiding those for now. :/

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