Am I feeding my 5 month old enough and properly?

Carla - posted on 10/13/2011 ( 201 moms have responded )

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My daughter is just shy of 5 months. She eats a 6ox bottle mixed with rice cereal just about every 3 hours. I give her 6 oz of formula and 2 tbls of cereal. Is this enough for her? I also introduce strictly cereal to her out of a spoon at least once a day. Does this seem to be enough? Should I start giving her baby food yet?

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Candi - posted on 10/14/2011

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Most pediatric/nutrition organization recommend waiting until 6 months to begin solid foods (including cereal). And I would like the echo the "never put cereal in a bottle" message...

[deleted account]

To the OP: I second everything that was said about cereal in the bottle not being a good idea. The formula will be enough, nutritionally, for the first year. You can introduce solids when she shows readiness signs...sitting up unaided, able to pick up food, looses tongue trust reflex.

To share a bit of my experience, I did the whole rice cereal, then jar foods with my oldest from the time she was 4 months old. It got expensive and was a hassle.

My second is 6.5 months and gets mostly breastmilk. She eats tiny bits of what we eat, but not even everyday. She can sit up on her own, and pick up her own food and put it in her mouth. She didn't have a lick of rice cereal. It really isn't necessary. It's just a processed filler. I've found feeding #2 to be much less stressful and much more fun to watch.

A couple of things I wanted respond to from the other posters:

Offering a wide variety of foods won't guarantee a non-picky eater. We can't control those taste buds! It can't HURT, but it won't necessarily HELP either.

Next, just because our parents did something doesn't make it right. If you want to know how babies are supposed to eat, look way back before modern technology. Do you really think our great- great-grandparents were able to buy rice cereal and puree baby foods in electric blenders for their one month olds? Nah, they likely nursed until baby was old enough to eat little bits of real food...just like all of humanity since the beginning of time.

Sherri - posted on 10/13/2011

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DO NOT ever put cereal in a bottle this is soooo bad!!! Also you are already giving her food by giving her cereal so yes she is certainly ready for baby food. Cereal is solid food.

Amy - posted on 10/13/2011

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Wow everyone is feeding a lot of solids to babies whose primary nutrition is formula or breastmilk till a year old. Solids before one are just for fun and should never be offered as a replacement for the bottle. I started solids about 5 months but it was literally one ounce once a day, she wasn't on solids twice a day till about 7 months, but you know your child best.

[deleted account]

Under 1 year, solids are mostly for practice -- practice with textures, tastes, chewing, swallowing, etc.

Putting cereal in a bottle defeats the purpose of all this and is unsafe as well.

Have you considered baby-led solids? http://baby-led.com/

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[deleted account]

I have a 4 yr old and a 20 month old. For my older boy the nurse told me no solids till after six months but I started at 5.5 because he seemed to me like he was ready. For my younger boy, the nurses told me that the advice had changed and you could/should start solids from 4 months but only if the baby seemed to want it. We started just before 5 months. Always milk before food, and we never stuck to cereal very long. We transitioned to a mix of cereal, puree vege and puree fruit pretty quickly. I would try a new food every three days and keep offering a variety. The easiest way to do this is make your batches of food then freeze in ice cube size so you can mix and match small amounts. Giving your child lots of different tastes is important and will prepare them for being more receptive to food as a toddler. No food in bottles ever! Be prepared for mess, you have years of it ahead of you:-) good luck

Jay - posted on 10/25/2011

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I am a lover of baby led weaning, although my dh insists on offering some purees, he doesnt eat much at all. He does eat pureed fruit and organic baby friendly yoghurts on the go for a fast snack. He will eat from our plates so we have a spoon there for him. Mashed spuds, rice, veg, meat, gravy. I sometimes put it in his own bowl if I want to add salt or something to it! And he only gets offered when he is interested and trying to eat ours.
He still wakes at 8 months through the night, he is breastfed on demand and I expect babies to wake through the night, It is natural to them and small belly = eating more regularly! :D
I didnt introduce food until 26weeks and it was awful cereal, my baby ate it all that day, but since hates it, and wont take a spoon. My bfing friendly health nurse showed me the way to babyled at her community breastfeeding support meetings. And I havent turned back.
Personally I think 4 months is too young to introduce solids! It is bad for tum and there are extra hungry formulas on the market to delay the onset of early weaning! :)
And please STOP the cereal in the bottle! it is so bad for baby's tum and can cause so many more health problems for bub!!
Goodluck, and dont worry about her getting enough, any amount is enough, some days my son eats nothing! Because food before one is just for FUN! She is just trying things out and tasting things just yet! x

Tyra - posted on 10/25/2011

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She is able to eat baby food. Dont put cereal in the bottle, it can lead to obesity.

[deleted account]

Hannah, you have it backwards. Breastmilk or formula is complete nutrition and is all a baby needs. It should be offered first, then solids to 'top them off'. Many health organizations recommend breastfeeding for two years, so it is certainly not be used to just top babies off. Nothing else is as complete as breastmilk (with formula being a good substitute if mom needs/wants to use it).

Hannah - posted on 10/25/2011

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I'm not sure where people get the "food before a year is just for fun"thought, by a year they should be getting plenty if nutrient from food and if you are still breastfeeding/furmala that is just to top them off. However because of food allergys you want to be careful about indruducing foods to early. I personally would not put cereal in a bottle because that defets the purpose of teaching them to eat solids. And it depends on the child but at 5 months she should be able to easy some cereal, fruits and veggies are also good. Just remember that any high allergy food is not good tell a year, ie egg, dairy and nut products.

Kathleen - posted on 10/24/2011

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It depends entirely up to your daughter. 6m is average...not the necessarily the norm. It all depends could be anywhere between 3m and 6m....my son was 3.5m when he started taking food off my plate. It is true it is not reccomended to feed formual and cereal together, and depending on your daughter and how long she's been on solids, try another cereal too. I do agree making it on the water side, I was told by the ped that because my son was formula fed it is quit normal for them to want to eat earlier than 6m. Your daughter though will let you know if it's enough, and rice cereal is baby food. If you haven't been giving this to her long than try changing the cereal to the next single grain cereal. If you really want to try her on fruit/veggies nothing stopping you, just remember the rule to stick to that combo for a week or two then add something else. That way you do figure out if she is allergic to something. My son LOVED his carrots or his sweet potatoes. I think that was what we did first, then bananas, but that's just what we did and he liked, it is likely your daughter will be different. She will let you know how much and timing.

Karen - posted on 10/24/2011

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I didn't start baby food until 6 months old. She will let you know if she is hungry - feed on her schedule

Kathy - posted on 10/24/2011

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Food only after 6 months Baby digestive system not mature enough then start with one food at a time to see if allergies occur then you know what it is Baby yorgurt is awesome at this age

Laura - posted on 10/24/2011

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I believe you should ask your Ped she sees your baby. I also agree cereal in a bottle is not a good idea! Also most peds don't recommend any solids till six months old you are supposed to craft with plain rice cereal. Than in about a month you start green and oranges first not fruit because a baby will naturally like the taste of fruit over the veggies so ifu give them fruit first its hard to get them to take to veggies. You are only supposed to give them one kind of food for a straight couple days so you will know if they have a allergic reaction you will know what kind of food the are allergic. Too. You then start meat at about 8 9 months. You also shouldn't start cow milk untilled 1. Yr. My daughter who is 7 months old now has cereal in the morning fruit for lunch and veggiesfor dinner and she stays on her regular formula diet.

Kerrie - posted on 10/24/2011

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my twins are 6 months they are eating veg, fruit chicken and white fish mashed or wizzed up, i had to start weaning at 4 months as milk wasnt enough for them, go with your instincts though im only 23 myself and my twins are my first so in the same boat as you xx

Rita - posted on 10/24/2011

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If I were you, I would stop adding any form of cereal to her bottle. I would [only] use her bottle for [strictly] liquids. As for her cereal, try giving her 1-tbsp cereal to about 3-tbsp of formula (making a close to watery mixture, initially & then decrease liquid to thicken mixture according to her skill development). I would ultimate introduce veggies, then fruits to the cereal (for flavor) as well as for a side dish. My baby boy will be 8-months-old this Friday and at 5-months-old, I too, introduced him to solids (feeding), however I did not add cereal to his bottles (that is when my hubby bottle feeds him; he's actually a breastfed baby). I hope this helps you but my baby loves..... to eat [he always gets excited when he sees it coming]. SN: I also cook/make my baby's food. I use Baby Brezza; I bought it at Babys-R-Us for $99.00

Debra - posted on 10/24/2011

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I have a 3 month old baby boy and I let him tell me when he was ready to bump up ounces of formula. If your daughter seems satisfied then don't worry, if she still cries after like 1/2 hour then try a little more formula. My pediatrician told me to let my baby tell me when he's ready for more..and to burp, burp, burp! Hope it helps..I'm really new at this....trial/error..right? :)

DaniLee - posted on 10/24/2011

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Also! Start giving VEGGIES before fruit. I gave my son fruit first and he is 10 now and wont touch veggies. So I gave my daughter veggies till she was a yr old before fruit and she will eat her veggies before her fruit!

DaniLee - posted on 10/24/2011

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Cereal in a bottle is sometimes a necessity. My son had GERD really bad and his doctor told me to put cereal in his bottle to thicken the formula (my breast milk was to thin, had it tested so please don't yell for not breast feeding) and once he started getting the cereal in the bottle, he stopped projectile vomiting. Before he was diagnosed, he vomited after each and every feeding. I had to sleep in a chair with him on my chest till 18 months when his muscle became fully developed. Carla, if you are really concerned, you can always call your advice nurse or your doctor.

Amber - posted on 10/24/2011

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You can start her on baby food. I am not trying to tell you how to feed your child but I would not put cereal in her bottle. I would try to feed her every 2 hours. cereal for breakfast, bottle for snack, baby food for lunch, another bottle for snack, baby food for dinner and then a bottle before bed.

Beverly - posted on 10/24/2011

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That sounds good, but u should slowly start some jar fruits and vegetables, also juice and water.

Isabel - posted on 10/24/2011

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I was feeding my son home grown string beans mashed to a pulp at 3months while still breast feeding. He is 16 and 6'2" now he has never turned down food and he is as thin as a straw. If they are truely hungery, feed them just be careful - intro 1 new food at a time and 2week with the new food before you move to a new food. This way you will know if there is an allergic reaction. Talk to the Doc too. My son didn't care for baby food. Since we grew veggies and had a peach tree, we were able to do all natural.
good luck and congradulations.

Sara - posted on 10/24/2011

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If she is breastfeeding otherwise, might be enough. What does the pediatrician say? She might be interested in simple strained fruits such as applesauce, bananas,then maybe carrots if she is interested. Best wishes!

Joslin Irene - posted on 10/23/2011

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I would start giving her baby food, she seems to be consuming alot and it might be best to start introducing things! Truth be told you know when your baby is ready! My daughter had GURD really bad so she was already having cereal at like 3 months.. and we decided about six months to let her try some new things and she loved it, slept better, and it kept her reflex under control!

Anna - posted on 10/23/2011

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I agree with Kate ,a bit of ripe/soft avocado probably much better than putting rice flakes in a bottle .just make sure that you mash it up even tho it is soft , I personally think it is super food for bubs !! and mummies too !! best bit is that you get to eat the rest of it . Give it a try and let us all know how it goes plse , all the best Anna

Tana - posted on 10/23/2011

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Watch your daughter for signs of readiness. Does she pay close attention to other family members while they are eating? Does she try to mimic mouth movements while watching? If so she is ready to start eating. Start with small amounts and let her guide you. She'll let you know if she has had enough to eat if you let her lead. I do homemade baby food from what we eat ourselves. Avacodos are great IMHO great texure, easy to mash and my 6mo old daughter loves them...a few others she likes sweet potatoes, peas, spaghetti squash, applesauce and bananas. These are all really easy to make at home as well without a lot of extra work.

[deleted account]

You should Never feed a baby food befor 6 months. The top nutritionaliists say fruit fruit fruit, then veg and only cereal months later. The two ladies who said it leads to obesity and aspiratation and babies system is not ABLE to cope with any starch at that age are 100 % correct. There are so many good books that are nutritionally sound read them. Baby companies make money from you buying baby cereal so, of course they will say its fine. After all, that's how they make money. A good book is MAry Ann Shear's Raising kidsthe natural way.

Gretchen - posted on 10/23/2011

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The other reason you don't ever want to do it is because it can predispose them to developing food allergies. The gut, immune system and neurosystem are all immature yet. Humans are the only species born with them immature. I have two children with chronic GI issues ages 7 and 8. After tons of research and an approach that is attempting to heal them from the inside out, I've learned that putting cereal in their bottles was probably one of the biggest mistakes I ever made.

Zahra - posted on 10/23/2011

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WHO recommends breast milk (or formula) for the first six months. At 4 months it is possible to give food, but not necessary, just possible. My daughter is now 9 months, very healthy, chubby, alert and active and I only started her on solids at 7 months. Still she is not eating three meals a day (9months). I does depend on the individual child and if you think they are unsettled try a massage or warm bath instead of food.

Sherri - posted on 10/23/2011

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My kids were on 3 meals a day between 5-6mo's.

My oldest because his doctor needed to decrease the amt. he was intaking in formula. He was started on cereal 2 meals a day at 12wks and was on three meals a day by 4 1/2mo's. Finally regulating the amt. of formula he should be intaking,

My other two were probably closer to six months and had already been on solids for 2mo's by that point.

Stifler's - posted on 10/23/2011

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And at 5 months I'm not sure why a kid should be having 3 meals a day

Susan - posted on 10/23/2011

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Babies have been drinking cereal mixed in their bottles forever. You are doing fine! A better place to pose your question would be your doctors office. Everyone is going to have an opinion but only you and the babies doctor should make the decisions.

[deleted account]

The white of the egg is the allergenic part. The yolk is just fine to give babies. I started my baby on egg yolks at 6 months. She's 7 months now, and grabbed her sister's scrambled eggs one morning and had a mouthful. This was by accident. No reaction, so we're in the clear for allergies!

And what is egg custard?

Sherri - posted on 10/23/2011

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Really I was feeding all my kids scrambled eggs by six months old. It was one of their very favorite breakfasts.

Jenny - posted on 10/23/2011

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Please do not feed your babies under 1 any egg from the shell at all if they are allergic to it like my son was his face swelled up & airways & was rushed to hospital always better to wait until they are 1 or over. Egg custard is quite alright but not pure egg.

Hope - posted on 10/23/2011

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Talk with your baby's pediatrician. Growth spurts and rate of growth for your baby is also a factor to take into consideration. My son was a preemie, so he was on 3 hr feeding schedule with preemie formula until 6 months then we started that with breakfast lunch and dinner of rice cereal. Your baby may/maynot need more food or need different types of food- talk with your baby's doctor. :)

Jenell - posted on 10/23/2011

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I would giver her cereal mixed with fruit or veggies at every meal time, breakfast, lunch and dinner. and do the 6 oz bottles in between.

Tanya - posted on 10/23/2011

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too much food!!!! should only have rice with her bottle once at this age - dont be in a rush to feed her - 6 months is best - then start her on puree - one veg at a time - carrots, zucchini - potatoe, pumpkin - but make sure u give her the same thing for 2 or three days just in case she is allergic to any of them - then u will find out which one it is . slowly slowly - speak to your baby nutritionist -

Susan - posted on 10/23/2011

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Cereal in a bottle is not good at all... you already know the reasons. Around 4 months it is ok to start introducing cereal, rice is usually recomded, dont use multi grains, only one grain as digestion is poor as well if there may be allergies this limits the problem of elimination. So a few teaspoons full mixed with the babys milk in a small bowl usually started before bed, then when thats ok a little at breakfast time. Around 6 monts of age, slowly start to introduce foods, either ones u make at home or store bought jars. Again a small amount at a time, start with the vegetables first slowly, if u start with the fruits they will like the sweeter taste and are less likely to eat the vegetables. This is good practice for the childs entire life. Introduce the veg, one at a time, to see how the child responds. Space new foods 3 or 4 days apart, more if possible, if there are allergies you know what the reaction is from. If you feed all orange foods ie. carrots, sweet pots... your child will get an orange tint to its skin, nothing to alarm, just dont feed only one colour. After u have introduced a verity of vegs. then slowly again start the fruits. Dont add ones with the veg or fruits mixed until u are sure there are no allergies. Then around nine months start adding the ones that are like spaghetti and meat etc.

Sharlene - posted on 10/22/2011

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Soory and even try her with custard, yoghurt and sour cream and other dariy products .Cheers

Sharlene - posted on 10/22/2011

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Hi ,no your feeding good do you take your daughter to the clinic to get weighted and if you think she ready to go on solids try her with a bit first to see if she gets the tast and feel from sweet to sour foods.Cheers

Erin - posted on 10/22/2011

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My pediatrician said that after about 2 months they should drink approx. oz in formula as how old they are...so 5 months old at least 5 oz, ect. He also informed me that baby foods to start at 6 months old, this has worked for my kids and I am now on my 3rd. If you want to start cereal he said do that around 5 months. I would try a little more cereal if you want and mix it with formula and that might help.

Sharon - posted on 10/19/2011

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IDK my children are in their early twenties and are still alive. There were fed a portion of cereal in their formula at about two months old as this helped them sleep a little bit longer. I think you have to look at the baby vs the reseach as the research will change in the next study and study subjects. I just think parents need to go on their gut instinct what is right for their baby within limits. Babies need to be nurtured and all parents do the best they can for their babies...

Jessica - posted on 10/19/2011

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If that's all she wants that's all she wants :) As long as your baby is healthy and gaining the weight she needs to your doing great.

Carla - posted on 10/19/2011

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Okay cuz right now she eats 4oz of fruits/vegies and then like 5oz of a bottle and pushes away. Then lunch I give her an 8oz bottle and then dinner another 2-4oz of fruit/vegies and an 8oz bottle before bed

Jessica - posted on 10/19/2011

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When I started my daugher on food at 4 months she had cereal in the morning about 4T that I mixed in a bowl with formula from her bottle which was 8 oz. When she got done with the cereal she had the bottle. At lunch she ate half to whole container of veggies/fruit. We did veggies/fruit lunch and dinner followed by a 6/8oz bottle. Then before bed she had another 8 oz bottle. At about 5.5 6 months she started eating a veggie and fruit at lunch and dinner. Remember every child is different. You kinda have to experiment with the amount of food they want. Typically you should start your child on solid foods at 4 months. You would do first foods till 6 months then switch to 2nd and then when you or your doctor feel the child is ready switch to 3rd.

[deleted account]

Carla, I understand listening to all the advice around you and learning by trail and error! Babies are very resilient little things, thankfully! She's lucky to have a mom like you that wants to do right, asks questions, and changes if need be.

Carla - posted on 10/18/2011

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She only sleeps that long at night. Throughout the day she maybe takes 2-3 naps no longer then 40 min if that. In just now feeding her from the spoon twice a day with 7oz bottles inbetween when hungry. Not with cereal anymore though. Honestly I listened to all the wrong advice but being a first time 23yr old mom I was bound to trial and error and learn from mistakes. Luckily my daughter was quick to respond to the spoon and does very well with her other parts of the growing process such as sitting up, playing, sensory behaviors and so on. When I was putting cereal in her bottle it was only 2tbls for a 6-8oz bottle so it wasn't THAT much thicker then the formula itself. Dr appointment Thursday should be good though. I now have tons of questions and things to chat about.

Elaine - posted on 10/18/2011

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perhaps she sleeps because of all that cereal. I have a 4 1/2 month old and he wakes up still 3 times in the night - I am breastfeeding and introducing cereal only a week ago. Applesauce a little bit...and soon avocado and bananas. I have a neighbor that feeds her infant twins cereal in the bottle - they are only 3-4 weeks old!!! They do nothing but sleep. I m not trying to put you down, but that is an old myth and it fills up their belly too quickly. Sure - can be nice for the parents, but it is not good for the baby.

[deleted account]

My doctor recommended not putting cereal or anything else with formula, so that's why I didn't do it. If you are really concerned about your baby eating properly, ask your doctor. Sometimes you will be given advice by someone who is well meaning, but that advice is wrong. My FIL told my SIL to put honey on the tip of a bottle! Good thing I was standing there to tell her NO!

Elke - posted on 10/18/2011

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Babies best chance recommends starting solids @ 6 months & can start with rice cereal for first few days then can go to minced meats as babies need different textures for chewing / teeth development; fruits can be too sweet to start off with & then they may refuse meat/grains. Liver, egg yolk, banana, avocado all great choices! Mix banana & avocado together.

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