People offering bad advice (i.e. early solids)

Tania - posted on 11/08/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I am reading too frequently horrible advice. We should not be offering our children anything but breastmilk (unless you choose to feed formula) until at LEAST 6 months. Both the WHO and AAP recommend waiting until then. And please, DO NOT put cereal in your child's bottle!! It will not make them sleep longer (if they do it is sheerly coincidental) and can be a choking hazard and cause allergies. Maybe your baby is doing fine like that, but someone else's child may not - and could die! It is also a fact that children who wake more frequently during the night have a lesser risk of SIDS. Be thankful your child IS waking up! This is part of being a parent.
Also, allergies can develop later in life to something they are exposed to now. So, all these babies who are given other foods early (before 6 months) and are thriving, may have issues later.

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All the advice in the world from the AAP & WHO is not going to prevent someone from parenting their child their own way. May not be the best way, but they are guidelines. Like Sharon G. pointed out, no 2 babies are exactly alike. Some babies are introduced to solids earlier than 6 months (like my own son) and thrived. We skipped over the cereal too-he absolutely hated it. The AAP & WHO also reccommend infants sleeping on their back or side, never on the tummy. Well I bypassed that reccommendation too because it was truly the only way my son would sleep a few hours at a time as an infant. I also have to say that the advice from AAP & WHO (and dare I even add in La Leche League) can sometimes make 1st time mothers panicky, paranoid, and sometimes feel inadequate. The BEST advice is to surround yourself by experienced friends and relatives who have personal experience in child-rearing. Yes, even in those older generations that rubbed booze on teething gums, which is certainly frowned upon by the AAP & WHO! Even though I never practiced that, it is the older generations that teach by example, and surrounding yourself by friends and relatives of your own peer group.

Betsy - posted on 11/08/2009

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Many people aren't educated and speak only from their limited knowledge. Some learn solely from past generations, when the actuality is that over the years, we have discovered more and become more educated especially regarding health care matters. Our oldest is 19, and our youngest are 2 yr old twins. Just the knowledge we have learned medically between those children is substantial, so if a new mom is making decisions based on what family did 20, 30, 40 yrs ago, yes they will do things we know now that are not beneficial to an infants digestive system, like cereal in the bottle or solids at 3 mo.

As parents though, it is our job to not take advice solely from people on a public board, whom we have no knowledge of their education, backgrounds or honestly even mental health. These forums are good to pose questions, then take the answers for what they are. Get feedback and take that to begin your own education and research, as well discussing those topics with a medical professional that you trust and know keeps his/her education up-to-date.

There will always be ignorant advice passed about, but in the end, no one should be making any parenting decision based on strangers' opinions, especially regarding their child's medical well-being.

Sharon - posted on 11/08/2009

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"could die"?? Allergies based on early exposure?

So all the children exposed to pets as babies will become allergic later? If your idea held true then we'll all become allergic to milk later.

I agree with keeping to the AAP schedule as much as possible. But no two babies are exactly the same. Raising your child by instinct and previous examples are also acceptable. Provided you have good instincts and had good examples.

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Amie - posted on 11/09/2009

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Quoting Kizzy:



Quoting Connie:

....I forgot....it is acceptable nutritionally to breastfeed up to seven years, you are correct. However, I was speaking about in America, culturally accepted, is two years.





Where is it culturally acceptable to breast feed till 7? Not a cultural norm in any I have ever read of





Third world countries near as I can gather. Places where they don't have access to good quality food and water for their children.

Kizzy - posted on 11/09/2009

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Quoting Connie:

....I forgot....it is acceptable nutritionally to breastfeed up to seven years, you are correct. However, I was speaking about in America, culturally accepted, is two years.


Where is it culturally acceptable to breast feed till 7? Not a cultural norm in any I have ever read of

Myra - posted on 11/08/2009

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I totally agree with you, babies should not be on anything but breastmilk for the first 6 months...in theory. In reality, if I had kept my daughter on breastmilk for the first 6 months, she would have starved to death. I didn't make enough milk for my daughter. She also went on cereal at 5 weeks old -- spoon fed, not in a bottle. She went on it because it helped keep her full longer than formula. With a liquid only diet, she was never wanting to stop drinking. And it's no wonder, she had so much growing to do...about twice what an average baby her age did! She's only 17 months old now, and is as tall and weighs as much as an AVERAGE 3 yr old! She still gets no sugar that isn't naturally occurring in fruits or veggies, and everything she eats I cook...no pre-cooked or fast food type things.

I did what I felt needed to be done with my daughter for her to thrive and be healthy. You and others may not agree with my choices and the choices of other moms. However, we are all in this learning. I do think we all try to do things the recommended way (I know I did). Sometimes, the recommended way just isn't what works. I did inform my daughter's pediatrician when she went on formula, when she went on cereal, and when she started a new food until she was a year old so that if something happened and I needed help for her, they would have good information to go on of what's going on. I'm not going to say they were always supportive, especially of cereal so early...but they saw how she was losing weight and thought it was worth a try.

The only issue my daughter has is lactose intolerance...and she got that from me. I also have problems with milk and milk products.

Isobel - posted on 11/08/2009

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Quoting Sharon:

All the advice in the world from the AAP & WHO is not going to prevent someone from parenting their child their own way. May not be the best way, but they are guidelines. Like Sharon G. pointed out, no 2 babies are exactly alike. Some babies are introduced to solids earlier than 6 months (like my own son) and thrived. We skipped over the cereal too-he absolutely hated it. The AAP & WHO also reccommend infants sleeping on their back or side, never on the tummy. Well I bypassed that reccommendation too because it was truly the only way my son would sleep a few hours at a time as an infant. I also have to say that the advice from AAP & WHO (and dare I even add in La Leche League) can sometimes make 1st time mothers panicky, paranoid, and sometimes feel inadequate. The BEST advice is to surround yourself by experienced friends and relatives who have personal experience in child-rearing. Yes, even in those older generations that rubbed booze on teething gums, which is certainly frowned upon by the AAP & WHO! Even though I never practiced that, it is the older generations that teach by example, and surrounding yourself by friends and relatives of your own peer group.


thank you!

Tania - posted on 11/08/2009

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Betsy, that was a nicely worded post. And you are absolutely correct. I am happy to see someone who has children from two different generations giving input. My own mothers has told me she wishes she knew then, what she knows now.

I am a childbirth educator, so I do have some knowledge and 'formal' education, if you will. Nutrition is huge and something lacking very much in the United States. It is beyond me why a huge lump of people come to public boards for advice, and the majority are giving the same advice.

Americans are the fattest, most unhealthy people in the developed world. Good nutrition begins before birth. It is fact that children who are given good foods and good nutritional choices, continue to make those same good choices when they are older.

Tania - posted on 11/08/2009

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Yes, children can choke on cereal in bottles an can die. It is fact. Look it up. You are correct, no two children are alike. So, one child can do fine with cereal in the bottle, and another may not.

A person coming here for medical advice is simply bad parenting. That is all I have to say about that.

I agree, Connie, juice has no nutritional value. I wasn't arguing. However, I do not agree that cereal does provide any nutritional value. Like you said, it is fortified with iron - along with all the other vitamins they pack into it. Those are synthetic and not absorbed properly. Unfortunately, most of those infants are getting all synthetic nutrition in the form of formula and cereal.
Lastly, not every child exposed to allergens or given foods early are going to have problems. I am sure 9/10 people on here with those practices have the healthiest babies in the world. Frankly, why would you purposely expose your child to something potentially fatal (like cereal in the bottle)? Older generations did all sorts of things, Sharon. For example, they didn't use car seats. How many of those children, now adults, are "just fine" and healthy? I'd go out on a limb and say a good many. Does that mean I am going to throw my car seat in the trash? Absolutely not. I think the AAP and WHO have recommendations and guidelines for a reason. But, they are just that, recommendations. I don't follow them completely, myself. However, I do reference them along with suggestions from my family and friends before making the decision I feel is best for my family.

Connie - posted on 11/08/2009

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....I forgot....it is acceptable nutritionally to breastfeed up to seven years, you are correct. However, I was speaking about in America, culturally accepted, is two years.

Connie - posted on 11/08/2009

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Cereal provides fiber and carbohydrates - infant cereal is fortified with iron which supports brain development. Infant cereal is not empty calories, by no means. To argue about juice is pointless - it's been proven again and again that juice is absolutely terrible for any infant, and at age two, only half cup servings once a week is recommended because it causes increased insulin levels which lead to type ii diabetes. Diluted juice and infant cereal are of no comparison/correlation what-so-ever. Of course, do what your doctor says (your child may have special exceptions) but after 5 years of study of nutritional value for 0 - 8 years of age, generally speaking, cereal fortified with iron is important, and juice should be avoided at all costs.

Tania - posted on 11/08/2009

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What I meant was - Children should be on ONLY breastmilk for the first 6 months of life. Then, introduce 'solid' foods and continue breastfeeding until the baby is 12 months - minimum. Why is nursing only acceptable to age 2? Breastfeeding is acceptable until both mother and child are ready to end the nursing relationship, which usually naturally happens between ages 2-7. It is not important to introduce cereal first. Cereal is empty calories and offers no nutritional value. We started with vegetables at 10 months with out son. My doctor fully supported our decision and agreed cereal is junk. So, saying that diluted juice doesn't offer nutritive value, but offering cereal does, is contradictory.

Sharon - posted on 11/08/2009

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I HAD to come back to add, that if you think the feeding advice is bad, stick around to see what gets offered up as medical advice. It'll send you to the pits of despair!!!

Connie - posted on 11/08/2009

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This is a great post, except that children should stay on breastmilk/formula at least until 11months, and if your nursing it's acceptable up to age 2 years (transitioning from breast to bottle/sippies, of course). Most importantly, no changes should be made without consulting a pediatrician/specialist. Remember solids shouldn't be introduced until 6 months as previously posted, however, it is important to introduce cereal first, then at 8 months add vegetables first, then fruit. Only introduce one food at a time, giving a three day trial period to isolate any incidents of possible allergic reactions. DO NOT start meats until 10 months. NEVER serve baby foods with the words "Dinners" or "Desserts" on the label. The dinners are not properly portioned, and the desserts have WAY too much sugar. DO NOT give your babies juice! It is the leading cause of type II diabetes in children, & it causes baby bottle tooth decay. In it's diluted form, it does not give the proper nutritional needs to your baby, and in full strength it can cause stomach upset, and the acidity can cause severe diaper rash. It also temporarily fills babys stomach so that the nutrition they need is missed. Remember this: pediatricians, although key when searching for proper advice, are NOT nutritionists. Pediatricians are for General Doctor purposes and General advice - be sure to consult specialists for specific recommendations/concerns.

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