Is it ok for a 3 month old baby to be eating baby food?

Tanya - posted on 02/15/2010 ( 9 moms have responded )

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My son is 3 months old an he already drinks an 8oz bottle or he will eat baby food an a 4oz bottle. He eats baby food once or twice a day. Is it ok for him to be eating it so early.

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This is going to be pretty long, but it's from a thread I made a little while back on another board and I think you should have a read...

Disclaimer: I originally wrote this thread for the Breastfeeding Moms board so to all you FFing moms, please don't take offense if I have not mentioned formula. Much of this info can still be useful to you too. I have made this thread on the Young Moms aged 20-30 board too and I've gotta say, it wasn't nearly as well received as it was on the Breastfeeding Moms board! I have a feeling, that sadly, it won't be all that well received here either. So I'm going to ask that if you want to argue, please keep it to yourself. You have likely done something different with your child and they have, "turned out just fine". And I'm sure they have. But it doesn't mean that you need to defend yourself and your decisions because this is not an attack. I just hope that there are some moms out there who will appreciate this information and possibly put some of it to use with their own babies. OK, so now that that has been said, here's the post...

It has come to my attention, through reading the CoM boards, that many moms seem to be somewhat uninformed when it comes to their baby and solid foods. I've been responding to quite a few threads regarding or related to the topic of solids but I figured maybe I could reach a wider range of people if I actually made my own thread. I'm by no means a professional or an expert on the subject but I have done a lot of research and it has become a passion of mine to ensure that my baby is getting the best that I can offer him. I've acquired a good handful of knowledge along the way that I would like to share, and I hope I can bring about some awareness on a few matters.

For starters, I want to talk about the initial introduction to solids. So many times I've heard/read of moms saying that they started their baby on solids at around 3 months because their baby just wasn't being satisfied by breast milk anymore. At around 3 months there is a pretty significant growth spurt that occurs and it causes babies to feed more frequently. There is absolutely no need to introduce solids at this point. In fact, this is actually bad because babies can not get all the nutrients that they need from solid foods at such a young age. Not only can they not properly digest it, but it just plain does not have what they need. Breast milk does though. And by nursing on demand during these times (and always, of course), your milk will naturally increase. Here's a link with a little bit of info on breastfeeding and growth spurts...

http://breastfeeding.hypermart.net/growt...

A second link I would like to share is this one here...

http://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids...

It talks about delaying solids till 6 months and what the benefits of doing so are.

I would also like to talk about how to introduce solids. I could go into a lot of depth on this topic but I'll try to keep it brief. Popular to contrary belief, it's not absolutely necessary to start with rice cereal, and it's also not absolutely necessary to start with purees.
The main reason people start with rice cereal is because there is a concern that baby is in desperate need of iron. But a healthy, full term baby's iron stores only JUST begin to deplete at around 6 months. So really it's not a huge concern. Especially when you take into consideration how little of the rice cereal (or any other solid for that matter) should be consumed at that age. I should also mention that rice cereal has very little nutritional value otherwise. And it has quite the rep for causing constipation.
Here's a great link that talks about iron and even gives a list of other iron rich foods...

http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/Iron.ht...

Be sure to browse that whole site too and not just the specific link. It's a goody.

So, you may or may not have heard of baby-led weaning. This is an approach to solids where purees are skipped and solid chunks of fruits, veg, and meat and other whole foods(and by whole foods I mean unprocessed, and unrefined foods) are your baby's first taste of real food (aside from what they've sampled through mommy's milk). By 6 months of age a baby is perfectly capable of picking up chunks of food, putting it in his/her mouth, and learning to chew and swallow...even without teeth! Gums are surprisingly sufficient at mashing up food as long as it's fairly soft to begin with. Purees made sense back in the day when it was common place for people to start their little ones on solids at 2 and 3 months of age. But like I said, it's not really necessary if you wait till 6 months. Here's a link to a site about baby-led weaning...

http://www.baby-led.com/

I also want to talk about nutrition and what is in the food we give to our babies. Again, I could go on and on. My main concern is people being fooled by marketing. You would think that if something has a baby on the package well then it must be good for babies, right?! Not exactly. Next time you're at the grocery store, take a walk through the baby aisle and read some of the ingredient labels. You may be surprised at some of the crap they put in that stuff. I have never bought my son any foods marketed towards babies and there's no reason for anyone to. In almost every case, the food is no better for baby than the adult alternative. Often it's worse. Here's a link I recently read and found interesting, but sadly, not surprising...

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/...

And the last thing I want to discuss before my brain begins to fry (hehe) is water, and juice. Parents are often concerned about how much water or juice their little one is drinking once they start solids. But really, they don't need any. The main reason to introduce water when you introduce solids is just for practice and the experience. Just a couple sips a day is fine. They should be getting all the hydration they need from breast milk. Many parents introduce juice at a very young age. Some, in an attempt to convince their little one that they should drink this "stuff" from a cup. But really, why? There is no reason to introduce juice. Even with constipation, there are other avenues that should be explored before trying juice. Some parents argue that juice is giving their babies extra vitamins. But how much of that juice are they really drinking anyways? I would hope that it would be fairly small amounts. And in that case, the amount of vits is very minute. Fruit juice does not compare to whole fruit. Once again, another link...

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname...

I'm not saying that juice is the devil. It's by far, not the worst thing you could give your baby. But it's not necessary, so what's the point?

When it comes to feeding my son, I figure, why give him a bunch of crap that he doesn't need? He's still a baby and he's quite content eating what I offer. While I am completely, and entirely in charge of what goes in his belly, I want it to be THE BEST! :)

I hope some of you learned something new from the info I had to share and maybe it will make some people think twice about what they're feeding their babies. Thanks for taking the time to read what I had to say (if you actually even made it all the way through haha). Take care all you mamas!

peace and love,
Katie

PS - "food for fun until they're one". I think it's such a wonderful, easy to remember little saying to help all of us moms remember that breast milk should be the primary source of nutrition within the first year. Please try to stick to it and don't rush your babes. They'll be grown up before you know it :)

Sara - posted on 02/15/2010

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No its not okay, and your childs doctor will tell you this. Your childs doctor has studied how an infants digestive system works and will be able to explain to you why it is not okay.
Infants aren't born with the proper enzymes in their digestive system to break down solids..so you are forcing his stomach to find a way to break down the solids causing him damage..some reports said it can cause diahrhea problems later in life.
Another thing is you never want to put it in the bottle...if he cant eat it off a spoon he doesnt need solids.......just feed him all the milk he wants right now..and trust me..call the doctor, he will tell you the same.

Elizabeth - posted on 02/15/2010

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I wouldn't say its ok, even starting as early as 4 months is kinda controversial. Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the AAP and WHO recomend you wait at least until 6 months to introduce solids? Obviously some babies do just fine starting earlier but just as many don't have a diegestive tract that is ready for anything but breastmilk/formula yet. Why risk it?

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Tammy - posted on 02/15/2010

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I totally agree with Elizabeth. My sentiments exactly. Some babies do fine by starting solids early but there is a higher risk of allergies and their stomach not handling the food properly.

Stephanie - posted on 02/15/2010

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Sorry to say but each child is different...my son started eating solids at 2 and half months. I'm a Nurse and even knowing all the facts still doesn't help. You know ur baby better than any doctor nurse or even stranger so use your mother instinct and i'm sure ur baby will be fine. As long as your baby is getting enough milk thru the day their is nothing wrong with introducing solids but when trying something new be sure to give 48hrs before trying something else just to make sure they don't have any allergies. I wrote up a book of all the foods i gave him and ticked yes or no to the foods he liked and didn't like and if there was any signs of allergies. My son is now 9 months old and so very happy. I don't really listen to what other doctors/midewifes have to say and i guess thats more to do with that i'm in the industry and i know that they all have different opinions. Like i said you are the one that knows your baby best so do what you think is right. Hope this helps

Lauren - posted on 02/15/2010

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my son starting getting teeth at 3 months, so he was constantly looking for things to chew and bite on. he would watch us eat and go for our food. he was biting off all the nipples on his bottle. thats when we decided to start with some baby food. mostly bananas or applesauce. i was told by our doctor to wait until 6 months before the baby food but for our son we just couldnt. hes always been a big boy. in length as well as weight. so he was taking 8-10oz bottles plus a little baby food here and there.

my honest opinion, you know your child the best. and if you try a little bit and everything seems okay, and then it will be okay.

Megan - posted on 02/15/2010

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my lo is 9 months but we started cereal and fruit at 3 months... and she is doing good ...if it works then do it!!

Nikki - posted on 02/15/2010

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3 months is too young!!! their digestive system is not ready to process food plus this can lead to allergies ( 6 months is the recommended age to start solids). More then likely your baby is going through a growth spurt and will cluster feed.



Baby food in a bottle???? Thats a choking hazard and it strongly advised against. Solids need to be spoon fed.



What is your doctor saying about all this??? Do they know you have started doing this???



8 oz isnt tthat outrageous my son was eating 6 ounces a feed from the time he came home from the hospital.

Lauren - posted on 02/15/2010

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My baby started baby food @ 3 months and he is doing great! He eats very well now, and is never very picky. Just be sure he still gets all the formula he needs, and if he starts taking less milk then you may want to give him a little less food.My son is 9 months now and I have had to cut his baby food back a little to make sure he gets the right amount of milk each day. Because the milk is the most important nutrient they get for the first year. Also, be sure to wait at least a week between trying new foods. So you know if something doesn't sit well.

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