Ridiculed for not starting solids

Margot - posted on 02/26/2009 ( 30 moms have responded )

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Okay so my baby is 3 mths old, will be 4 mths next week and I am being pushed to start solids. My friends and Family are constantly nagging me about not giving her rice cereal. She's teething right now and is a bit fussy when she goes to nurse, so I've been trying different methods and different things. Which are all sort of working. With my oldest daughter I didn't nurse very long and my second girl we lasted until she started teething, which was when she was 6 months. I was so stressed, my husband was deployed and I was overseas alone with 2 children. But she was already on six months and I was soo proud that we had gone that long.



My mother in law keeps saying that I'm only making her more miserable by not giving her something more than milk. Which I know is not true, but it's driving me crazy. Some of my friends keep saying well just give her cereal or bitter biscuts. My plan is to EBF for six months and then introduce solids slowly, all while still breastfeeding. Well apparently everyone I know thinks I'm crazy. Anyone else have this problem? If so how did you handle it?

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Nora - posted on 03/08/2013

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my doctor said there is no need to start my son on solids until after 5 months he is 5months and 2weeks now and we'll be starting solids next week. I would wait longer but I don't think milk is satisfying his hunger anymore as he will take 8+ oz at a feeding and when i eat he'll try grabbing it and intently watch me. He's gotten increasingly fussier and harder to settle so i'm thinking its time also teething may be a problem:(

I think it's best though to just do what you want I've noticed everyone and there mother have there own opinion on what to do with your baby even people that arnt parents will put there two cents in.

Emily - posted on 03/02/2009

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Stick to your guns... you're doing exactly what all of the paediatric associations and the World Health Organization recommend - tell your in-laws and friends that this is what your doctor recommends... end of story!

Julia - posted on 03/02/2009

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I'd stick with what you're doing. Enjoy BF as long as possible, especially if you plan for this to be your last. They already grow up super fast!

Melissa - posted on 03/01/2009

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Babies tummies are not ready to digest solids until 6 months and need to be ebf during that time. Things are a lot different then when our parents had us. Your baby doesn't need anything else then breastmilk right now and giving cereal can actually make her more fussy. If she is refusing to nurse during teething try pumping and giving it to her in a bottle, sometimes the sucking hurts when they 1st start teething. You are definatly not crazy they are for forcing their children to start solids when not ready! the kellmom.com website has some great info for breastfeeding. give your mother in law and your friends some facts and they will leave you alone.

Rachel - posted on 03/01/2009

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My son's first ped pushed me to start solids by four months, too, and I fought her on that one (she knew very little about breastfeeding and gave really bad advice just about every visit and wasn't interested in learning anything about it--I switched peds as soon as my insurance allowed it and sicced the lactation consulatants on her :p). I did my research and wasn't about to start too early to please the naysayers who were sure I was going to starve my baby if I didn't do exactly what they did :p A lot of that fussiness around 3-4 months and not seeming satisfied are growth spurts where their little bodies tell them to nurse nurse nurse nurse--its your body's signal that its time for your milk production to change for the next stage of growth :) When my son was about six months, he showed all the signs of readiness (www.kellymom.com has a nice listing) so we started him on solids. No cereal, though, for our guy. Tasted like pureed cardboard to me and is just a mass of chemicals :p His first foods were sweet potato mashed with breastmilk, bananas mashed with breastmilk, avacado mashed with breastmilk. He liked to play with them at first but by month eight he was a full-on eater as well as a nurser. He loved veggies and meats slow roasted so they were super tender and full of flavor. To this day (he's three and a half) he has to have herbs on his meals to add some flavor--can't stand bland foods!

Judith - posted on 03/01/2009

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She'll choke on a biter biscuit.  My daughter is 5 1/2 months and is quite satisfied with milk alone.  Tell your mother in law that your doctor said no solids until 5-6 months and if she has an issue with that, to call the doctor herself.  You're doing the right thing.  I started my son (now 12 yrs old) on cereal when he was 4 weeks (I was 20 and stupid).  He was always SCREAMING.  I realize now it was probably because his little tummy was not able to tolerate it yet.  He is also quite overweight, which I really believe is from the cereal messing up his metabolism.  Stick to your beliefs!!

[deleted account]

I would hope that next time your hubby would stand up to his mom - he's in the best position to do so - and tell her, MOM we have really researched this, talked with our child's pedi and thus we do think we know what is best for our children. No one elses, just our own. Just like you knew what was best for me when I was little. I hope you can understand and support our decisions. My hubby backs me 100% - because I am his wife, but also because he know how much I care about my son and thus really research things and we are both educated on the approaches we are taking. When we take a united front, people totally back off and later make it a point to tell us what a good job we're doing.

Margot - posted on 02/28/2009

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Well you know the old saying "Every Baby is Different". I can totally agree with that. I have 3 girls and each one of them has been different babies. My 3mth old has her days when the teething really bothers her and then days when it doesn't I can't wait for those little teefers to come out. She really likes her fists and a slightly frozen washrag. As far as people being pushy about solids, well I finally stood my ground last night. I was very nice about it and my MIL was nice to my face. Then once I left the room, my husband said, that she was saying things like "She just act like she knows everything doesn't she." and other things along those lines. It's really weird cause I always thought we got along fine. Oh well can't win them all. Thank you all for your wonderful advice!

Pamela - posted on 02/28/2009

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We didn't introduce solids until 9 months much to my MIL's chagrin. She was constantly wanting to feed my daughter. I finally sat her down and gave it to her straight, Look you got to parent and screw up your two sons and now it's my turn to mess my kid up. Please stop harrassing me about my parenting choices, I have enough to worry about and I know that I am doing what is best for my baby. She apologized and said she would drop it. Of course when we did decide to introduce solids - we let Baba (my MIL) feed her! She promptly OVERFED her (even though I kept saying that's enough) and my daughter got constipated. She hasn't bothered me about any parenting decisions since. MAMA KNOWS BEST! There is no rush in introducing solids. Your breastmilk is plenty of food as long as you are nursing on demand. I am very surprised that nursing doesn't soothe your daughter when she is teething... my daughter increases nursing anytime a new tooth is coming in. Have you tried giving her teething tabs (homeopathy) or getting a teething toy like Sophie the Giraffe? Good luck!!

Tonya - posted on 02/27/2009

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My family was exactly the same, i buckled n gave her a taste of some cereal at 5mos, then at 6 mos i put them in there place n said i didn't tell them how to raise their kids, n it was ultimately my choice. They left me alone after that, only one person got upset in the moment, but appoligized later. Peaople will see u r a good mom, n even better for standing up for what u believe in. Breastfeeding can be hard, and support is a must, lots of website r helpful, I like kellymom, follow ur heart

Arika - posted on 02/27/2009

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I have the same problem my daughter is a little over four months and my parents keep bugging to start her on cereal. My daughter is satisfied with breast feeding so why should I add food? Audrey's ped. said to wait until six months if poss to feed her solids. I don't know why family can't just let us raise our children our way. I know they are only trying to help but it drives me nuts! I just try to ignore people when they tell me to start her on solids, as moms we know whats best for our children. My daughter is fifteen pounds I don't think she is starving by any means she has doubled her birth weight.

[deleted account]

Yep Katy, as I said.... "she is the mom and she knows what is best."

And you are right, most of the time the people pushing their opinions are family, doesn't mean they're right and doesn't mean they don't need educating. I say idiot, but that is because of my own personal experience w/my family. I tried educating my grandmother on breastfeeding (who did not bf'd either of her children) who told me she was too old to learn anything new (75 yrs old). I consider that being an idiot. The day I can't learn anymore and stop learning, go head and put me in the grave! I hope to continue to learn throughout my entire life. I know my children will do things much differently than I am because we'll have learned so much over the years too. I hope they will take the time I have tried to spend w/my family to educate me on the new ways of doing things. Sorry, but anyone who won't listen to reason, won't take in information and learn something new is an idiot.

But, that doesn't mean I was saying your loved ones who you respect are idiots! Sorry if I offended anyone w/that, it is just the pushing and shoving of opinions by others on how I should raise my child, especially when this "advice" is continually repeated gets me heated up!

But I am still saying, these people that think they know it all and have these strong opinions need to either listen to the mom's point of view and be educated on why we do things the way we do now, or quite frankly keep their opinions to themselves.

Clearly based on the need to start this thread Margot is receiving advice/opinions, etc... contrary to what she feels is right!

Katy - posted on 02/27/2009

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Quoting Nicole:

Educate these idiots that think a 3-4 month old must be on solids. Educate yourself even more if needed to help you combat them and be confident in your decision. Educate them on the "virgin gut". Helpful links:

http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fus...

You are her mom, NO ONE ELSE, YOU know what is best for your children!!!!!!!!


A LO T of these "idiots" are our childrens' grandparents and of course of a different generation.  I love and respect my parents and in laws, despite their strong opinions.  You must do what feels right. 



 

Emily - posted on 02/27/2009

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Wow!!! Solids for a 3 month old!!! That's ridiculous. We haven't given our children solids until 6 months, then just slowly allow them to eat bits of table food. They don't really start to EAT the food until around 8 months, and they don't eat a significant amount of solids until after a year (all their own choice).

I remember one time we were at IHOP with my father.. he was holding my second daughter who was about 4 months at the time. She was waving her arms around and staring at the food (of course she was... she was 4 months!), so my dad broke off a piece of waffle and put it in her mouth. He laughed when she spit it out and kept trying to put it back in her mouth. I explained that she didn't know what to do with it because we hadn't started solids yet, and wouldn't for a while because she was too young. He was just like, "Oh! I'm sorry, how old is she again?" I told him she was only 4 months (barely) and he said he couldn't remember when they were supposed to start... so I just explained we were waiting until 6 months... especially since she didn't even have any teeth yet. He said that sounded fair and quit trying to stuff the waffle in her mouth. :)

I was really grateful that it didn't become a huge issue for us... it had just been a while since my dad had tiny ones at home, and I'm sure he wasn't really paying attention to what age infants needed to start solids anyway. He was just trying to have some fun with his granddaughter. :) Now, almost 3 years later, he still loves to feed my kids. It's not always the healthiest things... but what's a grandfather for. ;-)

Margot - posted on 02/27/2009

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I think the reason I'm on the fence with this is because we are around family with this baby, where as before we were in another country. So my way was never really questioned. Thank you all very much for your advise. I am just going to enjoy BF for as long as possible. They are only this little once. Again Thank You!!!

[deleted account]

Educate these idiots that think a 3-4 month old must be on solids. Educate yourself even more if needed to help you combat them and be confident in your decision. Educate them on the "virgin gut". Helpful links:

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

http://www.kellymom.com/newman/16startin...

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

Beside eating in the first year is NOT about nutrition, it is about fun and learning. The first year babies are getting what they need nutritionally from either you or formula or goats milk if one uses that instead.

I plan to delay solids more w/my second actually and wait until closer to 9mo.

Best wishes!

Oh and fussy feedings... check out this link, it might help too:
http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/fus...

You are her mom, NO ONE ELSE, YOU know what is best for your children!!!!!!!!

Katy - posted on 02/27/2009

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My plan too, was to EBF until 6 month, and slowly start solids, however, at about 5.5 months, he was crying and whining at the dinner table. I would nurse right before sitting down to eat. We tried giving him a spoon to gnaw on, but that only last a couple nights. Finally I just started the cereal and he loved it! You have to do what is best for you and the baby. He he's ready- do it, if not.. you know.

And heck with everbody and their opinions. My mother did the same thing, "give him rice starting at 3 months, and he'll sleep" Well obviously I didn't follow everything my mother says to do! LOL

O, and BTW.. my LO is still not sleeping through the night.. so don't introduce solids for that reason. They have to be interested in eating!

Good Luck!

Stephanie - posted on 02/27/2009

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Hi well i have been told by my Health Visitor, that it is not essential to begin solids yet but to def introduce by 6mths otherwise they can begin to refuse food altogether. The only reason to introduce foods earlier is if your baby is not saisfied after meals.



I also have a mother in law that keeps making me feel bad about how i am caring for my baby too. At the end of the day you know what is best for your baby, if you know that she is not ready for it and is still being sustained by your breast milk. Be polite and say she is still doing really well at the minute and does not need solids. If you are not happy to approach your in law then your partner should, if you are and your partner is with you he has to back you up.



Good luck

Jessica - posted on 02/27/2009

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I got the same thing from all angles. "You need to be getting her belly ready for solid food!" "She'll sleep through the night if you put cereal in her bottle!" "She's thirsty, you need to give her a bottle of water so her pee doesn't sting her bottom!"

I liked to point out that they(the grandparents) did things differently than their parents did, and their kids turned out just fine. It also helped me to remember that all of the advice came from a loving place. My MIL didn't breastfeed her kids, so that helped a little because I could point out that it was complete nutrition and totally different than formula, which she was used to. She couldn't understand either why I wouldn't just put my milk in the microwave to warm it up!

You're making the right decision for your family. Venting to people who don't support your choices opens up the door for them to give advice. Maybe try contacting the LLL in your area, so you can develop a peer group with some other breastfeeding moms in real life. It'll help you feel less crazy. :)

Nora - posted on 02/27/2009

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The bottom line is that is your baby and you should do what makes YOU comfortable and what YOU feel is best for your baby. Let your friends, relatives tell you their opinion and just stay strong to what you believe. Your her mother and you know what is best for your baby.

Shannon - posted on 02/27/2009

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You are certainly not crazy!! I had intended to do just that with my son who is now 6 months... however, at 4 months he started trying to grab at whatever we ate and I finally gave in... now at 6 months he eats solids three times a day and still nurses atleast 6 times... yes he is a big boy!

Go to I think it is Gerber's website... I believe they have a "list" of things that tell you when your child is ready for solids... print it and tell people that until the things on the lis happen, you are not giving her solids... your milk is best for her at this point... other than that... ignore them. I ignore my MIL all the time.... if it were up to her she would have been in the delivery room, not my nom, and he would be formula fed because it is "more convienent" for her when she sits with him... she doesn't like feeding him, cuz she is grossed out by the thought that she might get my milk on her... weirdo she is.... Ultimately, you need to do what is best for your child, and no one can change that.. so just try to relax, and let them all complain...

Jessica - posted on 02/27/2009

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You are the mother! You make the decisions for your child. Just kindly explain that it is proven babies do not need solid foods till at least 6 months old. For some reason it is so much fun for others to watch babies eat something new - and normally it is something that is not good for them. Stand your ground, but do it kindly and respectfully. I want to encourage you to breastfeed as long as you possibly can. It really is better for your child the longer you can do it! Keep up the good work!!

Melissa - posted on 02/27/2009

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Margot,

As tempting as their advice might seem ( hoping it will help the baby sleep through the night), try to hold off. Like it has been stated here a number of times, 6 months is the recommended start time for cereal. However, in my case, my little boy starting showing all the signs of wanting to eat at around 5 1/2 months. So 2 weeks early, we started him on rice cereal. Also, keep in mind that babies go through lots of growth spurts, so they may demand the boob more. This is important, because it tells the body to start making more milk to nourish the baby. Obviously in the end, you will do what is best for your baby.

Funny enough, I had a different reaction. Some people thought I was crazy for starting cereal 2 weeks before he turned 6 months. So I don't think we can ever please everyone. Good luck!!

Michelle - posted on 02/27/2009

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My little one is 4 months. I was hearing not to start her on solids untill 6 months but then I get told you can start at 4 months, everytime I turn around I hear something different and in the end I decided to listen to my baby.



I decided to start her on some rice cereal (the box states for 4-6 month olds) at night because she has always slept through the night and had started waking up for feeds about twice a night. I only give her a tbsp and a half at night and she is back to sleeping 10 hours. It has not affected the breast feeding at all she still has the same amount of feeds (just not the middle of the night ones) and it is just that little bit extra to fill her up and give her (and mum and dad) a decent nights sleep.



It works for us and she is a happy little girl. I think you should do what is right for you and your baby. I just listen to all the advice thats thrown my way and smile and nod:)



Good luck and I'm sure you will figure out what works for you and bub :)

Stacey - posted on 02/26/2009

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Good for you for EBF. I found it extremely frustrating when people would start pestering me about solids. You can tell them about the latest recommendations to EBF but I found that this doesn't satisfy parents or grandparents. You can always tell them that it is your and your husband's decision to EBF and you'd appreciate it if people would respect that.

Jamie - posted on 02/26/2009

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I know what you mean about people trying to tell you how to feed your baby...my mother in law would constantly make comments ("He's hungry for REAL food...and my baby is 7 months and 20 + pounds and was exclusively breastfed until 6 months, so I know he was getting plenty to eat just exclusively breastfeeding)...but do what is best for you and your baby. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months to reduce possible food allergies later on, and even when the baby begins eating solids, breastmilk is still the best food for baby until 1 year.

Kyla - posted on 02/26/2009

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I think that if EBF works for you then stick with it! I was EBF until recently when my son hit 5 months. I felt kind of like a failure for not being able to EBF until he was 6 months. My son started getting up every hour and a half at night to feed and I was just so exhausted that I started him on rice cereal just at night. It's working for us but I wish I was able to EBF for another month. Your not crazy at all. Now EBF seems to be what is being taught. It is definitely not what the older generations were taught and i think it's hard for some of them to hear that it's different now because it worked for them. But that's what worked for them then and this is what works for us now. If you are able to EBF until 6 months or beyond that's great! I know that people telling you that you are wrong can wear on you. I fought with a few people who were trying to feed my son (at 3 months) when I wasn't looking because they didn't believe in EBF until 6 months. So keep it up and do what you think it right for your children. Good luck to you Margot!

Carly - posted on 02/26/2009

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Every time they start up about it, just keep calm and tell them that you appreciate their advice, but the current health guidelines are to introduce solids at 6 months, based on research about the maturity of babies' digestive systems and reducing the risk of allergies.  If they still don't leave you alone about it, tell them she's your daughter and they need to respect your parenting choices.

Kristi - posted on 02/26/2009

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You are not crazy!!! In fact, most pediatricians will tell you that if you are EBF, you don't need to start solids until they are 6 months. She is getting all of the nutrients that she needs from your breast milk! Which is the best thing for her anyway!!! Some also say you may increase the chance of food allergies by starting solids too early.

I EBF my daughter and didn't start solids until she was 6 months. I heard it from many people as well...all older than me of course. She is now over 19 months, still breastfeeding, eating solids and doing great! ( I never would have thought I would still be breastfeeding, but it works for the two of us!)

Your mother-in-law means well, but you have to do what is right for you and your baby! While her suggestions may have worked for her when she was raising your husband, times are different and ultimately it is your decision. Hang in there!!! You are doing a wonderful thing for you and your daughter! I wish you the best!

Kristi - posted on 02/26/2009

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You are not crazy!!! In fact, most pediatricians will tell you that if you are EBF, you don't need to start solids until they are 6 months. She is getting all of the nutrients that she needs from your breast milk! Which is the best thing for her anyway!!! Some also say you may increase the chance of food allergies by starting solids too early.

I EBF my daughter and didn't start solids until she was 6 months. I heard it from many people as well...all older than me of course. She is now over 19 months, still breastfeeding, eating solids and doing great! ( I never would have thought I would still be breastfeeding, but it works for the two of us!)

Your mother-in-law means well, but you have to do what is right for you and your baby! While her suggestions may have worked for her when she was raising your husband, times are different and ultimately it is your decision. Hang in there!!! You are doing a wonderful thing for you and your daughter! I wish you the best!

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