Solids before 6 months

Christina Marie - posted on 06/04/2010 ( 105 moms have responded )

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Here is a subject that not many moms agree on..



I have a 16 week old that a breastfeed exclusively. You would not believe the amount of times I have been told to give her cereal because of her size. She is 18lbs.

She still feeds on damand, through the night as well. A lot of moms tell me I am crazy for not giving her something besides my breast milk. (How do you think she got that size?)

To me that is just selfish. The best thing for your child is BM, it is the only thing they need for the first 6 months of life. Why fill them up with cereal, or anything else for YOUR OWN convenience. It's 6 months of your whole life...

There is a reason Dr's say to wait..



Great link - http://www.associatedcontent.com/article...



I have only came across a few moms that agree with me on the subject and its just crazy to me..

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Charlie - posted on 06/04/2010

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Here 4-6 months is a recommendation , that to me means that some may be ready early some may be ready later and that 6 months is just an average as safe grounds .

Cooper started a week before 4 months as recommended by both his GP and midwife , he was a big milk drinker and an even bigger baby ( well above the 100th percentile since birth )



He had always supported his own head since birth and was constantly hungry after the boob , chewing all his toys and constantly trying to grab our food and put it in his mouth , i had discussed with his medical professionals if he was ready or not and after knowing him all his life and making an assessment on food ready signs he was showing they gave the go ahead , so one day when he reached for my peach i let him have it , and he devoured it , he was so happy in that moment .



I have never had issues with Coopers eating , he doesn't have allergies , and he is not overweight .



He is now one and eats everything we eat from the creamy garlic prawn fettuccine, lamb cutlets and mash potato , edamame beans and terryaki chicken sushi rolls , he is not fussy about food in any way what so ever and will try anything i put before him at breakfast , lunch and dinner .



I know some children are ready a little early, i also know some need to wait a little longer to start solids each child is different , children dont just magically turn 6 months and BAM they are instantly ready ,a mix of a little common sense and mothers intuition with sound medical advice is all you need before determining whether YOUR child is ready .



Just because your child did or didnt start at 6 months doesn't make everyone who did it differently wrong , it doesn't make you a medical expert , and it doesn't make your opinion the holy gospel .



It doesnt make me an expert either thats why i rely on a combination of the above stated but i know what is right for my child just as his GP and midwife do .

Lady - posted on 06/04/2010

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Research is always just a guidline because for every one piece of research that says one thing you can find another piece of research that says the exact opposite. As parents we have to read all the relevent data, go with what we know and make descissions based on ourselves and our children. With no family history of food alergies or obesity or any other illnesses introducing solids earlier than 6 months of age is not a huge risk factor as has been proven with the generations of children who have been fed solids earlier. Yes for some it may cause problems but not the majority and as a mother you can tell when your child is ready. Everybody on here has been supportive of your choice to wait - try and return the courtesy!

Ez - posted on 06/05/2010

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Christina nobody else is telling you to give your child solids! That is entirely your choice. If you're not comfortable doing it until the magic 6 months, nobody is telling you you're wrong. That's totally fine!



The last phrase of your PP is why your posts coming across as judgemental. Tone is very hard to decipher on the Internet, and maybe you genuinely don't mean to be judgemental. But that's the impression you're giving. You are claiming that mothers who start solids before 6 months do so for their own gain. That is judgemental. I know of one mother who started solids at 12 weeks because she didn't want to feed her son every 3 hrs like he was needing... I totally agree that is selfish! But we are not talking about cases like that here. It is because you have repeatedly stated or inferred that every mother who starts a bit early are selfish that people are responding to you as they are. Are there some who start solids early for entirely the wrong reasons? Absolutely. But that doesn't apply to those of us here who have explained when and why we started solids before 6 months.

Ez - posted on 06/05/2010

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Rachelle, you are new here so I wanted to take the time to advise you that calling another member ignorant, or saying they can't read, is inappropriate for this forum. You want to defend your sister? Fine. But please do so without resorting to personal attacks.

As for the OP, I was one of those mothers who never thought I'd give solids before 6 months. But at just before 5 months, my daughter was 18.5 lbs (9lb6oz at birth) and eating 8 x 200ml bottles a day. She was in hospital with bronchiolitis and the paediatrician warned me that her weight was too high because of how much milk she was consuming and that it was time to start some cereal. Now if she wasn't showing signs of readiness, I probably would have put her off another few weeks. But she was sitting up completely unaided, was reaching for food, and had lost the tongue-thrust reflex. She was ready, and once I added just one small feed of cereal a day her milk consumption dropped and she stopped gaining weight so fast. She is now 16 months old and is an excellent eater.

So my point is that the 6 month rule is a recommendation only. If you are seeing signs of readiness at 5 months, have got the all clear from your doctor, and are informed on the best first foods and how to go about it, it is fine to start.

Judging other mothers when you are yet to go through it with your child is not really cool either /:) If you want to, and can, wait til 6 months.. great! Like I said, I had planned to. But circumstances change and you learn to follow the cues of your child. Some children are ready a little earlier. And we're literally talking a matter of weeks here anyway! Nobody is defending feeding babies solids at 6 weeks old (though I know some do on the main page). As someone else said, there is no magic switch that flicks at 6 months.

Jodi - posted on 06/04/2010

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That's it Kati. I don't believe the recommendations have ever changed as a guideline. And honestly, you KNOW when your child is ready for solids, you really do.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

105 Comments

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Christina Marie - posted on 06/05/2010

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Ok this is my last post. I have said this many, many, many times already. It is also in my opening post. This is for those moms who give in to solids early for their OWN gain... FOR MOMS GIVING IT FOR THEIR OWN GAIN. I am sorry if I have come across as rude, or in any other negitive way but how many times do I have to say this same thing?
I don't think anyone is actually reading my posts because no one (besides a few thank you) is getting at all what I am saying, or said a too many times now.

I am ending my debate with a HUGE thank you to all that actually read and got the point I was making.

Rachelle - posted on 06/05/2010

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I dont want to argue, I just know my sister meant in no way to judge and was in no way saying people were wrong for starting before 6 months but saying mothers who do it for their benefit and not the baby is wrong. She just felt very attacked and in no way was judging, and several times after her first post she tried to explain she wasnt judging and still got accused of it, thats why I got frustrated and had to speak up. Hopefully this can all come to an understanding and people can see she is saying she isnt jusging others, just what she feels best her for baby.

C. - posted on 06/05/2010

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Kati.. There is a difference between putting rice cereal in a bottle and giving your child a special formula! The formulas are made with RICE STARCH, NOT RICE CEREAL. The starch is just a thickener, it's not the same as actually putting cereal in the baby's bottle. If you don't believe me (Similac: http://similac.com/baby-formula/similac-...).

Jodi - posted on 06/05/2010

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Thank you Erin, you summed up perfectly what I was trying to say about the opening post :)



And Rachelle, It was quite obvious you were aiming that statement at me. But then again, maybe in my ignorance, I just read it that way :P

Rachelle - posted on 06/05/2010

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Her exact words is, "And just for the record, you did judge. I think you need to acknowledge that you did. You called it "selfish" and to our own "convenience". If you read your opening post again, it was extremely judgemental",

That was disrespectful, and I am done talking out this to anyone. I didnt come here to argue. I never have issues with anyone. Its ashame this website isnt able to have moms express their opinions without someone feeling backed into a corner and like they cant just say what they believe is right for them without someone consistantly saying they are judging others when they only expressed their knowledged of what they were told. I would have defended anyone anyone who I felt was being made small. Im done with this topic all together. I just hope moms can come together with all their differences without being catty. Its hard enough being a mom without having people feel attacked. Bye topic

Rosie - posted on 06/05/2010

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i would just like to say a little in defense of those whose doctors have told them to put rice cereal in the bottle for GERD. yes there are formulas out there, but the formula is made with rice to thicken it up. so in essence you are paying like $10 more a can for formula that is the same as adding rice cereal to it.

Ez - posted on 06/05/2010

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Since you quoted Jodi, it certainly reads as though you were directing your post specifically to her. And the topic of judging or being judgemental has been covered throughout this entire thread by both sides of the argument, so no I did not address her. Her sentence specifically says the OP sounded judgemental, which is very different to calling someone ignorant or questioning their intelligence. If you have any more questions regarding this please PM me so we don't hijack this thread.

Christina Marie - posted on 06/05/2010

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The word judging again.. Please someone tell me how I am judging?? Maybe I am clueless here, but I have not judged anyone..

Also, no one has said a switch turns the day a baby is 6 months old. Thats of course meant as "approximate" age. We all know not every child is the same. ..but how am I to know if my little ones digestive system matures a few weeks or even a month early? I don't know. What I have been trying to say, to get across for too long now lol IS that if my little one is happy, healthy, full I nor should anyone be giving solids for their own gain...

Rachelle - posted on 06/05/2010

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Erin, I did not directly call anyone ignorant or say anyone directly could not read. Its not about defending my sister, When someone is coming at her Opinion in a disrespectful way. I mearly said that someone is ignorant if they say she was judgemental when she in no way judged anyone, so I would hope you also said something to them for posting she was extremely judgemental, and not just addressing me. Also I dont need anyone to explain the feeding earlier to me because I fed my daughter solids early, I just repeatedly said she is not wrong for her beleifs.

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Some children need solids before 6 months and that's fine. I don't see starting them a little bit early as being such a big deal, but I can identify with Christina's OP when it comes to other people asking why they're not started on solids yet. I found it so annoying when people gave me the lecture about babies needing more than just breast milk. A milk only diet for 6 months worked for my baby because he was exactly on the 50 percentile line on the weight chart.

Christina Marie - posted on 06/05/2010

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When I had my little one, they gave me an overload of information. I wish every hospital did the same. Its ashame.

C. - posted on 06/05/2010

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Oh, trust me, Dana.. I have been there and I can totally understand that, too! I know there are the ones that don't know any better. I was one of them.. I was more talking along the lines of the ones that do know better, though.. Sorry, should have clarified.

Christina Marie - posted on 06/05/2010

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WAY too dangerous. If a Dr recommends to do so, start looking for a new Dr, PLEASE lol. Not only is it a major choking hazard but if the baby can't even eat it with a spoon then how would he/she ever digest it.. There is young and there is YOUNG. I mean those who give cereal in the bottle (which I know a few), like Christina said are either not educated enough on the matter or are just plain.. I'll leave it at that :)

Rachelle - posted on 06/05/2010

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There are exceptions to every rule, you can just never be too careful with your baby, and yes Christina Prato, I agree, my daughter is almost 2 also and though I never thought I would say this, I miss all the feedings too.

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I agree with you Christina but I can sorta understand it when someone doctor tells them to do it and they don't know any better....I would NEVER do it, no matter what!

C. - posted on 06/05/2010

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See, that's one thing I don't get. I'm not trying to pick fights or anything, I just never understood that argument b/c there are so many formulas and medicines for babies that have acid reflux. My cousin's baby had GERDs, which is a very sensitive form of acid reflux, tomatoes made her son's stomach churn. So I do know there are things out there. Sometimes I can't help but wonder if sometimes the parent's either don't know of their options, or are just looking for an excuse to use so they don't appear to be selfish, if that makes sense.

I'm sure there are the parents that have exhausted every avenue and the only one that works is a little bit of rice cereal. Fine, it's something they NEED- I get that. But I don't agree with putting it in a bottle at all. It's too dangerous.

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Obviously there will be exceptions to that rule also....if a doctor recommends it for a medical reason....ie. reflux etc.

C. - posted on 06/05/2010

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And I agree with the posts I have read thus far.. NEVER put rice cereal in a bottle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That, too, gets me fired up.. Choking hazard, anyone??

C. - posted on 06/05/2010

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Well, I happen to agree with you. One of my nephews was over 11 pounds at birth, and my sister didn't give him cereal until almost 6 months (just a week or two shy of 6 months, if my memory serves correctly). Yep, he was a hungry boy.. She had to buy several of the 11oz Avent bottles for him and he drank those frequently.. But she didn't give in to giving him solids b/c that's how babies are supposed to be.. They eat a lot.



Anyway, my son was 9lbs 2oz, went solely on formula at 2 weeks b/c he was still a little more than a pound under his birth weight and I was hardly producing anything. Anyway, I put my son on cereal at 4 months per the doctor's request.. I kick myself now b/c my son has problems with constipation. I am now a firm believer in waiting until at least 6 months to feed your child solids.



And the convenience thing.. I know what you mean.. It grates my nerves when I hear someone say to give the baby cereal so they can sleep longer. UGH!!!! Sorry, but if you wanted to skip the midnight feedings, why didn't you just adopt a 2 year old?? Part of the joys of parenting are the midnight feedings.. When I was told that I'd miss it, I didn't believe it one bit. My son is almost 2 and I can tell you now, I wish I would have enjoyed those first little Mommy-and-me moments a bit more..

Rachelle - posted on 06/05/2010

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If you say Christina made a "extremely Judgemental" comment when you read her initial post, then you must be ignorant and cant process reading properly. She clearly said you are selfish if you give solids for your own conveinence, aka to not have to feed as often, ect. If you are tired and give your baby cereal/solids to not have to feed as often, then YOU ARE BEING SELFISH. All she is saying is there are facts that there is a risk giving solids before 6 months. I dont care if oher studies say 4-6 months, there are some that say 6 months. I gave my daughter solids early but I felt she was ready and knew there was a small chance she wasnt. No Matter what you try new with your baby, you are taking a chance. Chrsitina is mearly saying she would rather not take any chances and wait it out. Dont Say shes judging, She hasnt at all.

Amie - posted on 06/05/2010

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See and with that, there's nothing wrong with trying watered down rice cereal one afternoon to see if she is ready. You will know.

For the record too I don't agree with rice cereal in the bottle but I know some moms who have done it as well. I've always believed if you're going to feed them that do it from a spoon.

Christina Marie - posted on 06/05/2010

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Its a really tough topic.. I mean it would definitely be helpful to me if my little piggy had some cereal (or w/e) and gave mommy a rest lol. She eats NONE STOP, but I'm going to tough it out. When I say selfish I mean moms who give cereal for their own convenience, not for the baby..
PS The cereal in bottle thing. I know moms that have been doing that since 1 month, 2 months.. Ahhh. Whole other debate! That I do not have in me! lol

Amie - posted on 06/05/2010

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You know that's probably why this is not getting through to any mom here Christina.

It's not convenient to feed your child solids. It is a lot easier to keep BFing them or giving them a bottle.

The only "convenience" issue would be the rice cereal in the bottle debate. Which is never ending debate even here between some of our moms on the board.

Christina Marie - posted on 06/05/2010

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If a mother is giving her baby solids for her own convenience I do think it is selfish. There is a huge difference between a 5 month old child who NEEDS solids and a 5 month old whos mother wants him/her to sleep longer, etc (for example).
You say I am not getting your point, but you are not getting mine. Whether you mean to or not, you keep changing my words around.

Jodi - posted on 06/05/2010

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I agree Christina, each to their own. Each child is an individual, and each child is different. While I fed my son solids 12 years ago at 3 1/2 months, my daughter wasn't ready for solids until she was 6 months (she was MUCH smaller and content with her milk feeds). But as I said, you KNOW when your child is ready. If your baby is grabbing at your food, and showing curiosity, a taste never hurts (as long as it isn't on one of the allergy lists, LOL).



And really, all we are often talking about here is 2 or 3 teaspoons of food here and there at that age!!



And just for the record, you did judge. I think you need to acknowledge that you did. You called it "selfish" and to our own "convenience". If you read your opening post again, it was extremely judgemental.

Christina Marie - posted on 06/05/2010

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Like many have already stated. We are new moms. I gave birth just 16 weeks ago and this is all the information I was given. Never once has a dr told me 4 months.
The link I last posted is the actual book they had given to me.

Anyways like I have said too MANY times before to each their own.

Sarah - posted on 06/04/2010

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Ok, so firstly i would say that everyone needs to take a deep cleansing breath, and calm down!
This is obviously a touchy subject, but let's all stay polite :)

My two cents worth is that it's a GUIDEline, I don't think there's a right or wrong time to start solids, every baby is different :)

Rosie - posted on 06/04/2010

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my first link came from the AAP, and it is from 2010 and says 4-6 months.

Jodi - posted on 06/04/2010

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Difference was, mine came directly from the WHO site :)

Just sayin'. As I said, if you can't trust the information being issued from the WHO, who can you trust?

Erin - posted on 06/04/2010

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i second that Christine, this is a never ending debate.

also i would like to make an edit to my previous post...it is from 2005 not 2010...my apologies, its late, i am nursing with one side of my body and typing with my other, and my brain seems to have blanked momentarily.

good night all :)

Amie - posted on 06/04/2010

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Ok as someone else has pointed out. Just because they reach 6 months of age does not automatically mean they are ready for solid foods. Which is what that article is saying. There is no "magic" age for any milestone. There are guidelines for all of them though.

It is a guideline for a reason. Some need it earlier, some need it later. It is a guideline because that is the average age most babies are ready.

Amie - posted on 06/04/2010

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Oh and...

Most likely Jodi AND Erin's links were based off the exact same research. Just published in different years. No new guidelines have come out since 2005. Which is the original point I was making but again, seems to have been missed.

Amie - posted on 06/04/2010

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And Jodi's is just as valid.

But after perusing the Health Canada website Erin's is misleading.

Most evidence suggests that introduction before 2 to 3 months or later than 6 months has more risks than benefits

During the transition to solid foods, it is vital that infants continue to ingest an adequate volume of breast milk or formula. Introduction of solid foods should be based on the physiologic and developmental maturity of the infant in combination with our understanding of nutrient requirements for the rapidly growing infant. Iron-containing foods are recommended as the first foods.

The transition to other solid foods, such as more textured purées, finger foods and table foods eaten by the rest of the family, takes place in the latter part of the second 6 months of life because infants are ready to chew and need more texture in their foods. Some infants go from semi-liquid cereals and puréed baby foods to finger foods and table foods in just a few months. Safe finger foods include bread crusts, dry toast, pieces of soft cooked vegetables and fruits, soft ripe fruit such as banana, cooked meat and poultry, and cheese cubes. At this time, most infants are developmentally ready to feed themselves and should be encouraged to do so

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/pubs/infant...

It's a lot of reading. Those a few excerpts. Starting before 6 months is fine so long as the child is showing readiness and (again!) your child's doctor gives the ok.

Christina Marie - posted on 06/04/2010

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Five years is old? ..and the link Jodi gave, the research behind it was done in 96/98/87 etc..

Amie - posted on 06/04/2010

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Produced by Public Health Nutritionists/Dietitians in Ontario, June 2005
May be reproduced without permission provided source is acknowledged.

That is not new Erin. It's 5 years old.

Jodi - posted on 06/04/2010

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I think you will find that many of the WHO documents state 4-6 months.

http://whqlibdoc.who.int/wpro/2002/92906...

A quote from this document:
"There is no food that can supply all the nutrients needed by the body, except for breastmilk during the first 4-6 months of an infant's life."

"Give only breastmilk and no other food or drink from birth up to 4-6 months.
Do not give any other food or drinks, such as plain water, sugared water or fruit juice, to the baby from birth up to 4-6 months. Breastmilk will satisfy all the nutrient needs of the baby at this age."

"Start to give complementary foods at
4-6 months.
In addition to breastmilk, gradually introduce
complementary food at 4-6 months. Begin to give
complementary foods only if the baby shows interest
in semisolid foods, appears hungry after breastfeeding
or is not gaining enough weight.
Give small amounts of complementary foods one at
a time after breast-feeding. Start with one or two
spoonfuls of soft and easy to digest food, such as
porridge or mashed ripe fruit, once or twice a day
and gradually give mixes of complementary food.
If the baby refuses a new food, give it some other
time. The baby will eventually learn to like it.
Introducing complementary food too early will
decrease the production of breastmilk due to
decreased suckling. This may lead to undernutrition
and the baby will be more prone to indigestion and
diarrhoea.
Withholding complementary foods when the baby
is already 6 months old is likely to result in
undernutrition. At 6 months, the amount of
breastmilk is not enough to keep most children
growing well. It also becomes more difficult to
encourage the baby to try other foods as the child
becomes older."

My point is, there is PLENTY of reliable research supporting 4-6 months as the optimum age (yes as little as 4 months). If you can't believe the WHO, what do you consider reliable???

Erin - posted on 06/04/2010

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I have yet to find recent reliable research that suggests 4-6 months is ok.

jodi- thats like saying 100 people jump off a bridge but only 1 of them break their legs, so i guess it must be safe to jump of bridges. its just not logical..your child might not be effected by starting early (and that is a good thing) but i can guarantee there are child who are negatively effected. the point is...why risk it?!? what is an extra month or two in ensuring they are ready.

Jodi - posted on 06/04/2010

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But the point is, Christina, that research doesn't support this. Research supports the recommendation of 4-6 months, which means that for many, 4 months is perfectly ok.

Christina Marie - posted on 06/04/2010

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No one said "if you feed solids early this will happen", the chances are much greater is the point..

Jodi - posted on 06/04/2010

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Quoting Erin
"FYI 5 years is still to soon to know how/if he will be effected long term."

Just to go back to this, is 12 years still too soon to know? I started my son on rice cereal at 3 1/2 months, and gradually intorduced other solids from there. He's now 12 and tall, lean (not an ounce of fat on him) and healthy. In fact, just this week was the first time he's been home sick from school in a couple of years. He is good at sports and does well at school.

Or do I have to wait until he is 40 before is is soon enough to tell?

Rachelle - posted on 06/04/2010

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This is funny, people cant even talk about this post without taking things personal. I am Christina's sister (she posted this) and we talk about this all the time and have never argued about it. I actually think being extra cautious is a good thing when it comes to your children. I tried to wait as well to introduce solids but after struggling so much with my breast milk not fulfilling my daughter enough I took the chance to give her cereal early. I could have waited but made the choice as a mom to go ahead with it, after asking my doctor. I think if my sister Christina feels its right to wait, as it does say in many studies, then she should. I am preg with my second child now and plan on trying to wait and exclusively breastfeed but that decision will be fully made when the time comes. Christina has a strong opinion and I think she should stand up for her beliefs, we all should. She has never judged other opinions so dont judge her. Her daughter is so big, beautiful, and very strong and advanced, so whats shes doing is working amazing for her.

Fiona - posted on 06/04/2010

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i know in New Zealand the plunket guidelines are for 4-6 months although they do encourage parents to try for 6 months where possible. they also do solids courses, how to recognise theyre ready for solids, what sort of thing to start them off with etc. when i went to the course my son was 51/2 months, the youngest child there was 4 months and was already showing signs of being ready for solids. Hunter ended up not being seriously interested in solids until 6 months. like all baby developmental mile stones, some babies hit them earlier, some later and as long as we do what is best for our baby thats all that matters.

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