what are your thoughts on starting solids early ?

Charlie - posted on 12/02/2009 ( 33 moms have responded )

11,203

111

409

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 .



I started Cooper just before 4 months in fact i should re phrase that , Cooper started himself just before 4 months .



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 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 i made last night , 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 at a little early, i also know some need to wait a little longer to start solids each child is different so why the big song and dance about starting solids early ??

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

JL - posted on 01/29/2010

3,635

48

107

I started when my kids were ready which was a little after 3 months and the kids pediatrician recommended with both kids that I start introducing cereal after they turned 3 months because they were taking down so much forumula and they had the oral motor skills to take the cereal on the spoon. Hayden had a rice sensitivity so we skipped rice cereal and went to oatmeal. It took him around a year to outgrow his rice sensitivity.

Both my kids were big babies and right after birth they drank 3 to 4 ounces immediately and they were doubling the ounces within a couple of weeks. I could not keep up with my daughters intake and had to supplement formula with breastmilk.

Both kids did well with the cereal and still took down crap loads of formula. Their intake was above average so my pediatrician told me around 4 months to try solids since they needed more and were giving the cues that they were ready. She and also told me to give them an ounce of apple juice mixed with an ounce of water with the solids to prevent any constipation.

They did great on the solids. They also started table food earlier than recommended. My oldest is now 6 and my youngest is 2 and they both still eat and drink a great deal, yet they are both skinny.

Ava - posted on 12/05/2009

307

31

12

You're actually supposed to follow your baby's cues, not the doctors exclusively. They tell you to start your baby on cereals at 4-6 months on average. Lexi started a week before her 4th month because she was giving me cues, like watching me while I ate spoon to mouth, and so on and so forth.

33 Comments

View replies by

Krista - posted on 01/30/2010

12,562

16

847

I tried Sam on cereal when he was about 4 1/2 months old, and he was okay with it, but not super-keen, so I waited a couple more weeks and then tried him again. He liked it well enough, but when I tried him on sweet potato, his eyes grew as big as saucers, and I could almost hear him thinking, "Now THAT's more like it!" Since then, he's had sweet potato, peas, squash and bananas (all homemade). He still eats the cereal, but I mix some fresh pureed banana into it, and he really likes that.

Sometimes I do get a bit perplexed, though, as I know that the formula should be the bulk of his diet right now, but the little fart really seems to prefer solids. So it's to get that balance -- that's the tricky part.

Amie - posted on 01/30/2010

6,596

20

412

The only one of ours who started "early" was Caitlin. She's a massive girl though. When we go to the school she's bigger than a good half of the kids in our son's kindergarten class. (though this could be that people are just having smaller and smaller kids now a days, seems like it to me but my three oldest have always been no lower than the 95th percentile H & W)

Anyway Caitlin started at 4 months. I went to her doctor to make sure it was ok because with the others I waited until 6 months. They were all fine with that but Caitlin was eating way too many bottles in a day. Her doctor suggested starting her on cereal so we did. By 5 months she was on veggies, 6 months fruits, 8 months eating chunks and by 10 months she was eating table foods with us.

I can not stand the posts about mothers starting their kids on rice cereal early because it's "convenient" or "they're so hungry at 6 weeks". Well duh it's called a growth spurt. /:) IF a child starts really early (before 4 months)and their doctor is ok with it I don't have an issue. Rice cereal in bottles is a bad idea unless used for reflux. It has no/little nutritional value and is used because most kids won't have an allergic reaction to it and to get them used to solids. My family has a lot of food allergies though. Oddly enough no one has any nut allergies which is on the rise. ha. Which is why we did things the way we did. It was only one new food a week and the ones that are known allergens in our family history are given a wide berth as long as possible. I also did veggies first to get them used to it, fruits are sweeter and which would you rather have? Something sweet or something kinda bland? lol

Veronica,
It's not about judging, it's about the massive amount of stupid mothers on CoM's. We all know we've ran into a few. Sometimes "mother knows best" is not an adage to follow. Sometimes what they are doing is dangerous. Sometimes they just do not know and get really bad advice. The things you listed are terrible things as well but does not mean we should ignore the mothers who insist on feeding their brand spanking new babies "food" for a list of stupid reasons. Sometimes it is justified and ok to do so, for the vast majority of "normal" babies, it's not.

?? - posted on 01/29/2010

4,974

0

172

Gabriel was almost 6 months when he had his first puree. He hated rice cereal unless there was fresh fruit in it. Now at 15 months, he eats everything we eat.

Jodi - posted on 01/29/2010

3,562

36

3907

My kids hated rice cereal. I only ever offered it a few times when I first started (because at the time, that is what was recommended to start with) solids, and they both rejected it, so I just decided to go for fruits and vegetables, etc.

JL - posted on 01/29/2010

3,635

48

107

Personally I preferred skipping the rice cereal and going to a finely grained oatmeal,because some kids develop rice sensitivity and my ped. told me that more babies tend to get constipated and have digestive problems with rice cereal. When my kids were given rice as babies, one got constipated and the other developed a sensitivity to rice that lasted until he was around a year old. When they were on oatmeal they were fine.

Charlie - posted on 01/29/2010

11,203

111

409

I get annoyed when i read a woman has given her 3 week old baby cereal in a bottle , eeek!

Kate CP - posted on 01/29/2010

8,942

36

758

When a baby is ready for solids is when you should start solids. But I get REALLY ticked off with women who insist that their 2 month old "just isn't getting enough!" So let's stuff them full of empty calories and carbs so Mommy doesn't have to do her job!

I hate rice cereal, though. It tastes like cardboard and has no nutritional value at all. My daughter's first foods were fruits and veggies. I can understand how some people who have food allergies in their family would start with rice cereal first. But, if allergies don't run in your family, why would you do rice cereal first? It's just so gross. :P

JL - posted on 01/29/2010

3,635

48

107

I don't agree with putting cereal in the bottle unless recommended by a ped. for reflux.

Nikki - posted on 01/29/2010

1,524

23

153

I started when my son was ready which was 4 months, he was eating 12 ounces of formula every two hours for about 3 weeks and before was drinking about 8. He sits up always tried to get our food , so we tried it and from day one he was one happy camper, no allergies no nothing. I do not think 6 months is right for every baby!!!

I think putting rice cereal into the bottle is ridiculous, most mom's think because their baby overeats for 2 days they must be ready at 3, 6 and 9 weeks, they really need to read about growth spurts, and realize a baby eats every 2 -3 hours, a newborn won't sleep through the night unless you are lucky and I think by expecting it and forcing them to start solids and especially in the bottle is very selfish and benefits only the mother not the poor baby who is not ready for solids at that age.

Betsy - posted on 12/16/2009

469

22

22

Quoting Jodi:

Hmmmm.....wondering if that makes me a really bad mummy because my son had his first chocolate Easter egg at age 6 months...... probably did the wrong thing, but it was funny as hell. And he loved it, LOL.



When my oldest was only a few months old, my father was holding him as he picked up a kielbasa covered with BBQ sauce. Frankie dove for it head first and attached slurping it up like he was in a trance. It was so funny, though I was ready to kill my father thinking with BBQ being so acidic I was going to be up with a screaming infant in pain all night. He didn't have a problem, but even today at 19, the kid loves anything smothered in BBQ sauce lol.

Veronica - posted on 12/15/2009

1,539

61

94

It comes down to Alpha's - meaning - there are woman out there who like to tell it how it is, they are right, and you are wrong - and they will demean everyone to justify themselves. (Maybe Alpha isnt the right word... but anyways) All doctors will tell you a different story - with one basis - what is best for that particular child. I think raising children is a trial and error - and progressive learning time. Each child is different from the rest - and some are hungrier than the others, some like one food but not the other, etc. etc.

I think as long as you do what you think is best for your child - then go for it -- as long as you have common sense when it comes to things that you know they shouldn't have as an infant.

Too many know it alls in the world - won't let mothers be mothers, and raise the child that they know everything about -- plus - with anything new with your child - how will you know if you dont try? All of my kids ate carrots just fine, the fifth one always broke out with a red rash - why? im not sure - but he did - if i never tried carrots with him, i would have never known either.



I also feed my children what we eat, and open them to varieties. My kids (6 and under (except for the one year old - he only has six front teeth) eat salads, radishes, onion, broccoli - things you wouldnt think kids would eat.



The real question is, why so many people have to judge? What about mothers who feed their children junk? soda, chips, candy -- allll the time -- that's more of an issue than when and what age you feed your children.

Jodi - posted on 12/15/2009

3,562

36

3907

Hmmmm.....wondering if that makes me a really bad mummy because my son had his first chocolate Easter egg at age 6 months...... probably did the wrong thing, but it was funny as hell. And he loved it, LOL.

Betsy - posted on 12/15/2009

469

22

22

It's more about the readiness of the digestive system. When I had Frankie, who is 19 now, we did give solids earlier and many still put cereal in the bottle when they were weeks old. Then in the 90's when I had Cheyenne, they were saying they didn't think the digestive system was ready quite that early. Now that's the issue. Since the digestive system digests solids differently than liquids, they can't tell when each baby's system is developed enough for the solids, but they all should be by 6 mo, which is why they have that recommendation now.

Krista - posted on 12/12/2009

12,562

16

847

I'm going to try Sam with a bit of cereal on Christmas day (he'll have his Christmas dinner along with the rest of us -- I figured it'd be a nice moment considering my entire family will be there to see it.) He'll be 4 1/2 months old at the time, and yes...I'm thinking he's ready, as he's definitely intrigued by watching us eat. But, if he doesn't take to it that day, I won't rush him. I'm just going to offer him a taste to see how it goes.

Keenan - posted on 12/12/2009

82

19

5

As far as putting cereal in the bottle to make them sleep longer shouldnt be the reason why you do it. Yes, they may sleep a little longer than just having formula, or breast milk, but if you are going to do it, let there be a reason behinh it. Mine was because of his acid reflux. Even though he had a little cereal added into his bottles to thicken it up, he still would wake every 3-4 hrs for a feed. That just comes with the territory of having a newborn. They require that amount of nutrition beacuse they are constantly growing while they sleep. Mommies please do whats best for your children. Not for your own selfish reasons.

Keenan - posted on 12/12/2009

82

19

5

I started feeding my son solids when he was 4 1/2 months old. He had the acid reflux so we would put the rice cereal into his bottle to make it a little thicker so he would hold it down better. I guess he became used to that and would be hungry alot. So thats when I introduced him to solids. Iv heard of parent introducing solids to their children right from the hospital. Me, personally, I think that is too soon. They have the smallest tummies! Your child will probably let you know when the time is right. :)

[deleted account]

I was WAY surprised at how many people tell these women to put cereal in the bottle!!! With the obesity epidemic the way it is and all...and I know they also put things after that saying: my kids normal, healthy, skinny, not fat...fat people don't think their children are fat BTW! Not to say that is the case always, but...AND when they're tots and super active maybe they aren't? But when they are older and laze around...you never know?



But yeah...2mos is growth spurt time! I think it is funny that people are always trying to get out of the things that are required of them...my baby wakes up too often: lets drug em or over feed em! My kids need to know about sex ed: eh the schools will teach em! my kid talks too much/asks too many questions: change the subject, turn up the TV/music, ignore them. My kid wants me to read to them too much: hey lets get TAG! or book on tape? Always something... not to say all these things are bad, its about motive!

Ez - posted on 12/08/2009

6,569

25

237

Quoting Erin:

I don't think a baby of 4 mos eating solids is really the issue here. I wanted to post about this too because people feel the need to tell women whose children wake up every 2-3 hours to eat a bottle to put cereal in it so they sleep longer... OMG ... your brand new baby is going to wake up that often!!! And the 2nd month hopefully they're going every 3-4 hrs and THATS WHAT BABIES DO!!! I just can't believe people would put cereal in a bottle for a baby so they sleep through the night, REALLY does that REALLY sound like sound advice? While you're at it I think a shot of whiskey will knock them out, or hey maybe some benadryll? Seriously, come on!!!


OMG Erin thankyou thankyou thankyou!!!



I actually got into a heated argument recently on this issue. She wanted to start her 8 week old baby on solids because 'he was always hungry', which translated to feeding every 3 hours. I tried to explain that it was perfectly normal, and absolutely no reason to try and start solids, and I got jumped on for 'not being supportive'!!!



 

Jodi - posted on 12/08/2009

3,562

36

3907

Hey Erin, the shot of whiskey is probably safer, LOL :)



But I do find the question about feeding a 2 month old cereal because they are always hungry a little bothersome.



I actually thought it was quite common knowledge that this is the age at which a baby goes through a small growth spurt, and they are genuinely more hungry, but the idea of them waking more frequently is to get the milk supply going a bit more, and it does settle down again. Maybe I was wrong, I don't mean to offend anyone, but that's why babies wake during the night more frequently during period of their lives....yeah, its a pain in the butt, especially if you work, but there are ways of working in with it - I worked right from when my son was 6 weeks old, and I just adjusted my bedtimes to make sure I would have interrupted sleep and still survive my days, LOL :)

[deleted account]

I don't think a baby of 4 mos eating solids is really the issue here. I wanted to post about this too because people feel the need to tell women whose children wake up every 2-3 hours to eat a bottle to put cereal in it so they sleep longer... OMG ... your brand new baby is going to wake up that often!!! And the 2nd month hopefully they're going every 3-4 hrs and THATS WHAT BABIES DO!!! I just can't believe people would put cereal in a bottle for a baby so they sleep through the night, REALLY does that REALLY sound like sound advice? While you're at it I think a shot of whiskey will knock them out, or hey maybe some benadryll? Seriously, come on!!!

Jodi - posted on 12/04/2009

3,562

36

3907

I don't consider 4 months all that early. I had to start Jayden on cereal at 4 months because he was such a hungry baby, and that was the recomendation of the Health Centre I was attending at the time. Taylah was different, but she was such a little baby that her appetite was never quite what Jayden's was, and her reflexes were a little less developed, but when she did start on solids at around 6 months, she never looked back!! But really, I think it is a personal choice, and I don't believe 4 months is an issue if the baby is ready and has a real interest in eating.

Lindsay - posted on 12/04/2009

3,532

26

267

When Madeline was a baby, the doctor told me to start rice cereal on a spoon at 4 months. Then at 5 months, we started vegetables by changing color one week at a time. Then at 6 months gave fruit. We did the same for Cooper and never had ill results. While I definately think we should pay attention to safety standards, we also need to realize that they are not set in stone and change very often. Ultimately, you have to see what's out their and figure out what works for the individual parent and child.

Cathelijn - posted on 12/04/2009

521

16

21

I waited until 6 months just because Isabelle wasn't really interested in Solids( except the day she snatched a croissant of an older child). She never drank a lot of milk she is just not a big eater even now. She has always been skinny but she is normal active child. She is not a fussy eater at all she eats EVERYTHING loves her fruit loves seafood anything she can get her hands on but the girl loves to snack. She does not really eat BIG meals she eats like 6 small meals a day but she eats anything.



I never knew about cereal in a bottle but apparently in Holland ( where I am originally from) it is very normal to do it I never knew so I never did it, the first solids were from a spoon.

Sarah - posted on 12/04/2009

5,465

31

344

Mine both started at around 4 months.
I don't see why people get so bent of shape about it really. When Cadence was born, the recommendation was 4-6 months, by the time Shia was born, 4 yrs later, it had changed to 6 months. I just went with my instincts on it really.

It wasn't like i was feeding them 3 course meals at 4 months, it was just mashed up rusks and stuff, a few spoonfuls a day to start with. They only really started getting more at around 5 months i guess.

Neither of mine have allergies, or are overweight or anything.

In regards to the cereal in the bottle, i'd never heard of it until COM's! All i knew was that it said on the formula tin 'DO NOT add anything to the formula' and i can remember thinking, 'Why on earth would anyone add anything?!?!?'

Individual choice and instinct is what it comes down to i think. I don't think it should be the big bone of contention that it's become! :)

Dana - posted on 12/03/2009

11,264

35

495

I didn't wait, I wish I had. I'm now waiting for Ethan to grow out of a rice intolerance.

Sara - posted on 12/03/2009

9,313

50

586

I have less of an opinion about feeding solids to children at 4 or 6 months than I do about putting rice cereal in a bottle of a 2 month old. I really think it depends on the child's development and if they are ready, oral motor skill wise, to eat cereal and other stage one foods. But putting rice cereal in a bottle to attempt to get your child to sleep longer is asinine to me and dangerous and I do not condone it on any level. I think it's lazy.

Johnny - posted on 12/02/2009

8,686

26

322

I had also believed that I should wait until 6 months to start solids. But I struggled from the start with making enough breast milk because I have had 3 breast surgeries and I really did not like supplementing my daughter with formula. So I consulted a pediatrician here who is an expert in infant nutrition. I originally asked him if it would be possible to replace the nutrition from the formula with solids, so that I could wean her off bottles and just breastfeed and give food when she reached 6 months. He said absolutely and asked what I was waiting for. He said that as long as my daughter showed all the signs of being ready for and wanting food, that I could start her at any time. She was early to sit up and hold her head up, she loved to try stealing my food, and she knew how to swallow solids, so we started her at 4 months. There have not been any problems, she has no allergies (aside from diaper rash when she eats kiwi) and she loves her meals. The pediatrician told me that 6 months is a guideline, but like everything with parenting, you should do what works best for your individual child. And the added bonus was that I was happier too, no more bottles to sterilize.

Ez - posted on 12/02/2009

6,569

25

237

I had intended on waiting til 6 months with my daughter, but at 4 months, 8kg and 7 x 200ml bottles a day, she had other ideas. She ended up in hospital at 4.5 months with bronchiolitis and the paediatrician took one look at her and asked if I was feeding her solids. I said no. He said.. "well you need to".

She was putting on far too much weight drinking so much milk, so I took the doctor's advice and gradually started her on some cereal. The moment I offered the spoon to her, her lil eyes lit up, and she opened her mouth. She never once pushed the spoon out with her tongue. She had perfect head control and could sit up for a few moments on her own (was sitting fully unassisted for long periods by 5 months). Taking all those things into account, and listening to the doctor, I made the decision to commence solids 'early'. However, if any of those signs had been missing, I would have waited.

I do think the science is right in suggesting anything before 4 months is too soon. The biology of the digestive tract is what it is. I don't really see a debate there. But beyond that, I think it's down to the individual child. If the signs are there, and the baby is hungry, I don't see a problem with feeding solids a little bit before 6 months. But only ever ON A SPOON. Putting cereal in bottles causes food confusion, let alone the choking hazard, and inhibits babies from learning that their solid food is eaten from a spoon. And wanting to start solids because a baby is not sleeping through, or feeding 'too often' is not a good enough reason to start either if the readiness signs are not there. I know a girl who started her 12 week old on cereal because he was having a bottle every 3 hrs, and she thought that was too often (he slept all night). That, to me, is pure laziness.

Debbie - posted on 12/02/2009

626

5

103

I had to give my kids solids early at about 3 - 3 1/2 they get too hungry otherwise. I understand about the digestive system not ready to handle solids etc..but when they are hungry they are hungry. Anyway all 4 of mine survived and they are fit, healthy kids with great appetites

Jackie - posted on 12/02/2009

623

44

93

I myself don't consider 4 months early. What i consider early is a 3 week old eating cereal.



My oldest is nearly 12 and back then the rule was 3-4 months old. She started solids around 4 months old and has no food allergies excluding the milk allergy she was born with.



My youngest is only 5 and of course it was then set to 6 months old. He had no interest in solids until then and even then it was more an activity then actually eating. He is my child with food allergies. He also had nothing but breast until 6 months old.



I personally have no issues with a baby eating early if the signs are there. And the mother knows what the true signs are of readiness. For example not pushing their food out of their mouths with their tongues. No 3 week old can eat from a spoon and god does it drive me crazy when I see all these moms saying... put cereal in the bottle. If it was meant to be in a bottle they would include that in the preparation instructions .

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms