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solid foods? August 21, 2004 11:31 PM

I have a question and I know I will get good answers here. OK, my son is 5, almost 6, months old. I still exclusively breatfeed him, much to the horror of my MIL. I want to hold off on solid foods for as long as I can. He's a large boy and has a big appitite so I may begin sooner than I planned. I was hoping for 1 year, but I might start at 9 months. Today my MIL came over. She told me that her and her daugter were talking about me waiting to start solid foods. They both agreed that if I wait too long (past 6 months) he will reject food and only want to nurse. She claims that she "knows people" who this has happened to. Honestly, I've never read about this happening, but that doesn't mean that I didn't miss it some where. None of my books say anything about that happening, but most assume that you begin solid foods ASAP. So does this really happen or is she trying scare tactics on me? Has this happened to anyone here and what did you do? Thanks everyone in advance, I know I'll get the facts here!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
She's full of it... ;) August 22, 2004 5:14 AM

Probably didn't have to tell ya that... I have never heard of any child rejecting food due to breastfeeding. Your breastmilk is perfect for his first year, alone.. without food, so long as he's gaining and growing (which it sounds like he is)... they should be GLAD he's getting such great nutrition! Solid food at 6 months to a year has little to do with nutrition and more to do with practice. He'll still be getting nutrition from your milk, even if you start him on solids. I've met plenty of folks who, waited until their child showed signs of readiness. The baby's reaching for food and such. Starting solids too early (and I believe there IS a too early rather than a too late) will cause frustration for you and baby... I didn't wait with my son... he seemed ready about 4 months so we went with it. He did love and still loves food. LOL.. but the first few months was more frustration than anything. The natural tongue action at that age is for nursing.. so they end up wearing a lot more than they're eating. I waited with my daughter... 6 months at least.. can't remember the precise date... and we didn't make a big deal out of it. She's a picky eater... but guess what? So is her cousin who was intro'd "early", as are other kids I've met that were intro'd to solids 'early'... Long story short? You're the parent.. YOU decide what and when your child will eat... no one else. If they can't respect your decision on your child's nutrition, is it possible they'll question other parenting decisions of yours? You might want to consider sitting them down, if they'll read some AP type books encourage that but just let them know that YOU'RE the parent for THIS child and you'd like if they could trust you and your husband's judgement in raising him the way YOU guys want to. Good luck!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 August 22, 2004 7:58 AM

well...here is my experience with the whole feeding/nursing issue: With my first son, I listened to the pediatrician and family and didn't feed on demand, but instead fed him every 3 hours for however many minutes on each side (this was when he was a two or three months old, not a newborn. He was nursing all the time and was a big ball of chub..of course now I know that was all GOOD...) They said to start him on solids...so I did. And you know what? He did stop nursing as much. Stopped nursing during the day when he was about 9 months old. Stopped nursing all together (he would still nurse to sleep and sometimes when he woke up) when he was about 22 months. He loves all foods--isn't finicky at all. But you know what? He never lost that chub. He overeats constantly. He has never learned to listen to his body about if he is full or not. Not to mention I never lost the weight I gained through pregnancy (grumble grumble) He is going on 9 years now... My second babe, who is going on 17 months, nurses a lot. I held of solids until he was 6 months (I would have held off longer, except that he was stealing my food at that point. And he never ate baby food--his own choice there--he would only eat table foods, nothing ground. These days he would definitely choose to nurse over eating for most meals (except for eggs, avocados, and anything with pesto on it!) He eats until he is full and not a second beyond that. He chooses his foods very carefully. He is still a chub, but MUCH more lean than his brother was at this age. And...I lost allll the pregnancy weight (And then some!!!) I dunno. I have a feeling that babe #2 has much healthier eating habits. I think he is going to be at a much lower risk for obesity, which plagues so many children and adults these days. And... have you ever EVER seen a college student that didn't eat food since he was still nursing? NOPE. Your child WILL eat food Trust your mama instincts. If you want to hold off on solids, then by all means do!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
early foods August 22, 2004 7:59 AM

Your milk is enough if that is what he wants and if you read even the medical worlds stuff you will fing that starting food to early will not help but hinder your child in the long run as allergies develop if the food thing starts too early... I have 2 lactose intolerant children I am so very very happy I breastfed them I can not imagine the outcome if I started things to soon they did not develope this until they became teens so I am lucky that I stuck to my guns and had such a wonderful and supportave family.. I also did not feed my kids baby food they ate what I cooked and i mashed things as needed on my plate and fed them at the table they sat on my lap and we shared food.. I have always watched my salt intake so that was not a factor in the whole process.. As in the message before if your child is growing and making gains and is not interested in adult food nurse him and enjoy all too soon he will be grown and this time will have passed. I have never ever heard of a child not wanting to eat when food was not forced upon them.. I have seen children balk though when too much is expected too soon... My 2 cents worth... Renee  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Glad I read this August 22, 2004 11:25 AM

Hi All, I am glad I read this thread. As Summer might know, I also have a 5 1/2 mo-old. I have been meaning to read up on introducing solids. I had forgotten that you could wait a whole year! Big sis get solids at 5 1/2 months (she didn't take to nursing, so I exclusively pumped for her first year), so I was definitely interested in getting her into solids. (I only was able to pump 24 oz per day and that was pumping every 2 hours). She got watered down apple juice at 9 mo and switched to cow's milk at around 13-14 mos (when my freezer supply of Momma's milk ran out). She has an egg-white sensitivity or allergy (The difference, I've been told is that sensitivities are outgrown). She is 2 1/2. She is otherwise a great eater, lots of fruits & veggies, some protein, not into sweets, etc. With my son, I have given him rice cereal two or three times in the last month or so. Each time he enjoyed it. He has been showing food readiness signs for the longest time (2 mos) He reaches for food, sits up, has 2 teeth etc. However, as selfish as it sounds, I have been enjoying exclusively nursing and am not looking forward to the whole smelly poop and having to have baby cereal and bib with me wherever I go. I have also worried about him developing a food allergy too. Thanks to all the posts that have reminded me there is no hurry.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
I was always told... August 22, 2004 5:07 PM

.... that a baby's natural iron suply 'runs out' at about 6 months and that is why you start introducing food. In the UK the health visitos reccomend introducing food from 4 months but it depends on whether you think the child needs it or not. My 9 mth old has been having food since 5 months (mashed up veggies) and I am still breast feeding him sucessfully. I also remember reading in one of my baby books by a nutrictionist (spl) who told his wife NOT to allow food until the baby was one, and they had nothing but trouble as he wouldn't chew anything. With the second baby they introduced food earlier and it was easier to get that child to eat meals. My son loves finger foods - rice cakes etc. Still no teeth though so I have to be careful with what he came chew.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Thanks! August 22, 2004 9:03 PM

He's gaining well, a chubby but healthy little boy. And I'm still taking my pre-natals. So far he is gaining right on track. He has started grabbing at my food and trying to get it in his mouth. But he also grabs the mail and tries to get it in his mouth. And the cat, my arm, my hair, the remote control, his feet, ect..... I'm not sure if he's really ready or just at the stage to stick everything in his mouth! LOL I give him tastes now and then. He loves fresh fruit smoothies, especially blueberry-banana. He also drinks out of a cup, as long as there is no sippy lid and we are very carefull. Breastmilk only. But now he likes to grab cups and put them up to his mouth. You have to be very careful with that sneaky boy. LOL I think I'll wait until at least his 6 month check up and see then. If I start him on cereal I'll mix it with breastmilk so he's still getting the good stuff.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
hi sis August 26, 2004 11:11 AM

actually i started solid foods after 6 months with my two youngest children, i also believe you as the mom know see and feel if and when what your child needs,so at this time,if your son does completely well on the breastfood only, that is ok right!! i would say it is totally ok to start solid foods later on, i tend to get a little insecure sometimes when i do not share the opinion of any "regular"opinion of some well-known doctor etc,you know what i mean.but i also know i have to follow my own heart as a mother and in the choices i make for them, you are doing great!!! loving greetings Macooa  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
had to share this... August 26, 2004 8:49 PM

I had to share something that I said today. I was at a cafe with my MIL and my son. He was grabbing everything in site, my arm, my purse, my chips, and my sandwich. My MIL informed me that he was grabbing at my food so it was time to start him on foods. I was too tired today to be nice. My reply: "He grabs the mail and sticks that in his mouth too, should I begin feeding him the bills?" She didn't say anything back to that. And I feel better. Just had to share with everyone! LOL  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
Every baby is different.... August 27, 2004 7:01 AM

I have 3 kids and each one has been different. I tried cereal with my 1st son at 5m because I couldn't wait. It took about an hour to get 2 tbs. into him because he pushed more out than he swallowed. We still laugh whenever we watch that video! Luckily I gave up for a while. He really didn't show much interest in solids until he was about 9m old. His iron levels did dip between 6m-1yr but I told the dr. I wasn't willing to do drops because it wasn't super low and I knew it'd pick up when he started eating better. He's always been thin and always been picky. He's 10 now and eats just fine. My second son was my biggest baby. He started eating from our plates around 6m. At 1yr. he weighed as much as my oldest did at 2! He never had baby food and would eat anything you put in front of him until he was about 3, then he got picky. He's 6 now and while he's not skin & bones like his brother he's definitely not overweight. My daughter was in-between the boys in birth weight. She started solids between 7-8m and never had baby food either. She's not too picky at 2yrs., but she still nurses more than she eats "real" food - LOL! Of course, so did the boys at that age.... Watch the baby, not the calendar:  increased nursing for more than 3 days (thatís not because heís sick or teething);  sitting up alone (has something to do w/digestion);  absence of tongue-thrusting reflex (so he doesnít push the food out of his mouth);  watching you eat and trying to grab food off your plate (and actually getting it into his mouth and it stays there);  getting his first teeth (My oldest got his first tooth the latest [9m] of my 3 and started solids the latest). Remember:  Breastmilk has iron in it, itís not a lot but it's easily absorbed. Breastfed babies rarely become anemic.  If you wait until later to start solids you can give some foods straight from your plate, just mash it with your fork.  Breastmilk is babies main food during the first year. Solids are just for fun & practice to get used to new tastes and textures.  Many allergic babies will refuse solids untill closer to a year. My oldest has allergies (peanuts, & seasonal). Hope this helps!  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
 September 09, 2004 8:49 PM

A quick flip side. My dd was 22 months old when I weaned her and she grew a bunch. Appreantly wasn'teating enough and relaying more on me. Anyways, from my experience, I wouldn't push it too soon and 6 months may be too soon for some babies. In my case though it was some where after a year where her growth slowed down. In most cases, it seems that most kids eat enough and can nurse for a long time if that is your desire.  [ send green star]  [ accepted]
 
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