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Thread: Baby 3 1/2 mo, too early???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Baby 3 1/2 mo, too early???

    My lo is 3 1/2 mo old. At her 2 mo visit, my dr said that they can start cereal at 4 mo, but if she seems to want more sooner, I can start her a couple of weeks early. Well, that is now. She has always been a slow gainer (Up to 12 lbs 5 oz now from 11 lbs at 2 mo.), so I think the cereal might help her. Last night, I gave her a spoon full of cereal and she just smiled and even laughed a little. She ended up eating about 4 spoon fulls. I really think she liked it. At the same time I feel like it is too early to start, but to me that said she was maybe ready. Anyone else start solids early like this?? Anyone have advice? Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Default Re: Baby 3 1/2 mo, too early???

    I'd just hold off. Your BM is the best thing in the world for her. And, if you look at the label, cereal has very few calories anyway.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Baby 3 1/2 mo, too early???

    Cereal really is not the best sloid to start with at any age, but your lo is really too young. The AAP does not reccomend starting solids until age 6 months. Hold off for now. my DD was a slow gainer at first too. She had super skinny legs at two months and by 3.5 to 4 months she really started getting pudgy. Offer the breast more if you think she is hungry. The cereal is too hard for system and can cause problems like constipation. And if you have heard it can help them sleep, they shouldn't be sleeping for longer than 4 or 5 hours at this age.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    Default Re: Baby 3 1/2 mo, too early???

    The AAP recommends not starting solids until at least 6 months. See links below for more on solids in general. A baby's digestive system isn't mature enough to process solids until around 6 months.

    Kellymom states:
    "If solids are started before a baby's system is ready to handle them, they are poorly digested and may cause unpleasant reactions (digestive upset, gas, constipation, etc.). ... The pancreatic enzyme amylase does not reach adequate levels for digestion of starches until around 6 months, and carbohydrate enzymes such as maltase, isomaltase, and sucrase do not reach adult levels until around 7 months. Young infants also have low levels of lipase and bile salts, so fat digestion does not reach adult levels until 6-9 months." The rice cereal is mostly starch ... very processed starch.

    Don't forget that breastmilk provides more fat and calories than any food you can provide your little one! And at that young of an age any solids you give him will likely be replacing precious breast milk. Not to mention that babies that young are not developmentally ready to take on solids yet.

    Kellymom.com states:

    Ounce for ounce, breastmilk has more calories than most baby-safe solid foods and significantly more nutrients than any type of solid food that you can feed your baby. In addition, starting solids will quite possibly reduce the amount of milk that your baby is getting overall, rather than increase overall intake. One of the first recommendations for a baby who genuinely has slow weight gain is to decrease or eliminate solid foods and nurse more often.

    See these links for information on starting solids, and why it's best to wait until at least 6 months:

    Why Delay Solids?
    Solid food: Wait a Bit

    When should my baby start solids?
    Is my baby ready for solid foods?
    How do we get started with solids?
    What if my 4-5 month old seems ready for solids?
    Solid food: Best Delayed

    The second source above (Solids: Wait a bit) states:

    "Even one exposure to a formula or cereal causes changes in a young baby's body, and can trigger allergies that might have been avoided. Young babies have very low levels of an enzyme important to starch digestion, so early cereal may be filling, but it isn't effective food. Early fruits or vegetables can interfere with iron absorption. And studies indicate that babies sleep through the night when they're ready, not when they start solids. Is your baby gaining poorly? Supplementing a low milk supply can make your supply even lower. If weight gain is a concern, call a breastfeeding specialist for help in keeping your baby well-fed and nursing."

    The following organizations recommend that all babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or any other foods) for the first 6 months of life (not the first 4-6 months): World Health Organization, UNICEF, US Department of Health & Human Services, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Dietetic Association, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council, Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, Health Canada

    Here is a page I have really enjoyed and am implementing it with our daughter's solid food introduction ... baby-led approach to the introduction of solid foods and also Baby Led Weaning. I really like the idea of letting the baby set the pace and keeping the focus on play and exploration so the transition takes place as naturally as possible. This article and approach to solids was developed by a member of UNICEF, from the UNICEF UK Baby Friendly Initiative.

    Hope this information helps! Let us know if you have any more questions or concerns.

    Mama to Adeline Brett, breastfed for 4.5 years (12/14/05) and little Eliza June, new tiny sprite in my arms and still learning the ropes (7/18/10)

    Family Blog • If I'm here I'm nursing and typing one handed ... forgive the typos!
    And I'm not a newbie at all ... I'm trying to get my old user ID working from back in the day ... paint-the-moon

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Default Re: Baby 3 1/2 mo, too early???

    Thank you for all the support. I was really wanting to hold off, but sometimes the pressure gets to me. I knew cereal didn't have much calories in it, but everyone was telling me it would help. She already sleeps during the nights so that was not a factor. Thanks for the support to hold out for now. I did not get the 4 mo thing anyway, 6 years ago when my son was a baby, my same dr said to wait 6 mo.

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