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Thread: Starting solids

  1. #1

    Default Starting solids

    My 6 months old seems VERY interested in food. I can tell she wants to eat table food really bad. My husband wants give her some. But Im not really yet. I want to cry just thinking about it. It makes me feel like that part of breastfeeding is over. Im not ready for her to move onto other foods. I know they only need breast milk for the first year but she seems to want to try other things. Opinions and advice welcome.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Starting solids

    I think at six months she needs to start exploring food, nurse her before solids and just keep it low key, but yeah, I'd start giving her some table food
    Ryder James 1/21/13

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Starting solids

    I understand- with my third child, I was so hesitant to introduce solids my husband finally did it. I am not sure what it is about, for me it was partly about not wanting to see my baby grow up and partly, I did not want to deal with the mess!

    I suggest two books- Baby Led Weaning (It actually is about solid introduction, not weaning) and My Child Won't Eat, which gives a very healthy and realistic perspective on the whole solids thing (when, how much, why, etc.- or rather, it is about why many of the 'rules' about solid introduction are actually not rules at all.)

    Offering solids here and there- it need not be every day, even, but even if it was, is unlikely to harm your baby or your breastfeeding relationship! That is only likely to happen if solids are pushed on baby too early, too often or in too large amounts, or perhaps if liquids such as juice or (other) milk is used or even water is overused. You are right, baby can probably continue living and thriving entirely on breastmilk, but around this age is usually a great time to slowly and gently 'introduce' solids so baby can slowly and gradually learn to eat a healthy variety of foods.

    On the other hand, I am a big believer in mother instinct. Why are you hesitant to introduce solids? Maybe your concerns have merit and should be explored.

    I would also add that sometimes what baby is wanting is the social interaction of the dinner table and to mimic the eating movements of other family members, and baby is not that interested in actually eating.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; October 30th, 2014 at 11:18 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Starting solids

    The World Health Organization and the American Academy of Pediatrics both recommend introduction of complimentary foods around six months. For some reason, my phone is not cooperating and I'm struggling to pull the quotes, but they are easily google-able. The AAP rec's continued breastfeeding for at least the first year, and as long as mom and baby want after that, and the WHO rec's continued breastfeeding for at least the first two years, and as long as mom and toddler desire after that.

    Both books recommendations are good. The baby led weaning / baby led solids introduction is pretty simple-- introduce food slowly, offer a wide variety of foods, let baby feed him or herself, don't stress about it. The information in My Child Won't Eat is another healthy dose of 'really, don't stress about it; also, there is no one right food or order of foods to start with.'

    Iron (and to a lesser extent zinc) is really the piece to be cognizant of. There is a small amount of really bioavailable iron in breastmilk, and baby has plenty stored away to get them through the first half of the first year (particularly if you did delayed cord clamping), sometimes longer. Iron deficiency is really not something to mess around with, because it can cause cognitive delays that even if the deficiency is corrected later in toddlerhood, research does not show that the cognitive impacts are similarly corrected for. But again, this is really the sort of thing that 'your mileage may vary,' so if for whatever reason you do decide to delay solids altogether until 1 year, I hope you'll consider having baby's iron levels checked to see if drops or etc might be helpful.

    I found the blog scienceofmom.com really informative on this topic.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Starting solids

    I will also say read those two books, they should help you view letting baby experience foods in a broader light.

    Yes there will be some mess but there are measures you can take to minimize the problems of mess.

    At the Interested in and grabbing for food stage, baby doesn't yet understand that it's food but they are ready to start learning about it. Babies that are too young to deal with solids probably won't manage to eat much as long as they are in control of what gets into their mouth. Breastfeed as much as before and offer to nurse before and after solid meals and weaning isn't likely to happen for a good long time. Most babies don't even reduce the amount they nurse till sometime after 9 months or beyond.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Starting solids

    I just started solids with my 6 month old and I had the same feelings. I think that you work so hard to exclusively breastfeed for the first six months and it just feels so odd to intentionally change all that and start introducing food! However, I agree with everything that Erin said above regarding iron, and knew that I had to do it. After a couple of days those feelings went away and it wasn't such a big deal anymore. Also, I will note, it takes a long time for them to really get the hang of food, nor do they want it in copious quantiites in the beginning. So, the breastfeeding relationship isn't altered much, if at all. I am still nursing my baby the same amount as I was before introducing solids. I wouldn't expect this to change for quite some time.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Starting solids

    Starting solids for me was rough because we never had quite smooth breastfeeding experience and I was trying so hard to achieve EBF before 6 months.

    But if doing Baby Led Weaning you can remind yourself that the first couple months are more about just learning and tasting and not so much about actually eating the food. There are a lot of new skills to master before baby will actually consume large amounts of anything via baby led weaning.

    And because of many factors all coming together at about the 6 month mark, my breastfeeding relationship with my son has been rather smooth now and very good since just about the 6 month mark when we also started putting him in the hichair and letting him handle some appropriate foods during our dinner time.

    It did help me immensely to read the book baby led weaning where the authors are very pro breastfeeding and really encourage offering to nurse just as much as before rather than trying to replace breastfeeding with solid foods.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Starting solids

    My twins are 6 months and i recently started them on solids. It is SO much more work, but they love it. If they're happy without it, i say why complicate things? Sometimes babies reach for things out of curiosity, especially at this age, not because they necessarily want to eat. It would be easier to wait until they can feed themselves bits instead of the liquidy slop that will inevitably stain everything!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Starting solids

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*hannah.seed View Post
    My twins are 6 months and i recently started them on solids. It is SO much more work, but they love it. If they're happy without it, i say why complicate things? Sometimes babies reach for things out of curiosity, especially at this age, not because they necessarily want to eat. It would be easier to wait until they can feed themselves bits instead of the liquidy slop that will inevitably stain everything!
    6 month olds ARE old enough to feed themselves bits. There is no need to buy or make liquidy slop for most babies and many never like it anyway. I recommend the book Baby Led Weaning which is about letting babies feed themselves complimentary/appropriate table foods right from the beginning and avoiding spoon feeding so babies can join in meal times right from when they are ready to have some solids so they can learn about taking part in social eating as well as learning about food and eating all at once.

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