this is interesting compared to what a lot of mothers do or think. why is it that every opinion varies?

Thank you for your inquiry tot he American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Unfortunately yu have contacted the administrative office for a medical association. There are no physicians on staff.

I forwarded your e-mail to Dr. Alessandro Fiocchi, the chairman of the College's Adverse Reactions to Foods Committee -- he is from Milan, Italy and a pediatric allergist. His response is as follows

"Dear Jennifer,

First of all accept our compliments for your commitment to your baby. The answer to your questions are quite simple, but the exact time to start weaning for your baby can be decided only by your paediatrician. In particular:
- the best for your child is that you breastfeed as long as you can. She will decide that breastfeeding is enough at some time between 6 and 24 months, but after 6 months the nutritional value of breast milk is definitely no more sufficient for growth.
- thus, at 6 months it is worthwhile starting with solid foods. Your baby will ask for them when she increases the frequency of meals, when she looks for more food soon after the meal, or.... whatever, but I'm sure you will understand her because there is no better agreement than between mom and baby.

That's what doctors mean when they say "you don't have to" - But after 6 months, every day is good for starting the introduction of solid foods.

I hope to have been useful!

Milan, Italy"

I believe he did well.
Mary L Callaghan
Director of Administration
American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
85 W Algonquin Road, Suite 550
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

From: jennifer friemoth []
Sent: Friday, April 06, 2007 9:21 AM
To: Marylou Callaghan
Subject: Cereal and Baby

Hello, I want more information on wether or not to introduce solids (cereal) to my 5 month old daughter, Ava. It seems that most doctor's and parent's believe in feeding their infants as early as 4 months to 6 months... Although to me, when it is stated you can introduce solids at this age, I gather it as "You don't have to." It seems to me most people are concerned to when they will have their life back therefore cutting out what is most important for their baby. I am a mother who needs to know the ultimate best way to feed my child for her future well-being. I believe in sacrificing my time, my life, my everything just to know that I did everything I could do for her before she gains independence.

I have contacted nutritionists, nurses, doctors, opinions vary but all say they need to get use to texture... This, I believe, is something that can be taught at anytime, non of which had the answer I want to know. Please, what is the ultimate best for my child nutritionally and her future well-being? Do I breastfeed exclusively as long as 6 months, 9 months, a year?

Thank you
Jennifer Oster