We started at 4mo on medical advice to help with DDs reflux. She was well and truly ready and has loved her solids from day one.
I think that the 4/6 mo debate will never truly be resolved... every person has their own reasons for starting solids when they do and its usually whenever their baby is ready, some earlier some later. IMO the major problem with current medical advice is that the studies are often conflicting. You get told one thing this month, something different the next.
Do whatever feels comfortable to you.
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03-11-2012 22:34 #11
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03-11-2012 23:18 #12
Started DD on solids when she was 4 months as she was showing a lot of interest when we are like, mimicking chews, staring at the food going into our mouth etc. Babies are all different, your mum, you know best for your child and if you don't think she's ready, start at a later age DD loves her food and gets angry at me if I feed her to slow! Haha
04-11-2012 07:04 #13
04-11-2012 08:00 #14
We started at 6 months. I am doing BLW and thought 4 months was too young for that. By 6 months DS seemed interested in food and able to put things in his mouth and could sit up quite well.
04-11-2012 08:25 #15
DS is 4.5 months and I tried him with some avocado yesterday but it was a massive fail! He hasn't shown many signs of wanting food and his head and neck strength isn't great but he is getting hungrier and asking for more feeds which is why I tried it.
I'm going to wait a week before trying again.
We also want to do a mix of BLW and purees (purees while out!) so I had wanted to wait until 6 months.
I don't get why people are so keen to start early as its messy and extra work.
Our paed did say strictly 4 months but I chose to ignore him!
04-11-2012 10:14 #16
We started at around 5 months and just tried a few times to see if he was interested. After a few weeks he began to wake more at night and generally be more hungry so at that stage we started to increase the solids until he was satisfied again. I know people who started at 4 months and others who waited until 6 months. I think you should go by what your baby is telling you not anyone else. I agree with pp that it can be a lot of work if you are doing purees, and is also a big learning curve for you and bubs so I wouldn't rush.
04-11-2012 10:20 #17
with both my boys I started them both at the 5 month mark more to practice... I was aware the WHO recommends 6 months but my pediatrician poo poo'd that and said it should be 4 months. But I think 5 months was a good compromise besides as I said at first its more practicing anyway getting them to learn to open their mouth for food etc.
09-11-2012 11:31 #18
The reason the WHO sticks to its six months recommendation is because breast milk is the safest thing for babies to consume in developing countries where hygiene practices can be lacking when it comes to infant food preparation. [Obviously they want to protect babies from contracting fatal but preventable gastric diseases for as long as possible.] This applies to the introduction of solids as well as the use of formula milk - their blanket recommendation is 'breast is best for the first six months'.
To the OP, I agree with the previous posters who've said look to your baby for signs of readiness and introduce solids some time between 4-6m - I'd like to think I'm pretty well-read on this subject and that seems to be the safest bet, and just about the consensus among paediatric health professionals (you're not likely to 'damage' your child or increase the risk of allergies by introducing solids between 4-6m - BUT you may do so before 4m and recent studies suggest waiting till after 6m may be detrimental).
FWIW, I started my first child at 6m to the day and my second child about a week after he turned 4m old because the advice changed since having my first. Both were/are breast-fed throughout the introduction of solids and so far, no allergies (fingers crossed it stays this way!).
09-11-2012 15:54 #19
09-11-2012 22:12 #20
The thing about the WHO is that it's important to keep some perspective about who the core of their work involves and who's going to benefit the most from it: people in developing countries. Statistically speaking, most of the world's population lives in developing countries in which basic hygiene and nutrition levels are more likely to be suffering, and this heavily influences the WHO's recommendations. Part of their goal is to try to bring everyone's health standards up to a certain, basic level. The best way for them to achieve that in this case is to make a blanket recommendation that babies be breast-fed exclusively for the first six months, because then they can ensure that at least for that period babies will be safely and appropriately fed. The longer they can keep babies from consuming unsanitary water or inappropriate foods, the better. Shockingly, a 2008 UNICEF report into the state of the world's children found that poor nutrition played a part in at least half of the world's 7.6 million annual child deaths.
Here in Australia (in most areas, at least), we have access to the latest information on the topic, access to health services, access to clean drinking water with which to prepare food (or infant formula) and we're in a position to make informed choices. Furthermore, we can discuss the matter with experts (particularly, paediatricians) who are abreast of the very latest research and can advise us accordingly.
The other thing to consider is that it takes the WHO a very long time to review new research and formulate new advice that will serve a global population. Their 'Global strategy for infant and young child feeding' is about ten years old, and a great deal of new information on the introduction of solids has been released in this time. Perhaps it's time they reviewed their recommendation, but I doubt very much whether they'll change their advice - waiting till six months is the most cautious course of action that'll benefit the most people (or at least, not harm them), and that's almost always going to be the stance they take.
Essentially what I'm saying is that the WHO isn't wrong - far from it - but we're not really the intended beneficiaries of their advice on this matter. They expect parents in developed countries like Australia to seek the counsel of local health professionals before that of the WHO.
I think the key concern for Australian parents is that there may be a link between the onset of food allergies, the timing of introducing solids and the part that breastfeeding plays in it all (I won't touch on the issue of childhood obesity as that's another kettle of fish). As Australia has one of the highest rates of allergy in the world, I would think it's more pertinent to seek advice locally - namely, from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology & Allergy. Their document 'Allergy prevention in children', which was published in 2010, recommends breastfeeding for at least six months (but does not say exclusively), and that solids should be introduced between 4-6 months. The Murdoch Childrens Research Institute agrees with the 4-6 month recommendation and has recently released some interesting new findings on preventing allergies: http://www.mcri.edu.au/news/2012/sep...gy-in-infants/
Anyway, I'm exhausted now from sounding so self-righteous, so I'm going to climb down from my soapbox and go to bed I hope this post hasn't offended anyone and may even have helped the OP and anyone else who's confused about the subject (or maybe it's had the opposite effect, in which case I apologise).
[Btw, Elijah's Mum - I really appreciate that your earlier post included a link to the 'Australian Guide to Healthy Eating' - it's a great document that everyone should read for back-to-basics information on diet.]
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