Solids at four months?

How, when and why to introduce foods other than breastmilk

Solids at four months?

Postby breastfeedingisnormal » Sun Jun 14, 2009 8:15 am

This question is coming up so frequently that a sticky is in order. It seems that the one group who is so keen to have the recommendations changed is very very effectively communicating its message.

The WHO and the NHMRC recommend exclusive BF for around six months. One group of health professionals (who are sponsored by the twwo biggest baby food companies in the world) is pushing very very aggressively for a change in the recommendations based on one or two studies that suggest that babies who are exclusively breastfed for more than six months are at higher risk of developing allergies.
The WHO has no plans to review its guidelines. The NHMRC is currently in the process of reviewing (and I am sure that ASCIA will make its case) its guidelines but there is no reason to sshift practice now.
The ABA will continue support all mothers regardless of how they choose to feed their babies by providing them up to date relevant information and creating a 'space' in which they can explore their own situations and empower themselves to make informed decisions fo their families.
The ABA Vision Statement says: For babies to breastfeed exclusively for six months, with continuing breastfeeding for 2 years and beyond." There are no plans to change that any time soon.

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Postby Capricious » Sun Jun 14, 2009 11:41 am

Beautifully said BFIN!

Can you imagine how much the profits would soar for baby food companies if everyone did start early?! No wonder they are pushing so hard- greedy!
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Postby Elby » Sun Jun 14, 2009 12:15 pm

Thanks for this!
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Postby Carley » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:23 pm

A question, what are the recommendations for formula fed babies? Does that change? I've been thinking about that lately, I start solids one week before 6 months.
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Postby snowie » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:44 pm

Hmm, interesting. There is a study of first time mums being undertaken by one of the Universities here; it is being funded by the NHMRC. There are two groups of mums and bubs, one group is being given information that will support them in helping their babies to learn about food. The other group is not being given the info. I guess both groups are completing similar 'survey type' assessments into eating habits and beliefs along the way - it's an extended study.

Coming from an academic background I was happy to be part of the experience. We are in the info group.

However, a couple of things I have found interesting about this experience:
    1. Overall most of the info given makes sense, however, I have felt subtle and consistent pressure to start solids before I felt DD was ready - session started when she was 4 months.
    2. using an internet search engine I was able to find out that one of the major baby food companies was sponsoring a postdoctoral position for this study :shock:


I wonder if the results of the study will be used to justify starting solids at 4 months?
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Postby foggylog » Wed Sep 30, 2009 2:21 pm

I was just informed yesterday by my speech therapist that they are now recommending any time from 4-6mths, she said that who had gone back o the guidelines. i just reiterated that even if recommendations are for 4mths my DD still has a stong tongue thrust so def not interested yet
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Postby Serendipity » Thu Oct 08, 2009 3:40 pm

Hi foggylog,
Your speech therepist might be interested to know that if that is the case, the WHO haven't changed their website... ;-)
Infants should be exclusively breastfed – i.e. receive only breast milk – for the first six months of life to achieve optimal growth, development and health. "Exclusive breastfeeding" is defined as giving no other food or drink – not even water – except breast milk

WHO recommends that infants start receiving complementary foods at six months (180 days) of age in addition to breast milk.

Source: http://www.who.int/features/qa/21/en/index.html
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Postby Cupcake » Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:23 pm

I was just informed yesterday by my speech therapist that they are now recommending any time from 4-6mths, she said that who had gone back o the guidelines


The WHO have not changed their guidelines - their guidelines are still to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. Perhaps you could let your speech therapist know that next time you see her, Foggylog. It's important to have accurate information out there, especially from Health Professionals!

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Postby MummySez » Mon Oct 12, 2009 10:24 am

My CHN and the CHN who runs the mothers group organised by the council told us the same thing as foggylog was told. The nurse at mothers group also said that if you don't start solids around 6months your baby will become iron deficient??
Then again, almost every bit of information given by them about solids feeding is printed by the baby food company which takes up most of that section at the supermarket... So when I do start solids I will be consciously avioding their products!
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Postby mimo » Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:26 pm

To be honest I think a lot of HPs and CHNs didn't particularly like the "new" recommendation of 6 months before solids - I know mine didn't have a problem with starting early, even before the above advice. It is these people that are jumping on the slightest bit of information that might let them go back to their old ways and of course they're backed by big companies all the way. Grrrrr. :evil:

For me it is very much a case of watching the baby. My daughter LOVED solids at 6 months but I know many of her little friends spat theirs. If I had a child that spat solids back at me, I'd definitely be holding off for a bit longer.
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Postby breastfeedingisnormal » Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:05 pm

There has been no change. The WHO is not planning a change. The WHO and NHMRC recommend that infants be exclusively breastfed for six months.
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Postby foggylog » Thu Oct 15, 2009 11:34 pm

thanks ladies, it has been a while since i looked in here, i'm still reluctant to start solids, plus i will wait for DD to show some interest, but iguess i'll spend a bit more time here soon as bub is almost 5 mths now, and as i'm not really a cook i'll have to look into recipies etc to offer to her when she shows some interest.

I don't need to see the speech therapist again, so can't personally pass that info on to her. though maybe i could write to her ??
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new study with egg powder

Postby Matilda's Mum » Thu Nov 19, 2009 12:56 pm

Hi, if i can get some clarity in my thoughts... i know you may not be able to assist much and cant give medical advice tho...
My baby is 4 months old and is thriving and healthy, growing extremely well, and is exclusively breatsfed. She has just been diagnosed with Excema though.
Apparently babies that have excema have a higher risk of developing food allergies?
The Major Childrens hospital in my state is commencing a study looking at this. Basically they are needing babies under 5 months of age with excema, to start solids from 4 months (they told me 5 months if i was worried). Some babies will be given an egg powder to mix in with solids, and some babies will be given rice powder to mix in. You wont be told which one you have.
They said there is some evidence that withholding allergy foods (ie- egg) until the child is older will not make any difference to their immunity/reaction etc (sorry, i cant find the right words), but suggest that by introducing the foods earlier, may help them NOT get an allergy. hence starting the babies on solids at 4 months.
I can see the benefits of this study and would like to be part of it in terms of diminishing her excema and potential for allergies, but starting solids this early, and potentially giving my bubs egg powder.... has thrown me a bit and im not sure i want to cease exclusively breastfeeding......
I have probably just talked myself out of it huh? does anyone have any thoughts?
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Postby marchbean » Thu Nov 19, 2009 2:48 pm

MM, I don't think I would be keen to do it. I really don't think babies are ready at 4 mths - looking back I don't think my son was ready even at 6 mths. I would be really reluctant to introduce egg too.

I understand the need to volunteer to research new information but my thoughts are to let someone who is already planning/keen to start solids at 4 mths.

Good luck with your decision!
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Postby little monkey oz » Sun Jan 03, 2010 11:39 am

Hi, I understand that WHO has not changed their guidelines - however, in the past two weeks I have spoken to my paed, widwife and RN about this issue and they have all stated in relation to introducing solids.."Not before 4months but before 6 months. I have just started my son on solids exactly at 4months and he cant get enough of it. :lol:
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