Solids at four months?

How, when and why to introduce foods other than breastmilk
4fun
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Post by 4fun » Thu Aug 19, 2010 12:37 am

Both DS1 and DS2 started solids around 4 months. I was willing to wait til 6 but they were trying to grab food and leaning forward with tongues going watching us eat. I know in some cultures children are started on forms of solids from just a month or 2, not that I'm advocating that at all. Just saying that I think in every arena all our children are individuals and should be treated as such with us taking notice of them enough to realise when they're ready for something like this.
Both my DS's are thriving and have healthy appetites today. Their solid food intake never decreased there milk intake really either.

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Post by ChimmyChunga » Mon Aug 23, 2010 4:57 pm

just testing... first post after joining... hello

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Post by sunny_days » Mon Aug 23, 2010 9:07 pm

hello and welcome :)
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Post by mone » Tue Nov 02, 2010 9:24 am

i was planning to wait until 6 mths but bub (5mths) is definately interested and ready..... he ate a "huge" amount of rice cereal last nite (about 10 spoonfulls lol). i only planned to give him a few spoon fulls for tasting etc but he kept leaning forward for more and couldnt take his eyes off the bowl when i put it up thinking thats enough...... we then had the best nites sleep EVER!!!!! so im thinking he needs it as well as being interested in the act of exploring food.

Anyway recent research that i have seen suggests 4-6 mths for allergy reduction but of course im thinking we need only begin tastes etc for that and then still pretty much be BF til 6mths.... i still count bub as fully BF as the amount he is geting is soooo tiny really but i know it strictly means he is no longer exclusively BF.
ta mone

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breastfeedingisnormal
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Post by breastfeedingisnormal » Tue Nov 02, 2010 4:34 pm

Have a good look at that research. Does it include an exclusively breastfed control group? No? Then it doesn't tell us anything about when exclusively bf babies should begin solids. It only tells us that kids who have already been exposed to something other than human milk (such as cows milk in formula) might be better starting solids no later than six months of age (which in research terms means up to six months and 30 days old because a baby is classified as six months old until s/he turns seven months old).
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trishalishous
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Post by trishalishous » Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:16 pm

we started solids a week before 6 months, with homemade puree veg and ebm. DD now has 1tbs oats and congee (rice porridge-homemade)
we won't introduce fruits until 7months and no wheat/dairy/eggs until 8months.
our paed is highly respected (and has published several papers on solids/weaning) my fil is our gp (plus this is the first grandchild/great grandchild, in a traditional Chinese family, so he is VERY careful with everything), and our MCHN is a (new) LC.
I have low supply due to health issues, and the only time I've been told to wean was by a relief/locum gp.
brb bubs awake
proudly co-sleeping, cloth-bummed, babywearing, full term tandem(breastfeeding, babyled weaning, gentle discipline, vaxxer
DD 13/5/10 and her angel twin
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MamaMagoO?
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Post by MamaMagoO? » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:07 pm

Wow. This is facsinating. Thanks for the info BIN. I was wondering why so many people I know with young babies have told me the recommendations had changed. It is clearly a wide-spread myth.

I remember Little Magoo seemed really keen to try food when he was 4 months old. He kept reaching out for it etc but I wouldn't let him try it until he reached 6 months. My opinion is that of course 4 month old babies ar interested in food but that does not mean that they need it yet.

I have one question about baby-led-solids in relation to this though. I watched the video about it and it said that you could start giving bubs bit of food to explore from 4 months onward. Is that a stupid idea or is it because your not mashing it up and feeding to them they are not really eating it- just playing?? If it is OK then its possibly the answer to parents are concerned that their LOs want to try solids at 4 months.
Little Magoo 07/08. Breastfed for 3yrs3mths.
Miss Magoo 10/11. Breastfed for 4yrs3mths.

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DellaWellaWoman
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Post by DellaWellaWoman » Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:21 pm

It'd be a great idea MamaMagoo - except how many well meaning, excited, first time (especially) parents & grandparents wouldn't be able to help themselves from 'helping' the baby because they obviously want it'??

If you were to do the strict Rapley style BLW from 4 months, 99% of babies wouldn't actually EAT anything for a couple of months (ie around 6 months) because they either don't have the hand-eye coordination, or if they do get it in their mouth, the tongue thrust reflex would quickly get rid of it...

I'm just having visions of people going - here, I'll just squish a bit and put it on the end of my finger for you.... :roll:
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NightOwl
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Post by NightOwl » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:22 pm

DellaWellaWoman wrote:If you were to do the strict Rapley style BLW from 4 months, 99% of babies wouldn't actually EAT anything for a couple of months (ie around 6 months) because they either don't have the hand-eye coordination, or if they do get it in their mouth, the tongue thrust reflex would quickly get rid of it...
Olly was 6 months old last week and so far we have put some toast fingers (dry), apple, broccoli, and carrot on his highchair tray and I can honestly say I think he has eaten one tiny sprig or broccoli (what would the word be!?!?) and about 3 crumbs of toast......as DWW said, strict BLS at 4 months would have to = no food in the mouth!

I definitely see what you're saying MamaMagoo but I think those who are very keen to start solids at 4 months want to do so because they think their babies are hungry and as such would want to "fill them up" with spoons of food.
*DD 04/06 - mimi for 3 years, 7 months
*DS1 02/08 - mimi for 21 months
*DS2 05/10 - mimi with a nipple shield for 18 months
*DS3 05/12- mimi for a year

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elvencreature
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Post by elvencreature » Sat Nov 20, 2010 3:40 pm

My DS was one of the babies who the strict BLS approach wasn't going to work for us. He commando crawled at 3 and a half months, right over to his sisters toast crusts and helped himself! It was a big effort not to feed him until 6 months, but the fact that we have health problems that our children will be predisposed to meant that it was definitely worth it for us.
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fiml
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Post by fiml » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:01 pm

I followed the WHO recommendations of 6 months but I used DS's adjusted age so he was 7 months old when we started to offer solids but I don't think he really ate much at all until he was around 10 months old.

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Nedsmum
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Post by Nedsmum » Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:23 pm

My personal philosophy is that we should look for 'developmental readiness' and 'digestive readiness' as the indicators of when it is a good time to start solids.

'they will sleep better' is a poor argument - they will sleep better on bad food too, and on medication, or if exposed to alcohol. That doesn't mean 'it's good for them'.

'they were reaching with their hands' - is also not a good argument to me - I work with babies and toddlers and at 2-3 months they will mouthe whatever you give them, and they keep doing this well past 2.5 years. But at 2.5 the kids who aren't hungry mouthe toys and cloths and their fingers, and if they are hungry, they eat.

'allergies' is also not scientifically based, and it doesn't mean 'meals' of food - for coeliac the study is using a tiny amount of gluten - a sprinkling, and rice doesn't contain gluten anyway so there's no point in introducing rice cereal for allergies - the reason why rice cereal is recommended is because it's not allergenic for babies.

'nutrition' - as others have said - also is poor advice, breastmilk contains more nutritional density than other foods - especially the sort of watery, basic, uncomplicated foods that are suggested for babies of that age.

'digestion' - this is one huge point where breastmilk and artificial milk varies enormously - did you know your breastmilk actually contains digestive enzymes that help the baby to digest the food!!! - This is awesome. Having worked with formula-fed babies, and breastfed babies, I can say that there is an enormous difference between the 'output' of breastfed and formula-fed babies - and I think those digestive enzymes are very significant. From my other experience, it's not physically possible to add digestive enzymes to formula because the scientists haven't actually discovered a way to do it easily or cheaply.

The *biggest risk* that I am aware of with starting solids too early are:
* baby cannot digest solids, net nutrition decreases.
* solids replace breastmilk too fast, net nutrition decreases.

If the weight then drops, the mother is again assumed to have a 'milk problem', rather than blaming the too-rapid introduction of solids.

In Australia, the other phenomenon (and this is cultural as well as practical, it happens in many asian cultures as well) - is that the mother stops breastfeeding at the same time as solids are introduced...

I think telling a mother 'your baby needs solids, your breastmilk isn't enough for them' undermines breastfeeding as much as it encourages solids...saying 'your child is developmentally ready for solids, we can begin this process in a very gentle and staged way so that by 12 months the balance tips from milk to solid food' - is a different philosophical attitude, and one much more in tune with child development...

The 'breastmilk alone is not enough for your baby' line comes straight from the baby food marketing companies.

My practical experience is that if you start solids at 6 months you don't need to puree or mash the food until it resembles 'milk'... and if you start at 4 months they don't move to self-feeding and finger-food any faster...because the weaning process is one based on readiness that happens naturally, not something that is dictated by 'experience'.
Breastmilk - the ultimate 'brain food'!!!

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trishalishous
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Post by trishalishous » Mon Nov 22, 2010 5:54 pm

I'm interested in links to these studies, if anyone can help?
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Post by Squeeky » Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:39 pm

Our Paediatrician recommended we start our DD on solids at 4 months and gave us an information sheet from the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA).

She recommended this because our DS was diagnosed with allergies and food intolerances at 8 months. He had eczema which led to the allergy diagnosis (he was soley BF too).

We tried our DD on some rice cereal when she was 4 months, but she just didn't know what to do with it once she got it off the spoon.

We'll be trying her on rice cereal again this weekend to see how she goes.

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breastfeedingisnormal
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Post by breastfeedingisnormal » Fri Dec 03, 2010 8:58 pm

I am thinking your paediatrician hasn't read the evidence and doesn't understand epidemiology. First, the studies referred to by ASCIA do not include any exclusively breastfed babies. Thus they do not tell us anything about when babies who have been fed nothing but breastmilk should begin eating other foods. Second, the research definition of 'six months old' is 'not yet seven months old'. Thus when the researchers recommend that the introduction of solid foods to babies (who have been fed a combination of breastmilk and infant formula) not be delayed beyond six months, that means that solids should be introduced by the time the baby turns seven months. This means that there is no evidence to contradict the WHO recommendation that infants be fed nothing but human milk for the first six months of their lives and then continue breastfeeding while beginning to eat solid foods until they're at least 2. Third, ASCIA is sponsored by more than one large infant formula company. We know that the earlier parents introduce solids, the earlier babies wean from breastfeeding (and the more likely they will need to be fed some formula). I wonder what the big formula companies get in return for their sponsorship money ...
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