R.E. asks from Bellingham, WA on April 04, 2007
Extra Fluids Necessary When Introducing Solids?
I was firmly against pushing my son to start solids- aside from knowing he'd let me know when HE was ready for it, I can't afford a high chair yet and figured it would be a mess to feed him on my lap, plus finals are coming up so I was going to wait until May when I'll have a bit more time. Well- he WAS ready and he DID let me know!
This past Sunday we started solids and he is so hungry for real food, he eats a lot more than the normal starting amount. He is still breastfeeding quite a lot (although less than pre-solids, obviously), but he seems a little constipated. I've read that it's normal to poop less at first during the transition because of the intestinal bacteria getting used to solids, but he's been grunting a lt.
At what point do you introduce regular fluids other than breastmilk, and what type of juice/water combo is best to start with?
K.D. answers from Jacksonville on April 05, 2007
Hi! I recently went through this myself. :) We had some poop issues prior to starting solids, so my Dr. said to start him on oatmeal or barley cereal instead of rice, because rice can cause constipation. Cereals are a great way to add iron to a breastfed baby's diet. When you start solids you should start fluids to help with digestion. Also, solids increase the load on their kidneys and water helps with that. Most of what I've read says to wait until 1 year to start juice. Until then just give water, and only use a cup (not bottle). Babies don't really have the ability to suck until about 7 months, until then they are lapping (according to my Dr.), so the whole sippy cup thing was difficult. (Sippy cups is a whole topic of itself! ha ha!) I usually allowed him to take sips from a small cup until he got the hang of a sippy (cups with straws worked well, too). Breastmilk is still his most important food and he should breastfeed at least 5 times a day. I read that water intake at 4 months of age should be about 4-6 oz. a day (at meals & between meals), maybe more on hot days. I know we were probably under that at the beginning. Hope this helps! P.S. Another good sippy cup trick is to remove the valve that makes it "leak-proof". Most cups will then release small amounts of liquid into their mouths when you tilt it up.
R. answers from Tampa on April 05, 2007
I am currently going through the same issue with constipation with my baby. My 9mnth old had no intrest in eating until a few weeks ago. She had no interest until then. I have several friends that their babies started eating at 4 mths too. So don't go by what the books are saying as each child is different, some babies need to eat sooner than others. I still breastfeed and I have tried prunes (she doesn't like them, and yes I tried putting them in baby cereal). She had a check up yesterday and the doctor advised me to give her some apple or pear juice and that should loosen things up. I haven't tried it yet, I just purchased some tonight. One problem to face (like the previous post) is the sippy cup. I have introduced it, but it is mostly used as a hammer :). Hope this helps. Regarding the high chair. I used one with my first baby, but have by passed it for a booster seat this time. It saves space and the baby gets to eat at the table with all three of us. I like it much better and they are cheaper than a high chair. Plus I can take it with me to resturaunts. I started using it when she was 4mths old. Fisher-Price Healthy Care Booster Seat is the one we use, but there are a few to choose from. The one I mentioned is $25 at Target, I believe I paid $20 at Walmart about 3 years ago. Good Luck!
K.B. answers from Jacksonville on April 05, 2007
4 months is the earliest start time. I started 2 of my kids at this age...Mostly, your child is getting used to the food, and if he eating more than the "normal" amount they recommend, the solids could be causing this to happen. Easy fix, tho!! Buy some prune baby food...feed that to him...and yes--most kids love it! It will help to restart his system again, and all will be well...:)
Your right, your child will tell you when is the right time to start, and thats great that you listened! :)....If you are only feeding cereal, only use rice...and add some veggies or fruit to it...kids love it and get the extra iron they need (yes, even breastfed babies)
Your doing great! keep up the good work! :)
K.H. answers from Jacksonville on April 07, 2007
If you are still nursing, he should be getting enough fluids. Your breastmilk is mostly water. You may want to increase your fluid intake by a little just to assure that your milk is balanced enough. It is also ok to start water at 4 months. He shouldn't need a whole lot. Nubby makes some great sippy cups that are soft nippled. (if you don't want to start him on a bottle) They should be ok. By six months you can introduce juice. I wouldn't do it any sooner. Always put juice in a sippy cup. Bottles with juice have a tendancy to cause tooth decay. I hope this helps.
T.O. answers from Sarasota on April 05, 2007
Is your son still 4-months old as it says in your "A little about me" section? If so, that seems to me to be the problem. No doctor or current medical literature recommends solid foods AT ALL until 4 months, and then it is just rice cereal, thinly mixed. Everything else is SLOWLY introduced, like oatmeal, then a vegetable, then a fruit, etc. Not several solid foods at once. That may be the problem... his system is simply not ready. And you mentioned you breastfeed (YAY for you! I love to hear that there are still some people who do it the old-fashioned way!), which is another reason he may not need solid foods at all until later. My boys both didn't start on solids until they were at least 5 months. There's just so much fatty nutrient in breastmilk it's not necessary. I'd recommend contacting La Leche to see what they say about the solids too. They can give you good ideas for mixing breastmilk with solids, etc. Good luck and best wishes!
L.M. answers from Sarasota on April 06, 2007
I am on WIC and they gave me an informational chart and feeding guide that tells me what amount of food, cereal, juice and formula or breastmilk to use. It is really useful. They started giving me checks for juice and cereal and said to start it as soon as my daughter was 6 months old. It says also that they don't need water but juice has vitamins they need and gives them extra fluids while eating solids. My PED. started my baby on solids at 4 months and now she is eating fruits and vegetables as well as cereal so there is no more constipation that she was having with just formula or cereal. 4-6 months on the chart says 4-8 oz of juice every day. the WIC certified nutritionest said to put half and half water and juice until her body adjusts because straight juice does the opposite of cereal! Also many baby foods the main ingredient is water so the intake of liquids decreases as they eat more solids. they should still drink minimum of 24 oz a day. If you read labels, it starts by listing the ingredients from largest content to smallest and usually water is the 1st or 2nd ingredient in every jar of baby food. also many parenting and baby magazines are very informative. so pretty much there is nothing to worry about as long as your baby is drinking well and eating 2 or 3 times a day. they will tell you when they are hungry or thirsty.