24 answers

Introducing Food

Hi, I just took my daughter in for her 4 month check-up and the doctor informed me that I can start giving her cereal and at 5 months begin to introduce fruit. I exclusively breastfeed my baby and she is doing GREAT. She weights 17 lbs. and I'm honestly not ready to start introducing food. I was wondering if anyone else has waited to introduce cereal and fruits/veggies. In the back of my mind, I was thinking about starting food around 6 months. What are your thoughts and opinions on that?

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Waiting is perfectly fine, and actually recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Babies don't need any food but breastmilk for the first year and don't eat solids for nutrition until about 10 months. The popular wisdom these days is to wait to introduce ceral until 6 months.

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If her weight is fine & she is sleeping fairly good thru the night then i wouldn't worry about introducing foods til 6mos or even later if you want. I waited with all my kids. I breastfed til about 8mos. I introduced cereal around 6mos & then around 7-8mos I introduced veggies only & then later came the fruit. You can skip a lot of the jars then & go into finger food around 10mos or so. Honestly i don't think mine would have eaten the veggies if they had tasted the fruit first. My doctor recommended cereal & then veggies for that reason. Good luck :-)

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I have six children and I breast fed everyone of them and loved it. I think it is the best thing to do for baby and Mom. Anyway, I think you should do what you feel is best. If your daughter is doing well and does not seem to need more food then don't worry about it. I don't feel that Dr.s know everything. I think sometimes we need to do what we know is best. If your daughter is going 3 to 4 hours between feedings, sleeping good at night (say 6 hours or more) and you are not getting worn out with the breast feeding, then I see no reason for you to 'have' to introduce food now. Not to mention the fact not all babies are ready for food at the same age. One may be hungry and need to start cereal in order to sleep at night at 3 months, yet another may do fine until they are 6 or even 9 months old.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I think as long as your little one is satisfied on breastmilk only, it should be ok. I have a four month old also, and she has been on cereal and food now for a couple of weeks. She seems to be much more satisfied with a little more in her, but I also wasn't producing enough to begin with and had to add formula just to keep her full.
You are the mommy, you know how she feels, do what you think is best!

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Most doctors with up-to-date information now reccomend that solids should not be started until at least 6 months and many don't bother advising cereals at all. Especially with breastfed babies, breastmilk should be their primary source of food for at least a year, it provides everything they need.

Starting solids too soon can lead to food allergies in some children. On top of that, their little digestive system isn't ready for solid foods.

This article really goes into detail on why to delay solids until 6 months or later.

http://kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/delay-solids.html

1 mom found this helpful

I exclusively breast fed for the first six months as well not introducing solids. I was lucky that we weren't around a lot of people that would "push" us to feed our first baby solids too soon. Our pedicatrician also said that it was good and that we didn't need to be in a rush. He said a lot of his first time parents come in and have their parents or grandparents telling them that they should have already started. I personally think that first time parents push too hard to have their children do things quicker, not just food but everything, as a way to brag about their children to other parents. So stay your ground. If your baby is thriving and gaining weight there is no reason to start solids already. It will probably just be more of a headache anyway because generally they don't eat that much when they are learning to swallow "solids". They just push it all back out of their mouths because that's what the sucking action, that they instinctively know to do, does. Good luck with the peer pressure. ;^)

1 mom found this helpful

I would wait. We waited until righty at 5 and 1/2 months, but would have waited until 6.
There is no need to start now. If you child is doing fine, you are good to wait. Its even better to wait because of food allergy issues.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

I successfully nursed twin sons who will be 30 years old in November! I began introducing food at 6 months. At that time I believe I was feeding them mashed bananas...sweet potatos and ground up liver; all foods which I made myself. Of course all of these were not introduced at the same time. I also would make a big pot of beef stew and grind it up and then freeze it in ice cube trays and then steam the frozen food when ready to feed it to my twins. They were wonderful eaters. I began replacing the mid-day nursing with regular food and at 10 months they were weaned very easily and went directly to a cup. At 10 months I was ecstatic that the three of us (my twins and I) had been succesful with nursing and we were ready to go on about the business of growing!

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The best advice my Parents as Teachers mentor gave me is YOU are the mom, that means you do what you want when it comes to this. I was very persistant about wanting to wait till 6 months to give my twins any cereal or fruits even though the doc said to start it around 4 months. Both my twins were breastfed and did very well (they were also 2 months premature).
It just took a weight off my shoulders when she said that and honestly I think we wasted alot of "food" even at six months.

1 mom found this helpful

I have a 4 month old and my doctor told me she actually doesn't need anything but my breastmilk until 6 months. I tried cereal, and she's just not ready. If you're not ready, I wouldn't worry about it. If she's 17lbs, she's obviously doing just fine!

1 mom found this helpful

Waiting is perfectly fine, and actually recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Babies don't need any food but breastmilk for the first year and don't eat solids for nutrition until about 10 months. The popular wisdom these days is to wait to introduce ceral until 6 months.

1 mom found this helpful

i exclusively brestfed both of my boys until they were 7 months old and i brestfed 1 for 18months and the other for 2 years and our pediatrician said to exclusively feed for 6 months and my oldest is nine and get straight A,s but this is stricly my opinion Good luck and introduce fuits very last because they are sweet and your traing thier palat the first year and if your eating right and taking vitamins then your baby is doing fine

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Hi S.,
Definately check out www.kellymom.com - great website. The earlier that solids of any kind are started, the greater the chance of developing food allergies. The current info really urges you to wait til 6 months - for ALL babies, not just because she is breasfed. Via the breastmilk, the baby is getting everything they need. You do not need to supplement with food or liquid. All babies go through growth spurts where it might seem that they eat more frequently - this is perfectly normal. Definately don't introduce cow's milk until after 1 year.

You are awesome for giving your baby breastmilk! You're on the right track and doing an AWESOME job! I nursed my daughter too - there is no greater experience for baby or mother. She's smart as a whip and healthy as a horse. I didn't introduce solids until she was 6 months old. Don't worry if your baby isn't gung ho on them, they don't need them... You're just starting to teach them the next phase. I nursed her fist at 'feeding time', then gave her some solids. Breastmilk should be the primary sourse of nutrition for the first year. We kept going. I didn't introduce cow's milk until she was 18 months - I read the dairy council's reccommnedations about babies that seemed to react to mom's dairy intake. She gave up her pre-bedtime nursing, her last one (5 minutes or less at that point) at 33 months.

She's now 4 1/2 years old. I wouldn't change a thing. Keep up the awesome work. And, sadly, remember that the doctors don't always keep up with the new advice (though, this advice isn't all that new, it was out before my daughter was 6 months). Check out trusted websites when in doubt.

I wish you the best! Keep up the great work! K.

1 mom found this helpful

I had a friend that fed her three kids breast milk exclusively the whole first year and her kids did great. Very chubby, healthy, and smart! You can't go wrong with breast milk. Great for baby and mom, too, and much cheaper than babyfood. Best wishes to you and your little ones.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi S.,

I was said the same by my pediatrician. She told me to start feeding solids my 4 mo old baby, but only if I think he was ready. Some babies are ready and some others do not.
My baby wasn't ready at that age, so I started feeding him solids at 6 mo, basically rice cereal. Then, I introduced him to barley, oats and so on. After a while, I gave my baby yellow vegetables (corn, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes...) ; then, I gave him green vegetables (peas, broccoli, green beans..etc.); then fruits like apple sauce, pears, bananas....and so on. It is important that you feed your little one 4 days with each vegetable and fruit, so you will know what may causes allergy to your little girl . My baby was allergic to sweet potatoes (skin rash), most of babies do not.
After that, you may start with meats like chicken and meat and then fish and pork.
It is up to you to start with veggies or fruits, every mom does differently. On another hand, you may use baby food or cook yourself for the baby. My baby never liked baby food too much except chicken & pears. I fed him with what I was cooking for the family, but avoiding too much salt or sugar or spices. Remember that it is you who is with the baby every single day and night, and you will know when she is ready for different things and meals.
I hope this helps!
Good luck!
A.

1 mom found this helpful

If her weight is fine & she is sleeping fairly good thru the night then i wouldn't worry about introducing foods til 6mos or even later if you want. I waited with all my kids. I breastfed til about 8mos. I introduced cereal around 6mos & then around 7-8mos I introduced veggies only & then later came the fruit. You can skip a lot of the jars then & go into finger food around 10mos or so. Honestly i don't think mine would have eaten the veggies if they had tasted the fruit first. My doctor recommended cereal & then veggies for that reason. Good luck :-)

1 mom found this helpful

It's perfectly fine to wait until around 6 months to start introducing foods. 4-6 months is considered the right "window" of time to start solids. Before 4 months there's the concern for increased risk of food allergies, diabetes, and obesity. After 6 months she'll need other foods because she won't get enough iron from breast milk and could get anemic. You can decide what's right for the two of you in that window.

1 mom found this helpful

S.,

I would say wait til she's closer to six months old. Start with cereal and then peaches or pears. If she is not nursing more than normal then you are giving her all that she needs. It will also help reduce any allergies to foods the longer you wait. Yuo're doing great!
T.

1 mom found this helpful

Hi there S.,

I think that a pretty normal time to start introducing cereal is about 5 or 6 months. We started at 5 months. I mixed my milk with the rice cereal first. Then after she had adjusted well to that, we tried something else. We just did it one at a time until she was eventually eating everything. Please remember that you don't have to stop nursing your daughter! In fact, she could nurse for a long time still. I nursed my daughter for 26 months! The longer you can do it, the better!

Good luck!

C.
www.EnhanceYourWayOfLife.com

1 mom found this helpful

I think waiting is fine. I waited until my children were at least 6 months and then didn't really force it (my children were also breastfed). My 6 year old wasn't even interested until she was closer to 10 months. To me, skipping the spoon feeding is so much easier. It is so much simpler when the little ones can pick up the food and feed themselves. You know the old saying that every child is different, so be flexible. If she's spitting foods out, then wait for that tongue reflex to back off. Remember you're the mom and what you decide, according to your instincts, is what is best for your little one. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

I think most breastfeeding moms are told to wait until 6 mo., but it depends on the baby. My first son started solids at 6 mo.(and had show no interest until then), but my 2nd son started them at 4 mo because he was such a hungry baby. I knew he was getting more than enough breastmilk (counting wet diapers) so it was OK in his case to have a little "filler". Also, I couldn't hold off any longer. (He was on the breast 24/7) For anyone wondering, this did not lead to early weaning (I had to pry him off with a crowbar at 22mo.) and he will still eat anything I put in front of him.

I think like with most things, go with your mother instinct, because you know if your baby is ready or not. Since you are questioning it, I'd say you are not ready because you know your baby is not ready. I'm pretty sure LaLeche League recommends waiting until 6mo. Another great resouce is :

http://kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/solids-when.html

HTH & way to go on sticking with BFing!,
B.

1 mom found this helpful

I would recommend waiting, and that is the advice given by the breastfeeding experts. I have 5 kids and did start the first three at 3 months, as that is what I was told, but the last two later. They all survived! However, I do think it is better to wait to 6 months if you can and if baby is happy. It is easier too! THere is a wonderful website with lots of information pertaining to breastfeeding www.kellymom.com Take a look!

J.

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That is weird...our doctor always said wait until AT LEAST 6 months. A friend of mine's doctor also said 4-5 months, but they used to say that their digestive tracks arent mature enough to handle the food (which is why allergies begin) until they are a little older...usually when they have more teeth. I waited until 6-8 months with all my kids and they did great! They were sleeping through the night anyway, and it didn't have an impact on their sleep habits at all once we did food. Trust your judgement and wait...you can exclusively breast feed for a year! Plus, it is free and not messy!

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, I waited with my first child until right about 6 months because I was breastfeeding. Plus, my baby was doing just fine too with the breastfeeding and still gaining weight. Some doctors are not as much as an advocate for breastfeeding as others. Sometimes you have to go with your mommy instinct. Good luck!!

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S.-
My daughter is now 14 months old. I breastfed as well and my daughter started cereal @ five months. You could really tell she wanted food. She would open her mouth everytime she saw us eating. My sister-in-law exclusively breastfed until her daughter was nine months and that worked out fine for her baby. My only advice would be to maybe just watch to see if she is interested. If she is, go for it. If not, why rush it? She's obviously doing well w/what you are currently doing. Trust her, she'll let you know!

1 mom found this helpful

They usually need more than liquid in them before6 months or she will be non-stop at your chest due to the fact that breastmilk won't hold her for very long without getting hungry again. The cereal is also an excellent iron source she needs for growing along with many other vitemins and minerals.

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