M.M. asks from Cincinnati, OH on November 28, 2006
Introducing Solids - Portland,OR
my daughter is 22 weeks. she is strictly breastfed but starting to show an undeniable interest in food when dad and i are eating. i wanted to go six months on just breastmilk but now i am wondering if i could/should introduce a few things now while she is showing such strong interest. we've recently given her a sippy cup and toddler flatware for play and i was thinking about putting a LITTLE bit of water in her cup and maybe introducing her to cereal.
which brings me to my second question. has anyone skipped the rice cereal,etc? and went straight to doing mashed banana or something of that nature? i know to only do one food at a time in order to monitor her reactions to them but do we have to start with rice cereal or can it be real food?
any information on this line of questioning would be greatly appreciated. thanks so much!
S.M. answers from Portland on November 29, 2006
When I began to introduce solids to my son at 6 months I did completely skip cereal. I began primarily with banana, squash, and avacado. Sometimes I would make my own cereal by putting oatmeal in a food processor or blender, then cooking on the stove with water until warm. I would usually put some banana in this oatmeal cereal so that it had some flavor, but I never used store cereal. If you are interested in more information I would recomend the book by la leche league called "whole foods for infants and toddlers", I found it very interesting and it has some good simple recipes in it.
A.H. answers from Sacramento on November 28, 2006
It's actually much better to start with fruits and veggies because they are less likely to be allergenic than grains like rice are. Rice is the least allergenic grain, but generally fruits and veggies are even less.
I also recommend waiting til 6 full months though. My son started solids at just under 5 months and ended up with multiple food allergies. My new daughter will not be starting solids until between 6-8 months and we will be starting probably with sweet potatoes.
H.B. answers from Portland on November 28, 2006
I have a daughter just about the same age. I actully started her on cerial in her bottle around 2 months old..check with you doc, mine said it was fine as long as she kept eating the same amout of formula. Then when she was around 3 months I stared to give her rice cerial mixed with formula by spoon and took it out of the bottle. She has now gone through all the first foods. I started to feed her by spoon at that age because she kept trying to get to my plate or my drinks. She drinks out of a sippy. It is one of those "transition" cups by playtex one with handles. In side there is a plastic thing that makes it so that it can not leak so i stuck a straw in it and she is in heaven with it because she does not have to lean back to get some out. I just took my girl to the doc today and they gave me a chart. It said:
start cereals at 4 months about 1-4 tablespoon per day
5 months start veggies 1-3 tablespoons a day
6 months start fruits 1-4 tablespoons a day 4 oz juice
do not start meats 7-9 months
no nuts of any kind including peanut butter untill 2 years
6 months start finger foods.
My daughter eats all the fruits and veggies in the first foods and she eats the cookies by gerber. she eats a mixture of 1 tablespoon of fruit or veggie, 1 tablespoon water, 2 tablespoons cereal which adds up to 4oz or one jar of food 3 times a day. She is very tall in the 90% for her age and 70% weight which if she was not tall would make her cubby.
Hope what the chart says helps. OH make sure that you start only one food for atleast 3 days before you start a new one so that you can look for reactions(vomiting,diarrhea, or rash), then you can try another single food. My doc also told me that 90% of babies will give you there own clues on when they are ready. Yours seems to be doing the same thing mine did before i started her on solids.
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L.B. answers from Anchorage on November 28, 2006
Hi M., I say go for it we started both of our daughters at 4 months. we startedwith fruits and veggies they have so much nutrients.and we even gave our daughters sippy cups with water and helped them use it.until they were capable of holding it them selves because its so much easier from going from breast right to a cup and skip that whole bottle thing.then when they woke up at night they just reached for their sippy cup with water. and ceral effects each child differently. so its just trial and error good luck but i would start the feedings.
K.Z. answers from Portland on November 29, 2006
My son seemed interested at that time also, and we let him play with spoons and gave him a sippy cup with my milk or water and he did fine (completely skipped bottles!). But just because they can sit up on their own and seem interested, doesn't always mean they are ready to eat. I tried to offer food (rice cereal with BMilk) around 6.5 mos and he mostly rejected it by pushing the spoon with his tongue. I didn't push as he just didn't seem ready and it was frustrating. Eventually he did start eating a bit by 8 mos. He really liked avocado and sweet potatos (had a bad reaction to bananas so beware of those, watch the diaper!) so we didn't do much cereal.
I would recommend waiting a little longer, for the allergy and GI tract reasons stated earlier. It really is totally up to you (not your doctor!), but I know being a first time mom you have no clue what is best! Actually a friend started her son on oatmeal at 6 mos and by 8 mos he was eating a bowl as big as hers each morning!
My son also never had jarred baby food from a store. I made all of his food with a food processor, it's totally fresh and you can easily make a batch and freeze in ice cube trays. Then put the food cubes in a ziplock bag and thaw 1 at a time in the microwave for a feeding, then 2 once they are eating. :) He also moved right into finger foods around the same time he started eating (8 mos) and we gave him cheerios, veggie puffs and cut apples! He loved to feed himself but had no teeth!
Good luck! And keep up the breast feeding! My son would eat as much as he wanted then ask for the boob, even early on. When he got frustrated or tired of eating, he would sign MILK. :) Now (at 2) he just asks for Boobie Time!
A.K. answers from Eugene on November 29, 2006
My daughter was about six monthes when she really started to eat solid foods. She loved fruit. But are just talking about things not milk. Io, my daughter, never really ate cereal. She hated it no matter what I put in it. She would eat oatmeal, and applesauce. So I made her that. I made the apple sauce at home so I would know there was not extra sugar. But, I did add spices. She loved it and then we just slowly added other things. I am sure that she seems ready for the sippy cup let her try. But, as I am sure you know, interest in not an indication of aptitude. She might want to try, but she might not be phyically ready to make the change. So let he use it like a toy. Just for now ayway. That way later she is used to the objects and she won't be more interested in the neatly colored sppon than the food on it.
A.D. answers from Portland on November 29, 2006
The longer you wait before starting your daughter on solids, the better it will be for her GI health. My son is six and a half months, and he has had avocado once and a few tastes of squash last night (from my plate). About two months ago we started giving him drinks of water during our meal time so he felt included in meals with us. He loved it, though not much actually went down his throat! I now just started putting water in a sippy cup for him and he's having a great time learning how to get the water out of it to drink :) I know lots of babies who have never had any rice cereal or other baby cereal, and they do great eating all sorts of food. I think it's really up to you as far as what to start first, as long as you avoid the potential allergens and space out your foods accordingly (4-6 days apart). A great website that talks about the allergens and why to delay solids is http://kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/index.html . I reference this site a lot! Also, as someone else mentioned, the book "Whole Foods for Babies and Toddlers" by Margaret Kenda is a wonderful resource as well.
J.J. answers from Eugene on November 29, 2006
Our MD stated to start between 4 to 6 months and we started at about 4 1/2 months and he has done well. He had a problem where he would only poop every 10-14 days so we skipped the rice cereal on the advice of our MD and he loves fruits and veggies, blended with a mini food processor of course.
P.M. answers from Portland on November 29, 2006
My son's pediatrician, while recommending a diet of mostly breastmilk until six months, told me that studies show that giving a baby rice between 4-6 months may actually decrease their chance of getting celiac disease later in life. She told me this two days ago so the information is very current.
The argument for starting cereals first and fruits last is simply that your child may only want the sweet stuff (bananas, apples, sweet potatoes, etc.) and may refuse veggies.
Do what feels right!
C.R. answers from Eugene on November 29, 2006
I completely understand the urge to want to start solids early. However, the recommendation to wait until 4 months is for a very good reason. We started my daughter early (about the age of your daughter) and are now fighting with numerous food allergies (including nut). I don't know if starting her on solids early caused it, but it is the reason they say to wait. Hope this helps you, good luck!