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Reasons to Delay Solids

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MommyKatlin
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Reasons to Delay Solids

I just wanted to start a thread about the dangers of starting solids to early. I think it is something that everyone should be informed about.

This is from Kellymom.com

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

Quote:
Health experts and breastfeeding experts agree that it's best to wait until your baby is around six months old before offering solid foods. There has been a large amount of research on this in the recent past, and most health organizations have updated their recommendations to agree with current research. Unfortunately, many health care providers are not up to date in what they're telling parents, and many, many books are not up to date.

Most babies will become developmentally and physiologically ready to eat solids by 6-9 months of age. For some babies, delaying solids longer than six months can be a good thing; for example, some doctors may recommend delaying solids for 12 months if there is a family history of allergies.

Reasons For Delaying Solids

Quote:
Delaying solids gives baby greater protection from illness.
Although babies continue to receive many immunities from breastmilk for as long as they nurse, the greatest immunity occurs while a baby is exclusively breastfed. Breastmilk contains 50+ known immune factors, and probably many more that are still unknown. One study has shown that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 4+ months had 40% fewer ear infections than breastfed babies whose diets were supplemented with other foods. The probability of respiratory illness occurring at any time during childhood is significantly reduced if the child is fed exclusively breast milk for at least 15 weeks and no solid foods are introduced during this time. (Wilson, 1998) Many other studies have also linked the degree of exclusivity of breastfeeding to enhanced health benefits (see Immune factors in human milk and Risks of Artificial Feeding).

Delaying solids gives baby's digestive system time to mature.
If solids are started before a baby's system is ready to handle them, they are poorly digested and may cause unpleasant reactions (digestive upset, gas, constipation, etc.). Protein digestion is incomplete in infancy. Gastric acid and pepsin are secreted at birth and increase toward adult values over the following 3 to 4 months. The pancreatic enzyme amylase does not reach adequate levels for digestion of starches until around 6 months, and carbohydrate enzymes such as maltase, isomaltase, and sucrase do not reach adult levels until around 7 months. Young infants also have low levels of lipase and bile salts, so fat digestion does not reach adult levels until 6-9 months.

Delaying solids decreases the risk of food allergies.
It is well documented that prolonged exclusive breastfeeding results in a lower incidence of food allergies (see Allergy References and Risks of Artificial Feeding). From birth until somewhere between four and six months of age, babies possess what is often referred to as an "open gut." This means that the spaces between the cells of the small intestines will readily allow intact macromolecules, including whole proteins and pathogens, to pass directly into the bloodstream.This is great for your breastfed baby as it allows beneficial antibodies in breastmilk to pass more directly into baby's bloodstream, but it also means that large proteins from other foods (which may predispose baby to allergies) and disease-causing pathogens can pass right through, too. During baby's first 4-6 months, while the gut is still "open," antibodies (sIgA) from breastmilk coat baby's digestive tract and provide passive immunity, reducing the likelihood of illness and allergic reactions before gut closure occurs. Baby starts producing these antibodies on his own at around 6 months, and gut closure should have occurred by this time also. See How Breast Milk Protects Newborns and The Case for the Virgin Gut for more on this subject.

Delaying solids helps to protect baby from iron-deficiency anemia.
The introduction of iron supplements and iron-fortified foods, particularly during the first six months, reduces the efficiency of baby's iron absorption. Healthy, full-term infants who are breastfed exclusively for periods of 6-9 months have been shown to maintain normal hemoglobin values and normal iron stores. In one study (Pisacane, 1995), the researchers concluded that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months (and were not give iron supplements or iron-fortified cereals) had significantly higher hemoglobin levels at one year than breastfed babies who received solid foods earlier than seven months. The researchers found no cases of anemia within the first year in babies breastfed exclusively for seven months and concluded that breastfeeding exclusively for seven months reduces the risk of anemia. See Is Iron-Supplementation Necessary? for more information.

Delaying solids helps to protect baby from future obesity.
The early introduction of solids is associated with increased body fat and weight in childhood. (for example, see Wilson 1998, von Kries 1999, Kalies 2005)

Delaying solids helps mom to maintain her milk supply.
Studies have shown that for a young baby solids replace milk in a baby's diet - they do not add to baby's total intake. The more solids that baby eats, the less milk he takes from mom, and less milk taken from mom means less milk production. Babies who eat lots of solids or who start solids early tend to wean prematurely.

Delaying solids helps to space babies.
Breastfeeding is most effective in preventing pregnancy when your baby is exclusively breastfed and all of his nutritional and sucking needs are satisfied at the breast.

Delaying solids makes starting solids easier.
Babies who start solids later can feed themselves and are not as likely to have allergic reactions to foods.

Quote:
The following organizations recommend that all babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or any other foods) for the first 6 months of life (not the first 4-6 months):

World Health Organization
UNICEF
US Department of Health & Human Services
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Dietetic Association
Australian National Health and Medical Research Council
Royal Australian College of General Practitioners
Health Canada

There are TONS more resources out there. If anyone has some to add please do so! :D

Earth_moves
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Reasons to Delay Solids

Good post Hun, it's surprising how many people don't know how SERIOUS introducting solids before 6 months is....

Ais didn't have solids until way after 6 months, but even at that point I didn't really understand how serious "open gut" was... and how solids too soon can cause effects that you wouldn't even recognize as being a food issue...

Like colic, or persistant cold symptoms....

VERY GOOD POST KATLIN!

Kaylala
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Reasons to Delay Solids

I only wish more moms had access to resources like these... all the new moms around me are already feeding their babies cereals...despite my warnings...but the older ppl in bd's family are just set in their ways... Oh well...Mine will be the healthiest :-D

good post indeed! <3

oh btw. my crazy pedi. told me i could give him cereal after 3 months if he acted like he was "still starving"... i said "uh no..im breastfeeding...so no..."
lol.

MommyKatlin
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Reasons to Delay Solids

Even if your child is formula feed, solids should be delayed. It's not something only b/f moms have to worry about. But ALL moms, not matter thier feeding choice.

StarlightBlaze
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Reasons to Delay Solids

Kaylala* wrote:
I only wish more moms had access to resources like these... all the new moms around me are already feeding their babies cereals...despite my warnings...but the older ppl in bd's family are just set in their ways... Oh well...Mine will be the healthiest :-D

good post indeed! <3

oh btw. my crazy pedi. told me i could give him cereal after 3 months if he acted like he was "still starving"... i said "uh no..im breastfeeding...so no..."
lol.

My so-called BFF's little sister's doctor told her mom that they could start her on solids at 3 months too, and when I told her she should've waited till at least 6 months, she's like "Well the doctor said it was okay, she's fine, there's nothing wrong with her", but her little sister is obese for a 5 year old...like...she's not extremely obese, but she's very chubby. She's chubbier than most kids in her kindergarten class.

boigrrrlwonder
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Reasons to Delay Solids

I've seen that you shouldn't introduce solids until sometime between six and nine months, but how do you know if your kid is one of the ones who isn't ready for solids until nine months? Did anyone here intoduce solids later than six months? If so, why did you think that was best for your kid?

SunshineBlossom
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Reasons to Delay Solids

We didn't do solids until six months but Peyton wasn't ready. So we waited until about ten months but she didn't eat regularly until about 12 months. She was breastfed by me until nine months and she got donor milk until she was a little older than a year. Every child is different and you have to follow them. I am so glad I delayed solids with Pey.

Danielle04o7
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Reasons to Delay Solids

i followed my dr's advice and tryed at 4 months with A. but she was clearly NOT ready, so we stopped, tryed again at 6 months and she still wasn't ready. she didn't really start taking to solids until 15-18 months. she was also nursing the whole time.

MommyKatlin
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Reasons to Delay Solids

We tried starting solids at about 7 months, but she wasn't ready, we just waited until she showed interest. She is almost 13 months and still doesn't eat meals, just has a few bites whenever i eat.

BoiGrrl here is what Kellymom says about signs for if baby is ready.

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

Quote:
Developmental signs that baby is ready for solids
Solids readiness depends on both the maturity of baby’s digestive tract and baby’s developmental readiness for solids. Although the maturity of baby’s digestive system is not something that we can readily observe, research indicates that 6 months appears to be ideal for avoiding the allergies and other health risks of too-early solids. After this point, different babies are ready for solids at different times -- developmental readiness for solids cannot be determined using a calendar. Most babies are developmentally ready for solids somewhere between 6 and 8 months.

Signs that indicate baby is developmentally ready for solids include:
Baby can sit up well without support.
Baby has lost the tongue-thrust reflex and does not automatically push solids out of his mouth with his tongue.
Baby is ready and willing to chew.
Baby is developing a “pincer” grasp, where he picks up food or other objects between thumb and forefinger. Using the fingers and scraping the food into the palm of the hand (palmar grasp) does not substitute for pincer grasp development.
Baby is eager to participate in mealtime and may try to grab food and put it in his mouth.

Quote:
What if my 4-5 month old seems developmentally ready for solids?
Four- to five-month-old babies are sometimes very eager to participate at mealtime, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they are ready to eat solids - more often it's just the normal developmental urge to do what everyone else is doing. Research studies tell us that there are many health advantages to delaying solids for about 6 months for all babies, not just the babies who are not yet interested in mealtime.

There are a number of things you can do to let baby participate in mealtimes without starting solids:

Let baby sit with the family at mealtime - in a lap, booster seat or high chair.
Give baby a cup of water or expressed milk. Your baby can entertain himself at mealtime while learning to use a cup. 1-3 ounces of water in the cup should be plenty (often for the entire day). Many moms choose to use only water or a small amount of breastmilk to avoid wasting the "liquid gold" while baby learns to use the cup.
Offer baby sips of water from your cup or straw. Even if baby hasn't figured out how to use a straw yet, you can put your straw in water, block the top end of the straw with your finger to trap a little water in the straw, then let baby drink the water from the lower end of the straw (unblock the top end once it's in baby's mouth).
Offer baby spoons, cups, bowls and other baby-safe eating utensils to play with during mealtime.
Give baby an ice cube (if it's a baby-safe size & shape) or ice chips to play with.
Offer baby a momsicle (popsicle made from breastmilk) or slushy frozen breastmilk to eat with a spoon.

I also wanted to post some myths about starting solids

Quote:
Myths about solids readiness
There are many myths and outdated information regarding how to tell if baby is ready for solids. MYTH: Baby's weight has reached a "magic" number
Just because your baby achieves "x" number of pounds, or has doubled birth weight, (or however much your baby weighs) does not mean that she is automatically ready for solids - particularly if she is under 6 months.

The American Academy of Pediatrics/World Health Organization recommendations for starting solids at 6 months or later has no exceptions for babies who weigh more. The research that I've seen on the health benefits of starting solids at 6 months and later holds for all babies, no matter what their weight.

It's the maturity of the digestive tract and baby's developmental readiness that makes the difference, not baby's weight.

It's rather interesting to note that moms are told to start solids for both big and small babies. It's not even uncommon to hear opposite arguments for both sides from the same person!

MYTH: "Your baby is big so you need to start solids."
Moms might be told to start solids for differing reasons when they have a large baby.

Some are told that since baby is big, they won't be able to produce enough milk to satisfy baby. This is quite untrue - almost all mothers have the ability to produce enough milk to exclusively breastfeed twins and even triplets. If you allow your baby to nurse on cue, your body will make enough milk for your baby.

Other moms are told that baby is eating too much, so mom should reduce baby's intake by limiting nursing and/or starting solids. There is absolutely NO evidence that a large breastfed baby will become a large child or adult, and limiting nursing can be quite dangerous for a baby. Read more here: Is my exclusively breastfed baby gaining too much weight?

MYTH: "Your baby is small so you need to start solids."
Another reason often given for starting solids is because baby is small (see Normal Growth of Breastfed Babies). I really don't see the sense in this. Ounce for ounce, breastmilk has more calories than most baby-safe solid foods and significantly more nutrients than any type of solid food that you can feed your baby. In addition, starting solids will quite possibly reduce the amount of milk that your baby is getting overall, rather than increase overall intake. One of the first recommendations for a baby who genuinely has slow weight gain is to decrease or eliminate solid foods and nurse more often.

MYTH: Baby needs to start solids because there is not enough iron in breastmilk.
An additional reason given for starting solids is the "lack of iron in breastmilk." Breastmilk does have lower iron levels than formula, but the iron in breastmilk is more readily absorbed by the baby's gut than the iron in formula. Also, formula-fed babies tend to lose iron through fissures that develop in their intestines as a result of damage from cow's milk. Breastfed babies do not lose this iron. Sometime after the first 6 months (much later for a lot of babies), most babies will require an additional source of iron other than mother's milk. This can most often be obtained through small amounts of solid food. Read more on iron and the breastfed baby here: Is Iron Supplementation Necessary?.

MYTH: Baby needs solids so he will sleep longer at night.
The popular belief that feeding solids at night will help baby sleep through the night has no basis in fact. See Will giving formula or solids at night help baby to sleep better?

MYTH: If you don't start solids by "x" months, then baby will have problems with solid foods
This is another myth that is not supported by research for normally developing, healthy babies.

cardhousewife
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Reasons to Delay Solids

Noah started showing interest in solids before even I was ready. I thought six months was appropriate but he seems to be getting less interested in breast milk and more into solids. I'm not sure if it's just that I'm not eating correctly or if he is just a fast developer. He is 4 months and loves baby carrot and green bean food. I only give him 1 a day but he seems more satisfied and content on days he has it in comparison to when he didn't.

Seems like he is becoming more the contradiction to my idea of how a baby should be raised which is contrary to the traditional ideas.

boigrrrlwonder
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Reasons to Delay Solids

I hear a lot of mamas saying that they tried solids at some point and their babies weren't ready - how did you know your kid wasn't ready? Did s/he just refuse to eat or did it make your babe sick or how did you know?

MommyKatlin
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Reasons to Delay Solids

boigrrrlwonder wrote:
I hear a lot of mamas saying that they tried solids at some point and their babies weren't ready - how did you know your kid wasn't ready? Did s/he just refuse to eat or did it make your babe sick or how did you know?

Most of the time babe will push the spoon/food out with thier tongue. Or they will just turn their head.

Earth_moves
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Reasons to Delay Solids

Ais didn't start on cereals until she was about 10 months old... and even then it was a couple spoonfuls in the morning, and then she wanted to breastfeed. I told the HN that she wasn't eating solids, and she said, "she's breastfeeding good, gaining weight, your really healthy, she's fine."

MommyKatlin
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Reasons to Delay Solids

Navy has never had "baby food" in a jar, or baby cereal. I thought it a waste. She just ate what I ate ( when she was of age ) if i thought she could handle it. :D Navy is 13 months and has never had a bottle. :shock:

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Still having trouble with solids at 9+ months

We've tried solids on and off with my son since he was almost 6 months old. The first time, he got really constipated, even though he's otherwise exclusively breastfed. (Well, he wasn't technically constipated because he didn't have really hard stool, but he had several weeks where he didn't have a bowel movement for 7+ days, and when he finally did, it was HUGE.) After that, we've tried giving him solids off and on for a few days up to two weeks (just to make sure it isn't just a single food intolerance), but each time, it seems to make him have lots of gas and wake up at night. He's not usually a great sleeper--at 9 months, he usually nurses twice at night--but when he has solids, he wakes up 4 or 5 times a night. We do have a family history of stomach trouble--reflux and intolerances mostly--but I can't find much information about babies who just aren't "gastrointestinally ready" for solids when they're as old as he is. I'm wondering if I should just give it up until he's closer to one year old and if it's "okay/normal" for him to be so intolerant of solids when he's this old. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated.

mamatessa
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Reasons to Delay Solids

I would. I started off starting him on solids at six months old because my doctor told me that he was big enough now that he needed solids also to sustain him. Then I read all the stuff you mamas have written and now I usually only feed him 2 a day. Usually breakfast and dinner. He's 11 months old and he's just now starting to get to the point where a bottle isn't enough. I would hold off until he was older and then try it again. Babies don't really need solids to sustain them until about a year, especially since you are breast feeding also

SkyKid45
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Reasons to Delay Solids

I thought that for the first year, all they needed to sustain themselves was breastmilk. And that solids were just something extra, like to get used to eating but not something they actually needed for nutrition.

lexi2007
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Reasons to Delay Solids

My doctor said that by 6 months they need the extra nutrients that some of the baby foods (but mostly cereal) gave them...I dont know if she is right or not, but that is what she told me.

naivete
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Reasons to Delay Solids

sky - that's only true for exclusively breastfed babies, formula fed babies do need the additional nutrients

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Reasons to Delay Solids

The only real concern before a year is iron deficiency. However, the thinking behind introducing solids at 6 months is so that babies would have a reliable source (ie: enough) of iron at 1 year.

This is very general, targeted towards the entire public, so is not the case for many many babies. Some babies will become anaemic even with additional solids. Some don't eat solids until 18 months and have healthy iron levels.

Many medical establishments are rethinking the six month introduction, pushing for even later, including the WHO nd the AAP.

lexi2007
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Reasons to Delay Solids

Well I was anemic when I was pregnant, and Im pretty sure I still am, so does that give Kaden more of a chance to be anemic too? Not really sure how anemia works. Before I got pregnant, I was always borderline, but when I got pregnant I was anemic for sure. Then when I had him I lost a lot of blood, and at my 6 week check up she said I was still anemic. Im not sure if it has gotten any better or not.

mamatessa
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Reasons to Delay Solids

No I don't think it's genetic. Just take some supplements. I have to take them because I'm severly enemic but neither of my boys are. The supplements are kinda expensive. But when you're really enenic like I am you are always tired! They work really well!

chatdelheure
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Reasons to Delay Solids

Nearly all women have lower iron counts during pregnancy due to the massive increase in blood volume. If you had low levels before pregnancy, you would almost certainly have borderline levels during pregnancy.

I have chronic anaemia, and during pregnancy, my hemoglobin levels were below 108, and my ferritin was undetectable. DS is 8 months old, doesn't eat any solids, is exclusively breastfed, and his iron levels are great!

Anonymous (not verified)
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Reasons to Delay Solids

i dont know what to do, D was sleeping through and then started to wake more so the health visitor told us to start solids, she was 4 months, shes nearly 6months now but im still scared we started too early.. she does love it and grabs the spoon herself and doesnt spit it out or turn her head away, but she gets really bad wind.. i dont think its constipation because she poos fine but for a lot off the day shes upset with a tense tummy and needs a little massage/leg pedaling-
is this definately because we started too early?
is it too late to go back to exclusive breastfeeding??
i dont know what to do because she does seem to love her solids(and i cook everything myself- pretty sure its not a reaction to a certain food)

has anyone else started solids at 4m?
please help x

Anonymous (not verified)
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Reasons to Delay Solids

oh and aswell shes always breastfed like every 2 1/2 hrs.. so maybe my milk supply is really low or something and thats why shes more hungry?

chatdelheure
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Reasons to Delay Solids

Solids won't cause your baby to sleep through the night. A common cause of night waking is reaching developmental milestones.

It's not too late to stop solids. You could reintroduce at a later date, or just let her 'play' with food at your mealtimes. Let her feed herself.

Breastfeeding works on supply/demand principles, so if you have been feeding her solids regularly, your supply probably took a bit of a blow. Her increased nursing is her intuitive way of bringing your supply back up. The more you nurse, the more milk you will make. Also, breastmilk is very easliy digestible, while solids are not. So she may not act hungry after eating solids because it sits heavily in her stomach, making her body think she is full.