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Starting Solids

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  • Starting Solids

    My dd is 6 months old and i've been told i have to start her on solids at least cereal because she needs iron. She does make swipes at my food and when she's watching me eat she moves her mouth. But she's not really interested in what i'm giving her (rice cereal, or banan I've tried). I've tried waiting until after an hour nursing her but by this time she's tired and wants to go to bed not eat. She absolutly wants none of it after nursing. The only time i got any into her was when i fed her before nursing but than she refused to nurse later and i was left skipping a nursing session and being very engorged by the next one. When i try to feed her i get as much out as i try and put in and sometimes she'll even clamp her mouth shut. On lllc they suggested baby let solids but my gp as advised against it, stating that it's risky behaviour. So I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions? Is it normal for them to spit out everything you put in there mouth? Do I just keep trying until she gets the hang of it??

  • #2
    risky behavior? that's ludicrous. mothers who EBF are not risky parents. what did babies do before the advent of commerically-produced iron=fortified boxed cereals? follow your gut and your baby's lead. you can't force-feed babies. they eat when they're ready. if you're that concerned about iron, ask about iron drops or supplements. iron can cause constipation, though, so look into it before you do something like that. another route would be to make sure that you are intaking enough iron so that baby gets it through breastmilk.


    • #3
      Did you mean that baby led solid are risky behavior according to your GP? In what manner did he or she say? There are so many different aspects to infant feeding, choking allergies, concern of babies not getting this or that vitamin etc...... For so many in the medical profession (that aren't required to take a single class in human lactation or nutrition) its just easier to say "do exactly this" that everyone else does.

      Do you have a more specific question we can explore about this?
      I did baby led weaning weaning with my second and a more mainstream method with my first. They have different pros and cons of course like any other parenting choice.


      • #4
        They simply told me they do not advise it as there is a possibility of her choking on a peice of food (and that this was risky behaviour especially since i have access to plenty of purees). They would prefer that I mash it up throroughly (if not willing to process it vs giving her a chuck of banana for example). She wasn't mean about it, just really relunctant about the safety. I was told she has reserves of Iron from birth and that at about 6 months old it's very important to start cereal to ensure she's getting iron as there is no iron in my breastmilk. I was told i wasn't allowed to feed her prior to nursing as there are plenty of nutrients in my bm that she will not get from cereal, however i have a rediculosly heavy letdown so she gets a lot of milk very quickly, so she's never really hungry until the next nursing session. So I'm struggling to try and figure out when the best time to feed her, that she'll be more interested. I don't want to wean her yet as i guess perhaps I'm not ready (which is selfish on my part). How did your weaning and baby led solids go?? Should I be trying other foods besides rice cereal and bananas?


        • #5
          simply told me they do not advise it as there is a possibility of her choking on a piece of food
          Sure, that is always a danger, even if children find items like a penny etc. I advise ALL parents to at least have basic knowledge of the Heimlich maneuver just in case --regardless of feeding method. From my point of view, my baby (now almost a year) has excellent mouth skill for all sorts of textures and types of food. A baby only fed purees and small bits of food is more in danger of choking with large items because of his smaller eating vocabulary.
          Grains are debatable as a first food, simply because humans have a harder time digesting grains then proteins and fruits and vegetable. Also see this on iron at Kellymom. Please note
          The original iron stores of a full-term healthy baby, combined
          with the better-absorbed iron in breastmilk, are usually enough
          to keep baby's hemoglobin levels within the normal range
          well into the second six months
          Also this
          The original recommendations for iron-fortified foods were based on a formula-fed baby's need for them and the fact that breastmilk contains less iron than formula (doctors didn't know then that the iron in breastmilk is absorbed much better).
          Both from that Kellymom link-- Thanks Kellymom!

          Overall I think is unnecessary to force a child to enjoy food by withdrawing the preferred healthier thing (breastmilk.)
          sometimes she'll even clamp her mouth shut
          She is telling you she is done. Why not listen?
          I don't want to wean her yet as i guess perhaps I'm not ready (which is selfish on my part)
          Why is that selfish? I assume your daughter enjoys your breastfeeding relationship and it certainly benefits her too. I enjoy mine tremendously. Do you have a certain weaning date set or a belief that you are not supposed to enjoy it?
          Here is a good article Are mothers supposed to love breastfeeding 24 hours a day?
          Keep up the good work!
          Last edited by naomifrederickmd; 07-25-2009, 07:24 AM.


          • #6
            I guess we just had so many problems getting the hang of bfing (6 bouts of thrush and hopefully finished with it) that now that we've figured out how to do it well i want sometime to enjoy it. I'm so caught up on doing what's right that I'm throughly confused and unsure of what to do. I've been told that if i don't start feeding her now (while she's swiping at my food, imitating etc.) that i'll miss the "window" and she'll get problems later for not having learned at her optimal time. I just want to do what's best for her. I'm so worried about messing up. Forcing her too soon, missing her cues and not starting when she's ready...i'm sure all the regualr fears that a new mom has.


            • #7
              i'm sorry, i misunderstood your first post. i thought you were told that exclusive breastfeeding was risky behavior. yes, i remember w/my first, i was hugely afraid of choking. we were hypervigilant about it. i think it's natural for a first-time mom. we gave ds2 hardly any purees at all. started him on table food almost immediately, as soon as he started grabbing them. i let him eat while in my lap and gave him the same foods as i was eating, just cut smaller.

              there is an excellent book "How Weaning Happens" they can help you w/the whole dynamics of eating and breastfeeding. "The Ultimate Breastfeeding Book fo Answers" by Jack Newman is a great one, too. if i remember correctly, he addresses the choking issue.

              and, of course, you will find hundreds of moms here glad to support you in breastfeeding as long as you and your baby are happy to do it.


              • #8
                Hello smurfsammy

                We are doing Baby Led Solids with DS. He is coming up to a year. Its a great way to introduce solids IMO. I think there was a thread on here recently about it? If you search 'Baby Led Weaning' rather than the American 'solids' on the net you will get a few more hits as I believe it is more popular in Europe. There is a great forum on the topic. Have a look at

                Yes, by the time your baby reaches six months the iron stores are starting to deplete... that does NOT mean that when they hit six months they are all of a sudden going to get anemia or anything.... its just that they dont have the same stores as before. Dont forget that veges like broccoli have iron in them (DS favorite vege!), so you dont have to go out of your way to do supplements or baby cereal... just be mindful that a few times a week they get something with iron.

                As far as the choking thing goes, any time your baby puts something in their mouth there is a chance that they could choke.... studies have shown that eating puree is actually more likely to get a choking response because the baby has to 'suck' the food off the spoon (you try it sometime, its actually quite difficult to do). As long as you cook the food so that it is soft (especially if she already has any teeth for biting), and don't give pieces that are too small the likelihood that she will choke is no greater than feeding her any other way.

                The thing I love about feeding 'proper' food is that you are putting your child in a position to limit their own intake. Just like with BF they know what they need and how much of it.

                GL with your decision... but dont make the mistake of believing everything your Dr tells you. They, just like anyone else, have their own opinions on things.


                • #9
                  I think I may have just seen you on the baby led weaning site..... would I be right?


                  • #10
                    It's okay to wait

                    With both of my daughters we didn't feed them any solid foods until they could do the pincher grasp and pick up little bits of finger foods. They were both almost 9mo. old. Until then they were exclusively breastfed on demand. If they wanted to participate in a family meal, I would give them a big hunk of carrot or celery to chew on/suck on and since they didn't have many teeth, chocking wasn't a problem. Our pediatrician (very attachment parenting - friendly) shared with us that by 9 months a baby's intestines are more mature and can actually handle finger foods (careful for choking hazards of course). So, we skipped spooning in baby food. As for the iron, both my daughters had their iron tested when we did the blood draw for lead around 9 months and they were both in the healthy/normal range. Also, we were criticized by some, saying that they wouldn't want to eat when we finally did feed them. BOTH of my daughters love to eat to this day.


                    • #11
                      It's wonderful that your listening to your baby's cues. It is hard to go against mainstream advice when you really only want to do what's right for your baby and haven't been there before.

                      I don't think baby-led solids means letting your baby eat things that are dangerous for choking. It means giving your child food when she is ready. But the food doesn't need to be anything or everything. For our daughter, we started with mashed avocado and bananas. She ate this for a while when she was around 6 months old and then stopped. We continued to offer, and she'd occasionally eat something, but preferred to nurse. She didn't start eating more until around 12 months, and is really just now, at 21 months, starting to eat almost every time we eat.

                      She eats what we eat, but we give it to her in forms that are safe. So, if we are having hard vegetables like carrots, we'll cut them into strips so that if she does bite off a piece and swallow it, it's not a big enough chunk to get stuck.

                      I don't believe there is a "window" of introducing solids. Babies are meant to breastfeed, and people are meant to eat. Unless there is a very unusual problem, these skills will come to your baby when she is ready.

                      Congratulations on trusting your instincts and researching this further yourself so that you can make a decision that is right for you and your family.


                      • #12
                        I don't believe there is a "window" of introducing solids. Babies are meant to breastfeed, and people are meant to eat. Unless there is a very unusual problem, these skills will come to your baby when she is ready.
                        Yes, I agree with you AwakenedMama!
                        I have looked into research on that "window" idea and the fear that goes along with it that your baby will NEVER eat solids.
                        The research ONLY mentions it is an issue for certain babies that were tube-fed long-term or have serious developmental delays. Unfortunately that study has extrapolated to scare all parents.

                        Here on Kellymom, at the bottom of the page.
                        -click for link

                        So rest easy! Food is really recreational untill 1yr old. If they like it great! If they don't yet keep trying!
                        Last edited by naomifrederickmd; 07-25-2009, 07:23 AM.


                        • #13
                          hi, it's not true that your breastmilk does not contain iron!!! it does not have as much iron as iron-fortified infant formula, but that's because the iron in your breastmilk is much more easily absorbed by your baby than that in formula.

                          relax and follow your baby's cues. it's ridiculous to say babies should start with cereal first, it's simply not natural! before baby cereals were invented, babies started eating whatever their family ate. makes more sense!

                          if you want to try baby-lead weaning but are worried about choking, be sure to always supervise your baby's eating. and if you're really worried, then at least slice the food into small pieces without mashing everything up.

                          force feeding will lead to eating problems later on. youdo not want that. so as everybody here has already said, let your baby take the lead.

                          hope this helps!