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How long is it safe to breastfeed and waut with solids?

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  • How long is it safe to breastfeed and waut with solids?

    I have heard so many oppinions about if it is safe to not start solids at 6 months. Different doctors have told me different things. One says I can safely breastfeed exclusivly up to at least a year and the other dr said it is not safe to wait with solids past 6-7 minths because the baby needs iron and more calories.

    My baby is now 8 minths and breastfeed 100%. She has stated with a little tad bit of banana (today and the other day) and likes it. How "stressed" do I need to be at getting her on solids? The doctor I saw last (I swapped because I did not like the first) said I can wait. I have tons of allergies so wanted to wait with soluds for my little one. She hasn't showed much interest up until now either.
    She sleeps next to me and bf lots during day and night.

  • #2
    There are several comments in response to this question on Facebook, but no one seems to be posting them over here! Here's what a few people have said:

    Comment 1:
    With our first we started solids right at six months, and continued to breastfeed. He lost two pounds before his first birthday. With the next three, they only had breast milk until at least a year, then we started on table food, bypassing all the baby food. Our 17 month old nurses several times a day, and joins us for mealtimes, usually feeding herself They are all doing great, and if we are blessed with more children, we will continue to wait until after 12 months to start solid food.

    Comment 2:
    i really think it depends on the child. I recently saw pics on facebook of a friend feeding her floppy 3 month old rice cereal which is way way too early. But my little boy was absolutely ravenous for food by 7 months old, i couldn't have made him wait any longer than that.

    Comment 3:
    I also read that it is safe to breastfeed exclusively for the first year,'s not safe to isolate a child from the possibility of trying solids when he wants to. Why? because in this time between 6-12 months child is not trying solids to eat, to get any nutritional value from it. Child is trying food to learn how to do it, how to chew, swallow, how to bring food to his mouth. And child learns what he likes, what is eatable.
    So it is good to try do give a child possibility to eat solids at this age, but remember that he has the right to say no to anything he doesn't want to eat.

    Comment 4:
    With my first I had no choice but to start solids @ 6/7 mths, I had stopped producing milk and was able to give him more freshly cooked veggies and fruits instead of lots of formula! We made our own baby food and now @ 3 he loves almost everything we eat!

    Comment 5:
    Yeah. I get that. After 6 months MAYBE. Or when you can tell that they want it. They reach for your food ect...but for parents to just get a bright idea? No! Babies should be the one to initiate food experiences not parents.

    Comment 6:
    My dd didn't eat solids until she was 17 months old, we offered them but she didn't want any. She was big and healthy. We followed her lead and sometimes it was hard to trust the process.


    • #3
      Here are some more Facebook comments about this...I wish they would post over here, they are helpful!

      Comment 7:
      Easy to say, don't listen to people but watch for the cues. Thinks best waiting when Mommy feels it time and baby is ready! No such thing as 6months crap!

      Comment 8:
      Breast milk has everything they need!

      Comment 9:
      The child leads on this!! Breastmilk has everything they need, but some kids want to learn to eat sooner. Either way is fine, the only issue, really, is other peoples' judgment.

      Comment 10:
      Please not that most of the research done on infants is based on formula babies. It is dependant on the baby. I wished I had have waited longer than 6 months before giving my son solids (even though he did show some interest in food) he had problems with gas as soon as we started solids so am assuming it ruined the natural bacteria in his gut. He went back to being ex BF at around 9months old to 12 months old as he refused all food. I would suggest that if you do prolong solids to take bf vitamins.

      Comment 11:
      Between 6-12 months its about expiermenting not nutrition. I also think a lot of factors play a role in when its time. With my dd2 we tried rice cereal at 4 months for a week. She had reflux with no pain. She would spit up all her formula but was never upset about it. And honestly would have lost weight if I would have followed the clock instead of her cues bc sometimes I had to feed her again an 30 min-hour later or I could have made the reflux worse by force feeding her, I never made her finish a bottle if she didnt want to.So we tried the rice cereal once a day and not a whole bunch of it but we stoped when it wasnt working.

      At 6.5 months we noticed she was very intrested in our food and was meeting the milestones to make it possible to eat ( held head up, sat on her own, picking things up and bringing them to her mouth ect). I just kinda started feeding her what I could off my plate. Then I would puree or mash thing (my baby food was never really runny it was even thicker than the gerber stage 3). I would let her touch it, play with the spoon, and it was messy but she enjoyed it. We only did breakfast and dinner (the two meals we eat as a family). Never much food, just for play. She still had many bottles a day and still spit up a bunch.

      Now at 11.5 months she still has 16oz formula a day(still spits up too) but only one bottle. We are supplementing more with solids. She get breakfast lunch and dinner with snacks and water in between, some juice if she is having pooping problems. I dont think we would be doing it as much if she were breastfeed. So its a bit different for us since we are using formula. I think we would still be doing only breakfast and dinner with maybe 1 snack at this age if we were breastfeeding.


      • #4
        I think, for your peace of mind, you should just follow your child's lead & do what works for you. As someone else said, this time is for experimentation and discovery. If allergies are a concern, then be mindful of that. We do baby-led weaning in our family. My oldest daughter started on solids when she was 7 months, my youngest just started last month at 6 months. In both cases, I followed their lead. They were interested because we eat as a family, and wanted whatever we had but I still breastfed/breastfeed them. Do your research and trust your instincts. Follow your child's cues, you can't go wrong! Good luck!


        • #5
          Kelly, maybe they are not posting here because they are not registered for the forum? I had to sign up before I posted.


          • #6
            More comments:

            Comment 12:
            With my older three I started letting them try solids around 6mths but they didn't have interest for a least a couple of mths and I wasn't constant with it until they were closer to a year. With my youngest I didn't try much of anything until he was closer to a year and he would have nothing to do with it so he was exclusively BF'd until he was about 14/15mths, just weened at 31mths

            Comment 13:
            My daughter was after her dads pizza from day one - no joke. She would get so mad when we wouldn't give her any. By the time she was 6 months she was eating baby food that I made, pureed and shredded veggies and fruit. She is still a fruit and meat lover, but doesn't like veggies unless they are spicy. She's 20 months and definitely knows what she likes.

            Comment 14:
            My son is still exclusively BF at 7 months. He's interested in the ACTIVITY of eating, but not the actual food (if that makes any sense). We have a history of family allergies, so I'm in no hurry to start him on solids. Also, babies with allergies tend to not want solids until later--it's their body's natural way of protecting them.

            Comment 15:
            As with most things it's about what works for baby and family.

            Comment 16:
            Does anyone have links to any actual studies for or against delaying solids? Most of what I read is anecdotal. I would love to find some scientific evidence to help guide my decision, not just my gut.

            Comment 17:
            I have six children...My first was 9 months when she started with a banana..but continue to nurse beyond 5..All of my others were all 14 months old befeore they got anything else. My oldest is now 17..My children have never had a single ear infection either. They all eat healthy! There are not many moms like me well not any that admit all this lol

            Comment 18:
            Listen to your baby, test the waters with solids when the baby shows serious interest. Mine did at 9 mos but wasn't genuinely interested till 11 mos.


            • #7
              Hi there!

              We're figuring this out for our family right now too. Our baby turns six months old on Sunday (she meets all those milestones) and originally I wanted to wait until after the first of the year to introduce solids (you know, wait until the holidays are over!) but she's been increasingly demanding about wanting our food. We've always let her smell different food scents and talk about the food, but lately she's grabbing for food like a mad woman, literally about to fall out of her bumbo seat for food.

              So on a whim the other day we tried some banana. I left it on her bumbo plate for her to pick up and explore. She got some in her mouth, but I wouldn't say she was "eating" it though she did swallow some because I noticed her poo was different. Then I cut up avocado into grab-able strips and she did the same thing. Then I tried banana again and same thing. Except this time she was much more interested in the banana peel so i just let her chomp on that - figured it must've felt good on her teething mouth.

              If my baby weren't so enthusiastic about food, I would definitely have waited to try them. If we have another baby, I will consider BF exclusively again for as long as we can hold out/until baby has same amount of interest.

              I've researched "starting solids" a ton, but I still don't know what's "right." Doctors say different things than books and books say different things than friends and families and they all say something different than all the info on the internet so what do you do?

              There is no reason you can't try solids now if your baby seems ready and there's no reason why you couldn't stop trying food any day too. Your baby's gut lining has closed by now because you're exclusively breastfeeding so you're not in the danger zone. There are some interesting reads if you google "baby led solids." My advice would simply be to listen to your baby's cues and respond to them, just like you have for everything up 'til now.


              • #8
                Thank you all!
                My little one has gotten to try banana and rice cereal. Curious but not too impressed so far. Loves to breastfeed. We'll take it slow. See what she wants.


                • #9
                  I've read that the babies digestive system isn't fully developed until at least after 7 months. Also, if you think about what man has done since existance babies were not being fed grains until the last 10,000 years or so. My personal decision was to try my son out around 8 months on solids. He wasn't interested then so I waiting and now at 10 months he is very interested in solids. We feed him only fruit and veggies and avoid grains or other processed foods. I believe each family should make the decision that feels right to them. This is what is best for me.


                  • #10
                    I am also in a dilemma on this issue. We started solids at 5 months and kept offering once a day then twice a day until about 7 months but it was a struggle as she wasn't interested most of the time, then at about 8 months she started eating reasonably well, three times a day (opening mouth for more, using hands to put pieces in her mouth) this lasted about a month but now at 9 and a half months she has gone back to refusing food (clamping mouth shut, crying) most of the time. She has never had a problem with breastfeeding and even when she was taking solids well was still taking 4 or 5 breastfeeds in a 24 hour period as well. She has a good weight for her age.

                    This forum seems to be quite relaxed about whether solids are introduced or not, but most of the nutritionists and doctors on the internet, books etc say that it is important they take solids for their iron levels. I felt that she should be encouraged to take solids due the iron issue as well as for learning-to-eat issue. Also my mother says I am too thin because of all the breastfeeding (I am quite thin but not too much I think) and she should take more solids to sleep through the night as it is not good for me to be waking in the night to breastfeed when she is this age (again, I don't mind really).

                    It is very discouraging and despite resolving not to, I do get emotional and upset when I go to the bother of preparing some nice food for her and she just clamps her mouth shut. I end up dreading meal times. She doesn't eat any better for others (nanny, my husband etc) than for me. She has a slight preference for finger food over spoon food but won't even take finger food when she is resolved not to eat.

                    So should I just give up or keep trying? How many times a day should I try (should I reduce from 3 times a day to less)? How much should I try to coax her? It is easy to say "baby-led" but does this mean giving up on the first spoonful if the baby doesn't accept it? Or does it mean encouraging her for a certain number of spoonfuls before giving up?