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Questions for health-minded moms about starting solids:

1. Do you think there is any benefit to EBF-ing beyond 6 months (delaying solids)? (For mom's who believe in EBF-ing)
2. Did you notice your baby/babies slept more or better when they start on solids? (People say rice cereal helps, but some experts say it makes no difference... just wondering what your experience has been)
3. What did you start your babies on and why?
4. Any other input.


Asked by Adelicious at 12:43 AM on Mar. 14, 2010 in Babies (0-12 months)

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This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • I think there is benefit in starting solids when the child is clearly ready. I don't like to assign arbitrary ages to developmental milestones like starting solids. I think you can do harm by starting too early... but that you can't go wrong by waiting because the child will literally not let you wait "too long". You will know when they are ready.

    I never noticed any difference when my boys started solids. My first still slept horribly (worse that month, if I recall) and my second still slept good.

    My first son started with a green bean. My second son started with avocado. They both fed themself from the start.

    Bottom line for me is that when a child is ready they will be able to feed themself. It's clear and you can't mistake them being ready. You shouldn't have to "teach" them how to eat... it's inborn in them to figure it out when they have examples. Reaching for food does not always mean they want to eat it.

    Answer by LeanneC at 4:17 AM on Mar. 14, 2010

  • This website will answer all your questions.

    1. My opinion about 'delaying' solids is that it shouldn't be called "delayed." It should just be the time the baby is ready, and in my experience, both of my daughters did not show interest in food until 7 months, and they only ate very small amounts. I gave them solids as they were ready... it was a gradual process. They gradually started eating/wanting more. Neither of them replaced breastfeeding until they were both after age one, and even then, it was complimentary to food intake.

    2. I think that every baby is different.

    3. I started my babies on food. Not rice cereal. They ate foods that are naturally mushy, like bananas, avocados, rice mixed with water or breastmilk,  etc. The website has a list that I used.

    4. You're doing great! :)


    Answer by squish at 12:58 AM on Mar. 14, 2010

  • I agree with PP. ...and there really isn't anything healthy about rice cereal. My DD's first food was sweet potato mashed with breast milk.

    Answer by Farrahann at 1:03 AM on Mar. 14, 2010

  • I was told that you have a window of opportunity at 4-6 months to teach your child how to use the muscles in their mouth for both feeding and language. Also, your child will no longer get all of the nutrients they need only from your milk.

    My son did sleep about an hour more per stretch after introducing rice cereal. He was reverse cycling (eat only at night) and would eat about every 1.5 hours. So now I was getting 2.5-3 hours of sleep.

    I started with rice cereal at 5 months. After 3 days, he was bored with it and didn't want it anymore. We moved onto oatmeal, and same thing-- he got bored. I have since introduced other fruits and veggies. He gets bored with the same thing, so I keep a variety going for him. I usually add a bit of cereal to the purees.

    My son loves to nurse, so he'll eat some then "top off" with milk. At night it's only milk.

    Good luck!


    Answer by Busimommi at 1:04 AM on Mar. 14, 2010

  • I started my daughter on cereal at 5 mos because she was REALLY interested in food. She would stare at us when we were eating and move her mouth. We started on rice, but switched to oatmeal because she had a rash (turns out it wasn't related) but I felt that oatmeal was more of a "regular" food since its something we eat in our home. Since starting the cereal (she has it for "dinner" in addition to her breastmilk or formula, around the time we're eating) she sleeps through the night for 8-11 hours). When she got to 6 mos we started veggies-so far we've done carrots, sweet potato, and avocado. I make some of my own and buy some. With the store bought, I find it best to buy the thicker consistency and add breastmilk to it to thin it out a bit. When I make my own, I do the same so there's more nutrition per bite.

    Answer by Danyellimom at 1:27 AM on Mar. 14, 2010

  • "I was told that you have a window of opportunity at 4-6 months to teach your child how to use the muscles in their mouth for both feeding and language."

    I almost laughed when I read this! Nothing personal against the poster, but I would seriously not listen to anything more that doctor told me! I can just imagine meeting someone in college who only drinks milk. "Why do you drink milk all the time?" You ask. "It's bad," they respond sadly, "My mom didn't start me on solids in time, and I never learned to chew! Fortunately, though, I learned to talk very early."

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:37 AM on Mar. 14, 2010

  • Also, nursing should ALWAYS come before solids in the first 12 months. "Top off" with solids, not the other way around. Milk is more important for their development and nutrition.

    Answer by LeanneC at 4:19 AM on Mar. 14, 2010

  • Keep in mind that solids fed to babies before they turn 1 are for the experience of eating them, not for nutrition (a subject most doctors know little about).Nutritionists recommend starting solids at 6 months; many now recommend skipping cereal and starting with a bit of avocado mashed with breastmilk (or formula). Then baked sweet potato, oatmeal, pumpkin, pureed peas, etc. Jarred baby food tastes awful, is expensive, and you never really know what is in it. Be sure to avoid the allergy trigger foods. This is not a complete list: before age 1, no soy, dairy, wheat, citrus, egg white, strawberries; before age 2 no honey, chocolate, nuts.
    Two great books /websites on feeding babies, with differing philosophies, Baby Led Weaning and Super Baby Food You should be able to find them at your local library

    Answer by rkoloms at 9:09 AM on Mar. 14, 2010

  • 1. I'm a BFing mom. I'm BFing my 3rd baby right now, but I don't think it's good to just EBF past 6 months. My babies at 6 months still BF a lot and they BF before being given solids, but I gave fruits and veggies 2 to 3 times a day at that age.

    2. No. My babies are bad sleepers until over a year old. My pediatrician says there is no difference in the sleep between a BF baby and one that is on solids. He says food doesn't stay with them that much longer than BM. My now 3 month old is EBF and sleep 7 hours at night without feeding and my other two still woke up in the middle of the night to feed when they were 10 months old and eating table food.

    3. I didn't start fruits first because I've heard the sweet fruits will taste so yummy they won't want veggies. So, I started with veggies. We have a lot of food allergies in the family, so there is a long list of foods I can't give in the first year. (cont'd)

    Answer by ThrivingMom at 10:06 AM on Mar. 14, 2010

  • 3. So I couldn't give anything with beans (even green beans), apples, bananas, dairy, or avocado. After veggies, I went to fruit and then meat and grains.

    Oh, forgot to say I started with rice cereal at 4 and a half months. I started veggies at 5.5 months.

    Answer by ThrivingMom at 10:08 AM on Mar. 14, 2010