Thursday, April 7, 2011

When to start solids

I admit it.  I'm preparing and starting this blog prematurely.  My kiddos are only a week over 3 months old.  So I know I won't be introducing solids for at least a month or more.  I also plan on consulting with our pediatrician before making the decision on when to start.  I feel that 4 months is a safe starting age (I plan on starting with rice cereal as a simple and hopefully non-offending choice) but the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommendation is now to wait until 6 months of age.  AAP like the Starting Solids book also talks about the need for children to start solids by 6 months based on the fact that baby's iron reserves begin to deplete around 6 months of age and introducing solids allow for this to be replaced.  Starting Solids also talks about the 4 to 6 month window being a time when baby is open to experiencing new tastes and textures.  It does state that solids should definitely not be given before 17 weeks (or approximately 4 months) of age.  Starting solids does not help baby eat less often and doesn't get them to sleep better and can in fact cause tummy issues leading to worse sleep.  Baby's digestive system needs to mature and be ready for solids as much as baby does in order to not produce set backs.  So basically take baby's lead on this one and with the advice of your pediatrician work out the appropriate time individually for your child.

So when is baby ready for solids.  Experts say some classic indicators are:

* tongue thrusting reflex is gone or diminished
* baby is able to hold their head up and control movement
* showing interest in the food you eat
* putting or attempting to put objects in their mouth
* baby's birth weight has doubled (or increased greatly)
* baby makes chewing motions


jenicini said...

Look at you! All ready for baby food making! I can tell you that I absolutely loooooove making my own food. I've pretty much been sticking to simple mixtures but the variety of food is very fun! I need to write a post about food on my blog. :) Thanks so much for visiting my blog. Can't wait to see what stories we can trade. :)

michelle said...

Hey! Sorry I've been out of touch. My twins are 14 weeks old now and I'm starting to think about introducing solids. So I thought of you and am going through your archives and using your posts to guide me. I also ordered these two books you got to start off with.

What are your thoughts about baby-led weaning? Can you reply to me via email as I probably will forget to come back to this post for a reply. Major mommy brain!

wolfmadness at gmail dot com