Wednesday, October 29, 2008

When to start solids...

As Colin approaches 4 months old we will have to make a decision about when to start solids and what type of solids to start with! Currently the American Academy of Pediatrics does not agree with itself. The section on breastfeeding supports exclusive breastfeeding for about 6 months but the Committee on Nutrition supports the introduction of complementary foods between four and six months. My pediatrician seems to be more on the 4month side, although we haven't had a real conversation about it (she has just said things offhandedly that make me think she supports starting solids at 4 months.) However, I'm not one to 'take your word for it' so I've done some research.
My two favorite sources of baby information (Dr. Alan Greene and Drs William and Robert Sears) indicate that it isn't the age as much as the developmental stage that is important for beginning solids. I couldn't agree more with this approach! Gestational age and birth weight make such a big difference in these early months that all 4 or 6 month old babies won't be in the same developmental stage. Some of the signs that indicate food readiness according to these two doctors are:
  • Able to sit with support, reaches and grabs, and mouths hands and toys (Check!)
  • Parents will notice that their babies start to watch them eat with great interest. (Check!)
  • "Mooches," reaching for food on your plate (Hasn't been given the opportunity)
  • Mimicks your eating behaviors, such as opening her mouth wide when you open your mouth to eat. (No. Not yet)
  • Baby can show and tell. Around six months of age babies have the ability to say "yes" to wanting food by reaching or leaning toward the food and "no" by pushing or turning away. Expect mixed messages as your baby learns to communicate. When in doubt, offer, but don't force. (Haven't tried yet so I don't know)

If Colin seems ready at 4 months, I don't see the harm in trying provided we don't decrease his normal feedings. If things go poorly we'll stop and wait.

Next question? What do we feed him??

To be continued...

1 comment:

mommymac4 said...

I made my own baby food for the twins. Check out the book Super Baby Food. Abby and Eddie had the store bought stuff starting with the rice cereal. All 4 are ok so far. . .