Tuesday, October 20, 2009

What is this food of which you speak?

Snapdragon is 24 weeks old today. If we used a lunar calendar, tha'd be six months.
But we don't, and it isn't.

In case you missed it, the current reccomendation is to wait until at least six months before introducing solids. There are a lot of good reasons. The two that stay foremost in my mind are 1. To prevent/reduce likelyhood of developing allergies. 2. To wait til the baby is developmentally ready for foods.
Well, Snapdragon *wants* food. He strains against his highchair strap, stretching his neck and arms, trying to get our food. He mimics our behavior at dinner time. He wants the food. He very nearly got ahold of Spouse's banana this morning.
But I'm supposed to put it off for another 16 days, by the calendar.
16 days.
What difference can this two weeks and two days possibly make?
The paranoid part of me that won't eat peanut butter because dr.s in some countries say the protien to which people are allergic passes directly into breastmilk, that part saus "but what if I expose him to foods 16 days too early and he develops an allergy?
Then part of me sees his frustration at not being able to eat with the rest of us, and I feel like he's developmentally begging for a chance to taste something other than mama-milk.
So frustrating.

Am I nuts here? Is it too soon?
When did you start solids with your little one? Any regrets?

7 reflections:

Madison {Life Happens During Naptime} said...

I actually started at exactly 5 1/2 months old. I wanted to wait until six, but my son practically begged to be fed solids from the time he was 2 months old. He would stare at us with those big brown eyes and "chew" right along with us and crane his neck up to see what we were eating. We don't have any allergies in the family so I was not too concerned about 2 weeks. We also started whole eggs and small amounts of cows milk before one. He has tasted peanut butter a few times as well. So far so good!

Don't Pat the Belly said...

B is nearly the same age 5/12/09 and we just started oatmeal. I didn't want to for all of the reasons you mentioned, plus I have food allergies. He was begging and stealing, and I tried to distract him. I made breastmilk popsicles. I gave him a sippy cup with a tiny bit of water and let him play with it. And then 10 days ago I was holding him while baking and I looked down and he had grabbed the spoon with pumpkin puree on it and was going to town. The next day I was wearing him in the wrap and he shoved his hand in my oatmeal and quickly shoveled it in his mouth. After he broke a bowl that he knocked off the table in an attempt to grab more food, I gave in and let him have cereal. He only gets it 2 days a week, and I mix it with breastmilk, not water. I wanted to wait, but I would rather control his solids and have him quit trying to steal food than start him on foods that are going to be more difficult on his system.

mezzaluna said...

i was tweeting with you about this - now i get to use more than 140 chars :)

if you want to start letting him "eat" but don't want to give solids, you can make breastmilk popsicles or breastmilk ice cubes in a mesh feeder bag... you could offer spoons of breastmilk, too, though i prefer to let a baby feed himself entirely.

6 months is not a guarantee that their gut will be closed either... i like that with baby self-feeding, they start out getting only very tiny amounts of food actually into their digestive tract at first. it's like the next step up from getting breastmilk, which has very *very* tiny amounts of the food you're eating passed into it. in a child with an otherwise healthy gut, i believe this helps continue the education of the gut's immune system to recognize these foods as normal, and not allergens.

when a baby completely self-feeds, you eliminate concerns about developmental readiness - and you're just left with the allergy concern, which is pretty unknowable... i felt more confident when i realized just how little my DD was taking in... but on the other hand, in your case you're only talking about 16 days, so it's not a big deal either way, whether you want to wait so you feel more comfortable, or start sooner so he feels more comfortable ;)

~ April ~ EnchantedDandelions said...

We did what mezzaluna outlined with Oliver, and it felt the most right to me. (But I don't think I screwed up too badly with the other two *wink*)

Where is he developmentally in regards to the other signs of readiness?

I know for MY babies, around that age they were super-interested in food... but they were also super-interested in everything else. LOL.

Tori said...

http://www.babyzone.com/baby/feeding_nutrition/quiz/solid-foods-readiness

That might answer some of your questions. :) My son is only 4.5 months old and we are already well into the solid foods and he is doing great and loving it. He hated the cereal stuff, but anything with flavor is a huge favorite for him. In fact, he adores carrots. Slurps down an entire container of the things and then still wants more. I'm actually thinking I might start making my own baby food because those little containers aren't enough for my piggy!

There was also an interesting article in Parents Magazine this month (Nov issue) regarding feeding advice. The woman who wrote it (a doctor herself) goes completely against the common recommendations on food and gives good reasons and supporting research why. I have been suggesting it to people left and right lately because it's so different, and very much in line with what my son seems to want/like/do. I found it endlessly intriguing.

Upstatemomof3 said...

Just my opinion but you are not nuts - but you can give it to him. I have been paranoid over many a things in my kids life. Food has not been one of them but still. However, I believe that when babies are developmentally ready is the right time - and he is so close to 6 months - it is not like he is 4 months or anything. Plus, take this into account - what if he were born two weeks earlier? Then he would be six months - and unless he was a preemie (which I do not believe he was) he could have come earlier. So, go for it. Just go slow and don't start with allergy foods. :)

Denise said...

I've had good success with letting mine self feed when they show interest...start with non allergy foods, like banana, sweet potato, plain baked potato, etc. I would avoid wheat products, rice, overly sweet fruits, eggs,meat & citrus for a while longer, but tasting at this stage won't hurt him & will almost certainly thrill him.

I agree about the self feeding, it is messy, but they are learning a lot from all the new textures, plus you are allowing him to choose whether to eat something or not, rather than spooning it into his mouth whether he likes it or not.

If you don't feel ready, I bought a few extra weeks before moving to the tasting stage by letting my youngest chew on a baby spoon at every meal, she seemed to think she was eating b/c she had a spoon.

Also, check into the allergy thing, I've seen a lot of stuff that says that Mom should eat small amounts of stuff like peanut butter to prevent baby from being allergic later.