Starting Solid Food or: How I Learned To Love The Bib

So your Doctor gave you the go-ahead to start solid food, now what?

At 4 months the Wee Baby T started on Solids.  We had literally minutes of enjoyment as he spit his baby oatmeal all over himself.  He was a complete mess, but each time we fed him he got a little better.

After he had mastered oatmeal, our pediatrician suggested we start with veggies and fruit.  Carrots were questionable at first, but he grew to like them.  We couldn’t keep up with the demand for sweet potatoes and butternut squash.  Peas were a hit, but messy.  Our Baby Breeza broke after 4 uses, then fixed itself, then broke again.  We are waiting on a replacement now – review to follow, but it doesn’t look good…

The Baby Breeza promises to steam and blend food, however ours just beeps at us for no reason…

We reached out to some forums to ask for suggestions – what food should we try next? The responses we received were staggering.  My wife was contacted by people she went to high-school with suggesting that our Pediatrician doesn’t know what he is talking about, and that the Wee Baby T is far too young to start on solids.  Citing a news story, she claimed that starting babies on solids too early has been linked to eczema, allergies, obesity, and diabetes.

Obviously this is terrifying – did we break our son?  A cursory internet search reveals there are 2 trains of thought, both from reliable sources:

Webmd.com: 4 in 10 Babies Given Solid Foods Too Early: Study

Echoing the statement above, WebMD cites a study run by Kelley Scanlon, CDC:

Scanlon said there are a number of other reasons why experts don’t recommend early feeding. One is that the early introduction of solid foods has been linked to a shorter duration of breast-feeding. Early solid food consumption has also been linked to the development of chronic conditions, such as childhood obesity, celiac disease, diabetes andeczema(sic), according to background information in the study.

Mayoclinic.org – When’s the right time to start feeding a baby solid foods?

While Jay L. Hoecker, M.D. and member of the Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine acknowledges that there are some drawbacks with starting babies on solid food too early, he also has research to show:

Starting solids too late — after age 6 months — poses another set of issues. Waiting too long might:

 

  • Slow a baby’s growth
  • Cause iron deficiency in breast-fed babies
  • Delay oral motor function
  • Cause an aversion to solid foods

 

 


Postponing the introduction of solids — including highly allergenic foods — beyond 4 to 6 months of age hasn’t been shown to prevent allergic disease. In fact, delaying solid foods might be linked with the development of asthma, hay fever, eczema or food allergies.

So clearly there is a dispute over when is the right time to transition your child to solids.  The good news is, the guideline for when to start your baby on solids is consistent on both sites:

… babies aren’t ready for solids until they can sit up by themselves when they’re well-supported and when they’ve lost what’s known as thetongue thrust” reflex. If you try to feed your baby solid foods on a spoon and your baby pushes the food out with his or her tongue, your baby isn’t ready for solids yet

At the end of the day, you have probably selected your Pediatrician because you trust them.  You did your research, found someone in your area that you are comfortable with, someone who has experience and is a leader in their field.  Don’t start doubting them now, you’ve still got a long way to go, and quite a few messes to deal with.

Good luck out there.

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