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Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Message Board

Infant Care (up to 18 months old) Board Index

[QUOTE=Dalgi]Should I start thinking about introducing solids? I was thinking that I want to wait until she can at least sit up by herself before I start feeding her some rice cereal. Is that wise?

You're very wise in that decision. Sitting unassisted is just one way of being sure your baby is ready for solids. The others are a keen interest in what you're eating, mimicking your chewing motions, and most importantly, loss of the tongue thrust reflex. This reflux causes the tongue to move in back to front motion, which is how they massage the areola of your breast to elicit the let down of your milk. It can take as long as 8 months to loos this reflex, though by 6 months most babies are ready to *try* solids. By that time they're able to move the food, with their tongue, from front to back without pushing it out. Trying to force feed an infant with a strong tongue thrust reflux can result in choking, but mostly it's an indication that they're only able to drink, not eat.

As for cereal, personally, I'm choosing to skip it all together. It's a highly processed grain with very little nutritional benefit. All it does is detract from a healthy breast milk diet by making them fuller so they drink less BM. Personally, I am choosing to wait until she can self feed and chew her own food. I really don't see the point in transitional foods. Babies don't have teeth for a reason. ;) As an adult I use my hands to place food in my mouth, then I chew it with my teeth and swallow it. I think not having teeth, and not having the dexterity to self feed at 4-6 months is natures way of telling me my baby should only have milk. And that is fine! Breast milk is MORE then capable of providing a complete and healthy diet for the first year of life. Solids before that are simply for practice.

I also would not worry about a formula for how much breast milk to leave behind when you return to work. It really has little to do with what your baby will end up preferring. Many babies prefer mamma and will not eat the "recommended" amount, so a formula is pretty useless. Or on the other side of the spectrum they'll guzzle a bottle and end up nursing less. Your best bet is to provide several small amounts so that it doesn't get wasted, that way your child care provider can feed when baby is hungry without wasting any.

My own daughter has never taken more then 2 ounces at a time, and according to her weight and age she should be drinking 4-5 ounces, so it just goes to show that every baby is different.

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