Thursday, January 3, 2008

Adventures in Eating

Bryce sampling oatmeal for the first time. yum-o!

If you are a parent, then you know that the timing to begin offering solids to your infant is highly debatable. Our parents' and grandparents' generations typically started infants on solids very early. One woman told me of how she gave her one week old baby fruit! My mom nursed me for six months before I self weaned, but she did begin giving me cereal at five weeks.

Bryce's pediatrician believes that breast is best and that it should be given exclusively for the first six months. We waited until two days before Bryce turned six months (12/18/07) to introduce him to anything other than breastmilk. In order to keep our eye out for any potential
allergies to foods, we have been spacing new introductions four days apart. So far we have tried oatmeal, bananas, carrots, green beans, and apples. I want to get some solid protein in him soon, so next on the menu will be chicken.

Reasons to wait six months or more before beginning solids:

  1. Delaying solids can decrease the chance of food allergies.

  2. Delaying solids helps keep mom's milk supply up.

  3. Allows baby's intestines plenty of time to mature.

  4. Young babies have tongue-thrust reflex.

  5. Gives baby wonderful protection from illness.

It has been very important to me that breastmilk be Bryce's primary source of nutrition, which is why I made the conscious choice to nurse exclusively for the first six months.
I just want to address the old wives tale that if you feed your child cereal or formula that he/she will sleep better and for longer periods of time, particularly at night. There has been no research supporting this belief. One study through the Cleveland Clinic Foundation showed no promotion in nighttime sleep patterns of infants given cereal or formula. Before offering your infant solids, do some research and make the best decision for your family and your baby. Remember to go with your gut and keep your child's gut in mind when deciding when and what type of foods to introduce.

1 comment:

jent9202003 said...

Thanks for your link to your blog, Katie! :)

And good for you for waiting the full six months (I think we cheated and went a few days before Nora's bday too). ;)