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why wait until 6 months?

(6 Posts)
newmumwithquestions Fri 02-Jan-15 12:20:24

My DD is just over 4 months and purely BF. She is sitting well and teething so she puts anything she can in her mouth. If she's on our knee when we're eating then her hand comes out and she tries to grab whatever we're having - I know that this may just be interest in what we're doing but it seems a bit more than that. So I waited until she was 4 months then in the last week have started her on baby rice once a day - a teaspoon at first and we've worked up to a tablespoon (the recommended meal dose). She seems to like it.

So where do I go from here? I'd like to start trying her on other things as she seems to be ready and have been told to start on veg rather than fruit purees. However as she's so young is there anything that I should be watching out for? I know the recommendation is to wait until 6 months as their system may not be ready but does anyone know what may happen if she isn't quite ready? Finally any suggestions as to what the most easily digestible first puree is? (am planning on making rather than buying them and mixing with breast milk as that's what she's used to).

Thanks :-)

pommedeterre Fri 02-Jan-15 12:24:40

No dairy, meat or gluten before six months is the main advice.

I did baby rice, bananas, apples, pears, carrots, sweet potato as first foods.

EmbarrassedPossessed Fri 02-Jan-15 12:35:08

Yep, just veg or fruit puree plus the baby rice before 6 months.

I would avoid giving lots of sweet fruit puree otherwise you may find she's less keen on the veg. The fruit/veg suggested by pommedeterre is a good starting point. In my opinion, the point of weaning is to introduce a wide range of flavours rather than to get a specific volume of food into your baby. For several more months, milk should be the main source of nutrition and solid food is simply complementary. So try and give a wide range of fruit/veg and don't give up on offering a flavour if it initially isn't accepted.

If she isn't ready, the most obvious thing would be that she would still have the tongue thrust reflex, and shove out food with her tongue. If she's not doing that with the baby rice, then that should be ok. The other thing that could happen would be an upset tummy - could be constipation or looser than normal. Also, be careful not to drop any breastfeeds, as the small amounts of veg/fruit should not replace the much more nutritious and calorie rich breastmilk.

newmumwithquestions Sat 03-Jan-15 12:03:24

Thanks both. She poo'd more than normal yesterday with one lurid green one so I'm going to keep her on just a little rice only for the next week until I make sure that's not upsetting her. Then I'll start on little bits of veg puree.

BertieBotts Sat 03-Jan-15 12:11:06

The reason for the advice is because they know that babies' guts develop readiness for food somewhere between 4 and 6 months. We can't tell externally whether they are ready or not so to err on the side of caution they advise 6 months.

There is actually no evidence to avoid meat before 6 months. Allergens, yes. But meat has high sources of iron which is important for first weaning foods.

Personally I'd only start before six months with baby led weaning where they pick up the food and eat it themselves. There's a theory that this ability to pick food up and get it into their mouths is linked to their gut development - it makes sense to me, and they start off very slowly with only tastes to begin with.

The risks are more than a little bit of stomach upset, though, the real risks are long term digestive disorders which might not make themselves known until she is much older, a teenager, even an adult. We know that early weaning is related to these things but we don't know exactly how or why some people are affected while others aren't.

BertieBotts Sat 03-Jan-15 12:11:57

This is a great article.

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