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  1. #1

    Question Solid Foods for Babies

    Hi,

    I am a mum of a 3-month old baby. She will be turning 4 months in a couple of days. I would like to know when is the best time to give solid foods to a baby such as mashed potatoes and carrots. Also, is it safe to give babies distilled water?

  2. #2
    Are you breastfeeding? Is your baby still acting hungry after full feedings? I believe that it is okay to begin feeding solids around 4-6 months of age. I waited until my boys were 6 months and just started by making single grain cereals and feeding them homemade applesauce an things like that. It sounds like many of the Mums here use Baby-led Weaning. I actually used the book Superbaby Food and while I didn't follow it to the letter I certainly use the guidelines she provided.

    Remember to wait a few days before starting a new food so you can see if the previous food caused any sort of allergic reaction. It is best to breast feed them or bottle feed them before presenting the solids. I started just doing solids at breakfast and as they started eating more I moved to lunch and eventually incorporated dinner as well.

    To get started I let my boys play with their spoons for a few weeks (supervised of course), so they could get the feel for it and it wouldn't be such a shock when I presented them with solids for the first time. Also, I have heard that babies don't necessarily need to start solids until 12 months because they get all the nutrients they need from breast milk or formula.

    Good Luck and if you have any other questions feel free to ask...

    ~Christie

  3. #3
    Hi Charibelle,

    Whenever a mom asks me about starting solids at such a young age (3-4 months) I ask a few questions to find out what the motivation is. Sometimes a mom will want her child to sleep through the night, so she thinks that giving cereal in the evening will solve this. Sometimes a mom is being told by her parents or others, that her child should start on solids at a certain time. And sometimes it's just that mom is eager to start feeding solids because... well, it's just something "new" to do with baby ;-)

    I'd like to know more about why you're thinking about starting solids with your baby. My babies didn't start on solids until they were around 8 months of age. I did have one that started at 6 months of age simply because she took the peach I had in my hand, and pulled it to her mouth so she could suck on it (she showed signs of being ready for solids)... and I had one that wanted very little to do with any solids until she was 12 months old.

    If you want to start your baby on solids now, then you'll likely notice that it's not as easy as you might hope. Babies (at 3-4 months of age) don't have very good tongue control for eating solids, as their little tongues will "thrust" the food back out, simply because this is the motion they use to suck/stimulate the breast to get milk. Sucking at the breast (or bottle) and eating from a spoon are two totally different motions that the tongue has to make.

    There are some things you can do to make the feeding of solids easier at 3-4 months of age, if you truly believe that your child needs to start on solids this early.

    Let me know your thoughts and if you want more ideas on how to actually make this transition easier at such a young age, I'll give you some ideas.

    Also, you asked about giving your baby distilled water. Typically, babies only need breast milk or formula. If you're breastfeeding then I'd highly recommend not giving the water, and just putting baby to the breast more often in order to stimulate your milk supply so that baby is getting plenty. There is lots of water in breast milk, and tons of other good nutrients that baby needs (and that distilled water doesn't have).

    I'd like to know more about why/when you would need to offer distilled water, if you're still thinking this is needed.

    Warm regards,

    Kate

  4. #4
    Hi charibelle_925,

    As for me, I breastfed my baby exclusively for 6 months. When he was almost 7months I started introducing him solids like cerelac's stage and 2 cereals and grains. I gave him gerber also. During his first year, that is when I introduced him rice and mashed vegetables with some meat. Though he's not really a fan of fruits yet.

  5. #5
    Hi charibelle_925,

    For the first 6 months of life babies get everything then need from the breast milk so you don't need to give them any water.

    I understand it is best to wait until 6 months of age to start introducing any food as a baby is not developmentally ready before this. This is also the advice in the baby led weaning school of thought if you wanted to consider this.

    You say your baby is almost 4 months old, I think my baby went through a growth spurt at this age. During a growth spurt a baby will start sucking at the breast more often and for longer in order to increase mum's milk supply. When my baby went through a growth spurt I found it tiring for about 3 days each time as he would feed more in the night during this time.

    I hope some of this is helpful to you.

  6. #6
    Hi everyone!

    Thank you so much for all the replies regarding my inquiry. From everything that I have read from your posts, I have decided to just wait for the right time when my baby is ready for solid foods. I don't want to be rushing on feeding her at a very young age just because of what some of my relatives have been saying. Though my mom fed my first child when he was 4-months old. This time I think I'll be giving my baby solid foods whenever I think that she is ready for it.

    With regards to giving my baby distilled water, my paediatrician advised me to give her multivitamins (though I am a full-time breastfeeding mum) to prevent her from becoming sick due to weather changes. My baby doesn't like the taste so I tried to give her distilled water after giving her vitamins, as advised by my doctor.

  7. #7
    Giving her a little distilled water after her vitamins should be fine, but have you tried offering the breast after vitamins? She may take to that and it would be better than distilled water for her :-)

  8. #8
    Hi charibelle_925,

    Thank you for your update. That sounds like a wise decision to me.

    It can be difficult when family members (especially the older generations) try to advise you on what's best for your baby - particularly when research into what's most helpful for babies has changed a lot in the last 10-20 years. I often say something like 'It sounds like you did a great job bringing up your child but we have decided to do things like this because of our gentle parenting style and the research we have looked into'.

    Did your paediatrician explain why your baby particularly needed the vitamins as, in the majority of cases, breast milk provides everything a baby needs up to 6 months. However, I understand there can sometimes be exceptions with this (e.g. if there are any health concerns). You may just want to clarify with your paediatrician the exact reason why.

    Best wishes,

    LJ

  9. #9
    Hi ljmarsden,

    With regards to the vitamins that my pediatrician prescribed, she explained to me that aside from my breastmilk, it will serve as an additional protection for my baby since the weather here in our place changes from time to time. Though my baby has never had cough and colds, viral infections are common in our environment that is why she wanted me to give my baby vitamins.

  10. #10
    Hi Kate!

    Yes i have tried offering my breasts after giving her vitamins, and of course she takes it in. Though water is something new for her, I still make sure to give her breastmilk since it does not only boosts her immune system but also our mother-daughter bond is enhanced.

  11. #11
    Being a Mom I would suggest it is best consult a pediatrician before starting solids for your baby. However, a few signs that we can identify is when your baby starts eyeing you while you are eating or is hungry even after multiple feedings or breast/ formula milk. Soups are best to start with carrots, spinach, betrrots & sieve the soups finely to help the baby swallow it easily. Make sure you avoid vegetables like cauliflower and potatoes. There are quite a blogs also written on it, Its very important to follow a few recipes for toddlers and helps too. Any doubt immediately consult the pediatrician or you Mom You can also read some blogs, I came across this parenting blog called Humpty Bumpty Kids which suggests on when to start solids for babies, "Starting Solids For Babies" and also suggests recipes to use for toddlers, see if it helps you. Let me know if you any more suggestions and so share your experience with your baby )

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