Sunday, April 7, 2013

when to start solids

For whatever reason, a lot of parents start getting antsy about when they can start feeding their babies solids when their babies hit about 4 months old. Maybe it's because their own parents, whose pediatricians told them to start cereal in bottles at 3 months, start asking questions. Maybe it's because that's when babies start acting less like helpless blobs of newborn and more like little people. Maybe it's because they are tired and people keep insisting that once babies start eating solids (read: that worthless, processed, void of nutritional value cereal) they magically start sleeping through the night. Whatever the reason, it is not a good enough reason to start feeding babies before they are 6 months old.

This recently released study got a lot of mams talking! It is absolutely true that pediatricians are still frequently telling mothers to start their babies on solids at 4 months. I hear it all the time. I heard it myself with the traditional pediatrician we were talking DD to before we switched to our family doctor. What's mind boggling is that mothers are given a myriad of sometimes conflicting reasons why a baby needs to start solids before 6 months. The baby is too big so breast milk is not enough, the baby is too small so breast milk is not enough, the baby isn't sleeping through the night so she needs solids, the baby is sleeping through the night so she needs solids, etc. It is unethical.

I absolutely believe that the rise in childhood obesity is tied to many factors which I will not be discussing here. But I will say that some the most important factors have to be the use of baby formula, starting babies on solids too early, and those first solids being processed, boxed foods rather than nutritional whole foods. Basically, we are all getting fatter and we are taking our kids with us.

My plea is simple. Go to the Baby Led Weaning section of this blog and read up! Get your kiddo on the path to a healthy lifestyle. You lay the foundation. You be the example. Even if, like me, you are not doing what's optimal for your own diet, you can still do right by your child.

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