By: Tanya Pimental
As my little one speeds towards being six months old, we are once again beginning to think about introducing solids. It’s a fun time with your little one as you explore new tastes and textures, but it’s also a bit more work. I have never been overly anxious or excited to begin this chapter with my kids and we have waited until six months to begin with each of them.
With my first two, they may have exhibited some signs prior to six months, but I felt it best from my limited reading that it would be best to hold off a bit. My pediatrician was also in agreement that my exclusively breastfeed babies were fine to hold off. I know this school of though varies greatly in the medical community. Many folks get the green light at their four month well visit. In our most recent experience, my pediatrician and I agreed that even if we wanted to start at four months this time, she wasn’t ready. And now I am starting to see the signs of her readiness. So in just a few weeks we will begin breaking out the colorful spoons and filling the bowls with purees.
It’s become tradition for us to start with sweet potatoes. We also have never been big on cereals. None of them have loved them and in my opinion they hold far less nutrient value. I was just remembering back to how much my now 6-year-old loves pears and avocado. She sure loved guacamole! My middle man was far less interested in general and ironically he still does not eat much other than peanut butter sandwiches and the occasional bowl of pasta.
The American Academy of Pediatricians recommends that babies are exclusively breastfed for the first six months. After six months, babies have a mature enough stomach for food, and can be a part feeding process. Before six months, there is no added nutritional reason to start solids unless your doctor makes a strong case for it and you also agree. Studies also show that if solids such as cereal are made a staple in a babies diet, it can decrease their breast milk intake and your supply. That is something many nursing moms worry about and stress over.
A few other key things for me is that waiting until six months shows a reduced risk of child hood obesity and the onset of type 1 diabetes. Both things have been on the rise here and are a scary thing for a child to battle. I’m willing to wait a few months for that messy faced photo opportunity if it means in the long run my child will potentially be healthier. I still can’t believe I am already at this point in her development.