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Old 06-15-2006, 01:11 AM   #14
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Re: EBF and afraid of cereal

Originally Posted by kris10s
I think it's weird that so many peds still tell patients they can give solids at 4 months. The American Academy of Pediatrics used to give the green light to starting rice cereal at 4 months, but they have changed their tune and now recommend a full six months of exclusive breastfeeding before starting any solids.

This changed recommendation is due to solid research. In one study comparing two control groups of mothers starting solids at 4 vs. 6 months, the benefits were varied and obvious. The mothers who started solids at six months lost more of their pregnancy weight and their babies crawled and walked earlier. Summary studies show that introducing solids before six months has been linked to decreased immunity to diseases, a whole host of gastrointestinal problems, more allergies and orthodontic problems and the longer an infant is exclusively breastfed, the more benefits on future intelligence.
Actually, the official policy still says that complimentary foods should be introduced "around 6 months" and that some infants may need supplementation as early as 4 months while others may not be ready until 8 months. http://aappolicy.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/pediatrics;115/2/496#SEC6 (scroll down to #10)

I guess for me, I don't understand how 6 months is a magic date to start solids for every baby any more than I understand why some people think that 12 months is a magic date when every baby should wean. Every baby is different and the mother knows her baby better than anyone else. I prefer to watch my baby to figure out when he's ready than to watch the calendar. I've said before that if a mother chooses to wait (within reason), I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but I also don't think there's anything wrong with starting sooner (within reason) if you're following your baby's lead and doing what comes naturally.

By the way, I would be very interested in seeing a link to the study you mentioned in your post. All of the research I've seen has been regarding starting solids earlier than 4 months or later than 6...I haven't seen any comparisons between starting at 4 and starting at 6...it does sound interesting though and I'd like to know more details. Thanks!
Barbara - Unexpectedly back after a long hiatus...anxiously awaiting #6!
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