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Old 05-31-2010, 03:51 PM   #1
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When do babies NEED solids?

I try to give my 9 month old 2-3 solid meals per day, but sometimes he only gets 1, sometimes he gets all 3. He really enjoys food but he's still not quite in that chewing stage yet so he can't just have anything. I do feed him homemade food as much as possible, though there are some jarred food he likes that I don't mind giving him (depending on the ingredients).

I know some delay solids even later than 9 months, so I'm assuming he doesn't need to have solids right now. But when does he absolutely have to have 2 to 3 solid meals per day? When can he stop having formula? He's been on a little bit of formula since birth, but I can no longer pump so he's on all formula now. If he were on breastmilk I'd keep giving it to him until he was 2 at least, but formula I want to stop as soon as I can. I'd rather have him on cows milk, or even soy if necessary. I know at 1 you can introduce milk. But when do babies go from formula or bm to eating all cows milk and solids?

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Old 05-31-2010, 03:57 PM   #2
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Re: When do babies NEED solids?

That is a good question. Do they need solids at all? I mean, if we wanted to, could they live on breastmilk for years? I know docs don't like babies to continue to formula exclusively for a long time but there are babies who nurse exclusively up to and after 12 mos. Both of mine were like this. They were not interested in food much at all until closer to 15-18 mos and then only sporadically. My oldest took to cow's milk at 18 mos but my youngest did not so I continued to nurse her a lot until she was more like 24-30 mos. At that point, she was finally eating enough solids to make me feel comfortable beginning the weaning process. Until then, breastmilk was her main source of nutrition and she was thriving. She is finally weaned at 35 months.

So, I don't think babies NEED solids if they are nursing. They could probably go years without it if mama wanted to nurse that long.
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Old 05-31-2010, 04:01 PM   #3
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Re: When do babies NEED solids?

Let him be the judge. You can offer the food and just see if he is interested. After he turns 1 you can wean him off formula and try introducing more solids but you still have time. Alot changes from 9mo to 1yr and he really doesn't need solids just yet as long as he is getting enough from formula and he is growing and gaining weight.

We EBF and delayed solids until about 1-1 1/2yrs old but we are still bf'ing. This was all by my dd's choice. I let her decide when she wanted solids rather than trying to force them.

If you want to think about it this way. In nature there really are no "baby foods". The way I see it is if I have to actually prep and prepare the food so that they can actually consume it then naturally they aren't supposed to eat it. Think back 100 years-no one had food processors to make baby food with. Babies just nursed until they were physically ready to eat soft foods.
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Old 05-31-2010, 05:54 PM   #4
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Re: When do babies NEED solids?

Not sure if you have heard of 'baby-led weaning'. It's about placing foods in front of baby and letting them decide when and how much to eat. I tried purees with my daughter at 6 months, but she really wasn't interested, she hated us feeding her with a spoon. So she mainly nursed, and fed herself cheerios, cut up soft fruits and veg, toast soldiers... etc. She really didn't eat too much until around 9-10 months. We started just sitting her down in her high chair with us during meals around 6 months with chopped up bits of food on her tray, sometimes just whatever we were eating. For different babies I assume this would be different depending on their developmental readiness, since they need a good pincer grasp to be able to pick up food, as well as the interest in food, and also be not inclined to choke. I really think this is the more natural way of doing it, as pp said. Unless they're really ready to start chewing (gumming?) small bits of food then I don't think there's any rush. I would assume that most babies would reach developmental readiness for self-feeding by 1 year old, so it would be hard to keep them on milk only even if you tried to!! Their curiosity likely will get the better of them. Also as far as 2-3 meals a day goes, my toddler still eats about 5 small meals a day. She either can't sit still long enough or just doesn't have a big enough stomach, so we let her graze and offer food all day long. She does sit down with us at meal times and I try to plan her snack times so that she hasn't just had a snack right before dinner... but I'm not too fussed if she totally refuses to eat the meal. If that happens I just try to encourage her to eat a few small bits and offer her a piece of bread to make sure she doesn't go to bed with an empty tummy. She's definitely getting more adventurous in her eating!
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:01 PM   #5
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Re: When do babies NEED solids?

Never. I know a few people who are on feeding tubes and live on liquid diets. My grandfather is one of them and when ds was born it was hilarious as the doc had switched him from a feed tube specific liquid to baby formula temporarily and it was the same formula the hospital gave ds.

Obviously you wouldnt want him on formula forever...but don't worry about him "needing" solid food, people can be completely nourished by liquids
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Old 05-31-2010, 06:45 PM   #6
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Re: When do babies NEED solids?

My pedi told us 6 months is when a baby needs solids, as far as nutrition goes, and it's actually not good for their little digestive systems before that. But I don't have any advice from personal experience. I've decided to hold off on anything but formula (I never made breast milk) until he's 6 months. I dont know about waiting longer.
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:29 PM   #7
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Re: When do babies NEED solids?

I think you could breastfeed a kid exclusively until they're 2 with no issues, but I don't know about formula. My DS didn't eat food until after 10 months, and he just skipped babyfood all together. He didn't really start eating food regularly until after 1 year.

I would say you might want to look into not using cow's milk as a staple. It's really not all that nutritious for humans, especially once it's been pasteurized. You definitely wouldn't want a 1 year old to be just drinking milk exclusively and not getting anything else (formula and/or food). They do make organic/naturalish Toddler formulas you might look into as a supplement if baby hasn't taken to solids by then.

There are also some frozen baby foods that are very simple ingredients, much better than some of the jarred stuff out there! Puree cubes instead of jars, like just carrots (and no other crazy ingredients to make it "hold" in a glass jar for a year.) You might find those ingredients more agreeable (I sure did). I know they sell them at Whole Foods, I saw some at Fred Meyer's, but they're usually sold with natural frozen foods. (I haven't looked for them for maybe 2 years, but told a friend about them for her baby about 6 mos ago and she loved them.)

Sorry I don't know much about formula in general to help out!
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Old 05-31-2010, 07:50 PM   #8
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Re: When do babies NEED solids?

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Originally Posted by hooha03 View Post
My pedi told us 6 months is when a baby needs solids, as far as nutrition goes, and it's actually not good for their little digestive systems before that. But I don't have any advice from personal experience. I've decided to hold off on anything but formula (I never made breast milk) until he's 6 months. I dont know about waiting longer.
TOTALLY not true. Some peds really me with all of the misinformation they give patients.

Breastmilk or formula is the MAIN source of nutrition the entire first year of life. Solids don't even need to be introduced until after a year and if you wait, then you should skip all purees and do straight table food. Many people who delay solids and then start with purees after 10 months could have some problems with their dc's. Once they are that age, then don't need purees and it could hinder the beginning of solids instead of help.

Will didn't start solids until 8 months and we didn't do any pureed foods. He had straight table food. We also only gave him solids once a day.

At 10 months we started giving him solids twice a day and when he turns 1 we will give him solids 3 times a day.
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:20 PM   #9
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Re: When do babies NEED solids?

Ds started solids 9 days before his 1st bday. And ate very little (just bites here and there) until he was 18months old or so. He didnt start eating more until he weaned at 2.5yrs old, and even now doesnt eat much at a time!
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Old 05-31-2010, 08:28 PM   #10
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Re: When do babies NEED solids?

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Originally Posted by jeebee View Post
Not sure if you have heard of 'baby-led weaning'. It's about placing foods in front of baby and letting them decide when and how much to eat.


Gill Rapley, author of BLW, says that babies really *do* need to be introduced to solid foods around 6 months – but it's not so much for nutritive reasons as it is because it plays into their oral motor skills, future speech, learning to move things around their mouths, etc.

The idea is that you are offering these choices to your baby, not how much they are ingesting, per se. We all know that breast milk or formula is the main source of nutrition for the first year. But she asserts that you're not doing your child any big favors by withholding food beyond six months. I know not everyone here agrees with BLW principles, but I'm just putting it out there.

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