I’ve now been breastfeeding my son for 5 months. I think that is so Great. I feel proud of myself and amazed I could do it! Though now that he is past 4 months a lot people don’t understand why I’m not choosing to move to “solid food” (any thing other that breast milk or formula). I can Tell them of the CDC research and recommendations for exclusively breastfed babies, of other research found all over the internet, and about “Child led weaning” , but all I get back is “well, that’s what I did” and “isn’t that what you did with your first so are you saying you messed up your first child?” The problem is what they are not looking at is I have not added Formula at all I don’t want to. My first was 1/2 and 1/2 formula and Breast milk(that is another story) so she needed to have rice cereal added because she may not have been getting the addiquite amount of iron from the formula alone. Formula fed babies may need to have “solid food” at a different stage than exclusively breastfed babies. Breast milk provides everything a baby needs and the iron in breast milk is absorbed at 49% there is no need to add iron fortified foods to a normal healthy baby with a normal healthy mother.
The American Academy of Pediatrics A.A.P.and the World Health Organization W.H.O. recommend that babies be breastfed EXCLUSIVELY for the first 6 months. That means no formula and NO other foods. The A.A.P. encourages breastfeeding until 12 months, and longer if both the mother and baby are willing. The W.H.O. recommends that babies be breastfed for at least 2 years or LONGER. That is right the world health organizations thinks it is healthy and NORMAL for babies 2 and older to be breastfed. This may be a shocker to some people that think it is “gross” after 12 months (before I was a mother I was one of you). The A.A.P., also, recommends not feeding solids earlier that 6 months because feeding solids earlier 6 months can increase the risks of your baby developing food allergies. Also, Juice shouldn’t be given to infants it fills them up leaving little room for more nutritious food such as Breast milk. Here are some Misconception writen by:
I highlighted some parts I think are interesting.
Misconception #1: Weight is an indicator of readiness for solids.
Fact: Not only do breast milk and formula contain more calories and fat than most foods offered to infants, but they boast more nutrients and vitamins as well. Therefore, if a child is experiencing slow weight gain, it is actually more advisable to delay solids and continue with nutrient-rich breast milk or formula. True solid readiness hinges upon a baby’s digestive tract maturation-not his weight. In the early months of a baby’s life, his digestive tract is immature and unable to filter out harmful substances and likewise facilitate the absorption of nutrients.
Misconception #2: Cereal will help my baby sleep through the night.
You may or may not hear this wives tale come from a doctor, but well-meaning family members or friends may suggest this method.
Fact: There is no medical evidence to support this idea. In a controlled study done by the Pediatrics Department at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 106 babies were given a bottle of formula containing a spoonful of rice cereal per ounce at five weeks old and four months old. Even when reducing the definition of sleeping through the night by two hours, no significant or consistent trend was found in increasing the baby’s sleep. Putting cereal in a bottle puts your baby at risk for choking. In addition, the nutrient content of this combination is diluted and is linked to obesity later in life because of the high caloric intake.
Misconception #3: If baby shows interest in your food, drools, tries to grab your plate, she is ready for solid foods.
This is the main sign that most parents cite when deciding to expand their baby’s diet beyond breast milk or formula. Though important, it is only one of many cues that your baby is truly ready to take the leap into solids.
Fact: More important to your baby than satisfying her little belly is feeling that she belongs. Developmentally, she expresses this need by mimicking mom or dad, and that includes their eating habits. If you want your baby to participate in meal time, but she just isn’t ready for solids yet, try offering a “momsicle” made from frozen breast milk or formula. ***(I’m so going to try to make this )
Misconception #4: A baby needs solid food to ensure he’s getting plenty of iron.
Many doctors tend to be concerned about your baby’s iron intake, and commonly recommend an iron-fortified cereal when your baby is four to six months old. Premature babies, infants born to women with uncontrolled diabetes, and babies who are given cow’s milk anytime during their first year of life are at greater risk for iron deficiency. Before assuming that your baby needs iron supplementation through foods or vitamins, ask for a hemoglobin test. If tests show your baby needs iron, then an iron-fortified formula is the best and most common option.
Fact: Healthy, full-term infants have iron reserves that last at least six months after birth. A study conducted by Dr. Pisacane of Napoli University found that at seven months, exclusively-breastfed (no solids, juices, or supplements of any kind) infants had “significantly higher hemoglobin levels at one year than breastfed babies who received solid foods earlier than seven months”.
Get All the Facts
The World Health Organization, American Academy of Pediatrics, and many other worldwide health organizations recommend exclusive breastfeeding (or formula feeding) for at least the first six months of a baby’s life. Many children thrive on breast milk alone for up to 12 months of age. Ounce for ounce, breast milk and formula have higher caloric, nutrient, and fat contents than solid foods.Starting solids too early has risks, including an increase in food allergies and higher risk of developing diabetes. Waiting until your baby shows all of the signs of readiness for solids are your best and safest option. Inform yourself on the topic of solids by talking to your pediatrician and researching well-respected sources before offering your baby solids that she might not be ready for.