Why do people feel the need to introduce it so early? What are we helping/proving by doing this to babies who arent ready? Here are some signs they ARE indeed ready
"Your baby is at least 6 months old
This is the most important sign of readiness. Many well-meaning relatives (and even some doctors) will recommend that you start your baby on solid food, typically rice cereal, as early as 3 or 4 months. This is not a good idea. The AAP now recommends holding off on solid food until baby is at least 6 months old. Before the age of 6 months, a baby's digestive tract is not developed enough to handle the extra workload of digesting solid foods. Introducing solid foods too early can cause constipation, gas, and spitting up. In the long run, babies who have been introduced to solid foods before the age of 6 months can run the risk of developing diabetes and gastrointestinal disease in later childhood and into adulthood. Early introduction of solids also increases the risk of food allergies in children.
Your baby can sit alone
A baby should have good head and neck control before being introduced to solid foods. This is fairly common sense. Think about it: if your baby can't sit up, you'll probably have to feed him in a reclining position. If he's reclining, he's much more likely to choke on his food. It's just not safe.
Your baby doesn't refuse food when it is offered
This is not a sign of readiness on its own. Many babies show interest in food well before they're actually ready to eat it. But if your baby turns his face away or refuses to eat, don't force the issue. He will accept the food when he is ready. Young babies are remarkably in tune with their bodies - follow his cues." http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/157774/how_to_tell_if_your_baby_is_ready_for.html
Many babies wont even be ready til long after 6 months, my kids ranged from 8 months to 14 months in readiness. All baby needs is breast, very simple! There are all the nutrients they need packed and equiped in mommies breast! My favorite is this study done by American Academy of Pediatrics that states, "The highest rates of breastfeeding are observed among higher-income, college-educated women >30 years of age living in the Mountain and Pacific regions of the United States." I do not fall into the age category, but do fall in the other categories so maybe thats why I nurse? The question remains, but for how long?
#1 9 months because I was pregnant with #2 and milk was drying up and I dropped to 112 pounds and couldnt get my weight up.
#2 had to be tube fed so I pumped til I dried up around 6-8 weeks
#3 nursed around 14 months and had to be weaned on Drs orders because he was not growing at only 16 pounds and I couldnt keep weight on(thyroid issue for me)
#4 nursed 9 months, I was at a bad stage in my life where at the time, alcohol seemed more fun than nursing.
#5 is going strong with NO solids yet at 5 months and we plan to try for a few years
American Academy of Pediatrics states this in regards to nursing:
"The policy recommendations include:
Exclusive breastfeeding for approximately the first six months and support for breastfeeding for the first year and beyond as long as mutually desired by mother and child.
Mother and infant should sleep in proximity to each other to facilitate breastfeeding;" (sounds like they promote co-sleeping! Go AAP)http://www.babiesonline.com/articles/breastfeeding/aaprecommendations.asp
World Health Organization is my fav though!!!
"How long should a mother breastfeed?The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that breastfeeding continue for at least 12 months, and thereafter for as long as mother and baby desire. The World Health Organization recommends continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond."http://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/faq/index.htm
While I could go on and on and on about the benefits of later feeding and longer breastfeeding, I am on the go, we made it to the gym this morning, homeschooled, the park at noon and now we are off to Brownies and the Post office. tootles til next time