Being a parent comes with a great deal of responsibility. You need to make so many decisions, many of which you are new to. Especially for new parents who are having their first precious little bundle of joy, the internet has become a source for our never ending questions in baby care and parenting. Am i doing this right? How do i do that? Is my baby alright? What is best for my baby? To every question, the internet has a dozen different answers. Which answer is the one for me and my baby?
Today, i want to share my views on starting solids. Many sources say that you can start solid food for babies as young as 4 months old, and i see an increasing number of young and new parents stressing out when their 4 month old baby reject their pureed meals. I see them posting questions on parent forums, support forums and their facebook groups, I see unhelpful comments such as asking the parent to add cereal into the milk, not latching till baby takes the food (believing that the baby will eat once it has no choice as its hungry) which leads me to feel that there are so many parents out there who are very ill informed on this matter.
First of, i would like to remind all parents that every baby is different. Some babies start solids at a very young age while there are some who prefers milk till they past their first birthday. There is nothing wrong with your baby. Babies are human too and although small and tiny, they too, have their preferences. Infact, starting solids too soon in infants is actually not advisable. If you do enough research, although there are some articles that gives the green light to start at 4 months of age, there are MORE articles and studies that states babies should only start solids when their little tummy matures more at 6-8 months. It is still a parents choice regardless.
When my son turn 6 months, i was pressured by my mother, my grandmother, people outside (some not even parents! *grrrrrr) to give him solids. I tried puree and porridge but Charles was not interested. He would take the first spoonful and spit out the rest. He would happily latch on and drink his fill, his weight was increasing, i change 5-6 wet diapers a day so i felt that he was growing well. My breastmilk was more then sufficient for him. I felt it was fine but yet i was getting all these pressure from everyone else! They would say things such as, he isnt putting on weight, he looks skinny, he lost weight (seriously?!! the weighing scale says otherwise.) he looks hungry, milk alone is not good enough for the baby, etc. They would then proceed to give “helpful” advise that i feel is completely senseless and undermine my ability as a mother. Telling me that im not producing enough milk, im a terrible mother for not giving my son solids, i should starve him till he takes solids (what a stupid idea!) or let him cry and not latch him at all for a few days (WHO SAYS THINGS LIKE THAT?!! <—– other parents *gasps). Till my son turn 1 year old, he didnt eat solids. He grew and survived 100% on milk and he is growing extremely well! He is now turning 15 months and stills eats only 2-3 solid meals a day, latching for the rest of the meals. I never succumbed to any of those people’s ill-advises and im glad because I know what is best for my baby, AND YOU DO TOO! Be a little more hard working and do a little research. Dont listen to other people telling you about how their baby started early. Its no competition and eventually, everyone starts eating!
Dont let this stress you out and believe in yourself! No one knows your baby like you do and if you know your baby is growing well, ignore the need to follow the “masses”. Just because everyone is doing it does not mean its right!
-Ensure that your baby have 5-6 wet diapers a day
-Ensure that baby is growing and putting on weight (200g a week is good!!)
-Ensure that baby is active and plays with you other then nap time
-Always monitor baby poop (texture, colour, smell etc)
I hope this helps some parents out there who thinks their baby need solids and are stressing out, Calm Down!