New Mama Musings

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

He Has the Rest of His Life to Eat

Henry will be eight months old on Monday and he's still exclusively breastfed. (Well, he's had a few bites of banana, but he's not sure how he feels about it.)

I've been in no hurry to start him on solid food, for a couple of reasons, some selfish:

1. We cloth diaper. Breastmilk poop is almost pleasant...the other kind is not.

2. Solid food is messy.

3. One of my sisters has serious food allergies (nuts, some fruit) and one of my husband's sisters has celiac disease.

4. His spitting up has just begun slowing down recently.

5. He still seems to react to dairy, soy, and maybe a few other things through my milk.

6. He only has two teeth.

7. Although he's very interested in what we're doing when we're eating -- he'll watch the food intently if he's sitting on our laps -- he hasn't lunged/grabbed at our food yet, nor does he cry.

8. He is still nursing as usual and doesn't seem overly hungry or cranky.

9. I find sitting in front of a high chair, spooning food into a baby's mouth, to be mind-numbingly boring.

10. I kind of like the idea of holding off for as long as possible because it gives my bizarro alternative parenting persona cred, which helps to freak out my sisters-in-law.

As I thought about this issue and discussed it with a few other AP moms, I realized something: the whole automatically-starting-rice-cereal-at-six-months thing is a big lie.

Maybe some babies really need to be spoon-fed at an early age, but I would venture to say that most do not. Why are we in such a rush for our babies to grow up? Why not wait until they can pick the food up and feed themselves?

Breastmilk is the most nutritious food there is, and Henry is obviously thriving on it. Like everything else, when he's ready for the next stage he'll let us know.


  • Good for you!!! When I think how young (and foolish) I was with my first child... and how I believed everything I read and gave her rice cereal at 4 months (that was the recommendation then!) and then other pureed things (at least I made my own baby food and not the jarred stuff!), waiting a week between introductions... And shoveled it in, after covering her with bibs...

    With baby #2, I waited until he was ready. With very little exception he wasnt' ready until he was 15 months old. So exclusively breastmilk till then. Oh, and he weighed just under 30 lbs. at that point, so he wasn't starving!

    Enjoy those breastfed poops, too. Man, I think I'd go back to all-night nursing in exchange... ;)

    By Blogger bfmomma, at 2:45 PM  

  • So glad to hear you say that. Even on MDC it seems that babies are rushed to eat solids. CJ is in no way ready either, and I'm very happy with that!

    By Blogger Kris, at 10:13 AM  

  • Hi Kris! I'm pretty happy Henry's not ready, too. I went to visit a friend of ours, a family practitioner, who had just given birth, and she was ASTOUNDED that Henry is not eating solid foods. She didn't say anything negative, exactly, but you could tell she thought it was terrible, and I'm sure if Henry and I were patients of hers she would be advising starting him on rice cereal right away.

    Thank God for the internet -- it's let me research so many things I thought were a given.

    By Blogger New Mama, at 6:46 PM  

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