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I know not to start babies on solids too soon, but I was wondering if we should start earlier?

hi leanne,
i have a big 14 week old girl who has always drunk a huge amount of forumula. We started breast feeding but i didn`t have enough milk for her and we supplemented with formula. of course my milk dried up. She averages between 180 to 240 a feed and can even go to 300 sometimes!!! She is sleeping well but can get grouchy during her awake times and appears hungry half way through! She often demands a top up (we try water first then if all else fails give her another 60 ml) This is after we have distracted her with games, toys, talking to her, walking outside etc...we have 2 other children so she is used to lots of action!

I know current theory is not to start babies on solids until at least 16 weeks but i was wondering if we should start earlier?

Thanks
Melanie

Leann...
Answer: Hi Melanie, you are right solids before 16 months isn’t recommended. In fact there is substantial research to show that a baby’s local immunity in their intestines doesn’t take hold until at least 16 weeks. The probiotic bacteria in their intestinal canal isn’t established until after this time. Introducing immune challenges such as food can influence a number of health markers. One other thing you might like to consider is that potentially baby may begin to consume large amounts of solids at the expense of formula from a very early age if you start early. As you know sometimes when you ‘stop-gap’ an issue you can create another. Stick with formula for a while longer, it has a much better balance of nutrition for her than a few teaspoons of vegies. Start solids when baby shows a number of readiness signs once she is over 4 months (see links below for more details). Solids Which foods when and fridge chart Keep an eye on baby’s weight and growth and if you notice any sudden changes here pop into see your CHN. All the best, Leanne
Answered: 08 Jul 2009