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When Should My Baby Start Solids?

on December 16 | in Feeding Babies | by | with 136 Comments

I Deleted A Friend’s Facebook Comment Yesterday

To be frank, sometimes I am a chicken. I want to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, but she wanted to know what I thought of the post, Why Start Solids at 4-6 Months”, where Cheeselave writes:

Around the age of 4 to 6 months, supplementation from solid foods is necessary, as breast milk does not contain specific nutrients that are needed by the baby by the time he reaches 4-6 months old.

As you can imagine, not a lot of Kumbaya going on over on that post. The two nutrients that Ann Marie mentions are iron and zinc. So – because I immediately regretted deleting the post and will not do it again – the big question we’re going to tackle today is: Is breastmilk enough for the 4-6 month old? Okay then, let’s jump in!

But First . . .

I’d like to say that Ann Marie and I are friends and she saw the nuts and bolts of this post before it went live. No drama here. In fact, I’m pretty sure she will hold my hand and sing Kumbaya! Now let’s get started . . .

In her book Real Food for Mother & Baby Nina Planck says:

 Your milk, and the milk of all mammals, lacks iron. In addition to being iron-poor, milk also contains lactoferrin, which ties up any random iron floating about. At first glance, this seems like an error, given that all living things need iron. With such a firm hand limiting the availability of iron to the nursling we must suspect a deliberate strategy on nature’s part.

Sure enough, there is logic to the missing iron. E. coli, the most common source of infant diarrhea in all species, depends on iron, as do other pathogens. As mentioned in the discussion of prenatal iron supplements, sequestering iron – keeping it out of the way of hungry microbes – is the body’s response to infection.

 A low-iron diet protects newborns from iron-loving microbes. As iron expert Sharon Moalem described it to me, lactoferrin is like an armored truck: it transports iron safely to its destination, protecting it from marauding bacteria. Breast milk, in other words, is iron-poor by design. What iron it contains is easily aborbed by your baby.

But That’s About Newborns!!!

What about as baby gets to the 4-6 month range? Well, studies show that breast milk changes composition over time to meet the varied nutritional demands of infants/babies/toddlers. For example, milk from women who have been nursing longer than one year has a substantially higher fat content.¹ Around 4-6 months  the iron content of breast milk remains low. So that means babies must not need it at that particular stage in development, right?

Not so fast.

According to Dr. Nancy Krebs, their iron and zinc needs do increase at this stage. But I wonder, does the fact that breast milk continues to be iron-poor tell us something about how things are supposed to go here? I think so.

Babies are ready for more “tummy time” around 4 months and start crawling around 6-8 months. This means that the time they begin to need more iron **just happens** to coincide with when they will be coming into contact with the ground more. Before the last few hundred years that would have meant coming into contact with dirt, which contains . . . IRON and ZINC!! (Or at least it should . . . modern farming practices, ugh!) So babies poke around in it and then suck on their fingers . . . voila! Iron goals attained. As a bonus, soil contains beneficial bacteria that trigger the release of serotonin, train the immune system and benefit digestion.

I believe that breast milk composition reflects an innate understanding of how this process is supposed to unfold. Kinda takes the “I Make Milk – What’s Your Superpower?” saying to a whole new level, huh?

Of course, in addition to our sterile modern environments there is one more obstacle to making sure babies have adequate iron stores: immediate cord clamping after birth. According to the British Medical Journal, waiting for at least three minutes to clamp the umbilical cord following birth improves a baby’s iron levels at four months. Children whose healthcare providers wait to cut the cord experience numerous benefits, including an infusion of 1-2 months worth of iron (27-47 mg) and a  blood volume increase of 25-40% over babies whose cords were cut right away. ²

So What Does This Mean For Baby’s First Foods?

Personally, I believe it means we should interfere less and trust more when it comes to birth, breastfeeding, and weaning. We should eat nutrient rich diets – the idea that baby “gets all they need” despite bad food choices is pure hooey – and introduce our babies to nutrient foods when they are ready.

So what does this look like? Although spoon feeding has become accepted method for introducing solids, a new approach is gaining in popularity that deserves attention. Baby Led Weaning encourages parents to skip the spoon and let babies feed themselves. Although I don’t agree with the nutritional advice in their book, authors Gill Rapley and Tracy Murkett do make a compelling argument that babies don’t learn the proper swallowing/gag reflex if there are fed primarily by a spoon. In addition, there is the risk of overeating when another person is in control.

 Many mamas worry that their baby or child isn’t eating enough. Food is intrinsically linked with nurturing and love: we all want to show our babies how much we love them and feeding them is one way to do this. At the same time, we can feel a sense of rejection when our child turns down the food we have prepared for them. These emotions, combined with unrealistic expectations of how much food babies should eat, meant that many babies – and older children – are regularly persuaded to eat more than they need. This can mean that the child simply learns to overeat or, in extreme cases, it can lead to problems such as food refusal or phobias; either way, the development of normal appetite control is at risk.

Persuading young babies to eat food they don’t want is especially easy to do if they are spoon-fed, Babies who are allowed to feed themselves will naturally manage their own intake – they simply stop eating when they are full.”14

In addition, spoon feeding can “encourage babies to eat more quickly than they would do naturally, interfering with the sensation that tells them when they have had enough. Eating too fast is another food behavior that has been linked with obesity in adults and children.”

 

My Experience

Katie & Her Bucket ‘O Dirt

It is often said that many breastfed babies mostly taste and explore (aka play with) foods until 8-15 months. That is my experience with my own children. Neither of them expressed the slightest interest in food at 4-6 months, so instead of trying to coax them to eat I just bought microbe rich dirt from my local organic supplier and let them play in it. It was my way of getting them iron/zinc in a way that was natural.

No baby should be force-fed at 4-6 months, but of course this is not what the Weston A. Price Foundation is saying. They encourage parents to watch for signs of readiness, etc. Mine were not ready so I found another way. Other moms in my circle have shared that their babies reached for food very early. As long as low milk supply due to breastfeeding problems (like Micah’s tongue tie) has been ruled out I say go for it!

My favorite “first food” is fermented cod liver oil rubbed on a baby’s bum. This is, of course, recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation. According to Dr. Campbell-McBride the skin will only absorb whatever vitamin A & D it needs from cod liver oil so I don’t worry about giving too much. The other two foods recommended are egg yolk (which is extremely close to breast milk in terms of digestibility and nutrient profile) and shaved raw liver (a nutrient dense superfood).

Ironically, neither of these were Micah’s first foods. Each baby has internal wisdom about what their body needs. We were drinking a lot of bone broth at the time and that is what he showed interest in, so that’s what we went with. Does that mean any food is acceptable? Eh, I don’t think so. I felt comfortable offering broth because Dr. Campbell-McBride recommends it as a first food to help seal the leaky gut.

What’s That, You Ask?

Basically, babies are born with naturally leaky guts, meaning that there are little gaps in the gut lining. This is a very good thing because it allows the antibodies from breast milk to flow freely into the bloodstream, providing baby with natural immunities to bacteria and viruses. Also, as babies put things in their mouths the bacteria and/or viruses travel through the digestive tract and into the bloodstream, which is like a mini-training exercise for baby’s immune system.

So leaky gut is good for babies, but only to start! You REALLY want those gaps to seal up before introducing solids in earnest. Here’s why:

A huge glob of proteins – whether they be from rice, or egg, or banana – that enter the bloodstream in an undigested state could be recognized as an invader by baby’s immunonaive system. What does it do? Fight, of course! Baby’s body will create antibodies to combat the invader – i.e. the food. It’s a simple mistake for an immature immune system to make, but it has lifelong consequences. The body will learn to recognize the food as an enemy and will behave accordingly. There’s no magic date the gut seals, but for most babies it seems to be around six months. However, for babies fed commercial formula, the closure often takes longer or doesn’t happen at all.³

Did That Sound Scary?

I’m not trying to sensationalize fears about introducing foods too early. Unless a family has a history of allergies I think it’s really a non-issue with the Baby Led Weaning approach. Historically children have put ALL KINDS of things in their mouths – it is natures way of priming their immune system. When a baby chooses to taste something here and there of their own volition it’s a gradual process. That’s a totally different picture than coaxing heaping spoonfuls into the mouth of a little one. So in my opinion there’s no need to fear early solids any more than you would fear your baby gnawing on a stick or leaf. As long as they are at the developmental age where they can sit up and put things in their mouths I think it’s fine.

Kristen of Food Renegade said it best in a comment she left on this fabulous post from Nourishing Our Children.

In my mind, it’s kinda like the issue of when to introduce grains. Babies don’t produce pancreatic amylase (the enzyme needed to digest grains) until they’re at least a year old, sometimes two! So, how can a momma know when to introduce properly prepared grains? When her baby’s molars come in! That’s usually at the same time that they start producing pancreatic amylase. In other words, there are visible, outward signs of baby’s internal digestive development.

In the same way, babies have outward, visible signs of being ready to eat solids — namely sitting up on their own, developing the pincer grasp, and losing the tongue reflex that pushes food out of the mouth. (Essentially, when they are able to feed themselves.) For both of my children, this happened somewhere between 6 to 8 months old. They weren’t “late bloomers” or anything of the sort, this is just how their little bodies grew. I’ve met 4 months old that could do all these things, and I totally marveled since it was so outside my own experience.

And In Case You’re Wondering . . .

I did spoon feed Micah the broth. Hypocritical, I know! But from that point forward I ditched the spoon and let him eat what he was interested in, which happened to be meat/liver and vegetable stews prepared in digestion enhancing broth. He made a huge mess, but letting babies eat with their hands is very helpful for developing manual dexterity and hand-eye coordination. And besides, it doesn’t matter how much they get in their mouths at first. The goal is to help them explore new tastes in a fun and exciting way so they’ll become adventurous eaters. So yeah, let’s focus on our babies instead of timetables, offer but don’t pressure, and relax!

What do YOU think???

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136 Responses to When Should My Baby Start Solids?

  1. Anna D says:

    Excellent post! Thank you, shared, noted. I really wish I knew this 3 years ago, well 2,5 to be precise.

  2. Megan says:

    Good response. We did baby led solids around 7 months with our first, but she didn’t really eat until after a year. Now with our second we’re playing a whole new game. See, she has NEVER eaten by mouth. She is tube fed. We are working on getting her to eat by mouth, but she’s not interested. I’m struggling with how much to push her, knowing my older daughter didn’t eat solids really at this age, but also knowing she needs to be pushed in certain ways. We are doing some spoon feeding, because she is developmentally not “ready” (she can’t sit on her own and we’re still working on head control), but she doesn’t swallow much. I also am trying to figure out about adding solids to my breastmilk thru her tube. How do I even begin to figure out how much to give her? And what foods do I do? I’m thinking avocado, but not sure what else. Good to know I can rub fclo on her skin cause its too thick and gooey for her tube.

  3. This is a thoughtfulf and well-written response to the post on Cheeseslave I read yesterday. I will admit that I was very shocked to read that WAPF recommended solids as actual nutrition sources for babies under six months. Like you, I have always seen the early months of food introduction (my kids expressed interest around 8-10 months) as explorative rather than nourishing in their intent. Breastfeeding gives me the luxurious feeling of knowing that my baby is getting plenty of nutrition while he learns about all of the new foods, tastes and texures available. When my babies self-wean is when I begin really making sure that their food contains the nutrition they need. Your take on getting iron and zinc from the soil is very intresting. The bucket of dirt is a great idea!

  4. Ilana says:

    I have goosebumps reading this post, Heather! I was one of the people who did not sing Kumbaya when Cheeseslave first posted the article on her Facebook feed, and then brought Sally Fallon into the argument. First off, one expert’s word is not the word of the gods and should NEVER be treated as such. It does the WAPF no justice to behave in such a fashion.

    Secondly, there was no allowance made for EVERYTHING YOU DESCRIBED ABOVE! It was just “this is how it is and who are you to argue?” Um, I’m educated and informed and have done my share of reading too, plus I have three kids of my own and so that’s who I am to argue. But whatevs. I backed off and simmered silently because the confrontational thing is so 8 years ago when I was a young new mom who thought she had the answers to everything.

    So bravo. I would LOVE your permission to reblog you or quote you or something to that effect on my own blog, because you said it EXACTLY the way I didn’t have the smarts to say myself but how I feel it in my gut.

    FWIW, I really don’t believe that solids should be introduced before 8 or 9 months. My kids started on good, old fashioned Jewish chicken soup that I made myself from a whole chicken, with added veggies and savouries. I have one child who seems to not tolerate salmon (though whether that’s from the fish itself or the stuff that’s added to farmed salmon we won’t know until she’s older and we do some experimenting) but otherwise we have great eaters with a varied diet and a good sense of when they are done. I breastfed my first until almost three, the second until two and I’m still going strong at 18 months with my third. I feel confident that they are getting MANY benefits still from my breastmilk past a year, which even I can tell has evolved and adapted as they grew. And I have to say that the odd time any of them has gotten sick I’ve been so grateful for the fact that we’re still nursing, especially when they can’t tolerate or won’t eat or drink anything else. The way the whole subject of introducing solids is dealth with on the WAPF website (http://www.westonaprice.org/childrens-health/feeding-babies) really gives very little emphasis to the important of breastfeeding for PAST one year, and this is really unfortunate.

    Anyways, I’m going off course here but I want to send a HUGE thank you to you for writing this and I’m going to shout it to my social streams!

  5. Robin says:

    Great post! I always appreciate your research. Thank you!

    Our girl started solids a couple of weeks before she turned 6 months. We went the baby-led weaning method, but using a WAPF approach to the foods we gave her. I thought it was interesting that she really loves all the food we give her, but she would INHALE red meat. (Okay, maybe “inhale” is the wrong word. Mostly she would suck a piece of juicy beef until it was dry.) Despite the fact that I wanted to delay cord clamping (among other things), our home birth ended up in the hospital after 30 hours of labor. Turns out her umbilical cord was freakishly short and acting like a bungee cord that kept pulling her back. Thankfully I avoided surgery, but she had to be vacuumed out and the cord cut immediately or she was not coming out. I’ve often worried about her iron levels, and it makes sense that she would love to suck the blood of meat. Babies and bodies are so intelligent!

  6. I have really enjoyed reading both CHEESESLAVE’s post and yours here, Heather. I still don’t hear the tone problem in Ann Marie’s post at all, even though so many people are up in arms about it. I suppose I read her with the best of intentions, and so that is what I heard: informative and helpful perspective. I hear you saying a lot of similar things here in your post. Ultimately I am just glad that breastfeeding moms have all these options available: other women posting about breastfeeding, other women talking about when their babies started eating solids, tips for what to expect and how to navigate these new stages in baby’s life, how to support milk production, and yes, even how to make the WAPF baby formula (a VAST improvement on any other formula option).

  7. Dara says:

    DS started solids when he had two teeth – that was when he was EIGHT months old! I think my in-laws were sure I was never going to give him solids… My instinct was to wait until my son had teeth, as that was nature’s way of telling me he was ready. And we started him on avocado and soft meat. Now at 2yrold, he is the most NON-picky eater I’ve met.

  8. Julie Charbonnet Whetstine Via FB says:

    my brightest child is the one who refused all solids until after her first birthday — so glad i listened to her and didn’t force recommendations upon her…

  9. Rita Louise Miller Via FB says:

    I really appreciate this a lot. I had never thought of dirt before, but that is a super idea! There is a theory that hyper-cleanliness is part of the cause of super sensitive reactions to non pathogenic items (like food).

  10. Mommypotamus Via FB says:

    Yes, exactly, Rita Louise Miller!! I wrote about that awhile back in case anyone reading this thread is interested:) http://www.mommypotamus.com/let-fermented-foods-do-your-dirty-work/

  11. Maria Bloomfield Via FB says:

    Thank you for this. My baby is six months old. We’re doing the GAPS diet for my Apraxic son, so I’ve had a lot of fear of giving food to my daughter who is currently developing typically. I think baby led weaning will make me more comfortable with the process of introducing solids. Oh, how I wish I was told this information instead of to feed my 4-month-old son rice cereal by my Pediatrician! Hindsight is 20-20…

  12. Nicole Stidham Via FB says:

    This is the best article on the subject I have ever read!! Thank you, I will be resharing a lot.

  13. Melanie Hoffman Via FB says:

    I’ve been a die-hard wait as long as possible fan for a long time but this makes so much sense, the whole dirt connection. Thank you!

  14. Alisha Schrag Hunt Via FB says:

    thank you for sharing this! wonderful information and soooo helpful for me!

  15. Jessica Savill Via FB says:

    I ♥ you and feel honored to be mentioned in a blog post! I think you make some excellent points arguing the other side of that article, I especially love the stuff about dirt!

  16. Amanda Nordstrom Via FB says:

    My doc suggested we start my daughter at four months. Tried. S he just wasn’t ready. We waited til she was a little older and she had a much better time.

  17. Ilana Grostern Via FB says:

    Really, really, really the BEST article I have read on the subject. Well done, Heather! I have reshared it in a whole bunch of places. THank you for writing this!! I was involved in the other post and haven’t felt that disillusioned by the Real Food community before, so you have restored my faith :)

  18. Rebekkah Smith Via FB says:

    While I did do some spoon feeding (mainly yogurt with fruit purees mixed in or stocks), I think each mom gets a sense of when their kids are ready for food. For both my kids, it was between 6 and 8 months. I could tell because they wanted food and they were hungry all. the. time. Way hungrier than my boobs could satisfy. lol Moms need to trust their gut on what their kids need. Every kid is different. My “fat” baby Owen didn’t want as much food as my “skinny”, “always moving constantly” baby Evan.

  19. Anna-Marie Hizer Via FB says:

    Really well put-together article. I especially like how you examine all sides of the issue and didin’t just take one source and treat it as the only source. Brava! I also liked the part about dirt. I’ve always thought that some parents do their little ones a great disservice by not allowing them to explore, get dirty, etc.

  20. Kristine Winniford Via FB says:

    I enjoyed this article, its all that I wanted to say but couldn’t find the neutral words for. I love your thought on babies getting that little extra iron and zinc from tummy time, we spend many hours playing in dirt (in our market garden) and our babies have eaten more than there fair share soil, compost and even some stuff that was on its way to a compost pile. Friends and family have always looked at us like we’re crazy and putting them in some sort of danger. Our opinion has always been that its natural for kids to do these things, how else would humans have survived this long?

  21. leah says:

    Great post. I started to comment on Cheeseslave’s post but decided to stay out of the fray. Lol. I very much believe in taking cues from our babies on when they are ready to start solids. My oldest started trying to grab food off of my plate when he was 5 months old so I went ahead and started him then. My youngest (who incidentally has been the slowest of my four children to get teeth) wasn’t remotely interested in food until 8.5 months. I have fed her with a spoon (wasn’t sure how else to feed runny egg yolk and bone broth!) but she definitely lets me know when she doesn’t want any more. All of my children are a healthy weight and eat a wide variety of foods. No allergies or sensitivies. I think that there’s a danger in trying to approach solids too scientifically rather than using our God-given insincts as moms and simple common sense.

  22. [...] Update December 16, 2011: There are two new related posts I recommend you read that may be of interest to you:  http://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/what-i-learned-from-mothers-about-babys-first-foods/ and  http://www.mommypotamus.com/when-should-my-baby-start-solids/ Share this:ShareFacebookTwitterLinkedInPrintEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

  23. [...] Pingback: When Should My Baby Start Solids? « The Mommypotamus [...]

  24. Bravo, Heather! I have updated both of my posts on the topic to include yours:

    http://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2011/12/14/babys-first-foods-when-and-what/
    http://nourishingourchildren.wordpress.com/2011/12/15/what-i-learned-from-mothers-about-babys-first-foods/

    In addition, being that Nourishing Our Children is a project of the Weston A. Price Foundation, I will confer with Sally Fallon Morell and consider how the Foundation may integrate some of what has been discovered in the firestorm that erupted this week on this topic. I think it would behoove our community to reconsider some of the written literature on the topic.

    Stay tuned …. !

    • Marija says:

      I’m very glad to hear that Sandrine. I think that information about breastfeeding is the weakest point in the WAPF literature. I also urge the foundation to include information about milksharing, such as can be found at http://www.hm4hb.net, as giving a baby milk from another human mommy would have been more widely practiced throughout human evolution than giving babies milk of other mammals. Human milk from another woman is a better alternative than even the homemade formula recipe in NT, for those cases when a mother truly cannot breastfeed her own baby.

  25. Ashleyroz says:

    A dirt pot! OMG you have no idea what you’ve just done for me. My 12 month old is such a light eater. This is a god sending idea. Now I need to figure out how to incorporate this for our apartment. We have no balcony. :( Maybe a sand table but put dirt in, instead. I know my husband will flip. lol

  26. Vanessa says:

    This helps things make so much sense and I wish I’d had all of this info a few years ago. One of my son’s very first foods was banana, and at some point we realized he has a reaction to it. He’s three now, and still has issues with them, although he’s gotten a bit better. Looking back, I know he was not ready for solids, I was just an eager first time mama who had no idea that it might not be the best thing for him.
    If God grants us another little one, introducing solids is one of the things we will definitely be doing differently.
    P.S. Love the dirt idea.

  27. dianthe says:

    being a cloth diapering mama, i selfishly hoped my kids would hold off on solids for a LONG while – i wasn’t that lucky with either of them :/ but i was all about the baby led weaning because it was less work for me!!

  28. Andrea says:

    I just bumped into your website and was curious to ask you: we are all for breastfeed babies (all the attachment parenting, wholesome food, all that jazz) Dont you think Cows milk was made for baby cows only?! I can write about the lacto companies and their false propaganda. I can talk about torture milking the cows and stealing their milk (I myself wouldnt want to be taken “captive” by the aliens to milk me forever to feed grown up Aliens). I know lots of people who are
    Lactose intolerant due to an over “use” of milk. Isn’t it true that a particular protein in milk avoid us from getting the so famous calcium from it. In fact, it depletes the bones as we consume it?
    Id love to hear your thought on it!
    Thank you.

  29. A. B. says:

    Great post! Both my girls were “late” crawlers and walkers and their teeth didn’t come in until 7 or 8 months, so they really didn’t want food until around 9 months.Neither of them are iron deficient. We all just develop a little differently and there is no ‘one size fits all.”

  30. Jeanmarie says:

    Wonderful post, Heather. I’ve been following this topic with interest, including the Cheeseslave and Nourishing Our Children posts. I’m not a mom (at least not to any human babies), but I feel like this post has really put all the pieces together and is something I can recommend to others.

  31. Mommypotamus Via FB says:

    ‎Nicole Stidham – Thank you! ♥ ♥ ♥

  32. Mommypotamus Via FB says:

    ‎Melanie Hoffman – Yay, dirt!

  33. Mommypotamus Via FB says:

    Jessica Savill THANK YOU for asking! It was in writing that email to you that I found it wasn’t as hard to say what I wanted as I thought it was going to be!

  34. Mommypotamus Via FB says:

    Thank you, Ilana Grostern. That is really wonderful to hear.

  35. Mommypotamus Via FB says:

    ‎Rebekkah Smith – Totally agree :)

  36. Mommypotamus Via FB says:

    Thank you, Anna-Marie Hizer! My son slurped up a puddle at the park today . . . it looked kind of fun!

  37. Mommypotamus Via FB says:

    Kristine Winniford Ahhh, that sound like so much fun. Much better than one measly pot of dirt! I’m inspired to take it to the next level should we ever be blessed with another baby :)

  38. Nourishing Our Children Via FB says:

    I love the photo and purchased it from istockphoto in Small. I will use it in the next iteration of our DVD! https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150421383670172

  39. Dianella Howarth Via FB says:

    Thank you so so much for this blog post!!! I agree with you completely and it helps me feel so much better about the community. I have been very disheartened by cheeseslave’s post and responses. And I learned something that makes sense! I never thought about dirt and iron! My kids certainly got dirty and ingested some. Thank you thank you!

  40. Dianella Howarth Via FB says:

    Funny story, when my brother was a toddler, my mom kept him occupied at the beach a lot (we lived in hawaii). At one point she asked her ped about the fact that he sat in the sand, scooped it up, and ate it by the handful. Her ped told her only half joking that “half a cup of sand a day wouldn’t hurt him”.

  41. Rena Arnold Via FB says:

    With my oldest I switched from a highly recommended and esteemed pedi simply because he strongly suggested I feed my 5 month old yogurt for a stomach virus he and my husband has caught. I was the craziest thing I had heard and went against everything I thought was right. I had several criticize my decision for changing docs, this entire post rings crystal clear!! Heather I am on the hunt for the best looking soapbox for you to stand on girl!! Keep the truth forthcoming!

  42. Kari R. SaintLouis via FB says:

    we just started solids last week….all the info is great! Plus the dirt! My three year old needs more iron- he loves to eat raw carrots and seems to find all the dirt he can on the floor. When the it gets to be spring and a bit warmer I think we will be having a dirt party! You are all welcome to come (youngest will be ready to rock n roll)

  43. Bravo! Excellent post! I believe premature cord clamping combined with mixed or formula feeding is the culprit behind the need for iron. In many children I believe the research firmly supports introducing solids once the child shows ALL signs of readiness- over 6 months old, has teeth, sits up unassisted, no more tongue thrust and is interested in solids. My son showed all of these readiness signs at 6 months of age. My daughter didn’t show them until 9 months. Both did not have their cords prematurely clamped, were exclusively breastfed until beginning solids, weren’t fed anything iron-fortified and neither of them had any problems with low iron.

    I’ve done traditional foods for ten years next month. I have met many, many women who used egg yolk prepared the NT way as a first food. Too many of these women have reported egg allergies either immediately or within three years in their children. My own daughter, whom I did everything ‘right’ with and had no family history of food allergies, developed a severe egg allergy. When women in good health have birthed at home, never given antibiotics or vaccines or other medications, never given anything other than breastmilk, have no allergy history and are only using pastured eggs still have their children develop egg allergies, it’s a big red flag. It’s very telling to me that these children have very low risk of developing food allergies yet it’s happening at very alarming rates. Unfortunately, that red waving flag isn’t taken seriously by the WAPF.

    I did child led feeding and weaning with my son and it was the best decision I ever made. I discovered the concept when my daughter was about one year old and switched her over and it worked very well for us. I will use these method exclusively with any future children that I have.

  44. Love this post (and the dirt idea)! I agree totally. Griff wasn’t really into food until 1 year old. Before that, he would eat some mashes but breastmilk was 80% of his nourishment. I was kind of getting concerned when I would compare him with other babies but I just trusted that he’d come around when he was ready. (Friends encouraged me to keep the faith that he would one day eat real food :)

    In terms of what he’s ready for, I look to his stool to tell me a lot. I look for well-formed stools that don’t contain food particles! If they are something else (which can definitely happen) I know that my little guy ate something that his bowel isn’t ready for yet.

    I haven’t given him much meat which is not very WAPF but he hasn’t been a huge fan of and it takes a lot of digestive “fire.” He mostly eats raw dairy for protein.

    Thanks for posting this great topic, Heather!

  45. This was most helpful Heather. We just started adding bone broth to a bottle of expressed milk…your thoughts on this? Its a 50/50 blend of 5 or 6 ounces. Micah is one week shy of 6 months. taking it well.

  46. My first baby I did all wrong — rice cereal at 4 months. There was much more going on than that, but BOY did we pay for it. She self-limited her diet to sweet/starchy foods (about 4 of them) around a year and it took another year+ after that to journey to GAPS and back. She’s almost 4 now and much better, but still has some picky issues. Not nearly as many as most kids, though.

    My second baby, I’d let him gnaw on carrot sticks and apple slices around 6 months for teething, he didn’t really eat them. Around 8 months I began to offer chunks of veggies cooked in stock (which he loved but did not do well with), ground beef, plain yogurt, etc. He is the least picky kid I have ever seen. He loves plain yogurt still (he’s almost 2.5), avocado, tuna, various fruits/veggies, etc. There’s very little he doesn’t like and then it’s, stuff he would prefer not to eat, but he WILL eat some if that’s what’s available.

    My third baby is now 4.5 months and I let him taste a tiny bit of FCLO recently. He wasn’t sure what to think, but he didn’t hate it (my daughter gave him water once a couple weeks ago when I wasn’t quite paying attention and he sucked at it just once, then spit it out and made a disgusted face!). He’s not very interested in food yet, anymore than he is in anything else we are doing. He’s fascinated by us and our actions in general. I honestly think that *most* parents who swear their babies really want to eat at 4 – 5 months are noticing this behavior: the baby simply wants to imitate EVERYTHING they are doing; it is not specific to food. It is not an indicator that they want to eat. I also don’t think that most of the major signs that we look towards are correct — sitting at all (including ‘supported’), an interest, etc. It’s so important to look towards proper gut development.

    I suspect my third baby’s gut is not right. I suspect something’s not right in mine currently, although I don’t know why. I’m investigating the possibility of some sort of sensitivity. It might be soy, because I’ve had chocolate more often than usual that contains a tiny amount of soy lecithin. But, I need to solve that, get rid of it, and start doing way more probiotic foods again (I usually do once a day, need to do it three times or more). He isn’t interested in solids anyway and I won’t give them to him until he’s at least 8 months and we’re past any gut issues. It’s important to me that I do whatever I can to make him healthy.

    My second, for whatever reason, LOVES to eat dirt! He constantly plays in it, licks his fingers, drops his snacks in it and eats them, etc. He’s always at my lettuce beds in the summer. I let him even though people think I am crazy. Ha. The microbes in the soil are good for him, too!

    • Heather says:

      I so hear you on needing to eat more probiotic rich foods. My culturing attempts come and go in bursts – sometimes it’s just hard to keep up with little ones in the house!

  47. Kari R. SaintLouis via FB says:

    …I was also looking https://www.facebook.com/jenni.schuessler for some guidelines for babies (mine is five months) and solids…

  48. Kari R. SaintLouis via FB says:

    and this was helpful…what do you think Heather? http://www.gaps.me/preview/?page_id=34

  49. Ramy says:

    Fantastic post, Heather! So many people want to have one source and follow it religiously. In fact, using many resources and taking what works for you from each (if anything) is the very best way. Of course, that takes more thinking and analysis, not to mention a good store of courage and confidence. I like a lot of what WAPF says, but there is a certain element that does not jive with common sense at times.
    I always get a somewhat twisted enjoyment out of the looks I get when people see Sky playing with something “dirty” and I shrug and say, “Practice builds a strong immune system.”

  50. sandra says:

    I posted this comment on the cheeseslave blog post you referred to, but I’ll post here too for your input.
    HOW do you use FCLO transdermally on a baby? as in How Much? How Long? How do you keep your baby from smelling like a rotting fish?
    That last question is because I can’t imagine my husband being supportive in any way if his baby stinks of FCLO. Let’s be honest, it doesn’t smell that great to most folks on a regular American diet.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Sandra! Dave Wetzel, owner of the only company that makes traditionally fermented cod liver oil, gives this tip:

      “Our family includes 6 children from the age of 2 to 18 . . . The two year old boy (Basil) is the picky one. He is too young to discipline so we either hide the FCLO and Butter Oil in food or when we change his diaper we lube his buns with fclo/bo. I have seen references from the 1800′s that doctors found applying to the skin was just as effective as taking through the digestive tract. My observations would concur with the doctors studies from this period.”

      Note: Cod liver oil will stain clothing and burn eyes, so keep it out of baby’s reach! I have found that the best method is to apply it just before bedtime because it is the only time we use disposable diapers. Otherwise I have to strip oils from our cloth diapers way too often. Plus, the fishy smell is gone by morning!

      • sandra says:

        Ahhh, thanks!
        Ummm, is it better to use the FCLO/HVBO for this transdermal application rather than just plain FCLO?
        Does the body absorb the nutritional properties of the HVBO transdermally as well?

  51. sandra says:

    and btw, thank u for writing this blog post. It is really interesting considering what you’ve put here to the differences between my baby & my friends. 2 weeks younger at almost 6 months, already crawling correctly and been eating solid foods for a while. She demanded it. Meanwhile, my little one shows no interest in food and can’t sit up on her own, rollover, or do anything but push herself backwards – which frustrates her to no end. lol.

  52. [...] As you can imagine, not a lot of Kumbaya going on over on that post. (Read More) [...]

  53. Glad to read this. I have been very frustrated with my daughter. She is hungry (nursing) ALL THE TIME, but won’t eat solids. She wants to feed herself, but she can not really get the food to her mouth. So, while she is happy attacking tiny cubes of broccoli with a serving spoon she managed to grab, she’s not really getting any food. So, I guess I should just let her play with her food and give us BOTH a break.

    She can’t have egg yolk though. She throws it up.

  54. Melissa says:

    Heather,

    I purchased and read your book Nourished Baby in preparation for starting solids with my son. 2 questions I have regarding the 1st foods you discuss:
    1. Does it matter if you feed the chicken or beef bone broth cold or warm? I make my own broth like you describe and my chicken broth is pretty liquidy. Is this difficult to feed to baby on those small baby spoons?
    2. You mention egg yolk with shaved raw liver over the top. Once you soft boil the eggs and separate the yolk, how do you go about shaving the raw liver on top? Sorry, I’m new to this and have only recently added liver to our diet in your chili recipe.

    Thanks for your help! Starting 1st foods seems like such a daunting task but I’m learning!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Melissa! I’d say warm broth is ideal in aiding digestion, but if your son prefers gelled cold broth I’d say go for it. I used a spoon to feed my son the broth with no problem – they don’t have to eat a ton to get the benefit :) Regarding the yolk/liver, the Weston A. Price foundation recommends freezing the liver for at least two weeks to kill any pathogens, then occasionally shaving a few bits over the yolk. It is pretty easy to grate while frozen so you can just pop it out of storage for a sec, get what you need, and then pop it right back in. Does that help?

      • Melissa says:

        Thanks Heather! That helped! Do you think cooked liver would be beneficial as well? Maybe brown it on the stove and then puree? Daddy is pretty concerned about raw meat….

        • Heather says:

          You could shave it into small pieces and then lightly brown it on the stove. Keep in mind as you prepare that the proteins in overcooked meat “plasticize” around vitamins and minerals and make them unavailable for use in the body.

          • Melissa says:

            Thanks Heather! One more question- is there an ideal time to feed baby solids such as just after breastfeeding or wait a little while between breastfeeding and solids? Would you recommend just once or twice a day with solids and gradually work up to 3 meals a day as they get closer to 1 year? (My son is 6.5 months)

          • Heather says:

            I breastfeed on demand and then offer foods to experiment with at mealtimes. When Micah was younger and very little was making it’s way into his mouth I felt free to skip a “meal” if we were in a rush and I didn’t want him to get messy. So some days he had three “meals” and some days just one. As he expressed more interest I provided food more consistently. Now he is deeply offended if his sister gets something and he is not offered any. Ha!

          • Melissa says:

            Thanks for putting up with all my first-time-mom questions Heather! I really value your advice! I’ve tried eggs yolks and liver with my son (7 months now) and he spits them out! I tried eggs yolks about 5 different days and made it different ways- soft boiled twice, fried, and scrambled and also tried with liver on top. He does like eating homemade chicken and beef broth off a spoon. I tried mixing small pieces of egg yolk and liver in the broth and he would work the little pieces out of his mouth and swallow the broth! I did give him some avocado to suck on because we were having some at dinner and thought I’d see if he just didn’t like any solids. He sucked on the avocado some and seemed to like it but it was hard for him to hold bc so slippery so I held it. I know WAPF suggests waiting until 8 months for veggies so I was trying to wait another month for these. You also mentioned pureed meats in broth (maybe chicken). I’m debating what to do next because I like the idea of Baby Led Weaning you discussed and was not wanting to puree if not needed. Any thoughts?

          • Heather says:

            I started with broth and soft stews. My little ones wanted to taste and knaw at that age so they’d nosh on things for awhile and then spit them out. As they got more interested in actually swallowing food I tore it into smaller pieces that they could feed themselves. Does that help?

  55. Areta says:

    I have a ten month old and have been doing the pureed foods with him. I’m just now learning about baby lead weening and so wish I had been doing this all along. I really need some help with this. Should I still do the 4 day or so wait rule to make sure he does not have any allergies or just put a variety on his plate? Also, he has a cow and goat milk sensitivity. This has been challenging. My health has been declining and I’m weening him now from breastmilk so I can get better. I was using a goat milk powder, but he began having awful ecezema. Now we are doing coconut milk and homemade chicken broth. I really need some advice.

  56. Karma Spirit via FB says:

    loved this post!! xo

  57. Ty-Megan Gross via FB says:

    Any thoughts on how to get iron and zinc into a baby that doesn’t swallow anything (since she’s tube fed)?

  58. Melissa Yancer via FB says:

    I just want to throw out there something for others to look into if they so desire… BM is low in iron. BUT BM Iron is absorbed at such a beter rate than solids, baby generally still doesn’t need iron from outside breastmilk. If i remember correctly the nubers were something like 4% absorbtion rate from cereals etc and 40-60% absorbtion rate from BM. “Fake” iron is not the same as breastmilk iron just like eating spiniach isn’t the same nutrition as a vitimin pill. The real stuff is always better processed by our bodies. So I’d say it’s perfectly designed for a different reason.

  59. I totally agree that the iron in breastmilk is much more bioavailable, Melissa Yancer! In the article above I also talk about how the low levels protect baby from pathogenic gut bacteria that thrive on iron. I don’t think breast milk is inadequate in any way, but IMO children benefit both nutritionally and immunologically from coming into contact at an early age. Good soil contains good bacteria plus zinc and iron. I think mamas body takes this into account when she produces milk and that the two are meant to work in tandem :)

  60. I think if it were me, Ty-Megan Gross, I give her probiotics, rub some FCLO on her bum, and not worry too much about the rest right now. Children’s bodies have a way of making up for these kinds of circumstances as they grow and heal. You are doing an AMAZING job and she is so blessed to have you as her mama. If I happen to think of something that will help though I’ll definitely let you know!

  61. Melissa Yancer via FB says:

    oh i completely agree!!! You brought up a great subject and i think the pediatrician saying “baby’s not getting what they need from breastmilk” is such a HUGE disservice to the moms and their babes. If mom has a good diet, mom and the world will provide. This artificial crap made in labs pushed to moms and babes makes me so sad… (formula, iron drops or that fortified cereal…)

  62. wait, we’re supposed to do tummy time? ;)

  63. Hi Kathleen Pelton! Yes, the dessicated liver from Radiant Life is very good and would definitely work. In her book Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon recommends the following process for preparing egg yolks: “Boil an egg for three to four minutes (longer at higher altitudes), peel away the shell, discard the white and mash up yolk with a little unrefined sea salt. (The yolk should be soft and warm, not runny.) Small amounts of grated, raw organic liver (which has been frozen 14 days) may be added to the egg yolk after 6 months. Some mothers report their babies actually prefer the yolk with the liver.” Regarding the soil I bought for my daughter, I went to our local organic garden supply shop and asked them to help me pick something out. Unfortunately I don’t remember what it was called :(

  64. Lisa C says:

    This article kind of blew me away. I did BLW with my son, but not with the right foods. With my next, I plan to offer foods that WAPF suggests but still take more of a BLW approach. I did not know that about iron and zinc in dirt or about molars erupting when the pancreas starts producing amylase. Or about the protective effect of low-iron breastmilk, or how the leaky gut of a newborn is so beneficial. Makes me wonder what else I don’t know.

    • Heather says:

      Thanks for this comment, Lisa! I’m so glad you found this info helpful. I learned a lot after my first was born, too, and have continued to learn with my second. Seems to me that you are on a very good path with BLW and WAPF :)

  65. [...] in the dirt helps keep kids from developing allergies and asthma.Additionally, exposure to dirt can help babies’ natural iron and zinc production, even before they start solid foods.On a separate note, some recently emerging information has [...]

  66. [...] like bacteria. I let my kids eat dirt. Sometimes (okay most of the time) I forget to wash their hands before [...]

  67. jill says:

    interesting. my girl is 4.5 months old and i neither she or i are ready for solid foods.

    where can i find your source about the formula-fed baby and the gut not closing properly?

    thanks!

  68. Alicia says:

    I’m interested in ordering your ebook for my SIL. How would I go about that?

  69. This is great timing!! Samuel is 4 months this week, and I’ve been wondering about all of this. :)

  70. [...] processor would work just fine. I had never heard of Baby Led Weaning or thought too much about when we should start solids. Then, I started looking into the food issues as my friends introduced food and/or rice cereal at [...]

  71. My son is also 4 months old and I found this very helpful. Thanks for sharing this!

  72. [...] the deal: Kids were meant to eat dirt. Healthy kids get sick. And bacteria is good for you. In order for a healthy immune system to stay [...]

  73. Leah says:

    I’ve been re-reading NT over and over again, scanning the internet and here I am again back at your site. My eldest was introduced to solids to early in my opinion (4 mo.) My mother swore she was starving and needed them so I fed her. I was nursing and supplementing since I had some milk production issues. Once she started eating she stopped the supplementing. Well now we know she is sensitive to citrus (strawberries, oranges, pineapples), tomatoes, dairy (although goat seems to be doing ok lately), chocolate, soy. Well now baby #2 is a week shy of 9 months and just started solids about 2 weeks ago. She is 100% breastfed. She started with bone broth, moved to banana. Has tried, egg yolk, avocado, blueberries, peaches, pastured chicken, sweet potato, butternut squash, apple sauce. I add coconut oil to many things. She takes CLO. BUT…it seems she is getting a prickly rash on her face and torso and sometimes a flaming red hiney. What gives. She has been having lots of BM. Is it too much fiber. Not enough probiotics? Neither kids is Vaccinated, both are home birthed. We eat a pretty clean natural diet. I’d ask the Dr but they just tell us to put a cream on the rash. Do you have any ideas or suggested reading?

  74. Christy says:

    I am a lactation consultant and am nursing #3. He was born with a very rare form of leukemia, which required 5 rounds of chemo beginning at 6 months of age. People say there’s not enough iron in breastmilk, but listen to this. Since chemo is a great way to kill leukemia cells, and a great way to mess up a gut; he didn’t get much food during this time. What he did get in abundance is breastmilk. His unique regimen basically wipes all the blood cells, including the iron-filled red blood cells. A typical response would be to require packed red blood cell transfusion 5-15 times during this treatment. He needed 1. He NEVER became anemic. His hemoglobin would drop to around 7.5 (other markers of iron would also drop) and with no supplementation, nothing but breastmilk, within a week or so he’d be back up to 9 or 10. Remarkable? Everyone was shocked! Except me and our lactation consultant. We know that there actually IS enough iron in there, if the baby needs it.

    • Heather says:

      Wow, that is AMAZING Christy! How is your little boy doing?

      • christy says:

        He’s doing FanTasTIc! Thanks for asking. He was able to maintain his own ‘normal’ growth pattern during chemo with little more than breast milk and a few select supplements that protected him from the poison.

        We are now coming up on a year of remission. He continues to have normal growth and development. His first steps were a little bit delayed, but hey, his world was a 10×10 foot hospital room for 6 months…not a lot to explore there! We are actively detoxing his little body of the poison that saved his life and nourishing him with breast milk, cultured veggies and other good foods. We do have to be a bit careful about what we give him since I’m sure his gut isn’t healed yet, but he has a good repertoire.

        He is an 18 month-old hero and the light of our lives!

    • minu says:

      I so agree with Christy on the iron and hemoglobin levels while breastfeeding. It is hard for me to agree 100% that the child will lack nutrient (iron) from breastmilk. My little daughter was exclusively on breastmilk till 9 months. When i went for the well-check, she was well over her iron/vitamin-d levels. The ped was surprised too. I think the child will take whatever she/he needs out of it.

  75. [...] you are new here you might think this is strange, but really it’s nothing. I also let my kids eat dirt, believe the occasional fever is beneficial, and am actively looking for a way to give my kids the [...]

  76. [...] a perfect early food for baby. For more information on how and when to introduce solids check out this post, and for more recipe ideas check out my ebook, Nourished [...]

  77. Melissa says:

    This question may be TMI, but I am really wondering if this is ok/normal. My baby boy (12 months now) will have small chunks of veggies in his poo… is this to be expected? It is usually things like carrots, skin of zucchini, butternut squash, broccoli. I read your Nourished Baby book prior to starting solids and have followed your recommendations as far as starting with homemade bone broth (at 6.5 months) and then doing the baby led weaning approach. Since I did not do purees, other moms weren’t sure if this is normal since they gave purees. I haven’t noticed this issue with other foods like meats (liver, chicken, beef), fruit, egg yolks (initially didn’t tolerate egg yolks- had 2 incidents of vomiting about 1 week apart after giving egg yolks twice around 7 months. He never vomited previously with anything else. Tried egg yolks again at 11 months and no problems). Just wondering if this is normal! Thanks!

    • Heather says:

      Hi Melissa! Veggies tend to be a little more difficult to break down than the other foods you mentioned, so it makes sense that you might find some undigested bits. If it were me, I’d probably cook them a little longer in broth or butter for now to make them a little easier on the tummy.

  78. [...] When they show signs of readiness, egg yolks, bone broths and soft meats are all excellent complements to breast milk (either from mom or donated through a milk sharing program) or homemade formula. Of course, there’s room at the table for soft buttered carrots and fermented apple butter, too! [...]

  79. Hi Vanessa! I’m so sorry I’m just seeing this. Are you still having problems getting pages to load?

  80. I am, but I think it’s a browser issue. I switched from Firefox to Safari, and now I can load your site. Thank goodness, because I’m devouring all your posts! Thanks for getting back to me :-)

  81. [...]  Patience. As I wrote about here, some children are ready for solids at 4 months, but some wait until 14 months! My kids were on the [...]

  82. Jenny says:

    I have been SO frustrated with baby led weaning. I have a 10 month old baby boy and he is my first. I’ve done baby led weaning from 6 months but not with the WAPF suggested foods as that part is new to me. Anyway, my son won’t swallow anything! He’ll take a bite, make the chewing movements, and after a little while open his mouth and stick out his tounge and out comes his food. And I really don’t think he has his pincer grasp down yet either. To top it all off, I’m hearing it from my mom about why he’s not eating anything, and my other friends who’s babies are BLW as well are eating everything, so in the last 4 months, I’ve caved and offered pureed foods twice. Ugh! I bought your book hoping to hear a magic answer on how to get him to actually eat something, but I guess the magic answer is to be patient and continue to let him figure it out. I don’t know. However, I’m happy to have found your website though, you have a ton of great information!

    • Heather says:

      My son did the same thing, Jenny! He wanted to explore flavors but wasn’t really interested in eating until well after his first birthday. I took it as a compliment that my milk was very nourishing :)

  83. Oh my goodness! Thank you so much! My son just turned five months old, and everyone is freaking out that I haven’t given him “real” food yet. He’s perfectly healthy and seems interested in food, but honestly, I just haven’t known where to start! Allowing him to feed himself makes so much sense to me–as does the reassurance that he’s getting plenty of good stuff from me still. Thank you!

  84. I love this! I never pushed for my kids to eat “at the RIGHT time” and I always got ‘the look’ from people. Come on – as IF I’d let my kids starve! This is such great information.

  85. Meat then veggies was my son’s first foods. Over a year before we started grains

  86. Jessica Angelique Kirsch – I’m so glad you found it helpful! :-D

  87. [...] exposure to dirt can help babies’ natural iron and zinc production, even before they start solid [...]

  88. I really enjoyed reading this! Thank you!

  89. Jessica Kirsch, I’m on baby #5 and with ALL of them we have started food when we see certain cues: eg. Baby has some teeth, can sit up alone and can use fingers pretty well. That’s has fallen around the 8th month mark. Then its only veggies, not cereals. None of my kids have a single allergy, no skin problems, no diapers rashes and not a single ear infection. I think it pays to move “slowly”, as others would put it!

  90. [...] Could this have been a source of iron supplementation for pre-rice cereal babies? After reading this, I felt OK letting Bridger eat a little (organic) dirt from the [...]

  91. [...] eating is very common soon after babies start solid foods or when the babies themselves show interest in trying to eat [...]

  92. Kat says:

    I found this post; thank you for it! I’m a breastfeeding mom, and follow WAPF for our family’s diet as best as I can with a tight budget. My son is 6.5 months old. I started feeding him a little bit of beef broth, egg yolk, and very slightly browned liver at 6 mo. He would eat a little of the broth and yolk at first, never crazy about the liver. And in the past few days he just refuses it. What I’ve read about iron deficiencies, etc in WAPF literature made me worried, and I tried really hard to get him eat at least a few bites at his little “mealtime”. I got frustrated with him too, because I felt he HAD to have some supplementation. And then I felt like a bad mom. This post made me feel a lot better! I’m gonna give the little guy a break, and see in a week if he wants some. If he doesn’t, it WILL be ok, and will just wait. Praying I didn’t cause his little gut any harm with my overzealousness. Just want what’s best for my sweetie!

  93. Janette says:

    About the raw liver, I know I shouldn’t be concerned about giving raw meat to a baby, but it still worries me in the back of my mind. It’s been beat into our heads that raw meat makes you sick. Is there anything you could tell me to help put my mind more at ease about this? Thanks!!!

  94. Diane says:

    Hi Heather, Wonderful article!! My question may have been answered already… What would you say if a one year old’s iron levels are on the low side. She is being breastfed and is eating iron rich foods. Not sure if slightly low iron levels are a big concern or not. Thank you!!

  95. Anne says:

    I love the dirt idea! I filled a little pot with some potting soil (all I have right now) and let my 10 month old play with it. She was so curious and really liked it. I wanted to ask how do I ensure it’s the best dirt possible? (haha, funny question!) It’s says it’s all natural compost stuff so is that good? What do you recommend? :) Thanks in advance.

  96. Leaky Bum says:

    [...] on when and what to start feeding your baby besides breast milk, Mommypotamus does a bang up job in this [...]

  97. Colleen says:

    HELP! i messed up, big time. I came here looking to find some good recipes for my 10 month old, because, surprise surprise, she is refusing food. Probably because i was shoveling food in her face with a spoon franticly so she could get the iron she needed ;)

    Do you have any suggestions to help her get back on track? How much SHOULD she be eating right now?She pretty much eats on her own, and, i dont give her many grains or carbs, but she has stopped eating veggies..I dont know how to help her like them again. So in the meantime, i blend them up and spoon feed them to her when she is distracted. She loves avocado. thats pretty much all she eats. I am going to be purchasing your book soon.

    I just want to do whats best for her and i feel i messed up, royally.

    • Anne says:

      Hi Colleen,
      I have a 13 month old and believe me, food has been a big stressor for me. I want everything that goes in her to be perfectly healthy. But I have learned that her body knows what she wants. I would say trust your baby. If she doesn’t feel like veggies one week don’t force it. My rule is I always offer it and if she gets in a rut of eating the same thing over and over again I try to get creative and think of new things to offer her. Also remember that she is just 10 months old and will be developing her likes and dislikes overtime. Just because she doesn’t want a veggie today doesn’t mean she will be a veggie hater for life. You are doing a great job! Our bodies are strong and bounce back quickly from any harm done when corrections are made. Your baby is healthy and well and lucky to have you as her mama!

  98. [...] I decided that I would search Dr Google for some answers.  I happened to stumbled upon a blog a woman wrote about babies who begin to refuse food and [...]

  99. […] We’ll see what’s next. I’m really liking the idea of baby led feeding. You can read about that over here and here […]

  100. […] Wellness Mama and she has opened my eyes to a whole new world of feeding babies and children. Here is a link to her thoughts on baby’s first foods.  Did you know that egg yolk is now being […]

  101. […] on when and what to start feeding your baby besides breast milk, Mommypotamus does a bang up job in this […]

  102. […] We’ll see what’s next. I’m really liking the idea of baby led feeding. You can read about that over here and here […]

  103. joyce wang says:

    “Many babies worry that their baby or child isn’t eating enough.”

    I’m sorry but when i see errors like this and knowing that this supposedly has been peer reviewed by Anne Marie i wonder if it’s really true

    • @Joyce Thanks for finding the typo! Fixed! I don’t know why you would assume that any blog post here has been peer reviewed by any other blogger. This simply isn’t the case. We do not submit blog posts to anyone prior to publishing for peer review unless it is has been sponsored by a brand we know and trust.

  104. joyce wang says:

    also, the baby weaning method you are suggesting….i have always wondered, wouldn’t that be encouraging food wasting? because they do waste a lot of food if you let them feed themselves with hands, what do you suggest teaching them to feed themselves while teaching them food is so precious that we should not waste it?

  105. […] the recommendation of this post, I also let my babies have an outside play area with organic dirt once they are 3-4 months or old […]

  106. […] When Should My Baby Start Solids from Mommypotamus […]

  107. Julia says:

    I loved the article, thank you. I have a question – when is the right age to start feeding the dirt to the baby? Is it too late to “feed” it to 4yo? :)
    My children have multiple food allergies and we are following GAPS diet, but I was thinking if there is something else could be done.

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