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Thursday, December 11, 2008

December Series Meeting

Our Series meeting this month was Nutrition and Weaning led by Jen. We started out talking about our favorite winter/holiday treats which varied from clementines to toffee to pies and soups. Jen led us in talking about holiday simplifying. Comments ranged from spending holidays at home, cutting out travel, opting out of gift giving, and spreading out the celebrations.
We also discussed starting solids and went over LLLI's new tear off sheet about when and how to start solids. Jen encouraged us to openly share this information with our pediatricians. Here, from is what LLL says about starting solids.

When should my baby start solids?

Human milk is the only food that healthy, full-term babies need for about the first six months of life. The composition of human milk varies according to the time of day and the age of the baby, so that each mother provides the milk that meets her own baby's unique needs. Human milk provides immunity factors for as long as the baby nurses, and many of the health benefits of breastfeeding continue well into childhood and beyond.

Most solid foods are lower in calories than human milk, of lower nutritional value, and can be difficult for young babies to digest. Introduced early, they can cause unpleasant reactions and even trigger allergies. These problems can be avoided by waiting until your baby is ready for solids. Some parents have found introducing solids before baby is ready to be a waste of time, energy and money.

Breastfed babies do not need to have complementary food introduced until about the middle of the first year. Before that time, you will notice some signs that your baby is changing developmentally, in preparation for beginning solids in a few months. You will notice that:

* he becomes more sociable, playing and holding "conversations" with you during a nursing session
* he has a growth spurt and nurses more frequently for a while
* he imitates the chewing motions you make whilst eating -- he is practicing!

You will know that he is really ready to start solids when:

* he is about six months old
* he can sit up without any support
* he continues to be hungry despite more frequent nursing which is unrelated to illness or teething
* he has lost the tongue-thrusting reflex and does not push solids out of his mouth
* he can pick up things with his finger and thumb (pincer grasp)

Babies who are ready for solids can usually feed themselves. Mothers often report that they knew their babies were ready when they picked up food from a plate, chewed it, swallowed it, and wanted more.

Listen to your baby! Babies with a tendency to allergies may refuse solids until later in their first year. As long as they are growing well and are happy and healthy, there is no need for concern.

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