I’m not really sure that I want to go down this road but since this is my blog, I’ll give my opinion. On one of the parenting/infertility forums that I visit someone mentioned giving their child some rice cereal at just over 3 months and a fling!!! Now, there is always the chance that the child crawled up to their big brother or sister and grabbed the fling out of their hand. Considering this is a first child and they’re only 13 weeks old I doubt it, but lets just give the mom the benefit of the doubt that she didn’t actually buy her 13 week old a packet of flings to eat – the child has the rest of it’s life to get addicted to flings, why you’d want to encourage your child to eat junk food I have no idea. We are bombarded by stats of the high incidence of obesity in children these days. While they are so young is about the only time we have any control over what they eat, so surely any sensible parent would rather give their child healthy food to eat and grow accustomed to? Obviously not. In response to other moms’ questions about the appropriateness of giving a 13 week old flings she said that she was the child’s mom. No one is denying that fact but I think we all know that just because you are someone’s mother doesn’t necessarily mean you know what you’re doing. I still have no idea what I’m doing but I follow the advice of my clinic sister and paediatrician, friends and family that I trust, books written by experts (I hope), etc. I chose to start solids just before 6 months with Zoe on the advice of our paed and the clinic sister and because she was happily sleeping through and showing no signs of hunger. She didn’t take to solids very well, it was a huge battle and the consequences were that she pretty much lived on strained oats porridge, yoghurt and fruit till she was at least about 8 months old. To this day she has an extremely sweet tooth, although she now eats pretty well and will eat whatever we eat. Ava also started solids just before 6 months and she loved it and she eats pretty much anything. She doesn’t have a sweet tooth at all, doesn’t like sugar on anything, won’t drink juice or tea only water, doesn’t like flavoured yoghurt only plain, doesn’t like biscuits or sweets or ice cream (yes, second children tend to discover all these naughty things a lot earlier). I can’t be sure but I’m convinced it’s because she ate well from the start and wasn’t exposed to as many sweet things as Zoe (in our attempts to get her to eat something). Maybe that’s just how she is. I don’t know.

I also started with solids “later” as I was quite happy just breastfeeding for the first 5/6 months, not having to worry about bottles and fitting in meals, etc. Both girls aren’t allergic to anything, poo up to 4 times a day (yes, it drives me crazy but when I read all the stories about constipated kids I suppose I must be grateful) and are normal-sized. Zoe is a bit skinny but she’s so tall that she’s just rather stretched out I think. Because she’s tall and skinny, I think of Ava as being short and fat but at her last weigh-in she was 82 cm and 11,3 kg which is just above the 75th percentile for weight and on the 95th for height. Zoe is always on about the 50th for weight and off the chart for height.

The one funny thing is that when we lived in Cape Town, friends of ours had a little girl that was 8 weeks younger than Zoe. She has Cystic Fibrosis and so should eat almost twice what a normal child eats as her digestion isn’t very good and she needs to take enzymes before each meal to help with her digestion. They started solids at 6 months on the advice of the Cystic Fibrosis clinic at Red Cross and her paediatrician. Well, she ate less than Zoe and had to be on Pediasure milk (as well as breastmilk) for ages to compensate. These friends then had a second daughter a few days before Ava was born. She doesn’t have Cystic Fibrosis (it’s a recessive linked genetic disorder) but they decided to start her on solids at 4 months bcause of the problems they’d had with Shannon. Nina took to solids like Ava did and one will never know if it was just the child she is or because they didn’t wait till 6 months.I don’t think there is a right or a wrong answer but I do think it’s important to wean your baby on a healthy, balanced diet and encourage lots of physical playing and also to set a good example by eating correctly and exercising yourself.

Just to set the record straight, I’m not one of those moms that don’t allow sugar, chips, sweets, etc. Like I said, Zoe has a very sweet tooth but I do try and get them to eat 3 healthy meals and healthy snacks wherever possible. When she stays with my folks Zoe likes to have toast with brown sugar for breakfast and when my mom tries to encourage her to have something else, she gets told, “But that’s what you have Nana.” My mom gives her the toast with brown sugar and tells her, “Just don’t tell mommy.” Gotta love grandparents although I’d be pretty lost without them so I’ll let the brown sugar on toast slide.


3 Responses to “Solids”

  1. Marcia Says:

    Hot button for me!

    I also read those things and twitch 🙂 Then again, it’s not my kid.

    I am one of those mothers – the only bit of sugar mine get is the sugar used to make muffins (not Woolies, my muffins).

    Just this morning on 702 they had a segment on childhood obesity – oh, it’s scary.

  2. Marcia Says:

    P.S. are we going to meet up in Dec?

    • zamom Says:

      Absolutely, we’re around as my folks are away for a month from 11 December and so we’ve got the dogs, YAY!! Small price to pay for them looking after the girls and our dogs when we go skiing in January I suppose.

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