Here are the facts about some common breastfeeding misconceptions:
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Breastmilk is all your baby needs until at least six months of age. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization and many other health organizations recommend that babies be exclusively breastfed (no cereal, juice or other foods) for the first 6 months. But after your baby is 6 months, you may want to start exploring solids.
The best time to start solids is when the baby is showing interest in starting, though most experts agree that exclusively feeding breasmilk until at least 6 months is preferred and ideal for baby's health and nutrition. By 6 months of age, some babies will be reaching and trying to grab food that parents have on their plates. This may not be the best indicator of a baby's readiness for solids because your baby is grabbing at everything! Look for your baby's ability to sit up and the loss of the reflex to push food out of their mouths with their tongue. Go by the baby's cues.
A breastfed baby digests solid foods better and earlier than an artificially fed baby because breastmilk contains enzymes which help digest fats, proteins and starch. Breastfed babies also have had a wide variety of tastes in their lives, since the flavors of many foods the mother eats will pass into her milk. Breastfed babies thus accept solids more readily than artificially fed babies.
When your baby is starting to take solids at about 6 months of age, it really doesn't matter what foods are introduced first. It is better to avoid highly spiced or highly allergenic foods at first (e.g. egg white, strawberries), but if the baby reaches for the potato on your plate, make sure it is not too hot, mash it up, and let him have the potato. There is no need to go in any specific order, and there is no need for the baby to eat only one food for a certain period of time. Some exclusively breastfed babies dislike infant cereal when it is introduced at 6 months of age. There is no need for concern and no need to persist if the baby doesn't want the cereal. There is nothing magic or necessary about infant cereal.
Offer the baby foods that he is interested in. Allow the baby to enjoy food and do not worry about exactly how much he actually takes at first. More than anything, the introduction to solid foods is a photo opportunity! Much of it may end up in his hair and on the floor anyhow. There is no need either that foods be pureed if the baby is 6 months of age or older. Simple mashing with a fork is all that is necessary at first. You also do not have to be exceedingly careful about how much the baby takes.
Be relaxed, feed the baby at your mealtimes, and as he becomes a more accomplished eater of solid foods, offer a greater variety of foods at any one time.