Sunday, January 13, 2008
Big Boy Chair
Ben can sit up in his high chair now. He has until now been sitting ON the table in his bumbo in front of us while we eat dinner. He used to be entertained by us eating our dinner but now he wants to actively participate and tries to grab our food. When we don't give him the chicken/spaghetti/chicken pot pie he wants he cries and arches his back to get out of his bumbo (he has almost succeeded in doing this a few times which shows us why Bumbo's are quickly becoming famous for skull fractures...). We put him in his high chair last night to see if he could sit up in it and he was quite proud to be there. Unfortunately for him it did not mean he would be joining us for dinner. He has been diagnosed with a milk allergy that causes him eczema, gas and mucus problems. It means that I don't eat dairy and we will delay solids until he is 7-8 months old with limited variety until he is 12 months to reduce his risks of developing more allergies. Because Jon and I both had allergies as children he is at a heightened risk. Sometime when he really starts to cry I will feed him a bowl of hypoallergenic (very expensive) formula with a spoon to pacify him- this works occasionally...
I was feeling bad for withholding solids from him (not that rice cereal is really anything to write home about...) while all his baby friends are busy chowing down on sweet potato already. After doing some research however, I have discovered that solids before 9-12 months is not really necessary. Breast milk should meet all an infants nutritional needs for the first year, including iron. Babies do not necessarily need to be supplemented with iron after their 6 month stores are depleted because the small amount in breast milk is absorbed at a higher rate then cereal or formula. The enzymes needed to digest carbohydrates and protein are not fully developed until the end of the first year and the presence of teeth, the ability to self feed, and sit unassisted generally indicates readiness for food.Really it's just Gerber that has done a great job in making consumers believe that the 4-6 month old baby needs more then milk. The fact that Ben grabs at our food and cries out in frustration does not necessarily mean that he is ready for food but just evidence of his general curiosity for everything...and he puts everything in his mouth, not because he wants to eat but because the needs to explore. At least Ben is happy in his highchair for now with his Linkadoos and the odd spoonful of overpriced formula- I really can't wait to give him "real" food though!