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Yet another "ready for solids?"



 
 
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  #21  
Old November 16th 03, 07:51 AM
Akuvikate
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Default Yet another "ready for solids?"

(Beth Kevles) wrote in message ...
Hi -

Since a computer crash late last year, I no longer have specific cites.
But basically, what you're doing is playing roulette.


I'm playing roulette every time we go for a walk because the weather's
nice. We don't need to take that walk, and we could get hit by a car.
I figure that the increased risk of an unlikely but horrible outcome
is outweighed by the near-certainty that we'll enjoy ourselves.

It's your first parenting test: do you do what your child wants, or do
you do what's healthiest for their physical well-being?


I'm with Phoebe in taking exception to telling me this is a test, with
the implication that if I don't follow your advice then I'll fail it.
And my answer is that it depends how bad she wants it and what the
impact on her health would be. Sixteen years from now we'll be in a
far more dangerous situation when she and her friends start getting
their drivers licenses. It'll be best for her physical health and
well-being if I don't let her get into a car with (or be) a teen
driver. But in all likelihood I will.

As someone pointed out in the SIDS/co-sleeping thread, X times a very
very very small number is still a very very small number. If that's
the case I may decide not to wait a month and a half. If the numbers
aren't so small I'll be a lot more careful. But just saying "the risk
is higher" doesn't allow me to gauge how much caution I think is
warranted.

Kate
and the sleeping Bug, June 8 2003
  #22  
Old November 16th 03, 02:58 PM
Elaine
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Default Yet another "ready for solids?"

In article , Phoebe & Allyson wrote:
Yes! That's exactly my problem. I could have a darn good
shot at guaranteeing hypothetical Baby#2 a food allergy-free
existence by starting it on elemental formula from birth,
and never ever introducing solids.


Actually, I don't know that's true. Alimentum contains
tapioca starch, which I react to. Nutramigen has corn
syrup, which lots of people are ending up allergic to
now, along with corn starch. I react to both of those.
Pregestimil has the same problems as Nutramigen. Neocate,
for those who can't handly protein hydrolysates *also*
has corn in it, although the lack of dairy/soy proteins
makes it a better choice than some of the others.

You'd just end up with a baby that was allergic to your
elemental formula. It does happen, which is why adult
TPN is almost always a custom blend.

Not to say that PB&J and
chocolate milk are good first foods for 2-week olds, but
there must be some happy medium. Unfortunately, it's hard
to know what will turn out to have been the right decision.


I've been doing the research for more than a year now. Even
with having read it all - it's impossible to create a
reasonable plan that has a good chance of being "right".

For example, extended breastfeeding has been found to
increase atopy. Apparently some kids have IgE reactions
to human milk. About the only thing that the studies
agree on is that introducing foods before 4 months
is probably a really bad idea. 6 months is encouraged,
but no one really seems to know if it's better than 4
months.

Introducing foods too late causes problems too. For
example, waiting until after 2 to introduce gluten
containing foods (wheat, rye, oats(controversial),
barley) is supposed to increase your risk of celiac
disease. CD is significantly more stringent than your
average allergy. In addition, if you are exposed to
gluten after 2, it makes you nearly impossible to
diagnose. You'll just get sick, and no one will
know why.

As much as I would like my kids not to have any
allergies - I don't know that I really belive
that any of the food introduction schedules have
much science behind them. They seem to have about
as much science as studies on how to get your kids
to sleep through the night. Genes, unfortunately,
tend to win out.

Elaine
  #23  
Old November 16th 03, 07:30 PM
Elizabeth Reid
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Default Yet another "ready for solids?"

Elaine wrote in message ...

As much as I would like my kids not to have any
allergies - I don't know that I really belive
that any of the food introduction schedules have
much science behind them. They seem to have about
as much science as studies on how to get your kids
to sleep through the night. Genes, unfortunately,
tend to win out.


I agree with your assessment of the research. I *did*
follow one of the special schedules, but I freely admit
that it was more so that if my son did turn out to have
a serious allergy, I'd at least felt like I'd done what
I could. The research is so contradictory and hard
to rely on that it's all a shot in the dark, so I picked
the bits that made some sort of intuitive sense and
did what I could. I'll never know if it made any
difference, either good or bad, but at least I can feel
like I tried.

Are the increases in food allergy incidence in kids real,
or is it better diagnosis, etc.? It really does seem like
more children have allergies than had them when I was
a kid, and if so, there must be some environmental factor
interacting with the genetics. I'm an allergies-eczema-asthma
person myself, with a strong genetic history for it, and my
mom did all the 'wrong' things - and I still don't have any
food allergies. I would think that if any of these precautions
made any difference, the situation would be getting better,
not worse.

Beth
  #24  
Old November 16th 03, 08:14 PM
Phoebe & Allyson
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Default Yet another "ready for solids?"

Elizabeth Reid wrote:

Are the increases in food allergy incidence in kids real,
or is it better diagnosis, etc.?


I vote for better diagnosis and better understanding of the
reasons behind other atopy (eczema is what I'm thinking of).
100 years ago, someone with anaphylactic allergies
wouldn't survive to reproduce, FTT (due to allergy /
intolerance) babies died, anyone with severe eczema was at
risk of death from untreatable infection. Allergies that
were minor and eventually outgrown were just another baby
rash.

Now, not only can you diagnose and treat (or at least
manage) atopic disease, the odds of dying are smaller. So
there are more live allergic people, more allergic genes
being passed on, and more minor allergies being recognized
as allergies.

Phoebe
--
yahoo address is unread - substitute mailbolt

  #25  
Old November 17th 03, 01:58 AM
Hillary Israeli
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Default Yet another "ready for solids?"

In ,
Akuvikate wrote:

*I know people post questions like this all the time, but...
*
*The plan is to start Bug on solids at 6 months, which will happen in 3
*and a half weeks. However I'm really beginning to wonder if it may
*not make sense to start a bit sooner. Why I wonder:
*
*1. I gave her a index card to gum and drool on while I was filing
*yesterday, and she actually ate bits of it (proof was in her diaper
*this morning).

So, what you're saying is, you have already started solids - just not the
recommended variety. Right?

Sounds to me like the kid is pretty much ready, but I'm no expert on this.

--
hillary israeli vmd http://www.hillary.net
"uber vaccae in quattuor partes divisum est."
not-so-newly minted veterinarian-at-large
  #26  
Old November 17th 03, 02:01 AM
Hillary Israeli
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Default Yet another "ready for solids?"

In ,
Beth Kevles wrote:

*It's your first parenting test: do you do what your child wants, or do
*you do what's healthiest for their physical well-being?

Well, I think everyone agrees you do what's best for your kid - the
problem is (IMO) knowing exactly what that is.

I do not think there is a magic timer going off in each baby's intestinal
tract causing some kind of change in the gut at exactly six months old! I
think some babies are likely to be ready sooner than six months and some
probably a bit later. I HOPE that the other readiness cues are in some way
temporally associated with the readiness of the gut to accept solids while
minimizing risk of allergies, but I don't know.

-h (started one baby on solids at 4 mos, inadvertently [he just kept
stealing food off our plates!!], started other baby at 6 mos but she
rejected them til 8 mos!)

--
hillary israeli vmd http://www.hillary.net
"uber vaccae in quattuor partes divisum est."
not-so-newly minted veterinarian-at-large
  #27  
Old November 17th 03, 02:43 AM
Beth Kevles
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Default Yet another "ready for solids?"


Hi -

Hilary said:

I HOPE that the other readiness cues are in some way temporally
associated with the readiness of the gut to accept solids while
minimizing risk of allergies, but I don't know.

-------------------------

Based strictly on anecdotes from parents I know who are dealing with
food allergies ... nope. If the baby is breastmilk allergic to foods,
then yes, the babies tend to want to delay solids. BUt if they're not,
the parents don't find out the bad news until the baby has a bad
reaction.

By the way, in looking at more recent research abstracts (at the NIH web
site) it's looking less and less conclusive as to when solids are safe
to introduce. There's a distinct disadvantage to starting solids
earlier than 26 weeks, as far as I can tell, and a distinct disadvantage
to starting milk (other than breastmilk) and wheat earlier than 10
months. Other than that, it's anyone's guess. BUT there's also nothing
that indicates any problem with delaying solids in most babies. Just
keep an eye on your baby's iron levels, which *can* drop in breastfed
babies after the 6-month mark.

In the short term, you may wish to discuss with your ped. what could
happen, at different ages, if your child DOES develop an allergic
reaction to a food. There are, for example, no epi-pens on the market
for infants. (A properly used epe-pen can normally buy you abou 20
minutes in which to get to the hospital before your child stops
breathing. An overdose can cause tachycardia or stroke ...) ANd a
pre-verbal child can't tell you about the early-warning symptoms that
aren't visible from the outside.

SO, roulette it is, with the odds in favor of the child whose family has
no history of allergy, or the child who spends its infancy around farm
animals, and even the child who starts daycare in early infancy! Go
figure.

--Beth Kevles

http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html -- a page for the milk-allergic
Disclaimer: Nothing in this message should be construed as medical
advice. Please consult with your own medical practicioner.

NOTE: No email is read at my MIT address. Use the AOL one if you would
like me to reply.
  #28  
Old November 17th 03, 02:49 AM
Beth Kevles
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Default Yet another "ready for solids?"


Are the increases in food allergy incidence in kids real,
or is it better diagnosis, etc.?


The increase in anaphylactic allergy is real, and visible even in just
the last 25 years.

I believe that part of the reason for the suggested
introduction-of-solids schedule is that you want a child to be as mature
as possible before introducing the more serious allergens. Pre-verbal
children, for example, can't tell you if their throats tickle, nor can
you see that, but if it happens the first time they are exposed to
peanuts, there's a good chance that the second exposure will have a more
serious consequence. ALso, there aren't great emergency response
systems for infants who develop an allergic reaction, whereas there are
for older children. (See my previous post w.r.t. epi-pens.)

But I couldn't find much research on when and why to delay most solids.
Milk and wheat, yes. Best delayed at least 10 months, with solid
research behind it. All solids best delayed beyond 26 weeks. But it's
still an interaction between genes and the environment.

--Beth Kevles

http://web.mit.edu/kevles/www/nomilk.html -- a page for the milk-allergic
Disclaimer: Nothing in this message should be construed as medical
advice. Please consult with your own medical practicioner.

NOTE: No email is read at my MIT address. Use the AOL one if you would
like me to reply.
  #29  
Old November 17th 03, 01:54 PM
Cheryl S.
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Default Yet another "ready for solids?"

Beth Kevles wrote in message
...
SO, roulette it is, with the odds in favor of the child whose family

has
no history of allergy, or the child who spends its infancy around farm
animals, and even the child who starts daycare in early infancy! Go
figure.


The starting early in daycare seems to fit with the theory that today's
kids develop more allergies because they are in too clean of an
environment while their immune system is developing (due to so many
antibacterial cleaning products, etc.). In the relative absence of real
germs to fight off, the immune system goes haywire and reacts to food
instead. Probably the same theory explains the farm animals effect too.
Barns aren't the cleanest of places. :-)
--
Cheryl S.
Mom to Julie, 2 yr., 7 mo.
And Jaden, 2 months

Cleaning the house while your children are small is like
shoveling the sidewalk while it's still snowing.


  #30  
Old November 17th 03, 05:50 PM
Elizabeth Reid
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Default Yet another "ready for solids?"

"Cheryl S." wrote in message ...
Beth Kevles wrote in message
...
SO, roulette it is, with the odds in favor of the child whose family

has
no history of allergy, or the child who spends its infancy around farm
animals, and even the child who starts daycare in early infancy! Go
figure.


The starting early in daycare seems to fit with the theory that today's
kids develop more allergies because they are in too clean of an
environment while their immune system is developing (due to so many
antibacterial cleaning products, etc.). In the relative absence of real
germs to fight off, the immune system goes haywire and reacts to food
instead. Probably the same theory explains the farm animals effect too.
Barns aren't the cleanest of places. :-)


There was also some sort of study (recounted in 'Parasite Rex', and
I don't know any more of it than that) that argued that it's not
just bacteria, it's other intestinal parasites that we're missing
in some autoimmune disorders at least. I don't know this absence has
an effect on allergies but I wouldn't be surprised.

Beth
 




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