When to Feed Baby: Why Start Solids at 4 to 6 Months

Happy Girl

If you search online for when to feed babies solids, there is a lot of talk about delaying solids past 6 months and even over a year.

Many people say that solids should be delayed until after 6 or even 12 months because baby's gut is not sealed, and eating solid food prior to one year can cause allergies. Research by the Committee of Nutrition and Allergy and Immunology found in 2008 that there is no concrete evidence that delaying solids after 6 months better prevents the development of food allergies.

In addition, babies need supplemental iron and zinc when they reach the age of 4-6 months. These nutrient needs can not be met by breast milk alone.

Please note: I am not suggesting that anyone stop breastfeeding. I am a strong advocate of extended breastfeeding. I am merely suggesting supplementation with nutrient dense foods.

Why You Should Start Solids at 4 to 6 Months

Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Traditions and President of the Weston A. Price Foundation writes:

No primitive culture does exclusive breastfeeding past six months. The problem with delaying solids is lack of iron, and probably choline, both needed for baby's developing brain.

A lot depends on the maturity of the baby, of course, but if baby gets good quality breast milk or the homemade formula, he or she will be ready by six months, sometimes sooner. Of course you need to introduce food carefully… and no grains until at least one year, and even better two years.

Bubbe Feeding Kate 1

Bubbe Feeding Kate 2

The Nutrients Babies Need At 4 to 6 Months

Babies should be breastfed from birth and for a minimum of 6 months, but ideally at least a year. The mother should eat an excellent diet to ensure that the breast milk is of the highest quality (see the diet for pregnant and nursing mothers here.) If the mother cannot breastfed, the only formula that is adequate is the raw milk baby formula advocated by the Weston A. Price Foundation. (Don't kid yourself that commercial formulas are good for growing babies. They are full of industrial waste and should be avoided at all costs. Read more about how to make homemade baby formula here.)

Around the age of 4 to 6 months, supplementation from solid foods is necessary, as breast milk does not contain specific nutrients that are needed by the baby by the time he reaches 4-6 months old.

Iron

For healthy full-term infants, iron stores are well maintained up until 4-6 months when the iron stores begin to deplete. By about 4-6 months of age, you should start to introduce your infant to baby foods that contain iron.

Iron is a necessary mineral for body function and good health. Every red blood cell in the body contains iron in its hemoglobin, the pigment that carries oxygen to the tissues from the lungs. But a lack of iron in the blood can lead to iron-deficiency anemia, which is a very common nutritional deficiency in children. (Source)

The best choices for iron-rich first foods include liver, egg yolks and cod liver oil.

Zinc

Breast milk provides sufficient zinc (2 mg/day) for the first 4-6 months of life but does not provide recommended amounts of zinc for infants aged 7-12 months, who need 3 mg/day. In addition to breast milk, infants aged 7-12 months should consume age-appropriate foods… containing zinc. Zinc supplementation has improved the growth rate in some children who demonstrate mild-to-moderate growth failure and who have a zinc deficiency.” (Source)

Again, liver and egg yolks are excellent first foods as they are rich in zinc.

What to Feed Your Baby at 4 to 6 Months

Cod Liver Oil, Liver and Egg Yolks

Traditional cultures fed their babies very nutrient-dense first foods. Cod liver oil, liver and egg yolks are the very best choices because they are rich in fat soluble activators A, D and K2, plus cholesterol, iron, zinc and choline. They are also foods that are very easy to digest.

Cholesterol is vital for the insulation of the nerves in the brain and the entire central nervous system. It helps with fat digestion by increasing the formation of bile acids and is necessary for the production of many hormones. Since the brain is so dependent on cholesterol, it is especially vital during this time when brain growth is in hyper-speed.

A study published in the June 2002 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition compared the nutritional effects of feeding weaning infants 6-12 months of age regular egg yolks, enriched egg yolks, and an otherwise normal diet. The researchers found that both breastfed and formula-fed infants who consumed the egg yolks had improved iron levels when compared with the infants who did not. In addition, those infants who got the egg yolks enriched with extra fatty acids had 30 percent to 40 percent greater DHA levels than those fed regular egg yolks. (Source: Nourishing a Growing Baby)

If your baby doesn't react well to egg yolk, wait and try again in a month. Most babies can digest yolks; it is the whites that are most likely to be allergenic. (You may also want to check to see if your farmer is adding soy to the feed. If you can find soy-free pastured eggs, you may find that your baby does not react.)

Fermented cod liver oil is the best choice, as not all cod liver oil is the same. Fermented cod liver oil has the correct ratio of vitamins A and D. Also, it is not heated like other brands of cod liver oil and is naturally fermented so it has enzymes and probiotics.

More Foods to Introduce

After your baby is consuming cod liver oil, liver, egg yolks and cod liver oil, you can try introducing the following foods as baby begins to show readiness and interest:

Bone broth – homemade chicken stock or beef stock
Naturally fermented foods – kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles (we're talking about foods fermented in salt and/or whey, not made with vinegar)
Healthy fats – grass-fed butter, cream, tallow, lard and coconut oil
Grass-fed meats – ground up, pureed or pre-chewed
Cooked fruits and vegetables – should always be cooked in and/or served with good fats

Foods to Avoid

Baby foods that come in a jar
Grains – it is best to wait 1-2 years to feed babies grains, as they do not have the enzymes to digest them
Honey – babies should not get honey prior to one year
Soy – even properly fermented soy is not easy to digest
Nuts and seeds – wait until baby is over a year, and then always soak and/or sprout
Grapes and other small foods that pose a choking hazard
Raw fruits and vegetables – these are hard to digest and should always be cooked or fermented (with the exception of banana and avocado)

It is best to introduce foods one at a time, waiting at least a few days to a week in between new foods.

Please read this article for more details on how and when to introduce solid foods to your baby: Nourishing a Growing Baby

Helping with dinner

Our Experience with Feeding Solids

I started Kate on solid food at around 5 months: egg yolks and liver. She got cod liver oil at 4 months old.

No jars of baby food and no rice cereal for her! I followed the recommendations of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I found this article to be extremely helpful: Nourishing a Growing Baby.

Every morning Kate got egg yolk, warmed but still runny, with freshly grated, frozen calves liver (organic and grass-fed) and a pinch of sea salt.

She often got chicken or duck livers and/or hearts (organic and pastured) for lunch or dinner. I'd sautee them in grass-fed butter, duck fat, or coconut oil and she would devour them.

She ate liver pretty much every single day until she was over a year old, at which point I'd give it to her 1-3 times per week. Sadly, she started rejecting liver when she was about 3 1/2. I'm still working on getting her back into loving liver. (I'll be trying foie gras next.)

Here she is on her first birthday:

Instead of cake, I gave her a slab of duck liver pate, which she loved.

In addition to liver and egg yolks, when she was 6 months old, I fed her ground grass-fed meats and bone broth (homemade chicken stock or beef stock). I also gave her lots of grass-fed dairy: butter, cream, cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and kefir.

She also loved homemade sauerkraut and naturally fermented pickles. I also fed her fruits cooked in butter or coconut oil and often served with raw cream or yogurt, and some cooked vegetables cooked in butter or coconut oil or duck fat. I never gave her raw vegetables as they are too hard to digest, and the only raw fruits she got were bananas and avocado. (The pectin in apples, berries and other fruits makes them too hard to digest.)

IMG_1928

After a year, I introduced whole eggs and her typical breakfast because scrambled eggs cooked in butter or coconut oil with grated liver. At that time I also introduced seafood.

Kate and Daddy Eating Raw Oysters

She used to love wild smoked salmon and oysters. She actually ate a dozen raw oysters one time. Nowadays, she doesn't eat raw oysters but she does love lobster, clams, crab, mussels and shrimp.

I did not feed Kate any grains until she was 18 months old. I fed her soaked/sprouted whole grains in moderation. She also did not get sweets until she was over a year old (other than fruit), and then I kept it to unrefined sweeteners like maple syrup and honey, again, in moderation.

Since I was not able to breastfeed past 9 months, I also continued with the raw milk baby formula until she was almost 2 years old, at which point I switched to whole raw milk.

Where to Find Cod Liver Oil

As I mentioned above, not all cod liver oil is the same. I don't recommend buying it in a store. Store-bought cod liver oils are all heated and refined, and usually they have added synthetic vitamins.

Read More About How to Feed Babies

Feeding Babies on the Weston A. Price Foundation website
Nourishing a Growing Baby
Tricks of the Infant Food Industry
Including Baby at the Family Table

Share Your Thoughts Below

What do you think? When did you start feeding your baby solids?

Find Me Online

Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

175 thoughts on “When to Feed Baby: Why Start Solids at 4 to 6 Months

  1. I highly, highly disagree that you must start solids by 4-6 months because of nutrient insufficiency. There is a biological reason why babies do not have enough iron and mom’s breast milk is low in it. Breast milk also changes as the baby does to provide what it biologically needs as it matures. I think more homework on this issue should have been done before making a grossly false blog post. Might wanna do some research in Nina Planck’s Real Food: For Mother and Baby. She goes into the biological science as to why this advice is WRONG.

    1. I have to wonder about this too. I know many babies who REFUSE to eat anything until at least nine months. These babies often don’t develop teeth until later as well, a symptom of a slower maturing digestive tract (I was told by my naturopath). When babies refuse food and push it away, I hardly think it is wise to force feed them…and many babies don’t want anything to do with food even at 6 months or older.

      1. I agree with Devon and Andrea. My just turned 1yr old(4th child) very rarely eats solids. We started offering food baby-led style around 8 months(she wasn’t at all interested before that). At that point she would maybe stick something in her mouth, but it was always spit back out. Now, she shakes her head no if offered food unless she feels like eating. She’s healthy as a horse though. There’s no way that force feeding her would have been a good choice.

    2. I agree with you completely. Babies should eat when they show signs of readiness (like grabbing food and putting it in their own mouths), not before.

      A normal baby does not get iron-deficient till at least six months and usually longer. The trouble is that what we do in this country isn’t normal — we clamp the cord immediately, robbing the baby of a lot of his store of hemoglobin. It just gets left in the placenta and thrown away! To prevent iron deficiency later, delayed cord clamping is the answer, not stuffing solids into a child who isn’t ready.

      I started before six months with my son, mainly because I was having trouble getting enough breastmilk into him, but also because he seemed ready at 5 1/2 months. But I wish I’d waited. There was almost nothing he could tolerate at that age — even supposedly “mild” things like cooked sweet potato or dairy of any kind gave him rashes. He lived off meat and egg yolks for awhile, but seriously, it wasn’t worth the trouble. And then later he developed all kinds of food sensitivities. He’s always had problems with those, even before starting solid food, but I don’t think it can have helped. Next time I’ll work harder on breastfeeding and try to delay solids a bit longer.

      1. As I posted in the article above, delaying solids seems to have no impact on whether or not children develop food allergies:

        Research by the Committee of Nutrition and Allergy and Immunology found in 2008 that there is no concrete evidence that delaying solids after 6 months better prevents the development of food allergies.

        According to Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride, the reason children develop food allergies is because they don’t have enough “good” bacteria and as a result have a damaged gut lining. The best way to remedy this is to give them plenty of bone broth (it’s very healing to the gut lining) and probiotics and fermented foods. Probiotics can be given via breastmilk — just open a capsule and sprinkle on the breast.

    3. I agree. If you want to start early, go ahead, but I don’t think there was enough research done to give a difinative good/bad verdict.

      1. Want a healthy infant then let them get all their cord blood at birth and nurse exclusively as long as you can. Adding solids early will harm the infant by disrupting the gut bacteria profile too early. The best way to seal an adult gut lining is bone broth, the best way to protect an infants gut lining is by exclusive breastfeeding with no formula, no solids until the baby shows readiness which may be well beyond 6 months of age. The GAPS book, and this article by Marsha Walker ( https://www.health-e-learning.com/articles/JustOneBottle.pdf ) explains that as soon as you give anything other than breast the bacterial profile in the gut shifts to gram negative bacteria and all the ‘bad bacteria’ she warns about in the GAPS book begin to proliferate. One of the most compelling reasons to delay solids is to preserve the positive gut bacteria profile that comes with exclusive breastfeeding in infancy. Breastmilk and probiotics (there are non dairy powders good for infants) will do that, solids of any kind will disrupt it. Breastfeeding expert Dr. Jack Newman who runs a world famous breastfeeding clinic in Canada encourages solids no earlier than 6 months and says some babies will do fine on breastmilk alone until 1 year, and he stresses breastmilk ioffers the most absorbable form of iron and that low iron levels in infants have been theorized to be protective against infection. And ‘most of the adverse effects of iron deficiency in this age group are hypothetical and rely on extrapolation from animal studies or studies at different ages’ according to the journal of Pediatrics. For me, I will go feed my infant when he shows signs of readiness and delay as solids long as possible to preserve that beautiful virgin gut profile that comes with a pure breastmilk diet- something we can only hope to recreate in later years through arduous interventions like GAPS .And I second the commenter above who says if you want to protect an infant against anemia first thing should be to make sure they get their full infusion of cord blood at the time of birth. Depriving newborns of 25% to 40% of their blood volume from early cord clamping surely is behind problems with in childhood anemia. So let that cord stop pulsing before it is cut and nurse nurse nurse!

  2. I know somebody who refused to give her baby any solids until after 12 months because she didn’t think there was anything better than breast milk. When she did finally try to give them to him, he had a strong aversion to anything that wasn’t the breast. At 15 months, he ended up on a feeding tube and spent some time in the hospital due to being severely malnourished. He is 20 months now and just finally starting to accept the liquid parts of foods (sauces) and drinks formula from a sippy cup. The mom’s a vegetarian and won’t give any meat or animal based products besides milk based formula. I’m very worried about this little guy.

    1. Debbie, I would be worried also. But not for the same reason as you. When you say the mom “refused” to give solids until 12 month, to me this shows that the mom was not in fact watching her baby or following the baby’s cues. Every baby is different for sure, many will start wanting solids at 6 months but some won’t be ready until later. The important point is to let your baby decide. When they are developmetally ready and they NEED it, they will eat solid food. Of course, this is for healthy full term babies and not babies that may already have some underlying health issues. My 2 c’s 😉

      1. @Nadia The problem with this is that many babies who have food allergies will refuse solid food. I’ve heard many stories from moms who say their allergic kids refused food and chose to exclusively breastfeed up until the age of 3.

        I believe that if a baby refuses solid food past the age of 1, there are potential problems there. Probiotics, bone broth, and fermented foods are necessary to help heal a leaky gut.

        1. Hi can you please give more details on “warm by runny” egg yolks? How many minutes of cooking are we talking about?

          Also grated liver? How exactly do you grate a piece of liver?

    2. I didn’t start solids with my last 3 until they were over a year old- why? Because I learned from the first time around with my twin daughters whom I fed a puree of fresh organic carrot I made myself at 7.5 months- the results were bad and those two went on to have all sorts of digestive issues. The next three never had any digestive issues. I believe breastmilk from a woman with an excellent pure nutrient dense diet is the perfect food for babies up to 1 and beyond. My 3rd started on solids ( avocado) at 15 months and was a chunky sturdy baby. The next two were even bigger ( 20 pounds by 3 months old) and continued to flourish on my milk alone.

  3. Wow that is awesome! I love the video! We gave my daughter a sweet potatoe “cake” with peas, lol. It was shaped into a bunny. She didn’t really like it but there was no way I was gonna give her a cake filled with sugar. I didn’t find out about the WAPF until after I finished breastfeeding 🙁 But I always new processed sugar was bad.
    With such a good diet I am curious to know if your daughter gets sick?

    1. Oh ya and I think I started her around 5 months with sweet potatoe which she spit out so then I waited a couple weeks and tried again. I did try and hold off on the grains and I never gave her that crappy rice cereal or formula. I made a promise to myself that with my second child I would never ever let her have formula.

        1. She did get sick when she was younger and in daycare but she always recovered quickly.

          I’ve also done a lot since then to build up her good gut flora — she has been taking Biokult probiotic for 3 years. I give her fermented foods that she likes — sour cream and yogurt — as well. She also gets lots of bone broth. She also gets daily fermented cod liver oil.

          Now she rarely gets sick. I cannot remember the last time she got sick. It had to be over a year and a half ago, maybe 2 years.

  4. Recent research suggests letting the umbilical cord pulse out before clamping provides all iron baby needs, but immediate clamping at birth leaves him or her with an eventual deficiency. I’m just learning about nutrition. Wish I had the last two years to do over again. (DS just turned one.)

  5. Thanks so much for this post, i just started solids with my baby nr 3 who is 6 months. She does get chicken liver grated on whatever veg she eats (i use rapley) and she drinks bone broth too. I pretty much hand her the vegetables we are eating but either sautee or ‘cook’ them in the oven. She has been enjoying some banana and avocado as well but I don’t want her to get used to too sweet too early, as i hope it will make her like vegetables more ;o). Egg yolk she isn’t very fond of yet, only when I cook it in some butter or coconut il, then she just ‘eats’ the ieces. Thanks again!!!
    Greetings from Denmark

  6. Some babies are not ready for solids this early. I had one who would projectile vomit solid food until she was 9 months. She is happy and healthy today. All those trips to the pediatric GI doctor and all she needed was time.

  7. I’m going to c&p all of my comments from the Facebook page so readers can hear more than one opinion.

    “Breast milk is not broken nor inferior nutritionally.

    Scientific studies all show that until 6m, babies don’t make the enzyme to digest anything other than breast milk. That is not opinion, it is fact.

    Also, breast milk is low in many nutrients, but highly bioavailable. Once you introduce food to the gut, the entire chemistry of the intestine changes and makes absorption from breast milk more difficult, making them rely on outside sources of nutrition.

    You didn’t actually provide facts on babies needing solids before 6m and that breast milk provides inadequate amounts. All of the sources you cited, say for 6m+, and older exclusively breast fed infants.

    You read studies and drew your own conclusions based on your own opinion. To say everyone should do this because of the way you inferred the information is misleading.

    I’m not arguing whether early introduction has anything to do with tendency toward allergy or not. Just the idea that breast milk is inferior and nutrients found elsewhere are better absorbed than what we infants are made and designed to thrive on.

    Even that article says for 7+ mos, It specifically says infants 7-12m, not infants at 4m. My guess based on that article is that the stores baby has, start to deplete around 4m, but it still does not say to supplement. The other links specifically talk about infants 6m and older, not 4m.

    Following my own children’s cues, they were ready for food around 7m, except for my 2nd born who had multiple allergies and wanted nothing. I assume this was from his body trying to protect itself from harmful foods and trying to heal with breast milk.

    Also, I’m almost positive I read the babies produce the enzyme to digest dairy around 7m, as well.

    I do agree that longterm, exclusive breastfeeding is probably not best.

    I’m reading the Nourishing A Growing Baby and I just don’t see the scientific fact to back up early introduction of solids.

    It says Dr Kreb, saw babies who had early meat supplementation grow faster than their weaning peers. Ok, yeah. So what? Why does it mean something is wrong with a baby bc it isn’t growing at a large rate? Maybe it means physical growth naturally slows down at that point, only to pick back up later.

    Also, their iron stores didn’t improve, but the iron in their blood did. Of course it did. If I drink herbal tea on a regular basis, it’s going to be circulating in my system. Again, correlation does not equal causation.

    The article also says stuff like, “If baby is very mature”, then they can have different foods. What the heck gauges maturity and whether a baby can have food or not? Intestinal maturation has to do with age and physical production of what baby can and cannot digest. My kids are all advanced in their motor and verbal skills. It doesn’t mean they are any more physical capable of handling things bc of that.

    It says fclo should be started at 4m, but doesnt give any real scientific explanation saying why. DHA and EPA are both passed through breast milk. If mom is not deficient in A & D, they are passed through, too. So long as mom is supplementing her diet with twice the amount of fclo, then baby should be good to go, imo.

    I do agree with the foods it says baby should eat, just not the 4m suggestion.”

    Readers would do well to read the entire conversation on the cheeseslave Facebook page.

    Overall, I am very disappointed in this post.

    1. “It says fclo should be started at 4m, but doesnt give any real scientific explanation saying why. DHA and EPA are both passed through breast milk. If mom is not deficient in A & D, they are passed through, too. So long as mom is supplementing her diet with twice the amount of fclo, then baby should be good to go, imo.”

      As I wrote above, the main nutrients in question are iron and zinc.

      Even if iron is not an issue, baby still can’t get enough zinc from breast milk after 6 months.

      1. Zinc deficiency in breastfed infants is a theoretical problem only.
        Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Sep;84(3):594-601.
        Zinc supplementation does not affect growth, morbidity, or motor development of US term breastfed infants at 4-10 mo of age.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16960174

        1. Thanks, I read the study.

          Unfortunately, those mothers were feeding solids during the study.

          Infant dietary intake
          Mothers were asked to record on the calendar provided the date when each new food was introduced. From 6 to 10 mo, mothers were asked to keep once a month a detailed 1-d diet record of the amounts (using standard household measures) of nonbreast-milk foods and fluids consumed.”

          They may have been feeding oats or other high-phytate foods which block zinc absorption. This is a reasonable assumption as the study was done in the US where grains are commonly the first weaning foods.

          Ah yes here it is:

          The foods most commonly offered to the infants were fruit, infant cereals, and vegetables.

          In order to get accurate data, we’d have to look at a study in which the mothers continued to breastfeed and did NOT feed any solids.

          1. Zinc- the infants have no problem, so there is no need to fix it with solids so early. The study concludes the babies were fine. So even presuming they were fed zinc blocking phytatic acid rich foods, the babies were fine. So if you avoid grains and do not give any phytic acid rich foods, your baby should be great, no need for zinc rich food was found. There is no crisis in zinc levels in infants and no need to introduce solids and change their gut bacterial profile to the enterococcus filled one of a food eater at 4 to 6 months to save them from the phantom problem of zinc deficiency. Or, as you note above, the phantom problem of iron deficiency. So, zinc not a problem, iron not a problem….what’s the point of feeding them solids so early, then?

  8. Debbie, delaying solids until 12m, doesn’t typically cause problems like that in children. There are probably other underlying issues going on.

  9. My son wasn’t really interested in food until he was a year or so. He refused to be spoon-fed but had a very strong gag reflex that made it difficult for him to swallow chunks of food (that he could presumably feed himself), even very soft ones. He hated eggs until he was about a year and a half, but I’m happy to say that now (at two) he often asks for “eggies!” But my question is how can one start feeding to get the extra nutrients that breast milk is lacking if the baby is just not interested? (we did give him cod liver oil starting at 6 months or so…now I know I can start that even sooner with the next one!)

  10. I am also going to strongly state that starting at 4 months is a mistake.
    We placed our little one on WAPF formula at 4 weeks, just a few days after we received her (adoption) and I dutifully tried to follow the WAPF guidelines for egg yolks and such at 4 months.
    Not a good experience.
    The absolute best way to know a baby is ready for any solid, is to wait until the baby no longer pushes out their tongue when trying to swallow food offered them.

    The baby must be able to open their mouth, and swallow without pushing it out all over the place. It is possible for this to happen prior to 6 months, but the issue should not be forced.

    Now, I am also seeing a serious problem with the iron supplementation.
    If it is true that iron stores must remain small and somewhat hidden to prevent illness, then why are iron rich foods pushed so early?

    I have read of many little ones that have been fed liver everyday from an early age, and then totally rejecting it between ages 2-4.
    I have a feeling this may be because of far to much being fed so early.

    I am taking the middle road now.
    Our little one is nearing 10 months old, has a strong cow dairy intolerance, and due to our goats being dry right now, is drinking bone broth. She is also taking a probiotic to help heal the issues from the few weeks she was on cow milk after the goat initially dried up, and she also eats a variety of meats, eggs form our farm, and veges.
    She is doing much better as a result.

    1. I and one of my friends both tried giving our children the raw egg yolk at 4 months as suggested by Sally Fallon, but both babies vomited violently after ingesting it, even though they now have no issues with eggs. Strange…

    2. Some babies are ready for egg yolks at 4 months. Others will be ready at 5 months. Still others will be ready at 6 months.

      It is a tradition among many primitive cultures to feed liver and organ meats as baby’s first food. Egg yolk is also a very common first food across many traditional cultures.

      I’ve asked women from around the world — Russia, Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico, etc. — what did your mom feed you when you were a baby? They all say cod liver oil, egg yolks, and liver. When I ask them at what age did they start getting solids they all say around 6 months of age.

      If babies don’t need iron, then why is this traditionally done around the world throughout history?

      It is common for kids to start rejecting liver from around 2-4. My daughter did. I don’t think it has anything to do with whether or not they ate liver as babies. I think it’s a biological thing. Most kids will come back around to it if the exposure is continued and if it is frequent enough (and if it is not forced upon them or made unpleasant).

      That is great that you are giving bone broth and probiotics! It definitely works. What a lucky baby!

      1. Labeling a culture or people as “primitive” is offensive. I could go so far as to call it racist language. Please stop.

          1. The term “primitive cultures” implies an inferiority and a lack of current existence. Much like the Hollywood portrayal of Indigenous people, this is misleading and offensive. I know, Sally uses it too. And she is offensive as well. It’s racist, colonization-based language. Yes, Indigenous is more respectful. You might want to change your context as well though. You are basically saying “a bunch of people from I culture that is not mine and I know nothing about probably do things this way”. A bit problematic, no?

      2. Okay, six months is traditional, then. But four? I really don’t think four months is traditional, and I don’t think baby’s gut is ready for solids at that age. Breast milk is all they need.

          1. Mainly this: https://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/delay-solids.html You may notice that NINE medical organizations recommend waiting till six months. In response to this you have shown us ONE study. The article includes gems like this: “In one study (Pisacane, 1995), the researchers concluded that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months (and were not give iron supplements or iron-fortified cereals) had significantly higher hemoglobin levels at one year than breastfed babies who received solid foods earlier than seven months. The researchers found no cases of anemia within the first year in babies breastfed exclusively for seven months and concluded that breastfeeding exclusively for seven months reduces the risk of anemia.”

            The author includes about twenty more studies supporting what she said. The evidence is pretty strong that delaying solids for SIX WHOLE MONTHS and not a day less is the wisest course … and that some babies may benefit from a longer delay.

            As another commenter has mentioned, there are traditional cultures who delay solids up to 24 months! Considering how many different cultures there are in the world, it did seem unlikely to me that there would be NO cultures that delayed solids longer, or that we could know enough to say so for certain.

            All you have given us is a few studies, not necessarily from trustworthy sources, and a few unproven categorical statements from Sally Fallon. There is NO study involving children who have eaten according to the plan you lay out, with the FLCO and the egg yolks and all. There ARE studies on children who were not given any solids until 7 months — and those infants did well. And there have been many, many, many studies on starting solids at six months as opposed to before. This review of multiple studies is helpful: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15384567?dopt=Abstract The conclusion: “Infants who are breastfed exclusively for 6 months experience less morbidity from gastrointestinal tract infection than infants who were mixed breastfed as of 3 or 4 months of age. No deficits have been demonstrated in growth among infants from either developing or developed countries who are exclusively breastfed for 6 months or longer….Based on the results of this review, the World Health Assembly adopted a resolution to recommend exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months to its member countries.”

            Do you want more sources? Because I got ’em.

            1. @Sheila If you want to wait 7 months, wait 7 months.

              Do you have a copy of this study: Pisacane, 1995

              Everyone keeps referencing it but I would like to see a copy of the study.

              “As another commenter has mentioned, there are traditional cultures who delay solids up to 24 months! ”

              Can you tell me who this is?

              1. Can’t find it now — surely your commenting platform will have it for you. Perhaps it has since been deleted, or else I just can’t find it in the plethora of comments. In any event I believe you will find the same information in Our Babies, Ourselves (the book that reviews child-raising customs in different cultures).

                Here, I saved you a Google search: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7658275

                You might also be interested in this study on gut flora (https://textbookofbacteriology.net/normalflora.html): “At birth the entire intestinal tract is sterile, but bacteria enter with the first feed. The initial colonizing bacteria vary with the food source of the infant. In breast-fed infants bifidobacteria account for more than 90% of the total intestinal bacteria. Enterobacteriaceae and enterococci are regularly present, but in low proportions, while bacteroides, staphylococci, lactobacilli and clostridia are practically absent. In bottle-fed infants, bifidobacteria are not predominant. When breast-fed infants are switched to a diet of cow’s milk or solid food, bifidobacteria are progressively joined by enterics, bacteroides, enterococci lactobacilli and clostridia. Apparently, human milk contains a growth factor that enriches for growth of bifidobacteria, and these bacteria play an important role in preventing colonization of the infant intestinal tract by non indigenous or pathogenic species.”

                In other words, the gut flora is *permanently changed* by any foreign material besides breastmilk. That’s why even a bit of FCLO or egg yolk can make a big difference. Other studies (ALL at the source I gave you) show that the gut becomes less permeable sometime between six and nine months. At the point it would be less in need of the protective layer of bifidobacteria provided by exclusive breastfeeding. But the gut is NOT sealed at four months — it’s NOT a good time to be giving foreign substances.

  11. Since I’ve seen this come up in a few places I asked my mom what she did when I was little. My pediatrician had me eating solid foods by around 6 months or so. Started off with proteins (and this was back in the day when you could get liver as a baby food, I ate it then!), then veggies, and long wait until grains. He also was very much against low salt diets for kids. One of my younger cousins went to him as well (along with his sister who’s my age), and as he grew up, he was a lot healthier than his classmates.

    I suspect if my pediatrician were still practicing he’d probably be very in favor of traditional food diets.

      1. Hello! I can’t find info on transdermal application of FCLO for my baby. Just found a mention in the GAPS book to put it on the nappy area. How much? for how long? doesn’t it make the baby stink like rotting fish? (Sorry, but the stuff stinks and I don’t know how my husband is going to accept that on his baby’s bottom. I couldn’t even get him to do cloth diapers b/c he’s so picky about stinky scents.)
        And is it just plain FCLO for this purpose or can the FCLO/HVBO be used?

        This is my first. She’s 6 months. I’m planning to start solids on the plan outlined in the GAPS book. But we’re currently in the process of moving and it’s too stressful to start it this month. So I thought at least I could do the transdermal application.

        Thank you for your blog! I love it!

  12. I start introducing foods when the baby tells me he is ready to eat! This is easy to figure out–Baby goes from nursing quietly in the sling during meals (so far, I have 3 kids, and all have wanted to nurse during the majority of mealtimes) to trying to eat off of my plate. Baby 3 is 4 1/2 months, and right at the edge of doing this. He is showing interest in the food, and is getting tiny tastes of liquids on my finger–ginger flavored water kefir and apple cider vinegar (which we often have sprinkled on sauteed greens) are his current favorites! My 2 older kids both decided they wanted solid food right about the same time their first teeth showed up, and they became able to sit in our high chair (a wooden one, doesn’t recline). With my eldest, I tried padding her into the high chair to feed her egg yolk at 4 months…but she wasn’t interested, and her tongue still had the pushing food out reflex, so we waited till she was more ready.

    1. Oh–regarding nuts and grapes. Babies, at least mine, don’t seem to digest nuts, grape skins, or raisins till closer to 18 months. How do I know this? I cloth diaper, and have seen my share of very clean nuts, etc, in the washer after washing diapers!

  13. I’m just going to chime in here and say that there is no way that one way of doing things is going to fit all children. So there is no way that everyone is going to agree with this post. This method of feeding does work, just perhaps not for all children. This is why it’s is utterly important to know your child and watch and see if they are giving you cues that they need more in their diet or if they are content and growing happily with breast milk. Breast milk quality is not the same for everyone, so no one can claim that all children would be fine with breast milk only. Both of my children showed very strong desires to want to eat solids by 4 months of age. My daughter would even try to feed herself by 6 months. I nursed them and then gave them an egg yolk as well (and cod liver oil I believe around 6 months). They were both more content, slept better and even put on more weight, which is something that they needed. I eat a very healthy, whole foods, from scratch diet, but nursing has been hard. I didn’t want to supplement with homemade formula because I wanted to keep my own supply up as high as possible. The little bit of extra calories and nutrients they received from the egg yolk made a big different in them both. I did feed my first born rice cereal in the beginning, which in my opinion was a huge mistake. We have struggled with grain allergies with him since the age of about 18 months. My daughter never had grains until after one and we followed most of the principles for food that the WAPF lays out. She has been happy and healthy with zero allergies, eats a huge variety of foods and has an excellent appetite.

    Perhaps this article doesn’t show specific scientific evidence, so what. Last time I checked much of what “science” does show wouldn’t for a moment lead me to think that I should do as they say, like in the case of immunization.

    What Ann Marie has shared is something that has worked and worked well for many people. If your child gets sick or doesn’t want solids, then don’t give them any. Our children know far more than we give them credit for, even if it’s on a unconscious level, we just need to do a better job of listening and watching for the cues. Trust your instincts, do the research, but also watch your baby for the cues of what they need.

  14. I would really like to stress that one should watch the baby, not the calendar. I value and honor Sally Fallon, however nothing speaks louder than the developmental signs the child will give: pincer grasp, sitting up on ones own and interest in food. These are physiological connections to how the baby’s digestion has developed. Rushing solid foods could overstress a developing system, a needless stress when the child is breastfeed on demand by a nourished mother. My source:La Leche League

  15. Great resource!! A good rule of thumb is to wait until the child no longer spits food back out of their mouth (pushing the food out can be a reflex that indicates they are not ready for solids just yet) I also absolutely echo the recommendation to wait until after one year to introduce grains, and then only properly prepared (soaked, sprouted, etc). A good rule of thumb here is to wait until all four back molars have come in (between 1-2 years old) before introducing these harder to digest foods. Focusing on healthy fats and protein for the first foods is so important and will build a lifetime of health for your child!

  16. I really loved this blog until now… this utter BS is just depressing.

    You’ve lost a dedicated follower. Maybe do a bit more research on the biological age of weaning being between 2-7 years of age, and exactly WHY that is.

    1. If I lose a dedicated follower in the name of getting the truth out there, so be it.

      I wrote this post for the mothers out there who are unsure of what to do about when and how to start solids.

      Also, if you reread the post, I never said that a mother should not continue breastfeeding.

      That said, no mother should breastfeed soley with no solid foods for 2-7 years. I think we can agree on that.

  17. I am so very disappointed by tone of this post. Though I don’t disagree with the types of first foods you suggest, it’s the underlying sense that breastfeeding just isn’t good enough that has me irked.

    I think you had intentions of going in the right direction but you may have missed the boat on a few key points.

    1st – by saying this “The mother should eat an excellent diet to ensure that the breast milk is of the highest quality” You are in fact promoting a widely held myth that makes it hard for mothers to want to continue breastfeeding. Such prohibitive language undermines mothers’ confidence in their body’s ability to provide nutrition for their babies.

    “You do not need to maintain a perfect diet in order to provide quality milk for your baby. In fact, research tells us that the quality of a mother’s diet has little influence on her milk. Nature is very forgiving – mother’s milk is designed to provide for and protect baby even in times of hardship and famine. A poor diet is more likely to affect the mother than her breastfed baby.” In fact “According to Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D., breastfeeding researcher and anthropologist, women throughout the world make ample amounts of quality milk while eating diets composed almost entirely of rice (or millet or sorghum) with a tiny amount of vegetables and occasional meat.”

    2nd – Babies that are born full term and are healthy do not require iron supplementation as long as they’ve been exclusively breastfed at least up to 6 months.

    “Healthy, full-term infants who are breastfed exclusively for periods of 6-9 months have been shown to maintain normal hemoglobin values and normal iron stores. In one study (Pisacane, 1995), the researchers concluded that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months (and were not give iron supplements or iron-fortified cereals) had significantly higher hemoglobin levels at one year than breastfed babies who received solid foods earlier than seven months. The researchers found no cases of anemia within the first year in babies breastfed exclusively for seven months and concluded that breastfeeding exclusively for seven months reduces the risk of anemia” (source: Kellymom).

    One of the reasons many babies had been found to be lacking iron in recent times was due to early umbilical cord clamping and NOT due to exclusive breastfeeding. I won’t bother adding sources, you can google it and find scientific research to prove it.

    3rd – It is illogical, and dangerous, to assume that a 4 month old baby that is not yet physically ready to sit up, and still has a strong tongue thrust reflex, is actually ready to start solids. That’s also why babies that age have to be given very liquid or mushy food, because you have to “trick” their body into accepting the intake or solid food. Developmentally speaking, if babies that young were to eat real whole food they would be at a much greater risk of choking. I have yet to meet a 4 month old that is already sitting up on their own, which is sign #1 of being ready for solids (I should add that it’s 1 of many signs to look for).

    1. I meant to say, I have yet to meet a baby that is sitting up on their own & HAS ALL THE OTHER signs that they are ready to start solids. Because you should look for a combination of signs, not just one.

    2. @Nadia

      1st – by saying this “The mother should eat an excellent diet to ensure that the breast milk is of the highest quality” You are in fact promoting a widely held myth that makes it hard for mothers to want to continue breastfeeding. Such prohibitive language undermines mothers’ confidence in their body’s ability to provide nutrition for their babies.

      You do not need to maintain a perfect diet in order to provide quality milk for your baby. In fact, research tells us that the quality of a mother’s diet has little influence on her milk. Nature is very forgiving – mother’s milk is designed to provide for and protect baby even in times of hardship and famine. A poor diet is more likely to affect the mother than her breastfed baby.” In fact “According to Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D., breastfeeding researcher and anthropologist, women throughout the world make ample amounts of quality milk while eating diets composed almost entirely of rice (or millet or sorghum) with a tiny amount of vegetables and occasional meat.

      I don’t understand why this point is so hard for people to grasp.

      So many of us will only eat meat or drink milk from grass-fed animals. We would never consider eating foods from animals eating junk.

      So why don’t we hold mothers to the same standard? If the mother is not eating an excellent diet, her breast milk will be subpar. Period.

      I don’t know who Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D. is but she’s wrong on that point. I would like to know how she has ascertained that these women’s milk is “quality milk”. Do we have lab tests of the milk?

      3rd – It is illogical, and dangerous, to assume that a 4 month old baby that is not yet physically ready to sit up, and still has a strong tongue thrust reflex, is actually ready to start solids.”

      I never said that anyone should feed a baby solids if the baby is not ready. Not all babies are ready for solids at 4 months. Many are ready at 5 months, some at 6 months. That is why the title of the post contains the words “4-6 Months” and not “4 Months”.

      Furthermore, babies can certainly be given cod liver oil at 4 months, either orally or transdermally (on the skin).

      1. “So why don’t we hold mothers to the same standard? If the mother is not eating an excellent diet, her breast milk will be subpar. Period”

        Since this is your blog, I think you should show us evidence to support your point instead.

        1. I understand that you may be feeling overwhelmed by the responses to this post, but I find once again, that you are lacking credibility.

          I provided a few very credible external references. You didn’t even provide one for your claim. In fact, most of your post only cites WAP sources (except for the iron and zinc ones). Is there any real scientific evidence that is external to the WAPF.

          1. Here is a good external website. Or atleast external article. https://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-fanciful-folklore-is-no-match-for-modern-science.html. Debunks Sally’s “research”. Credible sources are better than made up ones, methinks.

            Ps I think I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 11 partially because of being forcefed liver at a young age. The most disgusting food on earth. Ugh.

            1. Um, you did actually _read_ this before you linked it? The entire article can be boiled down into one sentence, “I’m right, they’re wrong, nana nana boo boo!” If you want a thorough delve into the science, painstakingly documented with peer-reviewed research (including many of the studies commonly twisted to support the currently recommended diet), read Gary Taubes’ “Good Calories, Bad Calories”. History, biology, common sense, AND the bulk of the credible science say that humans are properly omnivores (& that processed crap is bad for us)

              1. Did you read the article? Yes, there is a touch of he said she said, but how about the part that points out the lack of research behind the wapf approach? I think it can cause more harm than good, and boasts itself to be a never-fail, which is dangerous when it comes to an approach to health and even feeding babies that is so widely marketed.

                Defensive much?

                1. Yeah, I read it. He points out that he feels there was a lack of research. Back when I first found the WAPF, I read every word of their website. Granted, this was several years (& 3 babies) ago, but I do remember the articles about feeding infants. There are several articles that say mainly the same things, and the very valuable recipes for baby formula (thankfully, I have not had to use them, but giving parents ANY good, nourishing, alternative to the garbage put out by Big Pharma to feed babies with is an invaluable service to those mothers who DO have major breastfeeding problems). On the whole, they have plenty of research behind them. To the point, however, Fuhrman claims the wapf is light on research, without offering up anything better, or even backing up his claim. Personally, I think Sally does come across a bit too much as breastfeeding is difficult, and it has been my experience that my kids are ready for food at about 6 months, and that they are definitely all about the meaty stuff–broth, eggs, cheese, any meat they can chew, and medium rare steak just as soon as they can manage not to choke on it (and they do NOT want their steak well done, thankyouverymuch–then, it gets left on the plate), dried anchovies, etc.
                  Defensive? No. Just sick of junk science and diet recommendations that are nonsensical and make people unhealthy.

                  1. Joel Fuhrman is a VEGAN.

                    Remember this article about the vegan mother who exclusively breastfed her baby and the baby DIED?

                    https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/baby-breastfed-by-vegan-mother-dies/

                    How can vegans defend that?

                    Whatever Joel Fuhrman says about the Weston A. Price Foundation is meaningless to me, as he is promoting a diet that does not sustain human life.

                    1. Whatever choices people make about nutrition I do believe they have to be fully informed and intelligent about how they apply them. The case where the baby died wasn’t solely because the mother was vegan, in my opinion. All vegan sources I’ve encountered are very specific about stating that the one vitamin that should be added to a vegan diet is B12. However, I also don’t agree with exclusive breastfeeding until 11 months because I would find it odd and question that the baby hasn’t shown any interest in real food. If the baby truly hasn’t wanted to even taste any real food, at least have the child tested at some point to see if they are deficient in any way (iron levels, B12). So, in that regard I agree with you. However, this is 1 case with 1 baby. As sad and terrible as it is, it’s hardly sufficient evidence to make a case against all vegan parents or even against exclusive breastfeeding.

                    2. Hi

                      I live in Europe where this happened and the case you mention was a neglect case which had many other aspects to it other than the parents being vegan. The baby was over 11 months and had not had solid foods introduced to the diet (usually a combination of breastmilk and solids are recommended from 6 months). The baby was suffering from bronchitus at 9 months old and a doctor advised she was taken to hospital, but the parents refused and tried their own alternative treatments at home instead. Their lawyer said: ‘”They preferred to use recipes [treatment] based on clay or cabbage poultices that they got from their books,” It was the fact they failed to get medical help when needed that led to the death of the baby NOT the fact she was breastfed. This led the brnchitus to develop into pneumonia which was the cause of death.
                      Unfortunately the media has sensationalised this story to emphasise the alternative nature of the parents’ lifestyle and to raise controversy about breastfeeding. This has led the story to picked up by those who are anti-breastfeeding and anti-vegan.
                      All parents need to follow medical advise if their baby is ill regardless of whether they are breastfed or fed artificially. It was the parents’ failure to do this which led to the tragedy.

            2. @Midwifemama

              Have you ever been to Paris? Or a good French restaurant? The liver pate in Paris is delicious. I ate liver every single day the last time I went to Paris, and smuggled some pate home in my suitcase.

              Maybe the way it was prepared for you as a child was disgusting, but liver can be prepared in a way that makes it wonderful.

          2. @Nadia

            In fact, most of your post only cites WAP sources (except for the iron and zinc ones)

            The main point I was trying to make in this article is that exclusive breastfeeding past 4-6 months can cause deficiencies in iron and zinc.

            If you can find sources that contradict those sources I cited, please post.

            1. I did. You discounted it simply based on judgment and without even considering that it may have some validity (without even bothering to take a look or do any reading about it). That kind of action scares me, mainly because I had truly enjoyed your posts up until now. Don’t you want to widen your area of knowledge by exploring different sources?

              1. I didn’t discount it. I was busy yesterday and didn’t have time to look into it. I will now.

                A poor diet is more likely to affect the mother than her breastfed baby.

                OK, and so what? Even if that is true, which I doubt it is, why do we want the mother to suffer from inadequate nutrition? The mother needs to be healthy as she needs to care for her child int he coming years.

                All I am advocating here is adequate nutrition.

                In fact “According to Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D., breastfeeding researcher and anthropologist, women throughout the world make ample amounts of quality milk while eating diets composed almost entirely of rice (or millet or sorghum) with a tiny amount of vegetables and occasional meat.”

                You did not provide me with a reference for this so I had to go google it.

                I do see that quote on Kelly Mom and a few other sites, however, there is evidence to support that claim.

                women throughout the world make ample amounts of quality milk while eating diets composed almost entirely of rice (or millet or sorghum) with a tiny amount of vegetables and occasional meat.

                What is quality milk? What does she mean by that? Does the milk merely satisfy baby’s hunger or does it actually provide baby with all the necessary nutrients? If it does, does this affect mom’s health?

                How did Dettwyler arrive at this conclusion? What is it based on?

                According to the work of Dr. Weston Price and other researchers including Dr. Loren Cordain, humans do not get the nutrition they need from a diet of primarily rice, a few vegetables and occasional meat. If you look at vegans who eat all plant foods, they lose their ability to reproduce, become deficient in vitamin B-12, iron, zinc and other nutrients. They also suffer from a lack of neurotransmitters (serotonin, GABA, etc.).

                If you think a vegan diet can sustain life, how do you explain this:

                https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/baby-breastfed-by-vegan-mother-dies/

                2nd – Babies that are born full term and are healthy do not require iron supplementation as long as they’ve been exclusively breastfed at least up to 6 months.

                “Healthy, full-term infants who are breastfed exclusively for periods of 6-9 months have been shown to maintain normal hemoglobin values and normal iron stores. In one study (Pisacane, 1995), the researchers concluded that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months (and were not give iron supplements or iron-fortified cereals) had significantly higher hemoglobin levels at one year than breastfed babies who received solid foods earlier than seven months. The researchers found no cases of anemia within the first year in babies breastfed exclusively for seven months and concluded that breastfeeding exclusively for seven months reduces the risk of anemia” (source: Kellymom).

                That study was done with only 30 babies in Italy. It is probably true that most people in Italy have higher iron stores than we have as they tend to eat more liver than we do (maybe not as much as the French but liver is still very common in Italy compared to America).

                I’d like to see the whole study — do you have a link? I’d like to know what the babies were fed. That would certainly make a difference as some foods inhibit iron absorption.

                “Tannins (found in tea), calcium, polyphenols, and phytates (found in legumes and whole grains) can decrease absorption of nonheme iron [1,19-24]. Some proteins found in soybeans also inhibit nonheme iron absorption [1,25].”

                https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/iron

                So if the babies who were fed solids in the study were fed whole grains which contain phytates, or dairy foods high in calcium, or soy foods, they would have had a lower absorption of iron than the breastfed babies.

                So unless we know how the study was done and what the babies were fed, this information doesn’t really tell us anything and we can’t use it as evidence that breastfed babies have higher iron levels than babies who got some solid foods.

                Maybe you can find a copy of that study? I googled but could not find it.

                One of the reasons many babies had been found to be lacking iron in recent times was due to early umbilical cord clamping and NOT due to exclusive breastfeeding. I won’t bother adding sources, you can google it and find scientific research to prove it.

                Yes, I have read about this and there is evidence to suggest that this is true.

                Even if iron is not an issue, though, zinc deficiency is still an issue for babies who are exclusively breastfed past the age of 4-6 months.

                1. The thing is that I agree with so much of what you say, it’s your approach that I disagree with. I am very sensitive to language that undermines breastfeeding, especially in a culture that really doesn’t value just how our bodies are designed to nourish our young.

                  I provide breastfeeding support to moms (shocking, I know) and the one recurring issue I find is that mom’s seldomly make it past a few months of exclusive breastfeeding because they start to question their milk supply and quality. The inevitably supplement with formula. And it’s reading things like these that have them scared… They don’t believe their body is producting adequate milk.

                  I agree that most babies will be ready for solids by 6 months of age and I also agree that some will even be ready earlier. But, I disagree that every baby needs to be supplemented starting at 4 months of age. And you do say that in your comments below … “If a baby is not ready to eat solids by 4 months, that’s totally fine. However cod liver oil should be started then. If the baby won’t take it orally, it can be rubbed on the skin and absorbed transdermally.”

                  Does the WAPF method not have any leeway for following your body’s cues for eating and choosing foods, and so following your baby’s cues also? Do you really believe that traditional cultures were told what to eat & when to do it instead of just going with their body’s needs?

                  I know I need protein when my body asks for it through cravings. I know I need fruits again by the same means. Etc… I am a big believer in following our gut. Our bodies are amazing machines that are programmed for survival and as long as we don’t trick them with “fake” food, then it should function as it was intended to. Again, assuming there are no underlying health issues. And please don’t ask me for sources on that, it’s just common sense.

                  Anyway, I thank you for the discussion. I just wished you had stronger language regarding waiting until the baby is ready as opposed to making it sound like every 4 month old would be nutritionally deficient if exclusively breastfed.

                  The only evidence to support that stems from a period when mothers were being told to breastfeed according to a schedule (based on time) and not to feed on demand (based on cue). So, the result what that babies were inevitably malnourished and then there was a real need to supplement babies starting as early as 3 or 4 months of age. Again, yet another case of not following our baby’s body’s needs. The baby cried for food and we instead looked at the clock – because the medical profession knew better (in their twisted opinion) than mothers did. They knew better than nature and biology and our amazing bodies.

      2. Absolutely Ann Marie! No one who cares anything about nutrition would drink raw milk from a factory farmed cow! The food the cow is eating has EVERYTHING to do with how healthy the milk will be.

      3. “I never said that anyone should feed a baby solids if the baby is not ready. Not all babies are ready for solids at 4 months. Many are ready at 5 months, some at 6 months. That is why the title of the post contains the words “4-6 Months” and not “4 Months”.

        The problem is the phrase “4-6 months” implies that it should be between four and six months. The second problem is that the subheadings throughout the article list foods that should be given during that window, which further implies that all babies would need those supplements starting at four months. This goes against the overwhelming research and evidence that breastfed babies should be EBF until six months (at least) and gives emphasis to the incorrect four months guideline. However, it does make sense for formula-fed babies to get supplemental foods at four months. SInce Sally did not breastfeed, it makes sense that her research focuses on nutritional needs for that window. However to take that to the conclusion that all babies need these supplemental foods is where it really gets into this controversial territory.

        I really like the WAPF and participate in my local chapter, but I am constantly irked by Sally Fallon’s incorrect information about breastfeeding. A friend of mine who is a long-time volunteer as a Leche League leader told me yesterday when we were discussing your post that the infant formula in Nourishing Traditions is not safe for babies. So, I really wish that the WAPF would do some additonal research.

        The fact that you don’t even know who Katherine A. Dettwyler, Ph.D is speaks volumes. She is an anthropologist who has researched extensively and written books about breastfeeding. She is one of the most prominent breastfeeding advocates. I think that when you are writing a blog post and taking a controversial position advocating supplementation at four months, it would be responsible for you to research various sources of information.

        I really have loved your blog for a long time and I was shocked and disappointed when I saw this article.

        1. The problem is the phrase “4-6 months” implies that it should be between four and six months. The second problem is that the subheadings throughout the article list foods that should be given during that window, which further implies that all babies would need those supplements starting at four months.

          Yes, I do believe that ideally all babies should be given cod liver oil, egg yolks and liver somewhere between the ages of 4-6 months. Most babies show readiness by 6 months, and many are ready earlier than 6 months.

          If a baby is not ready to eat solids by 4 months, that’s totally fine. However cod liver oil should be started then. If the baby won’t take it orally, it can be rubbed on the skin and absorbed transdermally.

          This goes against the overwhelming research and evidence that breastfed babies should be EBF until six months (at least) and gives emphasis to the incorrect four months guideline. However, it does make sense for formula-fed babies to get supplemental foods at four months. SInce Sally did not breastfeed, it makes sense that her research focuses on nutritional needs for that window. However to take that to the conclusion that all babies need these supplemental foods is where it really gets into this controversial territory.

          Yes it is controversial but that does not mean that Sally is wrong.

          To repeat, no traditional cultures practiced exclusive breastfeeding past 6 months.

          I am an advocate of traditional foods. I believe that we should look back at what our ancestors did, people who were not exposed to modern industrial food, people who were vibrantly healthy, and follow their practices.

          This includes eating organ meats, seafood, grass-fed dairy and meats, lots of animal fats, and soaked/sprouted grains. If I can find no evidence of traditional people who were optimally healthy who ate a vegan diet, then I will not follow a vegan diet.

          So, similarly, why would I advocate exclusive breastfeeding past 6 months if it was not practiced by any traditional culture?

          If you have a reason to do so, please post.

          a Leche League leader told me yesterday when we were discussing your post that the infant formula in Nourishing Traditions is not safe for babies.

          Please ask your friend to provide evidence for her claim.

          Nothing bugs me more than people making assertions based on NO evidence. It’s simply illogical.

  18. www.kellymom.com has a lot of good info on solids. I disagree with feeding baby solids before 6 months, unless they show many signs of being ready. Sitting up unnassisted is a big one. Breastsmilk is so important and nursing past a year is so important. Two years is ideal!

    1. Interesting debate! I agree with points on both sides- obviously a baby should be nursed as long as possible even with supplemental feeding, but I think there is no way that a mother’s diet doesn’t affect the quality of her milk. It just doesn’t make sense. I don’t agree that a mom who can breastfeed should ever switch to any formula because she feels that her milk is inferior ( pretty sure I’ve seen that written on some WAPF blogs before ), but eating nutrient -dense foods can only improve the situation.
      I agreement that studies relating to iron stores are more likely attributable to timing of cord clamping. Delayed cord clamping can help tremendously with baby’s iron stores.
      Although we attempted to introduce solids around 7 months, our daughter wasn’t that interested. She met all the criteria, but just preferred nursing. She was and still is in the 99th percentile for her age, so she didn’t seem to be lacking for anything! We started her off with egg yolk, and that’s still one of her favorite foods at 22 months. She also loves FCLO cinnamon flavored and even asks for more.

      Another great baby food I didn’t see mentioned is fish eggs. We can only afford them once a month or so, but my daughter eats them like candy!

      1. I agree with you about diet and breast milk. I don’t believe anything could be better than breastmilk, even if it’s not the “best” breastmilk. I mean, calves do better on their mama’s grain-fed milk than even the best milk substitute. And breastmilk contains antibodies, stem cells, cancer-fighting cells, and lactoferrin (what allows beastmilk to supply iron so well even though it doesn’t have a lot). The WAPF formula sounds much better than the conventional stuff, but it still came out of a cow or a goat, not a human mama.

        Still, there have been studies showing how the fats change in mother’s milk depending on what she eats, and so we definitely should eat the best diet we can during breastfeeding. Besides, breastfeeding when you aren’t eating well really depletes the body’s stores of nutrients, so even if your baby’s getting good nutrition, you’ll suffer.

  19. My son’s umbilical cord was cut IMMEDIATELY after birth. My husband and I were very upset about this because we told the Doctor to do delayed cord clamping, he agreed to it – but apparently didn’t know what we meant! He cut it right away, he moved too quickly for us to stop him (I was a bit preoccupied with my grunting newborn and didn’t notice what he was doing until it was too late). Anyway, my son is only 7 weeks old now and my goal is to exclusively breastfeed him for a minimum of 6 months, possibly 12 months, but if anyone has information on the correlation between cutting the cord too soon and iron deficiency at/around 6 months, I’d love to read it. I will certainly start supplementing with FCLO, liver, egg yolks at 6 months, if his iron levels are low. I’m just hoping there are ways to check iron levels without drawing blood, I am very uncomfortable with any procedure that causes him even the slightest amount of pain. Maybe I’ll notice that he’s lethargic or…? I have a feeling he will be trying to eat our food at a very young age. We were eating medium rare grass-fed steak the other night, and we want to encourage him to use his sense of smell, so we held a piece of meat near his nose, as soon as he smelled it he lunged at it with an open mouth!! Yikes! 😉 I love nursing him but I do look forward to letting him try new foods eventually. I originally wanted to wait until 15-18 months but I think he’ll need solids before then.

  20. I think we need to remember that breastfeeding is not just for nutrients. The bonding and physical touch aspect is very important. I dont believe that any man made formula, whether it be from grass fed cows or not, is as nutritious as breast milk. We have to be careful what we put out on the internet because it can lead mothers to make the wrong decisions. I was very unhappy with Sally Fallons opinions on breast milk, she had so much more information on homemade formula and it seemed because she had trouble making milk she assumed others would too. I dont know, but i believe breast is always best no matter what!!

    1. Nobody said breastfeeding wasn’t important. And I agree, breast milk is preferable to any formula. But only if the mother’s diet is good.

      I was very unhappy with Sally Fallons opinions on breast milk, she had so much more information on homemade formula and it seemed because she had trouble making milk she assumed others would too. I dont know, but i believe breast is always best no matter what!!

      You are making assumptions about Sally.

      There are many of us, myself included, who have had trouble making enough milk.

      1. Regardless of the quality of ones diet, and I agree diet influences the quality of cow milk and human milk. But even the human milk of someone with a dismal diet still is a species specific living food that keeps that maximally maintains the gut flora in an optimal state, and anyone who knows about GAPS knows how critical that is. So I would do anything to keep non human milk out of my infant, donor milk regardless of the quality of the diet, would be better than bacterial disrupting dead food of formula even if from really nice well nourished cows from a happy farm.

        No formula, not the homemade formula, or anything ever invented by people can come close to breastmilk for the reason breastmilk is a species specifc living food
        That
        1)rich in live macrophages that can eat up virus, fungi, and bacteria
        2)Offer a dynamic, reactive approach to the pathogens the mother is exposed to at any given moment and offering that protection to her infant
        3) Has stemcells. See this- https://www.sciencealert.com.au/news/20081102-16879.html
        ”But what Dr Mark Cregan is excited about right now is the promise that his discovery could be the start of many more exciting revelations about the potency of breast milk. He believes that it not only meets all the nutritional needs of a growing infant but contains key markers that guide his or her development into adulthood.
        “We already know how breast milk provides for the baby’s nutritional needs, but we are only just beginning to understand that it probably performs many other functions,” says Dr Cregan, a molecular biologist at The University of Western Australia. He says that, in essence, a new mother’s mammary glands take over from the placenta to provide the development guidance to ensure a baby’s genetic destiny is fulfilled.”

        Weston Price foundation should be all over promoting breastmilk as a living food full of active cells that fight infections, heal the gut, and ‘help us fulfill our gentic destiny’. I soooo do not get the position that if the diet is not optimal, breastmilk is too low quality to honor. Stem cells, macrophages, environmentally response immune cells…what other food on earth could ever do that for a baby. Sign me up…I wish WAPF would put some of their passion behind this one. It is a big one, the ROCK STAR AWESOMENESS of human milk. Can not be beat. Should be given as much and as long as is possible. If you would go to the ends of the earth for raw milk, why not do the same for an infant designed to eat human milk?

        1. And for women whop have trouble making milk but want to go to the ends of the earth for the rock star awesomeness of human milk, they can get network and get it from other lactating mothers in their community via the world wide group Human Milk for Human Babies. https://www.hm4hb.net/
          In Rumi words:
          ‘Crying out loud and weeping are great resources.
          A nursing mother, all she does
          is wait to hear her child.

          Just a little beginning-whimper,
          and she’s there.

          God created the child, that is, your wanting,
          so that it might cry out, so that milk might come. ‘

          So even for those who have the painful struggles you had with nursing can help their babies enjoy the benefits of human milks living food and gut protective qualities.

          1. Great comments, Heidi, but you’re wasting your time. I haven’t seen any willingness from the author during this entire thread to even entertain the notion that she might – shock, horror – be wrong in any aspect. It’s a shame that she has put up such a wall of defensiveness (as in, searching high and low to find something in the studies put forth to complain about, rather than seriously debating the larger issues) as this could have been a good discussion.

    1. She’s not but what’s your point? The Paleo perspective firmly believes that beast milk is very important for babies.

        1. And personally, I started solids at 5 & 1/2 months, but he wasn’t really interested til a month later. So I’m not saying you’re totally wrong, like some people are.

  21. I thought Sandrine’s reply on facebook to your original post was right on point:
    ” I really have to ask … why are some women so resistant to the notion of introducing solids around 6 months?! It becomes such a divisive issue every time it is raised here, and each time, I take a deep breath to brace myself for the push back. I wasn’t surprised to see that when AnnMarie posted today that there would be an immediate outcry of protest. But, why?! Why not supplement with the recommend egg yolks, salt, liver, cod liver oil?”

    Especially agree with that last part. Why not the recommended egg yolks etc?

    I’m not sure how recommending nutrient rich first foods sometime around 6 mos. undermines breastfeeding or even extended nursing. I’m baffled at some of the comments with the stance that nursing is being attacked. By all means mamas, keep nursing as long as you and your baby can! You and your baby will be happy and healthy for it. But this post just isn’t about that! Share the data that waiting past 6 mos is necessary or beneficial, and that’s where the intelligent (and relevant) debate would be.

    To weigh in on that point: Waiting 9 or 12 mos is very counter-intuitive to my mothering instincts (and counter to my understanding of infant feeding traditions). My son would have been beside himself crying and groping at our plates at that age sitting with us at the table eating in front of him. He looked like some people’s 2 year olds at 1 y/o. Tall, alert, able… Not feed him? Gah!

    I’ll stick to the advice my mom gave, which is the advice her mom gave her (an extended nurser, unheard of in the 1950’s USA). Wait for solids as close to 6 mos as possible and forgo that nasty baby cereal! Smart ladies!

    1. Thanks, Sahara

      I don’t understand either why people get so upset. We are not suggesting that anyone stop breastfeeding. We are merely suggesting supplementation with nutrient dense foods.

      1. The reason I am upset is because I feel that the idea that breastmilk is inferior is what gives formula marketers so much success. I have a friend who is constantly worrying her breastmilk isn’t good enough. The post here saying that supplements are needed goes against the truth that breastmilk actually IS good enough. Even a mom who drinks Diet Pepsi and cheetos all day, it is still better for the baby to be breastfed, than to have formula (this would be very hard on the mom as the nutrients would come from her own body’s reserves.) Obviously I’m not advocating for that, , but the problem is that you are making a bold statement that all babies need these supplemental foods starting at four months. Even Sally Fallon’s quote, and your observations from your friends worldwide, all say six months. It doesn’t make sense that you convert that into a conclusion of all babies needing the supplements at four months.
        I think the reason that people get so upset about inaccurate information about breastfeeding is that they are as passionate as you are about helping people find health, and that every instance of wrong information out there is yet another obstacle for women in general and breastfeeding advocates to overcome. It is frustrating when someone who is in a prominent position to give out information and has the ability to provide really helpful information, does so and gets things not quite right. Your article would only need a few changes, and you really would not have gotten people riled up. If your article had just kept to the six months guideline which even your own resources all use, and focused on giving nutrient dense foods instead of the nasty rice cereals, I think your article would have been very well received.

        1. Many of the commenters seem to be jumping to the conclusion that because we advocate the introduction of some solid foods at 4-6 months (namely liver, egg yolks and cod liver oil) that this means we are saying that breast milk is inferior.

          I never said that and I do not believe it. I think breastfeeding is VERY important and I think all mothers should breastfeed. Period.

          I just don’t believe that breast milk is something humans should consume exclusively for life. It’s normal and healthy for babies to begin eating solids. Otherwise they wouldn’t grow teeth and they’d never move out of the house. 🙂

          Even a mom who drinks Diet Pepsi and cheetos all day, it is still better for the baby to be breastfed, than to have formula (this would be very hard on the mom as the nutrients would come from her own body’s reserves.)

          I’d agree with you if you were right. But this is just flat out wrong.

          Again, would you drink milk from a cow who was exclusively fed potato chips and doughnuts? I hope not, because that milk would make you very sick. If you read “The Untold Story of Milk” by Dr. Ron Schmid, when cows were fed distillery mash — industrial waste from whiskey factories — the babies who drank the milk got sick and DIED. There was a 50% infant mortality rate at the time.

          Breastfeeding is not a panacea. Babies need nutritious milk and if the breastmilk is not nutritious due to a bad diet on the part of the mother, then homemade raw milk formula is a better choice.

          the problem is that you are making a bold statement that all babies need these supplemental foods starting at four months.

          You misread my article. I said 4-6 months. Not 4 months. Although I do think it is best for babies to get cod liver oil, even transdermally, at 4 months.

          It is frustrating when someone who is in a prominent position to give out information and has the ability to provide really helpful information, does so and gets things not quite right.

          I agree with you 100% on that. This is why I work so hard to write posts that help people. I didn’t write anything in this article that I regret. I stand by it completely.

          Your article would only need a few changes, and you really would not have gotten people riled up. If your article had just kept to the six months guideline which even your own resources all use, and focused on giving nutrient dense foods instead of the nasty rice cereals, I think your article would have been very well received.

          I do believe some babies are ready for solids earlier than 6 months.

          I’m not worried about whether or not people get riled up. I can’t ever please everybody and I don’t aim to. My goal is to share factual information about nutrition that helps people.

          1. I think people’s issue is with you saying, “Four months is okay and six months is the very latest,” while almost every good source I’ve seen says four months is too soon and six months is the very earliest. Six months is standard and I don’t know anyone who’s said most babies will be harmed by giving solids at six months. However, some seriously aren’t ready then. Sure, if your child is grabbing for food at six months, give it to him. But if your child is eight months and has no teeth, isn’t reaching for food, and spits out what you give him, then I don’t care what the calendar says — he ISN’T READY. And considering the completeness of breast milk and the absorbability of everything in it, he’s unlikely to be deficient in anything.

            Babies died on mash-fed cows milk. Babies also die on grass-fed cows milk. Cows milk, by itself, is dangerous for babies. The proportion of nutrients is wrong and it lacks several vital ingredients. So I don’t think you’re going to prove anything by showing that babies died on bad cows milk … they died because they weren’t getting mothers’ milk. We now have better substitutes, but they’re still just that — substitutes.

            1. @Sheila You don’t have to give your baby pureed foods at 4-6 months but why not give him or her cod liver oil? How can that hurt?

              Babies died on mash-fed cows milk. Babies also die on grass-fed cows milk. Cows milk, by itself, is dangerous for babies. The proportion of nutrients is wrong and it lacks several vital ingredients. So I don’t think you’re going to prove anything by showing that babies died on bad cows milk … they died because they weren’t getting mothers’ milk. We now have better substitutes, but they’re still just that — substitutes.

              I agree that babies should not be given cow’s milk. They need breast milk, and if they can’t get quality breast milk, they should be fed the WAPF raw milk formula.

              The reason I brought up the swill milk from the distilleries is because what the cows ate dramatically, negatively impacted the quality of the milk. I am making the point that not all breast milk is the same and it does depend on the quality of the diet of the mother.

              1. I asked my friend for some additional information about the raw milk formula. And in my silly cheetos example, the solution is to change the mother’s diet, not to give the baby formula or supplemental foods. I haven’t read the Schmid book but I’m familiar with the history. Likewise, the solution was/is to give the mother cows a better diet and environment, not to give the calves a supplement.

                But my main point is that you’re saying traditional cultures didn’t EBF beyond 6 months… but on the other hand you are saying to start the supplemental foods at 4 months. This jump is not explained and is contrary to current recommendations, even the Nemours article you linked to says “about 6 months” for supplemental foods. The difference between four months and six months is very significant.

          2. Ann Marie, I think you and Marija have a disconnect in the definition of the word “formula”. The mother living on Diet Pepsi and Cheerios is NOT going to be making any raw milk or liver formulas for her baby! Chances are, she is going to be buying whatever Big Pharma disgustingness her kid can manage to keep down in sufficient amounts to not lose weight.

              1. Marija is saying that even the milk of a mama who lives on Cheetos & Diet Pepsi is better that formula (& she means Similac, et al, so I would agree with her). You are saying that no, raw milk formula is better than poorly nourished mama breast milk (I would like to see where science will come in on this one, as there are many components even of poor quality breastmilk that we can’t duplicate, even with a raw milk or liver formula, but it’s not a comparison I expect to see undertaken anytime soon. I am saying Marija iscorrect in this case, because a Mama who feeds herself like that is unlikely to even consider (or likely know about) any formula you can’t buy in a can at the local grocery store. Breastmilk is ALWAYS better than laboratory formula.

      2. Your post bothers me because this is wrong- “In addition, babies need supplemental iron and zinc when they reach the age of 4-6 months. These nutrient needs can not be met by breast milk alone.”
        and
        in the comments you say bone broth is the best way to protect and infants gut, but actually keeping them off anything but breast milk is, so your advice of starting solids on the early side could deprive infants of an optimal gut profile for no good reason. And two months of good profile time is a lot time to lose when you are talking about someone just 4 to 6 months old.
        and
        it bothers me to see the quality human milk tied only to the diet with no mention of the species specific live food aspect of human milk stemcells, macrophages, or environmentally responsive immunity of in all breastmilk. WAPF says it supports breastfeeding, then has a lot of incorrect anti -breastfeeding messages on the site. In the opening section on breastfeeding it says ‘But a perusal of recent studies comparing breastfed and formula-fed infants presents a real dilemma for breastfeeding advocates because the research does not provide a clear case of benefit.’ Which is wrong, the list of benefits is long and growing longer all the time.
        and
        You say no traditional people exclusively breastfeed past 6 months but that that very interesting info graphic from a commenter shows the in many countries there are babies being exclusively breastfed at even at 2 years. https://www.childinfo.org/breastfeeding_infantfeeding.html

        WAPF is bringing good information to families and getting many women to move away from rice cereal, and include fermented food in their diet. This is so good, such good news…just want the info they get from those preaching the gospel of WAPF to get accurate info about infant feeding, and not rush to feed a baby solids to correct a phantom nutrient deficiency. Instead of sending the message human milk is usually not good enough, it should send the message human milk is valuable and irreplaceable.

  22. I attribute my younger son’s ability to overcome several health issues to the fact that I was finally following WAPF and Nourishing Traditions parameters when it came to food. My son was delayed in almost every way (not really delayed, just on the “later” side of all the milestones: sitting, etc.), but he still started eating solid food around 6 months old. I would mash up veggies with butter or coconut oil and feed it to him. He would try to eat the butter plain, lol! Unfortunately at the time I was too chicken to give him cod liver oil. But around 1 year of age he started having that, and he would beg for 2-3 large teaspoons every morning. He’s almost 3 now, thriving, and begs for “yummy oil!” every morning.

    I agree with you Ann Marie, just thought I would weigh in. I don’t think that talking about starting nutrient-dense solids at 4-6 months means that you or anyone else is advocating to stop or slow breastfeeding. That’s a false dichotomy! We don’t need to choose one or the other. I choose both, because they are both good and healthy. And traditional people did them both.

  23. I would think common sense should rule the day in this situation. I’ve been on the one end of following Gerber’s advice to start shoving rice blah in my 4 mo. old’s mouth, who just pushed it right back out, and then seen the other end of the spectrum where moms say there’s no need for solids til a year or older. But where common sense comes in is that around 6 mos. or so the baby is becoming more and more a part of everyday life with the family and is reaching for what’s on Mom’s plate and mimicking Mom’s actions of eating. Baby food is truly unneccessary. I found my baby could gum up anything with great pleasure. As for the iron deficiencies, premature cord clamping is the culprit. The research: https://www.naturalchild.org/research/cord_clamping_iron.pdf

      1. Have you found that zinc deficiency is occurring in delayed-clamped babies whose moms are eating an ideal diet? I’ve never seen that anywhere but here.

        Some say breastfed babies are D deficient. But they only are if they’re getting no sun and the mom is D deficient. Breastmilk, in itself, isn’t lacking in anything a baby needs.

          1. I never said a mother’s milk couldn’t be deficient, or that it was unaffected by her diet. Perhaps you are getting me confused with someone else. I *did* say that breastmilk, even from a poorly nourished mother, has ingredients that no formula can duplicate. I also said that it’s smarter to put supplements into the mama than the baby, to improve her breastmilk without introducing foreign substances into the baby’s gut.

      2. As for zinc deficiency, according to your own source – “In addition to breast milk, infants aged 7–12 months should consume age-appropriate foods… containing zinc.” I think the problem most people are having is the recommended 4-6 month range, which is incongruous with the source you are using to site starting solids as early as 4 months. Your source clearly states 7 months as when supplementation should occur. Sally Fallon states “No primitive culture does exclusive breastfeeding past six months.” This implies that they do practice exclusive breastfeeding up to 6 months, not 4 months.

        As for the statement “Babies should be breastfed from birth and for a minimum of 6 months, but ideally at least a year.” This bothers me because it is not in line the recommendations of the AAP, LLL, WHO. WHO states “Exclusive breastfeeding is recommended up to 6 months of age, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond.” I feel like your website is about informing us of how to get the best optimal nutrition, and it has completely changed the way I feed my family. But I feel you drop the ball when it comes to breastfeeding. At least in the main body of your post. 6 months as a minimum for breastfeeding implies that it is adequate to stop breastfeeding at that time. That is not optimal nutrition for a growing infant. To be truly encouraging optimal nutrition for infants one year to two years should be the minimum range given. Or perhaps find out how long the primitive cultures breastfed for. Did any of them stop at 6 months? Or did most of them breastfeed for several years? If as WHO states 2 years is the optimal them why don’t we just say that? Why do we even talk about weaning at 6 months on a blog dedicated to eating the most optimal, natural way? And to make sure there is no confusion, I am not saying exclusively breastfeed past 6-7 months, or implying no supplementation should be given if there is the issue of inadequate milk supply.

        I think WAPF/NT also drops the ball on this issue. NT says that it is challenging “politically correct nutrition and the diet dictocrats”. Politically correct nutrition is who is telling us to stop breastfeeding at 6-12 months. When I first started the NT way of eating I found it very odd that they don’t advocate more for what we call “extended breastfeeding”, which is actually just normal length breastfeeding. Especially when they are such advocates for raw milk. Isn’t raw mother’s milk (from a well nourished mom following a NT diet) better for a small child than raw cow milk? Children wean when they are ready. According to Kellymom “it is unusual for a baby to wean before 18-24 months unless mom is encouraging weaning. ” It’s sad that in a society that looks down on breastfeeding an 18 month old (like I am), there isn’t much support from the people I would expect it most from. I realize you have stated in the comments that you do support longer breastfeeding. But there are probably many women who read your blog that may not see that in the comments. I would suggest that in your main post you advocate for a correct/better length of time to breastfeed (in addition to other foods, not exclusively) and not even mention 6 months as an adequate time.

        All the criticism aside :-), I applaud you for making it known that there is a better way to feed babies than cereal. I wish I had known that earlier. And I hope more people find out about the dangers of giving infants cereal and learn how to feed them nutrient dense foods instead. My next child will start off with egg yolks and liver as first foods. And I’m happy to say that since reading your article on cheerios I have never fed them to my children again! And I have been able to share with several friends what I have learned here and hopefully they spread the word as well.

  24. Now that I’ve read through the comments, I’m mystified how some readers find something in the post that I didn’t. I didn’t find AnnMarie saying to *switch over* to solid foods at 4-6 months, only to start them; neither did she devalue anything about breastfeeding. Really, people, she supports breastfeeding! *And* feeding nutrient-dense solids in addition to breast milk when the baby is ready. I don’t believe she said babies are all on exactly the same schedule.

    I’ve also never understood the criticism against Sally Fallon for providing formula recipes for mothers who are having trouble producing enough (or any) milk. It’s just a reality that it doesn’t always work out well for all moms to breastfeed, or to breastfeed exclusively as long as desired. It’s always been clear to me that Sally champions breastfeeding and is highly supportive of the needs of both moms and babies.

    1. Glad I’m not the only one. Reading some of the comments I wondered if I had read the same post. I am not surprised though. Any time the subject of pregnancy, birth or babies comes up there are always people who are highly offended. It’s only natural when you are talking about something as precious as our babies. Even I find my feathers getting a little ruffled when the subject of unnecessary c-sections come up even though I absolutely know without a doubt that in both of my children’s cases everything humanly possible was done to prevent it. We all want the absolute best for our children but we live in the real world where perfection doesn’t exist, even if we could agree on the definition.

      1. Heather, you make a good point. There is a lot of passion here because everyone weighing in cares very deeply about the health and care of precious babies. That’s something we can all agree is a good thing!

  25. Oh what a great start !! I sure tried. I was following NT as a young Mother – but just had not quite gotten it all down. Eggs, raw milk & stock for my child – no grains until 18 months… but here is the catch. She ate very small amounts of these foods because I breastfeed almost exclusively for 27 months. My daughter in took very little calories. And although she has never been sick and is developmentally lightyears ahead …. she has cavities. Five to be exact. Because I just couldn’t keep up feeding her growing body and mine. I thought I was doing exactly what I should be. When in reality I should have been pushing her to eat nourishing foods instead of nursing out of habit.
    This is what they do not mention to you with extended nursing. And I sure wish someone had.

    1. Wow, thanks Tara.

      Maybe some of the ladies who are so vehement about breast milk being a perfect food and that we can do exclusively breastfeeding indefinitely will read your comment.

      1. I don’t think anyone commenting here is advocating indefinitely EBF. At least not that I read. It seems like Tara was trying to follow Nourishing Traditions guidelines, and her daughter didn’t get enough foods. Tara, did you try giving your daughter solid foods like vegetables, fish, and meats? Did you offer them in the way Anne Marie mentions in her article, offering your daughter the foods so she could feed herself? I think if a child is offered a wide variety of foods but continues to refuse foods past 18 months they would be wise to consult an occupational therapist.

    2. I will not disagree with your hindsight, but I would like to add that as with my colicky baby(as I on NT diet) growing into toddlerhood as I was discovering GAPS, I do know that nursing her fed her emotionally and intellectually and nutritively until I could discover other routes to nourish her (GAPS at 3yr old). SHe was picky eater. I trust that her demand for more nursing was what she needed at that time given her other options…NOW I know from Anna Marie (NT and GAPS) that I have more options…to try to expose my next baby to THESE nutrient dense foods when she shows signs of readiness (tongue thrust gone, sitting up, pincer grasp and interested)…or clean up the gut with GAPS first.

      my girl was/is “small” according to “those” charts, developed skills early and communicated early, no cavities but crowded front bottom to teeth (I was partially veg when preg till craved meat again!)…still nursing too…

      Thanks AnnMarie, for your blog, I appreciate you sharing your mothering. I also like you GAPS food class form last year…thanks.

    3. Sorry to hear that your daughter has cavities. I am concerned about preventing them in my 8 month old son once his teeth come in, too. And he does eat solids once a day. But I’m curious as to why you assume your breastfeeding with few solids caused the cavities? Some experts think breast milk may protect enamel. Infant caries are caused by a bacteria called S. mutans that is passed by to the baby from a caregiver’s mouth, usually the mother’s. Was just reading about studies that have shown dental caries in the infant can be reduced or postponed when the mother chews xylitol gum four times a day. See for instance https://jdr.sagepub.com/content/89/1/56.full They also suggest making sure not to exchange saliva with babies via kissing, sharing utensils, etc.

      1. According to Dr. Raymond Silkman, DDS, he sees a lot of children with cavities and brown rotting teeth with breastfed babies. Typically he says these mothers are vegetarian. The mother’s diet really does impact her milk.

  26. I would have never agreed that babies need iron supplementation after the age of 6 months or so until I had a low iron experience with my son.
    He would not sleep more than 4 hours a day. Period. This started around 5 months and went on for over a month and a half. He looked so tired, puffy red eyes, bloodshot, wobbly. He was so hyperactive, he would not slow down or stop. We took him to the pedi and he was low on iron, not anemic, but on the low end of normal and looked pale. So went did iron drops and within four days he slept 6 hours, the next day 8 hours, and from then on out he slept over 12 hours a day and napping with no problem.
    One time we went to visit family for a week and I forgot the iron. By the end of the week he was not sleeping again. I had to get him back on iron at home and a week alter he started sleeping again!
    Now low iron is being linked to ADHD and sleeping problems and that does run in our families.
    Maybe not all children have this issue but it was very prevalent for us! I wish I had known about natural source of iron back then.

  27. No, this is not correct information. Babies do NOT need solids that early and why rush them? My own babies have been delayed to a year, until getting solids, have healthy appetites, eat healthy food, no digestive problems, allergies or food sensitivities. I know that is not totally the reason why, but it’s reason enough for me. They rarely get sick, they have healthy immune systems and when they did start eating solids it was easy as anything. I didn’t have to worry about messy feedings or what have you because by the time they started they were happy pretty much feeding themselves. You do NOT need to supplement before a year because of deficiency worries. Breastmilk is perfectly formulated for babies and they can literally get all they need from it. My babies nurse a long time past a year, but exclusively for a year. For those who have breastfeeding problems I highly recommending using donor milk, check out human milk sharing and you can find sources that way. I am pregnant with my fifth baby and will continue this. Babies are not mini adults. We don’t need to rush them into solid food. Human milk is made for human babies. When they are older, they will be eating soon enough. Why make it harder on them? Sure ‘the evidence’ may not be conclusive, but tell that to a mother who finds out her baby can’t handle the food she is told her baby ‘needs’. All babies need are mother’s milk.

    As well signs of readiness do not include reaching and putting food in their mouths. They will put anything in their mouths, no matter what is in front of them. That’s how they explore and learn, they aren’t thinking ‘ Oh I am hungry, I need food’. Signs of readiness are when they actually eat the food and need it. I would not suggest starting foods before 6 months and even delaying past that. Thanks, I will stick to 12 months.

    1. Mary, I disagree with this: “As well signs of readiness do not include reaching and putting food in their mouths. They will put anything in their mouths, no matter what is in front of them. That’s how they explore and learn, they aren’t thinking ‘ Oh I am hungry, I need food’. ”

      Babies are human and can smell, salivate, and be visually stimulated by the yummy looking food the family is eating. My instincts tell me the interest and the grabbing is one sign of readiness.

    2. Excellent post Mary- as the mother of 6 breastfed children- no cavities and they nursed from 3.5 years to 4.5 years I agree with everything you have written.It’s a shame more women don’t use donor milk and jump to the non species specific WAPF formula. While that’s certainly a step up from artificial baby milk it’s not species specific- human babies aren’t cows or goats or beef broth.

  28. If I fed my DS Cod Liver oil at 4- 6 months , he’d be dead. Anaphalactic allergies FTW. Anyway I did the Gerber thing with DD…but then with DS I was like “Naw” he didn’t like banana so I knew purees were out, so when HE was grabbing stuff off my plate that’s when I took his lead…he ate what we ate…just chopped up smaller. I think he started around 6-8 months…

  29. 6 months, not 4-6 months. You, of all people, should understand the importance of the gut needing to seal and not to need to heal by promoting early introduction of unnecessary foods. Why promote something that will cause problems later on? Change it to say 6 months at minimum and stop saying that baby NEEDS these nutrients outside of breastmilk and people will get off your back.

    Don’t spread your opinion as fact. Especially when SO many mothers look to you for advice. For shame.

    1. Hi, Karamama

      I don’t care if people are “on my back”. I built this blog by speaking the truth. I’m not going to stop now just because some people are upset by what I say.

      I stand behind what I wrote 100%.

      This is not my opinion. It’s based on research. I don’t personally have an opinion. I just want to do what has been tested and true over thousands of years. To repeat: no traditional culture practiced EXCLUSIVE breastfeeding past 6 months.

      If you can find evidence of one, please post.

  30. Babies are born to be breastfed. And eventually eat food when THEY ARE READY. If we, as a human race, were born to NEED SUPPLEMENTS we wouldn’t be around anymore.

    1. Unfortunately we all need supplements nowadays because our soil is so depleted and the food that most people eat is so lacking in nutrition.

      The supplements that I recommend are all food based, however.

  31. Your pictures totally rock! I love those expressions. We started our youngest at 4 months, too, and suddenly his 24 hour a day, 7 day a week colic disappeared. I think it was absolutely the best thing for him. Thank you so much for such an insightful and informative post! And for the pictures — they really made me smile.

  32. Interesting post! I just wanted to make two points. The first one is that according to the AAP babies should be breastfed for at least one year. They say food should be started at 6 months but that does not mean that 6 months is when one should wean their babies(their statement is a little confusing). Additionally The World Health Organization states that babies should be breastfed for at least 2 years.

    The other point is than an ideal situation for one who truly can’t breastfeed is human donor milk.

    1. As I have said, I am an advocate of extended breastfeeding.

      I personally would not feel comfortable with donor milk unless I knew what the donor was eating AND it was not pasteurized.

      1. I know you are an advocate of extended breastfeeding. I just wanted to clarify the AAP stance since it is so unclear.

        I nursed my first child for only 3 months because of all of the troubles I had and even when I stopped for reasons that I thought were totally out of my control I was an advocate of extended nursing. I think it is very hard for women who have only been successful breastfeeding to understand what it is like to fail at it. It stinks especially when you know that it really is the best option.

        If you decided to have another child you might want to read Making More Milk before you give birth. FYI I went on to nurse number 2 and 3 till they were 4 and # 4 until (yikes!) she was 6 thanks to La Leche League.

        I totally agree that it is so important to feed your child a nutrient rich diet when you decide it’s time to feed them and I think that this has gotten lost in much of the comments. I was so careful to make sure my son ate well as soon as he began solid foods and I attribute that to part of the reason that he is a strong and healthy 15 year old.

        With my girls I was less concerned with what they were eating because I was still nursing full force as they started solids. I made sure to make them the same healthy things that I made for my son but I was just a lot less concerned that they eat as much food. I was, however, more careful about what I ate and I encourage any mothers that are nursing to do the same.

        I alway suggest to mothers who I am counseling that at the very least they take an omega 3 supplement because it does make a difference in the milk. I also suggest a nutrient rich diet. It makes total sense to me that what a mother eats does affect the nutrients in their food. After all if it affects the make up of cows milk it would of course affect mothers milk also!

        1. Hi, Beth,

          Thanks for the book recommendation. I will check it out.

          By the way the reason I personally had trouble breastfeeding was that my doctor put me on a birth control pill. At the time (this was before WAPF), I had NO idea that the pill could dry up my milk supply. I didn’t find out until a year later. It also effed up my gut flora. It’s a terrible shame that many doctors recommend the pill as a matter of course after a baby is born.

          For an omega 3 supplement, we recommend fermented cod liver oil.

  33. Ann Marie, just a heads-up that there’s a small typo above.
    “Nuts and seeds – wait until baby is over a year, and then always”
    I believe this sentence needs to be finished to say something like …properly prepared by soaking.

  34. For the sake of clarity for people reading the post and perhaps not all the follow-up comments, might I suggest emphasizing this comment you made below by copying it into the original post?:

    “We are not suggesting that anyone stop breastfeeding. We are merely suggesting supplementation with nutrient dense foods.”

  35. My own experience leads me to disagree with this advice, but I fully acknowledge that EVERY CHILD IS DIFFERENT! My husband and I fully support following our son’s inherent wisdom about what his body needs and, as long as he hasn’t been being fed crap by well meaning loved ones, it’s always spot on. My son had tummy troubles and didn’t have a tooth break the skin until he was 9 months old. He had troubles with coughing/swallowing/gagging and it was because his system wasn’t ready. He was 20lbs by four months old {EBF} and continued to thrive. We made some mistakes with him since he was our first, and his needs so went against the conventional line, but I don’t believe he suffered any long term effects from eating too soon. Funny thing, once his teeth broke through all his digestive issues disappeared almost overnight, he wanted solids, started sleeping in his own bed and for longer stretches of time, and pretty much weaned entirely. It was crazy!
    We’re welcoming our second little boy in about 10 weeks and we have no expectations, game plan, rules, etc laid out on how to feed him. He’ll know 🙂

    I agree that in general, not just on your site Ann Marie or this post specifically, we need to see some more references outside of Sally Fallon Morrell (sp.). I’m not sure if they’re just not out there or what but it’s very discouraging to read the same thing over and over….seems to much like the cyclical advice given by the FDA or other mainstream ‘authorities’. And let’s be frank & realistic not ALL traditions or ancient practices are worth repeating. I agree that there is so much to be gleaned from our ancestors and that they had invaluable wisdom {a lot of which science has yet to catch up to}, but that doesn’t mean it’s all 100% correct and needs to be followed blindly. We live in a very different world today and face different challenges, so there’s no shame in following OUR OWN inherent wisdom. So if something doesn’t feel right for you or your family then don’t do it. Simple…and no need to get bent out of shape 😀

  36. The baby who died who had vegan parents did not die because of his parents’ diet, he died because he had untreated bronchitis.

    Here is the link again: https://www.childinfo.org/breastfeeding_infantfeeding.html which shows breastfeeding data for many countries. In countries like Benin, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Nepal, Mongolia, India, DPR Congo, Guinea, Guatemala, Mali and Uganda you can see significant numbers of children exclusively breastfed long past 6 months, sometimes up to 24 months. These numbers also increase if you include the cohort of babies breastfed and given only extra water – ie, all their nutrition still coming from breastmilk.

    In almost all cases the numbers of exclusively breastfed infants have dropped in more recent years, suggesting that if we had looked at breastfeeding stats of 100 years ago we would have seen many children throughout the world being exclusively breastfed for much longer than 6 months.

    1. Not that I advocate fruitarianism here’s a video of a healthy fruitarian breastfed infant- human milk is still the best for human babies and even though this mom eats only fruit and raw vegetables her baby is thriving. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O42G0X5Rq5o&list=UUR8rXZyYttzcpxoks7oxk_g&index=2&feature=plcp

      1. Your joking, right? A YouTube video is never proof of anything. I can take a video of my dog and tell you he’s from outer space. Are you going to believe it? Should it make us all believe that some dogs truly come from outer space? If mom is not eating at least some animal product both baby and mom WILL suffer at some point even if they are trying to make up for it through supplementation. And don’t even get me started on how hypocritical it is for a vegans or fruititarians to supplement with pills for nutrients that came from animals.

        1. Not kidding since I happen to know these folks- and no they aren’t supplemented. Years ago I was brainwashed too in the WAP stuff, truth is I have seen both healthy and unhealthy from various dietary approaches, that’s right I have seen thriving raw vegans and thriving WAP style , more specifically primal/paleo as I don’t believe grains are beneficial to anyone and that might be why the above is doing okay and those eating grain based vegan diets not so – same with WAP as it touts soaked and fermented grains as okay foods.I had a WAP pregnancy and baby once too- never did that experiment again. Once I removed all grains and dairy I thrived and so did my subsequent children.

          1. We eat paleo as well so we can agree on those points. Vegans however will suffer from a lack of B12 which slowly depletes from the body without animal products to replenish it. It’s also terribly difficult to recover from a B12 deficiency once symptoms appear. On top of that doctors are terrible at diagnosing it. There have never been any vegetarian societies for a reason. Don’t gamble on your children’s health because some people appear to be healthy. Take the lead of thousands of years of humanities history and eat how the human body was designed to eat.

            1. Much of India is vegetarian and has been for thousands of years. There most definitely ARE vegetarian societies. Vegans can be perfectly healthy if supplementing with B12 from nutritional yeast. I am neither vegan nor vegetarian, but the claims you are making are incorrect.

            2. Jen,
              I know all of that, however I am playing devils advocate here because I happen to know very healthy glowing unsupplemented raw vegans. It sounds crazy to WAP oriented people but over the years I have seen it- healthy children and parents- they work out, look great and happen to live in paradise. The above parents are long term raw vegans, unsupplemented. Over the past 30 plus years I’ve explored so many dietary theories and put them into practice and I think it’s safe to say not one approach works for all. Sure there are some very deficient raw and non raw vegans out there and that’s downright scary but there are also deficient overly fed adults/children eating WAP food as well. As I’ve studied ancestral health and medicine I tend to lean more heavy on the gatherer end as this is what works for me/family. My husband was born to raw vegan parents and grew up veg, he’s never suffered any nutritional deficiencies and has a wide face/palate never had braces nor a cavity. But he also grew up in a tropical paradise where his father grows everything the family eats and the soil is very nutrient rich in that part of the world. So it just goes to show there aren’t any black or whites via nutrition as I used to think. I do think the b12 factor is an issue for many people and not just vegans but meat eaters as well. I have always questioned the feeding of raw egg and liver to an infant ever since I was first introduced to WAPF 15 years ago (my one WAP pregnancy). Not every culture had access to these foods as they weren’t the staple foods. There are just so many variations of what could be ideal first foods for a babe. I started with raw and fermented foods and this time with my 6th baby will be starting him on my own homemade raw cultured coconut yogurt. I myself couldn’t just eat fruit or veg but I want to be more open minded these days about possibilities.

              1. Sarah Pope said it best in her comment on her blog:

                “Vegans have not been around for 1000′s of years because vegans become infertile after 1 or 2 generations and cannot reproduce. Vegetarians have been around, but not vegans.”

                https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/baby-breastfed-by-vegan-mother-dies/

                1. Yes have read all that before- again it’s not black or white.Some people can only get pregnant after adapting a plant cleanse and the more deficient one’s benefit from the addition of quality fats and proteins.It boils down to the individual chemistry of a person. And this too I saw as a TCM practitioner and in myself.

    2. @Meryl

      Bronchitis can be wiped out with adequate vitamin D. I know because I’ve done it myself.

      https://cheeseslave.com/real-food-cures-vitamin-d-for-bronchitis-and-iodine-for-moles/

      The baby died due to a weakened immune system. The root cause was malnutrition.

      1. I’m not debating how bronchitis can be cured, I am simply stating that it was untreated and that is why the baby died – not from veganism. It is totally incorrect that healthy, well nourished vegans will become infertile. Where is your proof of this?

        I am also not debating whether or not vegan societies have existed, my comment was that vegetarian societies do exist – in response to the comment that they do not.

  37. “Since I was not able to breastfeed past 9 months”

    I would like to know more about what caused you to have to stop breastfeeding by 9 months, this is really something that concerns me with these recommendations. Because making sure babies get as much breastmilk for as long as possible is VITAL. Nothing is more beneficial in the first year than pure breastmilk.

    Evidence shows that introducing solids early leads to early weaning, you are replacing not adding to your breastmilk supply, therefore you will have less stimulation to your milk supply (especially in this CRITICAL time period at 4 months when you are still ESTABLISHING a supply based on demand and teaching your body what your child NEEDS).

    I had the same experience with my first but determined to do differently with my second and she nursed exclusively for her whole first year and was an entirely different child in terms of health than my first. The first is still struggling to catch up 6 yrs later while the 2nd I can’t slow down and is still nursing! She has a much wider natural pallet than he, much larger bones and even at 2.5 is stronger than him now at almost 6.

    https://www.kellymom.com/bf/weaning/babyselfwean.html
    What factors might lead mom to think that her baby is self-weaning?

    When a mother says that her baby self-weaned before a year, there is a chance that she interpreted a normal developmental stage (perhaps combined with her own wishes) as baby’s wish to wean. Low milk supply can also play a part.
    Low milk supply

    If mom’s milk supply is reduced, baby may become less interested in nursing, and of course decreased nursing will lead to an even lower milk supply. If milk supply is low, baby may grow to prefer a cup or bottle simply because he can get more milk this way. As long as baby is nursing on cue and removing milk thoroughly, mom’s breasts will produce the milk that baby needs. There are a number of things that might interfere with the milk production process after lactation has been established. Some factors that commonly come into play in baby’s second six months include:

    Scheduled feedings or other things that reduce baby’s nursing frequency too much (for example, pacifier overuse or sleep training). The answer to “how much is too much?” will depend on the particular mother-baby pair. A consistent decrease in nursing frequency will signal your body to decrease milk supply.
    Rapid weight loss. A sudden decrease in mom’s calorie intake can result in decreased milk supply.
    Medications or herbs that reduce milk supply (hormonal contraceptives, for example).

    Early introduction of solids (before 6 months). Besides interfering with baby’s immunologic health, solids before six months often results in baby taking less milk at the breast and thus results in a decrease in milk supply.

    Overly rapid increase in the amounts of solids. Again, this results in baby taking too little milk at the breast and thus a decreased milk supply. Keep in mind that mom’s milk supply will naturally and gradually decrease as baby begins to eat greater quantities of solid foods – this is fine and expected. What you want to avoid is increasing solids/decreasing milk supply too quickly, as breastmilk is what baby needs for proper growth, health and brain development through the first year and beyond…..

    I feel that each baby and mother is individual in their needs, but I absolutely believe and have seen that breastmilk is NOT deficient https://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/vitamins.html and that we can provide fully for them as long as is necessary with 100% breastmilk until they are ready to supplement but in my experience and research there is absolutely NOTHING that can compare to breastmilk and is worthy of taking place of it nutritionally. It is a perfect food for babies and will even change to suit their needs as they grow. I will add to my own diet to give them what they need rather than supplement with something that might have a few components rather than the vast array of components available in breastmilk.

    https://www.nebreastfeeding.org/images/stories/pdf/Whats_In_Breastmilk_40x28.pdf

    Also I wanted to note that neither of my kids had any teeth until after 10 months…and that is another signal that their body is ready to make enzymes for them to process/digest the foods they are eating so that is another reason to also watch your child individually. I also don’t buy a lot of stock on babies “mouthing” or sitting up as a sign of “readiness” those are great developmental signs but I don’t believe they signify the readiness to eat as many mainstream information likes to tout as some sort of green light to feed your baby early if they meet these signs “earlier” than others. Their gut wall isn’t going to magically develop sooner just because they like to mouth things before another baby. I just feel this information is extremely outdated and based on more current and accurate research showing that babies need more time with a virgin gut of pure breastmilk and that breastmilk still has many amazing properties that have not even been discovered yet and that we should do all we can to ensure babies get as much breastmilk for as long as possible, and delaying solids is extremely vital to this!

    1. I wanted to come back to also mention that I have two kids, I am also involved in breastfeeding communities and from my own personal experience and knowledge, feeding solids early is the leading cause to early weaning, which is most likely what happened in your case as well, but I doubt you will see it that way. You gave solids too soon, which caused your breastmilk supply to diminish and your baby did not need to nurse because she was eating foods.

      I did the same with my first child, I followed similar antiquated advice. He suffered dearly for it. Gut damage, low weight gain and more illness because of early weaning. My daughter on the other hand nursed exclusively for her entire first year! She is many many many times healthier than he is, my milk supply never dipped, she always had plenty of milk and her bones are twice as big as his are and she is twice as strong as him and he’s 3 yrs older. She can lift and do things he can only just now do at 6. If I could turn back time I would have NEVER fed him anything in that first year, I would have made sure he got as much breastmilk as he needed, just like my daughter did who grew so much healthier and stronger. I know I am not deficient, I can grow, birth and feed my babies the way God designed me to.

      If we focus on breastfeeding our babies and eating moderately well to keep ourselves healthy while caring for our babies, there will be NO need to “supplement” our babies. God made us perfect, he made our breastmilk perfect for our babies until they are ready to start eating on their own. To say that our milk is “deficient” is just wrong. The evidence shows that our breastmilk is above anything you could give a baby to “supplement”. I just really really am disheartened to see such terribly bad and antiquated advice out there. and it’s a shame because this is the sole reason I won’t ever join the WAPF or support it. I just can’t in good knowledge lead women and babies to poor health because of such erroneous and outdated information.

      I will at least be sure though to warn mothers about this information that they should be very cautious when hearing such terrible outdated advice in infant feeding.

      https://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/vitamins/iron.html

      Healthy, full-term infants who are breastfed exclusively for periods of 6-9 months have been shown to maintain normal hemoglobin values and normal iron stores. In one of these studies, done by Pisacane in 1995, the researchers concluded that babies who were exclusively breastfed for 7 months (and were not give iron supplements or iron-fortified cereals) had significantly higher hemoglobin levels at one year than breastfed babies who received solid foods earlier than seven months. The researchers found no cases of anemia within the first year in babies breastfed exclusively for seven months and concluded that breastfeeding exclusively for seven months reduces the risk of anemia.

      And again WHY do you denounce the idea that the baby’s gut wall is OPEN to receive OPTIMAL nutrition from breastmilk but can cause damage to the body when solids are introduced before it is matured???
      Please read this very informative/researched article.

      https://www.kellymom.com/nutrition/solids/delay-solids.html

      So where is your expertise or experience in breastfeeding coming from? You had one experience which again shows that your advice is wrong and faulty, which is advice coming from old/outdated/erroneous “research”. I really hope that in time you will change your ideals and see that this information is terrible for babies and mothers.

      In our culture, your baby was lucky enough she had good foods to help her “survive” despite the loss of her mother’s breastmilk. But in a less industrial country, where food is not available, those children would and are dying because of such poor breastfeeding information. If those mothers would eat the little extra food so they could make more breastmilk, their babies will thrive and many do for those who DO know that breastmilk is best for their babies. For me, no matter if I live in an industrial or impoverished world, I KNOW that my breastmilk is sufficient for my baby, I know that God made a perfect food for my baby WELL BEYOND a measly 4 months when most babies are barely even sitting up with support much less on their own or lost their tongue thrust reflexes etc as all explained above.

      at a MINIMUM the AAP and the WHO and other health organizations says to wait until AT LEAST 6 months before solid feedings…and that is not a requirement to start feeding them, but to wait AT LEAST 6 months. Which again is for many of the reasons listed already but to repeat some of them again, establish proper milk supply, ensure baby’s gut is mature, need for enzymes to breakdown/absorb the nutrients in the food, prevent premature weaning and because breastmilk has everything a baby needs so when they eat 4 oz of something else, they LOSE 4 oz of breastmilk which HAS all of the enzymes and nutrients needed to absorb all the nutrients IN the breastmilk. It is a WHOLE, LIVING Food.

      I just can’t get over how horrible this advice is for mothers and babies. sigh….

  38. I am a lactation consultant and am nursing #3. He was born with a very rare form of leukemia, which required 5 rounds of chemo beginning at 6 months of age. People say there’s not enough iron in breastmilk, but listen to this. Since chemo is a great way to kill leukemia cells, and a great way to mess up a gut; he didn’t get much food during this time. What he did get in abundance is breastmilk. His unique regimen basically wipes all the blood cells, including the iron-filled red blood cells. A typical response would be to require packed red blood cell transfusion 5-15 times during this treatment. He needed 1. He NeVeR became anemic. His hemoglobin would drop to around 7.5 (other markers of iron would also drop) and with no supplementation, nothing but breastmilk, within a week or so he’d be back up to 9 or 10. Remarkable? Everyone was shocked! Except me and our lactation consultant. We know that there actually is enough iron in there, if the baby needs it.

    Incidentally, he also continued to grow at his normal rate throughtout chemo. Something that was not expected, and in fact, his specialist has never seen in 30+ years of practice.

  39. Hi AnneMarie, I just found this post, and the timing is perfect as my baby just turned 4 months. I just ordered a bottle of the fermented cod liver oil you recommend. I also added the cod liver oil/butter oil capsules for husband and me, as he really struggles with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) this time of year. Here we go! I’m hoping babe will love the flavor of the oil as some other moms have mentioned, but if not I’ll try it transdermally as you suggested. Thanks for sharing this info and dealing with all the criticisms that came with it. I appreciate your site!

  40. A few too many people got their feathers in a ruffle. Lady Cheeseslave (yeah I know that’s not her name) posted the article in order to help people. Sure, maybe she makes money off the blog, but she could make just as much covering Kim kardashians fashion choices. The fact that she’s getting attacked over it is ridiculous. Can the extra information not be offered in a helpful way? She posted it because she believes it, and it’s not “holier-than-thou” for her to stand by that until offered good solid evidence otherwise. I personally don’t think the food supplementation for iron and zinc is necessary in a healthy baby with no sign of problems. However, in some cases it may very well be. A mother should gather as much information as possible, but most importantly, she should trust her gut and her child’s cues. I’d like to wax eloquent on some other points, like the Joel furhman article… What a stupid, narrow- minded joke of an article.. Or the lady who called Cheeseslave racist.. Are you serious? Racism is an attitude and improper treatment based on that attitude. Not a word that someone seizes upon as non-pc. Or the assertion that a woman’s diet doesn’t affect her milk. Nonsense.
    Sorry for my rant, I hope I haven’t alienated you, dear reader. My reason for posting was this: I have a theory as to why the traditional culture practice of feeding solids at around six months does not seem to work for many of us with babies of that age and older. Leaky gut syndrome, or intestinal hyper-permeability, is a very common and usually unknown problem in our fast food culture. Most people do not know they have it, and medical tests don’t show it unless it has reached life-threatening proportions. When a mother has leaky gut, food particles and proteins make it into her bloodstream
    And from there into her breast milk. The baby ingests these proteins.. Very tiny but still too big, and it causes digestive problems. (I know this from
    experience with my son, many foods gave him terrible gas) now if indigestion food proteins damage OUR guts, it stands to reason that they might damage a baby’s, or at the very least, delay the maturation and sealing of the gut lining. If that is the case, the baby simply won’t be ready for solid foods as early as the babies of traditional mothers who have eaten a wonderful diet all their lives. The second half was conjecture, but it makes perfect sense to me. The first half is true according to much research I’ve done, but I did the research several months ago and i cannot provide my references. I apologize. However, if you have digestive issues, allergies, skin problems, autoimmune issues, or if your baby had terrible gas or colic, look into leaky gut syndrome if you don’t already know about it. Thank you lady Cheeseslave for the article, and thank
    you commenters for the wells of information you took the time to offer.

  41. After I originally commented I seem to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I recieve 4 emails
    with the same comment. Perhaps there is a way you
    can remove me from that service? Kudos!

  42. I realize this is an older post, but really really great article. (And adorable baby!) No kids for this Paleo couple yet, but that rice cereal crap will not be in our house. >:-[

    Thank you for this post!

  43. I think this a beautiful post, how could anyone find it offensive. And I found it very helpful. I didn’t interpret a “tone” or get a bad impression, or thought it was an aggressive approach’. You women are way too moody and sensitive which makes me wonder if you’re eating enough liver!!! Sheesh. I don’t even find Sally Fallon offensive. I’ve watched her seminars, read her post, and she’s the most gentle speaker I’ve ever seen. Define offensive? Maybe you women don’t know what offensive means. I think you all just don’t like someone who’s blunt and upfront, because I found the post extremely polite with a good foundation. I think you ladies just can’t handle the pressure of full honesty. You commenters are in fact “offensive”, a person is entitled to speak what they believe in. Cheeseslave, good job! Keep up the great work!!!

  44. Do you know if it is okay to substitute dessicated liver in the meat based formula on Weston Price’s website? I am living in El Salvador and I can’t get safe raw mlik or organic liver and I have to feed my baby formula, but I want it to be something good for her!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts