Diabetic Mom, question on solid foods for other diabetic moms

I have a 4 month old son who eats every 2.5-3 hours even through the night. I am tempted to give him some cereal at night with his bottle so he will sleep through the night however this nurse practitioner at his pediatricians said that I can't do that as there is a link between starting a child on solid foods before 6 months and diabetes. Everyone I know has started their kids on cereals before 6 months. Is this lady a quack or has anyone else heard this?

I have never heard that but I have read many studies on giving solids to babies that young and there young tummies cant handle the food that young. It causes other problems later on in life with digestion issues and stomach upset. At 4 months old its very normal to eat that often through the night. My twins did. My daughter was weird and I had to force her to wake up and nurse night or day lol but yeah my boys nursed and bottle fed about every 3 hours until about 6 months old and it started to get better.

Thanks, I keep feeling like I am getting the run around, and of course having been a diabetic for 18 years, the second anyone mentions diabetes for my son I freak out.

I wouldnt blame you for freaking out.

I think the idea is to be careful of possible allergens early. I've heard it's good to wait on cow's milk, for example. But, never with solids.

We started solids at 5 1/2 months (had been hoping to wait until 6 months to encourage BF'ing). But, I have to say starting cereals didn't help his sleeping or reflux at all!!!

I think in reality there's a slim chance of your child getting D, and if it happens, you can't blame yourself b/c they don't really understand how it develops yet.

As Sarah said, it's because of allergens (not sure about diabetes, but anything is possible). Baby tummies are not full developed yet, so they can't digest all the foods we may want to give them. While it's safe to start them on strained baby foods at 4-6 months, the longer you are able to wait (closer to 6 months), the less likely they are to develop allergies to the foods you are giving them. For cow's milk, you shouldn't give them before 1 year of age because the tummy just can't handle it. It also doesn't have all the nutrients breastmilk or formula has in it. 

Eating every 2-3 hours is normal for baby. They have little bellies, so they can't handle much at one time, but that also means it will be empty in just a couple hours too. If baby is hungry, they need to be fed. 

While I don't have any children, I know how frustrating it can be to have to get up every couple hours throughout the night. I'm sorry you aren't able to get a good night's sleep. Hopefully, in a couple months, your baby will start to sleep through the night so you and get some sleep!

I have three kids and I started all three of them on small amounts of cereal (mixed with breastmilk or formula) around 4.5 months. All my kids were actually great sleepers, slept through the night from about 8 weeks.

My youngest has diabetes, and my older two do not. I seriously doubt there is a link, pretty much every mom I know started using cereal before 6 months.

The only thing I would say is different about Sarah is that she started eating "real" food much earlier than my other kids. The other two were perfectly content with baby food, but Sarah wanted to be a big kid, so she wasn't happy unless she was eating what we were eating. We have some funny food stories. For one, she plucked a dill pickle off my plate at about six months and knawed on it until it disappeared - and still LOVES dill pickles to this day. When she was around 10 months she snagged a BBQ'd rib off my husband's plate and went to town. She made a huge mess, but was in baby heaven.

As far as allergies, Sarah doesn't have any allergies at all. I have terrible allergies (pollen, dust, grass, but not food), but she doesn't have any allergies at all.

There have always been a lot of different theories related to when to start babies on solid foods.  I think it differs for each child.  My son was born hungry and we started mixing rice cereal into his bottle when he was about 2 months old.  He instantly slept through the night and has always been a healthy weight.

He's 5 now and has no allergy or digestion issues.  I seriously doubt it was because of anything we fed or didn't feed him.  I think it's because neither my husband or I have allergy or digestion issues. 

I have never heard of this and I spent quite a bit of time looking into the issue when I was pregnant.   Whether it's solid or liquid, it's still calories in the body so I don't really see how the solid form of food can trigger diabetes???  I started my son on solids when he was 4 months - but not in the bottle because I heard that can be a choking hazard.  It's common for a lot of children not to sleep through the night until they are closer to a year old, so don't put all your hopes on the cereal.

[quote user="jennagrant"]

I think it's because neither my husband or I have allergy or digestion issues. 

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Jenna, I hate to break it to you, but you do have T1 which is auto-immune. (;

Going back to what C said about avoiding cow's milk until 12 months, new research is also saying to avoid milk-based formula too (i.e., do breastmilk instead or the ones w/ broken down proteins like nutramigen) if there's a familial risk of T1. This came out AFTER my son was born, and I know they gave him formula in the hospital nursery. :P But, it's just a statistical percentage change in risk, so it's not like there's a one to one correspondence between baby ate this and then gets that... Of course, I was so out of it after 2 days of labor, they could have been giving him tequila shoots, and I would have been like, "OK!"... lol.

[quote user="spaghettio"]

   Whether it's solid or liquid, it's still calories in the body so I don't really see how the solid form of food can trigger diabetes??? 

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The theory is that a potential allergen, such as in a baby with a less developed gastro system, could trigger an auto-immune response leading to T1. Sort of like how many of us had a virus before getting sick, which probably triggered an autoimmune response that lead to T1. But again, this is early research and it's not like one thing CAUSES the other. They just think it could increase someone's risk, esp if they're pre-disposed. I wouldn't worry too much about it myself b/c there doesn't seem to be enough actually data to help us determine the best way to introduce solids in our kids...

It seems like there's a connection between EVERYTHING and diabetes.  Seriously, I've heard sooooooo many things "cause" diabetes.

I'd ask your endo about this.  (S)he is likely to be on the up-and-up about risk factors.  One thing I've learned since becoming diagnosed is that "general" medical professionals often don't really understand T1.  They can define it for you and feed you some facts, but YOU probably know more about diabetes than your Nurse Practitioner!  (Which is not to say that your nurse practitioner can't know some accurate and useful information, but I'm just trying to point out that T1 really takes some specialization, and I'd seek that out.)

It might increase the 'risk' but it doesn't mean it causes it. I exclusively Bfed my son (he had formula 1 time and spit it all up.) until he was 1 year old. He has type 1. I also did not start cereal until 6 mos. He has type 1. I'm pretty sure his having Type 1 was going to happen no matter what I fed him. I still think though that it is best to wait until at least 4 mos to start cereal. And then start slow.

However, I will say that starting cereal was not a cure all for sleeping thru the night. Both my kids were pretty crummy sleepers. Try to remember this is a relatively short period in your life and it is pretty special that you can provide something for your son that no one else can. (Though, this is not very helpful when you are up for the 4th time in a night.) :-)

If he is actually nursing each time for at least 5 min but certainly if he is nursing for 10 or more - he is actually hungry. If he is just waking up for a little 'nip' to get back to sleep - then you can work on sleep training. I do NOT believe in crying it out, but I highly recommend the book "The No Cry Sleep Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. It was so helpful with both my kids.

Oh - the only thing I would add is if you are Bfeeding then make sure your son is on a Vit D supplement (I think the formulas are all fortified). But unless you have REALLY good VIt D levels, breastmilk will have very little VIt D. You can talk to your pediatrician to get some VIt D drops. Vit D is SO critical to immune system regulation - like keeping it from attacking useful body parts like a pancreas. ;)