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Too-early solid food could lead to problems for babies
March 25th, 2013
02:36 PM ET

Too-early solid food could lead to problems for babies

At least 40% of moms are feeding their infants solid foods far too early, according a new study published in the medical journal Pediatrics, and that may lead to problems for their children later in life.

Researchers wanted to know how many babies were being fed solid foods (including cereal and baby food) sooner than recommended, whether breast-feeding or formula feeding made a difference and why solids were being introduced early. When the study began in 2005,  the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), which also publishes the journal Pediatrics, recommended introducing solid foods when babies were between 4 and 6 months old.

In 2012, the AAP changed those recommendations. Now it says babies shouldn't be eating solid food until they are about 6 months old.

Study and findings

As part of the two-year study, 1,334 mothers filed out monthly questionnaires about what their babies ate during the last week, says Kelley Scanlon, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and one of the study authors. Scientists then analyzed the data reported by the mothers to determine at which age babies were being fed solid food.

They found 539 moms, or 40% of moms, gave their babies solid food early. Previous studies had put that estimate at 19% and 29%. Researchers believe based on this study, they may actually be underestimating how many moms introduce solids early because the study was more likely to have older, more educated and higher income moms participating. "Mothers of lower socioeconomic status are at a higher risk of early solid food introduction," the study says.

Giving your baby solid food too soon has been linked to a higher risk of obesity and diabetes, according to the study. Also, "starting infants on solids before 4 months can lead to allergies and eczema," says Dr. Jennifer Shu, an Atlanta pediatrician and AAP spokeswoman who was not involved in the research.

Among the 539 moms who did introduce solids early, nearly 1 in 10 gave their babies solids before they were 4 weeks old.

Researchers found formula-fed infants were about twice as likely to be introduced to solids early, compared to only breast-fed babies.

Moms were also given 12 reasons to choose from to explain why they introduced solid food early. Among the top answers:
– 90% of moms said they thought their baby was old enough to start eating solids.
– 71% said their baby seemed hungry a lot of the time.
– 55% believed their doctor or another health care professional said their baby should start eating solids.

Scanlon cautioned that this last point reflected a perception that health care professionals were recommending when to start an infant on solids; researchers couldn't actually confirm that's what a doctor or nurse actually said.

Shu says she was surprised by the findings, but notes that some doctors and nurses may have been trained at a time when babies were fed solids earlier and says it's hard to change behaviors when medical information changes so quickly.

Bottom line

"There's a lack of awareness of what the recommendations are," Scanlon says, adding babies are not developmentally ready for solid food before they are 4 months old.

Some of these moms are getting information on when to feed their babies solids "from generations (ex. grandparents, nurses, friends) who may have started their babies on solids at an earlier age," suggests Shu.

According to the latest AAP recommendations, moms are supposed to exclusively breast-feed their babies until they are about 6 months old if possible, so babies can reap all the benefits of mother's milk including extra immune protection and possible protection for future chronic illnesses like obesity and type II diabetes.

Every baby develops at a slightly different pace, but there are some signs to look for to help parents figure out if their child is ready for solids:
– Is the baby sitting up? Can she hold her head up?
– Does your baby open his mouth when food comes his way?
– Is she big enough? (Babies typically double their birth weight by 4 months)
– Can he take food off the spoon and actually swallow it?

The takeaway

Parents need clear and accurate guidance on when to introduce solid food to their babies, and pediatricians and health care professionals need to support them, says Scanlon, by explaining to the parents that crying doesn't always mean the baby is hungry - it could also be wet, sick or lonely.


soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Jennifer M

    I am really rolling my eyes on this 'study'. For thousands of years, moms have parented successfully without being dictated at what phase they should or should not do something.

    For each of my three children, I've introduced solid foods before four months. None of them are obese or have diabetes. In fact, my 19 and 21 year old daughters are at the low end of average. My son is also tall and lanky.

    It's about going by your child's queues, just as we do for the other stages of development. Let me guess – next we'll be told that letting them walk before 12 months is bad for their legs or some other nonsense.

    March 25, 2013 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Patty

      "For thousands of years, moms have parented successfully without being dictated at what phase they should or should not do something. " Ya mean thousands of years of a high mortality rate for children? Are those the thousands of years you talking about. First off there are plenty of young mothers who DO NOT know what to do and need guidence. Just because you think your mom of the year, doesn't mean this information is not helpful to others. Get over your eye rolling and remember there are more people in the besides yourself. Thanks :)

      March 25, 2013 at 16:14 | Report abuse |
    • ladyliza

      I breast fed my first child until 6 months and she is very healthy. But my second I was working more and breast fed 3 months instead. And I introduced food earlier than 4 months. He developed food allergies and excema and at the age of 22 was very ill until we discovered he was allergic to milk products. I wouldn't worry as much about the obeisity factor as I would the other possibilities.

      March 25, 2013 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
    • jg

      Why is it parents always like to try to make themselves feel better for their uninformed, incorrect decisions. Jennifer, you didn't know any better. Quit making excuses for yourself and get over it. Learn, and help your kids do things better than you did. Isn't that the goal of parenting?

      March 26, 2013 at 22:52 | Report abuse |
    • Quincy Brown

      That is a good point, there is always going to be something that is determined to be not good for you. Every person is different and just because something bad happen toone kids does not mean al kids are in danger. This stuff gets published beause someone hasto do it in order to keep a job.

      May 7, 2013 at 23:46 | Report abuse |
    • Kathryn

      Jennifer, you're absolutely correct. Everyone, read up on the "benefits of mother's milk". You're brainwashed. Look into the actual scientific research. There isn't any of value. End of story.

      December 31, 2013 at 23:05 | Report abuse |
    • Nobody you know

      Why do people like you, Jennifer M, think your anecdotes matter? Who cares what you and your kids did? This is a STUDY, and the results suggest that your experience is an "outlier." Look it up. Just because YOUR experience doesn't match up doesn't mean the study is flawed or that the possible conclusions are wrong.

      Learn something. Oh, yeah, and it's "cue" in this case, not "queue."

      January 1, 2014 at 10:39 | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      Actually, solids being fed early is a newer thing. Like in the last 150 years or so. Before that we nursed our babies and waited until they were old enough to eat what we were eating (after 6 months of age) and that's when they started solids.

      Babies have open guys that cause all kinds of problem when fed something other than breast milk before it's closed.

      You usually won't see these problems immediately. So all these people who say, well my baby is "fine". You don't know that, and more than that instead of only reaching for "fine" why not DO what is actually healthiest.

      There's a reason that science is showing man screwed things up and natural ways were actually better. A man invented baby food.

      June 13, 2014 at 08:22 | Report abuse |
    • christie

      Why do people have to respond to Jennifer is such an arrogant & condescending way? I hate the way the majority of people who respond on forums speak to each other. I really appreciated Crytal's answer that was informative and respectful.

      June 14, 2014 at 13:55 | Report abuse |
    • Brilar

      Jennifer, 3 kids is not the 1,000+ they studied. Anecdotal conclusions on non-scientific observation is dangerous. How old are your kids? If the are 60+, I guess they were lucky. But you just don't know how it will affect them until they are much older, and then you have to consider all the other factors. One thing is for sure: not rushing solids doesn't hurt. The longer on momma's milk, the better nutrition.

      June 14, 2014 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
    • maria

      U sound like a typical idiot ...a child's body isn't ready to digest solids that early ,,,,just because you were a horrible mother .,,,and to lazy ,,,to sit and breast feed until two ,,,u don't have to be proud of yourself ...YES two years ...is ideal for breast feeding not 5 minutes ..u stupid moron

      July 14, 2014 at 08:18 | Report abuse |
  2. Blueangel

    How can obesity be effected by what a person did 20 years ago? So, being fed applesauce at 3 months old is making my son eat an entire large pizza by himself at age 14? Does not make a lick of sense. They are looking for excuses for obese people. Oh, it's not because you eat too much, it's because you were fed solid food to early. Nothing you can do about it now, so just enjoy your pizza!

    March 25, 2013 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jg

      Actually it makes a ton of sense if you know anything at all about how human brains are programmed at at what stages of their lives certain habits form, which, apparently, you don't.

      March 26, 2013 at 22:53 | Report abuse |
    • another Jennifer

      Actually, Blueangel, what you do while pregnant can influence your child's health as an adult and determine their chances of being obese or getting heart didease. Lots long term studies prove this. That crazy "science" –it's full of surprises.

      April 1, 2013 at 00:43 | Report abuse |
    • Evelyn

      It blows my mind how people that have NO clue about developmental science and don't realize that EVERYTHING that happens to you in the first years of life affect the rest of your life can spew their ignorance all over these forums. Just because you are completely ignorant about it doesn't mean these recommendations aren't relevant or accurate.

      April 5, 2013 at 16:15 | Report abuse |
    • tamara

      enjoy ypur pizza lol

      November 21, 2014 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
  3. John Doe

    My Dad feed me rice when I was before 6 months every night before I went to sleep, and I have no problems. Healthiest person you will ever meet.

    March 25, 2013 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Barney Style

      Based on your language skills he should have been reading to you.

      March 25, 2013 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
    • jg

      HAHAHAHA

      March 26, 2013 at 22:54 | Report abuse |
    • Icansniff ignorance*

      Look, there's no need to act like an ass "Barney Style". Picking on how someone types a comment only makes you look like more of an Ass! As for those commenting on this study claiming its correct, remember, those same scientific studies that said smoking was good for your health. Mind you, they did a study as well!!! Don't believe all that you read and hear. Live it and then tell me it's true. I and all my siblings were fed rice at 1 month, slept on our bellies etc. we aren't obese, didn't die of SIDS nor suffer from allergies. Studies vary so much and are frought with errors etc. that they can only be taken with a grain of salt. I see studies one minute promoting a lifestyle only to be told years later it's dangerous. Again, I think those that follow their child's needs and use motherly instinct are doing the right thing.

      March 29, 2014 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
  4. larry

    Does this surprise anyone around the world. U.S. women are a major fail in any category. Except benefits and independence.

    March 25, 2013 at 15:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Patty

      Ah an mra in the comment section about child care, how lovely. No articles about dead beat dads you can complain about? Unless you know every single woman in america, zip it. Take your butthurt comments elsewhere.

      March 25, 2013 at 16:18 | Report abuse |
  5. Justin

    A 2009 CDC study indicated that 49% of pregnancies are unwanted. I'm not surprised by the fact that people who don't understand how children are conceived feed their babies solid food.

    March 25, 2013 at 15:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. becca

    The "Signs to look for" they listed here are just basic common sense. I think this study is a bunch of HORSE SHI*......who funded it, a baby formula company?

    March 25, 2013 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BillRubin

      They are recommending breast feeding, so I don't see how that benefits baby formula companies.

      March 25, 2013 at 17:01 | Report abuse |
    • jg

      Looks like Becca's dealing with some guilt issues. It's okay. You didn't know better. Now you do. Live well and teach your kids to be smarter than you were.

      March 26, 2013 at 23:00 | Report abuse |
  7. rabgem

    The study has been sponsored by makers of similac, enfamil, gerber and others. Please help these corporations to further their cause to promote their brands and increase their bottom line by not feeding your kids any solid food and only baby food until their wisdom teeth has grown fully!

    March 25, 2013 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BillRubin

      The data appears to promote exclusive breastfeeding, not formula. Why would the formula-makers want to sponsor this study?

      March 25, 2013 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
  8. rabgem

    "Giving your baby solid food too soon has been linked to a higher risk of obesity and diabetes, according to the study."
    Really!!?
    Come on.. You got to be kidding.
    Obesity and diabetes is caused even if you dont feed them solid food.
    Next time you buy a processed food check the ingredients full of Modified food starch, artificial colors, artificial flavors.. basically artificial food.

    March 25, 2013 at 17:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. shekoi

    I am a child protection caseworker. I can't even recall how many mothers (usually young, uneducated, high school drop outs) have told me that they started giving cereal at four or five WEEKS just so the baby would sleep through the night. Unfortunately, the mother's convenience and desire to have a full night's sleep often trumps what might be best for the child. Parenthood means putting your child's needs above your own.

    March 25, 2013 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Amanda

      Did those single mothers have somebody there to help them out so that they could get through the day on no sleep? Did they all know from experience that parents are supposed to make sacrifices like that? I bet you a bunch of them were babies - not too long ago - who needed the same kind of protection your agency tries to provide, and didn't necessarily get it.

      April 16, 2013 at 19:18 | Report abuse |
    • Brenda

      I brebreastfed for the first three months and my child had severe acid reflux to where she couldn't even breath through it and she ended up in the hospital for a week. During that time I didn't step a single foot outside of the hospital. She was about six weeks old at the time and the hospital (st. Children's in saint pete, fl) actually recommended pumping about two or three bottles a day and putting a pinch of rice in it. I did that until she was about 3 months old and it did take away her issue. When she hit 3 months I was unable to breastfeed her due to a major surgery and she ended up on formula (enfamil AR – which is enfamil added rice, for those of you that don't know) and when she was about 4 1/2 to 5 months I was told to start making her small bowls of oatmeal when she woke up and before bed to give her any first baby foods because she was already sitting up by herself. I haven't had any issues since the acid reflux. And mind you, I was a young mother (although I did graduate with honors with her). It doesn't matter about age but about maturity.

      June 15, 2014 at 04:02 | Report abuse |
  10. missheather

    I gave mine a tiny bit of rice in their bottles at bedtime at two months. baby food at 5months. my doctor told me it was ok. my kids are ok. but if i had another child i'd follow the new research.

    March 25, 2013 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jg

      You, missheather, are everything that's right with this country. Thank you for trying your best with what information you were given and learning as you go, as we all should, instead of just trying to prove your past mistakes are still correct in the face of new information. Seriously, you're a good mom.

      March 26, 2013 at 23:03 | Report abuse |
    • Evelyn

      I'm glad you have this way of thinking. Health is an ever evolving science and it's helpful to keep up and make changes when we learn new things about nutrition :)

      April 5, 2013 at 16:17 | Report abuse |
  11. Bonny A

    My boys are in their 40's. One of them had a tad of cereal in his bottle at 6 weeks, suggested by the doctor. The other was older when he received cereal in his bottle. First, they were not on a process belt, they were humans who develop individually. So there is not one rule fits all. Next, I have a problem with obesity that my boys do not. Both were bo

    March 26, 2013 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Bonny A

    Both were bottle babies. Breast feeding was not an option since there were blood rh factors.
    Bottom line: besides my being unable to control the submit of my comments, is that studies are fine but remember that when it comes to these observations, there is always a pre-disposed bias at work.

    March 26, 2013 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • medical technologist

      Rh factors prevented you from breastfeeding?? Whoever told you that doesn't understand blood genetics and how they works. I'm sorry you weren't able to breastfeed because of misinformation that was given to you.

      The issue with rice cereal is that it is full of starch, which increases blood sugars. And it really is of no nutritional value. Even the iron fortification isn't absorbed all that well, which is why many babies can become constipated. Most formula fed babies are overfed, massively. This stretches out the stomach and causes the receptors in the stomach that signal fullness to be less responsive. So, you end up with a toddler, child, adolescent, adult that doesn't get the cue for fullness and tends to overeat. Breastfed babies listen to their cues and stop when full. Bottle babies are encouraged to finish that last ounce. I can totally see how some of this increases the risk of obesity.

      June 11, 2014 at 23:17 | Report abuse |
  13. Stacy

    I'm "rolling my eyes" at the fact that this is completely the fault of "moms". Seriously, do dads not have any kind of responsibilty here? I guess all the dads are just out to work while the mom stays home and screws up the kids.

    I completely agree that babies shouldn't be given solids until they're ready – usually after 6 months. However, let's do a survey of PARENTS! Not just moms. This article doesn't bring fathers into the discussion until the last paragraph. It's insulting.

    March 26, 2013 at 17:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jg

      I think if anything, American doctors are to blame most of all. One of our pediatricians kept insisting we give our 3/4 month old solid food and when we pointed out studies that showed that wasn't the best he got mad at us and said we were doing her harm. So, we found another pediatrician who didn't live in the medical dark ages and didn't feed her solids until later on..

      March 26, 2013 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
  14. RS

    So...giving a baby rice cereal or other baby food before 6 months is going to make them obese and diabetic when they are older? It has nothing to do with all the supersized fast food meals, boxed and convenience food in the grocery stores, the fact that lots of people don't bother cooking at home from scratch anymore, the internet and computer games that people sit in front of for hours, hundreds of television channels to choose from at any time of day or night, and the fact that people don't move more than they absolutely have to.

    March 29, 2013 at 20:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Amanda

      The article is talking about a relative likelihood, not an absolute rule that affects 100 percent of people surveyed. If the kids who DIDN'T get solid foods at that age but grew up in the same society you describe became obese at a significantly smaller rate, it's worth making a recommendation over, don't you think? That's assuming that they controlled for parental wealth/education, which the article isn't clear about, but you'd think they wouldn't ignore it.

      April 16, 2013 at 19:26 | Report abuse |
  15. Kathy

    My boys are in their 40's. One of them had a tad of cereal in his bottle at 6 weeks, suggested by the doctor. The other was older when he received cereal in his bottle. First, they were not on a process belt, they were humans who develop individually. So there is not one rule fits all. Next, I have a problem with obesity that my boys do not.

    March 30, 2013 at 14:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. elle

    I was pregnant with my daughter last year and all that my nutritionist pushed was to breastfeed for at least a year after giving birth, no solid food. Now my mother in law on the other hand would jus fuss about how that doesn't make sense, because her boys were raised fine while she fed them porridge through a bottle. Like really?! It only makes sense that your child is going to get the most nutrition out of breast feeding from their own mother. I firmly believe in breastfeeding for the first year, and wouldn't think to put porridge in a bottle for them even after the year.

    March 30, 2013 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • another Jennifer

      Good instincts, mama. Keep it up!

      Cereal/porridge is not real food, just filler. We don't live in an impoverished place in history that requires filler, starchy foods as a staple. At a year old, babies are ready for real food.

      April 1, 2013 at 00:53 | Report abuse |
  17. Odalice Feliz

    help your baby eat right.

    March 31, 2013 at 02:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Alex

    No grains for baby! no grains for anyone!

    April 20, 2013 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Pam

    Recommendatios change all the time depending on which studies are done when and where. You will find differing opinions and advice on just about everything. From a personal perspective... All 3 of my kids were minimally BF (I had problems with milk production) and were mostly formula fed. We introduced rice or oatmeal ceral at 3-4 months because they had those 4 signs mentioned above and my pediatrician supported us; baby foods followed shortly thereafter. I also introduced common allergy-inducing foods earlier than recommended becasue I (and my pediatrician) had seen some studies showing that withholding allergens or preventing exposure is actually making the problems worse, not better. And since we have no family history of food allergies, we had no worries. Apparently it worked for us. They are all perfectly healthy with no allergies or skin problems. Not obese either, in fact, are on the skinny side. My germophobe, all-allergen avoiding friend however did the opposite and waited until 1 year of age for anythin other tham BM/formula for her kids... they have so many allergies and skin issues they can barely function or eat anything. Hmmmmm, reallly makes me think!!

    May 20, 2013 at 05:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. sitters4charities

    You can introduce solids any time between 4 and 6 months if your baby is ready. Until then, breast milk or formula provides all the calories and nourishment your baby needs and can handle.

    May 20, 2013 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. sitters4charities

    Parents should wait until their little ones are at least 6 months old before offering them solid foods, say many child-nutrition experts

    May 20, 2013 at 06:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Elmira Harell

    Children represent the future, and ensuring their healthy growth and development ought to be a prime concern of all societies. Newborns are particularly vulnerable and children are vulnerable to malnutrition and infectious diseases, many of which can be effectively prevented or treated. ..^:'

    Our new internet site

    http://www.healthwellnesslab.com

    June 16, 2013 at 03:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Janna Moulder

    I fed my three children table food at different ages, depending on how their eating habits dictated. I have to tell you, my children have no allergies, no health problems, no food issues. They are healthy, happy individuals. My oldest has a daughter who is six and she is teaching her to be an adventurous eater. My kids eat everything. All veggies, seafood, sushi, all cuisines. I think that a Mom should listen to her instincts and her babies. She will ALWAYS know what is best.

    July 8, 2013 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Mama

    I have three kids with the last having a 15 year age difference and my first baby I started feeding solids at 8 weeks, he was taking a full bottle from birth and was born big and was a very hungry and advanced boy, all this crap about feeding solids at 6 months is a joke, if your baby is ready for solids and is hungry feed them, when us late 30/40 something people were babies our parents all gave us solids way before 6 months and even 4 months and as for the moron that stated "thousands of years of high mortality rate for children" maybe immunisations have a lot to do with the now "lower mortality rate for children" and those mothers that need guidance would be better helped by having more guidance and help in the community -face to face

    August 19, 2013 at 05:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • maria

      u are a moron

      July 14, 2014 at 08:28 | Report abuse |
  25. hahaha

    Ha I can't even stand it. All you people do is put other people down for grammar and what have you. Why not help people? Anyways my son just turn four months a couple of days ago. I've been giving him solids for over two weeks now. I don't believe any of the stuff this site says. My grandmother fed her kids really young. All of her five kids are healthy. Not one of them are obesit nor do they have diabetes, eczema, etc. Same thing with my grandmother of my fathers side. Everyone is healthy and what have you. She had 10 kids. My son also has cystic fibrosis he lacks enzymes which helps you absorb the nurturance from food. He's been getting apple sauce since he was three weeks old to take an enzyme pill (instructions given by a specialist) every child is different, my son has been holding his bottle for the last week. Most sites you read says they won't do that until their about six months. Just saying.

    October 16, 2013 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. AFRICA

    WHO TOLD "JG" THAT SHE IS GOD EVERYONE HAS DIFFERNT PARENTING SKILLS. WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOUR KID – ITS DARN FINE.
    SHUT UP AND GET A LIFE YOU SEEM NOT TO HAVE ONE.
    DARN COMMENTING ON EVERYONE POST.

    October 30, 2013 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. syeda

    While it's debatable if you need anything more than a simple cleanser and washcloth for the face, if you love the idea of an electronic skin brush (created by the makers of Sonicare), then this is the tool for you. It gently exfoliates while it deep cleanses, making it a great product for women who wear a lot of makeup. According to the product Website

    November 3, 2013 at 05:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Worried Father

    Guys, just to point out, it says " COULD LEAD" come on the lot of you specialists, I now have read a whole load of crap and am very disappointed in the fact that no one read the article first before commenting.
    Absolutely no where in the article did it say "WILL" OR even "CAN" and you know why! because there is no conclusive studies done anywhere around the world on the feeding of newborns or early months of infancy.
    By the By lady, anyone out there willing to allow their child to placed in a study on this subject???

    December 27, 2013 at 10:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nobody you know

      I agree with you. I believe that our lack of emphasis on reading comprehension and science education is to blame. That, and the abject ignorance that some of the folks here demonstrate on a regular basis. What's worse is that some of them seem to be proud of their ignorance.

      January 1, 2014 at 10:42 | Report abuse |
  29. kim

    My goodness, Funny how you ladies get you panties is a bunch. This study if laughable, indicative of how professionals know best for society. You all must have missed the studies regarding coffee, tea, fruit, oatmeal, wheat. The ones where they change every other year. If your child is not satisfied with liquids only feed them solids. Insulting that parents who don't follow your advice are uneducated. It cant just be that we choose not to follow it based on our own knowledge and experience. All three of my children drank from a bottle, ate solid food at 8 weeks old, and yes I even let them ride their bikes without helmets!!!!!!!!!!

    January 20, 2014 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Nobody you know

      Another one who can't read. Your anecdotal evidence is not a study. You obviously don't understand the difference, and couldn't care less. Why bother reading about studies if you don't comprehend what you're reading?

      January 20, 2014 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
    • granny2

      Ah...thank you Kim, you're refreshing. I'll just ditto you! Makes me wonder what all the sheeple did before they could read the internet to find out what the latest study was and how to raise their babies. Oh...wait, I know!! We fed our hungry babies!!

      June 14, 2014 at 13:45 | Report abuse |
    • heatherngillis

      Babies are born with/acquire during the birth process a certain variety of microflora in their guts. This is known as a microbiome, and we all have and need a properly balanced microbiome. Breastmilk supports the microbiome an infant is supposed to have. A baby fed formula will have a very different microbiome than a breastfed infant. Introducing solids too early will also affect this, with possible lifelong consequences. Also, babies are not born with mature digestive systems. They are born ONLY able to properly digest breastmilk. The enzymes and such that they need to digest other foods aren't made by their bodies till later–some not till 12 months old or later! Introducing foods before a baby's system is ready for them can cause problems.

      June 14, 2014 at 22:43 | Report abuse |
  30. Kat

    I was raised in a different country, and babies were breastfed for as long as possible but table food was introduced early ( probably 4 months). Mothers were not dictated on how to raise their babies. As I was growing up I've never even heard of babies having allergies to this and that. I don't know what is on our food nowadays, but most moms follow doctors instructions on everything and many babies still grow up having allergies and disorders that supposedly should be prevented, if you but follow your ediatrocoans recommendations. I say mothers have instinct for a reason and we should use that once in a while.

    January 31, 2014 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Leah

    The first time the hospital brought my daughter to me after delivery, she had cereal in the corners of her mouth. Turns out, because I'd said she was to be solely breastfed, (no formula, please) they'd fed her cereal as she was fussy prior to her scheduled feeding. That was thirty years ago, and no solid food before six months was recommended for breastfed babies then, as well. Hopefully, hospitals no longer feed infants cereal in the nursery.

    June 13, 2014 at 05:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Evonne

    That's bull I have two sons and I started cereal at 4 months and they both turned out just fine, its the ones that baby them that end up having problems or causing more problems than what would normally be. I too also breastfeed both my boys and their 20 and 15 NO PROBLEMS THERE

    June 13, 2014 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Joanna

    Both my boys were on solids at 6 weeks, it's the way things were done over 20 years ago, we didn't pump them full of endless bottles of Milk we gave them good nutritious meals, and they both thrived and have grown in to healthy men. It amuses me how ideas change when baby's don't!!

    June 13, 2014 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. sharon

    my first child was on formaula milk and was put on solids at 13 weeks she is not overweight nor lacking of nutrition in fact she was a far more content baby than that of my second child who was breast fed who always needed feeding and was a larger baby even thou he was put on solids at 6n half months and was hard to get in a routine due to being hungry and wanting more milk so i do not think that this study is always correct as their is nothing wrong with my first child and was in fact a better more content child and was in a better routine than my second who i did everything by the book with so when i have my 3rd child i will follow what i did with my first child.

    June 13, 2014 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Miranda

    Well my sister and I prove that not every study is 100% correct. I was formula fed and started solids at 3 months old. I am now 21 and perfectly healthy with weight falling into the lower end of whats considered normal weight for my height. My sister on the other hand was breast fed for 16 months and didnt start solid foods until about 7 months old when she started showing an actual interest in them. She is now 18 and obese with blood sugar issues. As for my children my 2 year old received formula for the first year and now my 7 week old is on formula as well since both refused all attempts to breast feed. My older daughter started on solids around 3 months when formula wasnt keeping her full like it should have (she was eating 7-8 oz every hour on the hour and was still giving off hunger cues), she is currently in the 50th percentile for both height and weight. My younger daughter is not yet eating solids but I plan to start her on it when I see that either she is showing interest or formula just isnt enough for her anymore whichever happens first.

    June 13, 2014 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karen

      I don't think you understand what the words "study", "prove", and "correct" mean in this context.

      The scientific illiteracy of the populace makes me want to weep :(

      June 13, 2014 at 20:41 | Report abuse |
  36. clare

    Both my girls now 1 and 2 1/2 started on solids at about 4 months, I breastfed my first until 8 months when she self weaned and I am still breastfeeding my youngest. They are part of a study into allergies and have been eating egg, fish, peanut, sesame, cows milk since 4 and a half months and wheat since 6 months.We have a high level of allergies in both families, yet so far (touch wood) neither show any sign of any allergy. They both eat almost anything that is placed in front of them, and love fruit and veg, both are on the lower side of healthy. Both girls were sitting unaided by the time they started on solids (initially fruit and veg purees) and showing an interest in food. We are all individual, just as some babies start walking at 9 month and others after their first birthday, they are all different and generally, as a parent, you know your child best.

    June 13, 2014 at 18:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Mary

    Some of you people amaze me. Because the study says so it must be correct. All they need to say is "in a recent study" and everyone changes everything they do to hear in 2 months it's just the opposite. I trust my mother, grandmother and great grandmother over some paid off news conglomerate hiring "MDs" to study and publish. Get a clue. Moms do what's right for their children...instincts and a pediatrician they trust.

    June 14, 2014 at 08:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Rachel

    If you read the study it sites it only states that it found that moms in the study did feed their children earlier than recommended solid food and the reasons they gave. It did not speak of the doom and gloom that the article speaks of.

    June 15, 2014 at 04:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Cindy

    Gee I wonder who told parents what do to do before "research" results were given. That answer would be the family doctor or the pediatrician...someone who has 'hands on' experience. I find it funny that many of you think "your way is the RIGHT way". Hey if it works for you then go for it but don't insist that it is the ONLY way. Then there are those of you who think commenting on grammatical structure and word usage is appropriate (sorry – the topic is not about English skills or lack thereof) so unless you have something constructive to say, don't comment. We also have those you believe everything you read on the Internet is true ( some is, some isn't) and finally the few who sound like they have common sense and aren't going to listen to every commentary about "what is right" and "what isn't". I (and many of us older moms) trusted our mother's (and doctor's) advice about when to give what type of food etc. They certainly had been doing it longer than I had been. I gave my daughter baby cereal at 3 months, baby food shortly thereafter with the full blessing of the pediatrician. My daughter turned out just fine thankyouverymuch. Perfectly health, not overweight, If in doubt, take a poll of your friends and family.

    June 15, 2014 at 17:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. yii xian

    How about premature baby? Should we follow corrected or actual age when starting solid?

    June 15, 2014 at 21:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Dana

    The AAP is really slow and behind the times. I was reading back in 2004 that the infant gut has not matured to the point that it's safe from an immune perspective to introduce foreign proteins. The cells lining the gut still have gaps between them before about 6 months of age. Around 6 months the gut lining finally seals itself. And you shouldn't be feeding your baby grass seed for their first food either, not even rice. They need something with fats and protein in it instead. Egg yolk (not whites) makes a great first food and so does soft or pureed meat.

    My daughter's dad is a walking allergic reaction. I didn't give her solids til she was between eight and nine months of age. I didn't know about the rice cereal issue back then but she didn't get it til she was that age. Your kids turned out fine being fed wrong? That's great. My kid turned out fine being fed better. So far she seems to deal well with whatever she eats, too, although I minimize her wheat intake because of what it does to me. She gets to try the usual childhood things but they're treats, not staples–better safe than sorry.

    Don't assume that because your child didn't drop dead that they "turned out fine," either. Some chronic conditions are invisible and not all of them make everybody fat, not even type 2 diabetes or prediabetes.

    June 16, 2014 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Frustrated

    On a diagnosis of cancer, how many individuals would say to their health professional "I'll have the the treatment my grandmother had 20 years ago please, she went into remission", rather than looking for the most up to date treatment. We are lucky to have research into medicine which is now allowing many to live longer and healthier lives. Sadly lower income (and therefore often less educated) are not living longer and fitter lives and are putting a great strain on health services. ( I work in the British National Health Service) Generally this group get their information and guidance from often misinformed family.

    June 18, 2014 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Bernice

    I just had my 5th child and a pediatrician actually told me to start feeding HER solids at 4 months old. I had never heard that coming from a professional before so I looked into it and it doesn't seem like a good idea. Some health professionals don't have the right information.

    August 2, 2014 at 22:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. LIsa

    Some of the people commenting here are unbelievable! Seriously, have some manners and speak to each other with respect. Every parent should make an educated decision on when to introduce solids. It will never be the same for eveey baby as every baby is different. Research is forever changing and therefore so are the guidelines.

    August 20, 2014 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. arena

    nice blog post ever seen.it will really helps mother to care their baby food chart.thanx for sharing the post.

    August 26, 2014 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.