home
RSS
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 (414 Responses)
  1. semi truck ac repair near me

    http://templateshares.net/redirector.php?url=https://youtube.com/watch?v=KGl_pBE7LiY

    May 13, 2021 at 00:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. bucket truck repair near me

    http://tools.folha.com.br/print?url=https://ocrvshop.com/rv-maintenance-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Mercedes Sprinter Sliding Door Track Repair

    Everything is very open with a very clear clarification of the challenges. It was really informative. Your site is very useful. Many thanks for sharing!

    https://lcu.hlcommission.org/lcu/pages/auth/forgotPassword.aspx?Returnurl=https://fleetrepairshops.com/company-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 00:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Technician California

    Great post. I am going through some of these issues as well..

    http://www.go.scriptha.ir/index.php?url=http://g.page/OCRVFleetServices

    May 13, 2021 at 01:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Gmc Safari Van Repair

    Great post! We are linking to this great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.

    http://taca.siam2web.com/change_language.asp?language_id=th&MemberSite_session=site_100782_&link=https://fleetrepairshops.com/business-van-repair-shop-near-me

    May 13, 2021 at 03:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. box truck floor repair

    Aw, this was a very good post. Finding the time and actual effort to create a good article… but what can I say… I hesitate a whole lot and never manage to get nearly anything done.

    https://www.iaai.com/VehicleInspection/InspectionProvidersUrl?name=AA Transit Pros Inspection Service&url=https://ocrv.guru/rv-repair-shop-indio-california

    May 13, 2021 at 05:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. body work shop near me

    http://moe.gov.np/site/language/swaplang/1/?redirect=https://ocrv.rocks/rv-repair-shop-diamond-bar-california

    May 13, 2021 at 06:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. RV Cabinet California

    Hi there! I just would like to give you a big thumbs up for your great information you have here on this post. I will be returning to your web site for more soon.

    http://planelogger.com/ViewSwitcher/SwitchView?mobile=False&returnUrl=http3A2F2Fyelp.com/biz/ocrv-center-anaheim-2

    May 13, 2021 at 06:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. leather repair orange county

    This is a topic that's close to my heart... Take care! Where are your contact details though?

    https://www.geekzone.co.nz/downloads_thru_content.asp?ContentId=668&URL=http://youtube.com/watch?v=EqHgcHBWM5w

    May 13, 2021 at 20:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. chudjenbet

    Your method of telling the whole thing in this piece of writing is really good,
    all be able to easily know it, Thanks a lot.

    May 14, 2021 at 00:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. stickman

    I'm impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that's both
    educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head.
    The problem is an issue that too few folks are speaking intelligently about.
    I'm very happy that I found this during my search for something regarding this.

    Also visit my webpage; stickman

    May 14, 2021 at 04:56 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Leave a Reply to vardenafil coupon


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Advertisement
About this blog

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.