CDC Study Finds No Benefit To Giving Infants Solid Foods Before Six Months Of Age

Infant Food

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici / FreeDigitalPhotos.net 


A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study shows that many mothers are giving their babies solid foods much earlier than six months of age. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (or AAP), solid foods should not be given to infants before reaching six months of age.

Cleveland Clinic Pediatrician Dr. Deb Lonzer said solid foods in half of the kids in the study were started before the age of four months. In 10 percent of the kids, infants were being fed solid food within their first month of life.

Researchers with the CDC asked over 1,300 mothers about their infant’s feeding habits and learned that 40 percent of the infants were given solid foods before four months of age. Three popular reasons for this were:

– The baby was old enough

– The baby appeared hungry

– The mothers wanted to give their baby something else along with formula or breast milk

The problem, Lonzer said, is the conflicting information mothers are bombarded with – from relatives, friends, Internet, doctors, etc. – they’re unsure of what they really need to do.  Lonzer said mothers tend to try solid foods, thinking the baby will get a better sleep and be more content.

The AAP recommendation is that solid foods not be given to infants before they reach six months of age to ensure the baby is well-developed to handle the food.  According to researchers, babies could have problems swallowing the solid food before that age, could lead to chronic diseases and decrease the effectiveness of breastfeeding.

Lonzer said she agrees with the recommendation, saying solid foods have higher calorie amounts and lower nutritional standards. It’s possible, she said, it’s causing infant obesity, eczema, allergies and diabetes by giving them foods too early.

Lonzer recommends parents to call their child’s pediatrician if a baby doesn’t seem satisfied after eating.  She said the issue may not be feeding; it could be a medical or behavioral issue.

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Posted by on Mar 25 2013. Filed under Health, New. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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