A study published in the leading medical journal called "Pediatrics" warns that at least 40% of mothers introduce premature solid food into their child's menu, without being aware of the dangers behind this hasty decision. Babies are not ready to eat and digest anything other than breast milk or formula up to 4-6 months old, solid foods affecting their immature intestinal system and causing other unwanted complications.
The World Health Organization and the National Institute of Health Prevention and Education in the US recommend in unison the exclusive feeding of babies with milk for at least 4 months (if the baby can stay in the bed and can hold his head alone) and up to 6 months. Once half a year old, the child can no longer take all the nutrients from breastfeeding or feeding with the bottle, especially iron. Only now diversification becomes mandatory.
Scientific findings about starting diversification in infants
A study by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which was conducted over a 2-year period and was conducted on a sample of approximately 1,300 mothers, revealed a worrying phenomenon that is occurring in many US families: premature feeding solid in the baby menu. The researchers analyzed thousands of questionnaires completed by the new mothers, in which they provided personal data on the organization of children's nutrition.
Scientists have found that over 500 mothers (40%) of those surveyed have introduced solid nutrition too early into the diet of their little ones, without knowing that they are predisposed to obesity, diabetes, allergies or skin conditions. Among the respondents who fed their babies with solid food too early were a few (about 1 in 10) who started the transition before the baby turns a month old!
Among the reasons invoked by the mothers are:
- the baby seemed big enough to be able to eat solid foods (90%);
- the baby is not only saturated with milk (71%);
- the doctor gave permission to start the diversification (55%);
- the baby sleeps better during the night when eating solid food.
Initiators of the study noted that mothers with lower socioeconomic status and non-breastfeeding mothers have a greater tendency to begin diversification prematurely. Thus, the financial effort to buy special milk formulas is important enough to justify the transition to solid foods. Also, the study participants included in the category of mothers who started the diversification prematurely proved to be younger, less educated and unmarried or out of a stable relationship.
The researchers claim that a baby ready for diversification shows this by putting his fist in his mouth and mimicking chewing. At 2 or 3 months, children cannot even control their head well and cannot stand alone in the ass, so it is at least dangerous to have solid foods introduced into their mouth.
Risks associated with premature diversification of food
Medical experts warn that solid food, consumed by a premature baby, will certainly affect the child's poorly developed digestive tract. In the first 4-6 months, a baby's stomach and intestines can only process breast milk or formula. Foods ingested before the weather can cause stomach upset, constipation, intestinal gas and abdominal cramps.
Equally important is that beginning early diversification predisposes the child to drowning and suffocation. Even if babies do not need teeth to consume solid food (as long as it is spent), it is important to be able to stay in the ass and be able to control their pharyngeal head and reflex.
One danger of premature diversification is that of too much weight gain. Babies younger than 6 months can not give clear signs when they are saturated, parents tend to offer meals too copious for their needs. And this food abuse will lay the foundation for a long-term increased food appetite.
If there are people diagnosed with allergies in the family history, the baby may be prone to allergic reactions when fed with solid foods too early. The same predisposition is also valid for the installation of type 2 diabetes, experts say.
In the first four months of life, the baby's digestive tract still develops the probiotic bacteria needed for proper digestion. In their absence, solid food cannot be safely digested, with an increased risk of gastroenteritis and diarrhea. Another danger associated with early diversification is the predisposition of skin eczema and celiac disease (gluten enteropathy), a disorder of the immune system, in which ingestion of food gluten causes lesions in the small intestine.
Alternating milk with solid foods predisposes the child to insufficient intake of the essential nutrients he needs for normal development. Thus, growth delays, iron deficiencies, the child's aversion to solid eating or abnormal development of motor function may occur.
Delaying the introduction of solid foods, especially those with potential allergen, up to 4-6 months, has proven to be an effective method of preventing asthma, allergic rhinitis, skin disorders and food allergies.
Another reason why parents begin to diversify their diet is based on the myth that solid nutrition helps the baby sleep well throughout the night and gain weight. Specialists deny this belief and say that those excess calories from solid foods do not in any way influence the child's resting capacity and weight, as it stimulates bowel movements, and nutrients are not properly absorbed in the body.
When did you first introduce solid foods into your child's diet? What important advice have you received from your pediatrician? Give us useful information on diversification in the comment section below!
Tags Baby food solid Diversification