Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Natural Birth & Parenting Natural Birth & Parenting

Most Mothers Give Infants Solid Food Too Early

Posted by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 11:31 AM
  • 17 Replies

On Yahoo news today: (My doc told me if i wanted to start rice cereal at 4 months I could try, but she did not push it)

More than a third of U.S. mothers start feeding their infants solid food too soon, a new study finds.

In the study, 40 percent of mothers said they gave their infants solid foods before the age of 4 months, which is earlier than recommended. About 24 percent of mothers who breast-fed, and 53 percent of mothers who formula-fed, gave their babies solid food too early.

At the time the study was conducted (between 2005 and 2007), the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended infants start solid foods no earlier than 4 months. Currently, the AAP recommends waiting until 6 months. Until that time, the AAP recommends breast milk as the sole food for infants (along with necessarily vitamin supplements).

The new findings are concerning because infants may not be developmentally ready for solid foods before 4 months of age (they may have troubling eating and swallow the food properly), the researchers said. Studies have also linked the early introduction of solid foods with an increased risk of chronic diseases later in life, such as obesity and eczema. In addition, starting babies on solid foods early may reduce the duration of breastfeeding, and breastfeeding itself has been shown to have many health benefits for kids.

The findings highlight the need for better communication about when mothers should start their infants on solid foods, and the risks of giving these foods too early, said study researcher Kelley Scanlon, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity.

The study surveyed 1,334 women before they gave birth, and nearly every month during the first year of the baby's life. Moms were asked to report any solid foods their babies ate in the last week.

The most common reason mothers gave for starting their babies on solid food before 4 months was "My baby was old enough to begin eating solid food." This shows that "A large proportion of women are not aware that that is too early," Scanlon said.

Other reasons were: "My baby seemed hungry a lot of the time," "My baby wanted the food I ate," and "I wanted to feed my baby something in addition to breast milk or formula." More than 50 percent of mothers in the study said a doctor told them their baby could start solid food before 4 months.

Mothers may turn to a variety of sources for information on when to start their infants on solid foods, and these sources may provide conflicting advice, the researchers said. In addition, many health care providers say they have inadequate training on infant feeding practices.

"Pediatricians and other health care providers need to provide clear and accurate guidance" to women about when to start solid foods "and support them carrying out that recommendation," Scanlon said.

For instance, some women may start their infant on solid foods sooner because they think that their babies' crying indicates they are still hungry. But babies cry for a lot of reasons, and better interpretation of these cries (with the help of a doctor) may prevent some women from starting solid foods too early, Scanlon aid.

Because the study participants were predominantly white and had a moderate income, the findings may not apply to the population as a whole. In fact, because mothers of lower socioeconomic status are at higher risk of starting solid food early, the new findings could be an underestimate, the researchers said.

The study is published today (March 25) in the journal Pediatrics.

by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
larissalarie
by on Mar. 25, 2013 at 11:52 AM
3 moms liked this
It's mind boggling to me that people can think a baby under 4 months is ready for solids.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
JoJoBean8
by Group Mod on Mar. 25, 2013 at 3:12 PM
1 mom liked this

Everybody is in a rush with their children. They will have the next 90+ years to eat. Why rush it?

sj3starz
by Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 3:26 PM
My African American neighbor from the south said that when her oldest was a baby (18 years now) they used to give then the broth of whatever they made. So if they boiled green beans, or beats or what not, it would get put into a bottle and fed to them. This was starting from birth. I forget what the practice was called. Both of her kids are over weight, but then again I'm not sure if it's that or just how the household eats.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Nee86
by Bronze Member on Mar. 25, 2013 at 4:55 PM
I will admit, my oldest was given solids starting at 4 months. I made my own baby food and it was after several doctors, nutritionist and myself spoke of some problems she was having. But I will say, with the next, no way!
tabi_cat1023
by Group Mod - Tabitha on Mar. 25, 2013 at 5:43 PM
Totally crazy that people give solids so young!
proudMom2634
by on Mar. 29, 2013 at 1:26 AM

My DH's hubby gave cereals on her baby at 3months.. cute but I didn't do it with my DD.. I started her o solids at 6months.

schultzal
by Bronze Member on Mar. 29, 2013 at 5:35 AM
My mother argued with me about this very thing, a few days ago. It blows my mind that people don't do research. I want what is best for my daughter, and feel it is my responsibility to know what is appropriate.
Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Baby_Avas_Momma
by on Mar. 29, 2013 at 8:46 AM
The girl my mom works with is from Guatemala and is newly pregnant with baby #3. She brags about how her babies get tastes of food before they even leave the hospital! She then said she only breastfeeds a maximum of 6 weeks because after that "it just turns to liquid and loses all its nutrition".... my mom told her she shouldn't be allowed to reproduce, lol ;)
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
Cruz-s-mommy
by Amanda on Mar. 29, 2013 at 8:49 AM
1 mom liked this
Wow, thats insane!!! SMH.


Quoting Baby_Avas_Momma:

The girl my mom works with is from Guatemala and is newly pregnant with baby #3. She brags about how her babies get tastes of food before they even leave the hospital! She then said she only breastfeeds a maximum of 6 weeks because after that "it just turns to liquid and loses all its nutrition".... my mom told her she shouldn't be allowed to reproduce, lol ;)

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Cruz-s-mommy
by Amanda on Mar. 29, 2013 at 8:50 AM
1 mom liked this
Same, the ignorance astounds me!


Quoting larissalarie:

It's mind boggling to me that people can think a baby under 4 months is ready for solids.

Posted on the NEW CafeMom Mobile
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

close Join now to connect to
other members!
Connect with Facebook or Sign Up Using Email

Already Joined? LOG IN