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Babies May Need More Than Breast Milk

Babies May Need More Than Breast Milk

A new study calls into question World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines regarding when to start feeding babies solid food. It suggest that weaning can begin as early as four months and that waiting to wean babies leads to higher incidences of food allergies and vitamin D deficiency.

Current Guidelines

Currently the WHO recommends breast feeding until for at least the first six months and worries that encouraging mothers to wean before that could endanger children who live in parts of the world where clean water and appropriate baby food is limited.

Window of Opportunity

The study noted that the six-month guidelines could limit the window for introducing new tastes to babies, thus making it more likely that as older children they would shun green leafy vegetables. Earlier introduction of solids, it argued, might expand a child’s food preferences as he/she grows.

Dangers of Early Weaning

Some experts, however, believe that solid foods too early could compromise immature digestive systems and are choking hazards.

What Do You Think?

I breast-fed my own daughter, who shunned baby food that wasn’t a yellow fruit or veggie, for her first year and now, at nearly nine years of age, she will eat a wide variety of foods that many of her peers wrinkle their noses at, so I am a bit skeptical. 

But what about you? Do you believe babies could be introduced to solids earlier? My own mother was shoveling cereal into my siblings and I at about three or four months of age, but that was back in the 1960′s. Tells us about your experiences. Share your thoughts and stories.

Related Stories: 

New Indonesian Law Gives Babies “The Right to Breastmilk”

Health Care Act Gives Breastfeeding at Work a Boost

Can Breastfeeding Prevent Childhood Obesity?

 

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Photo credit: The First Supper by Stev.ie

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146 comments

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11:20AM PDT on Mar 28, 2012

I am way late, years late, commenting here so no one will probably read this but I had to speak my mind about this..... first off the second you give your baby a bite of banana or rice cereal or what ever you have started weaning! I started weaning my son with a few bites here and there of avocado and banana around 5 months or so and started baby lead weaning (were you give them pea sized soft foods to feed them selfs if they want to rather than shovel food in there mouths) around 6-7 months. My son is now a year and a half and is still breast feed! Weaning should take years. I plan to continue to let him nurse tell he is ready to stop and have no idea when that will be. Still breast milk stopped being his number one source of nutrients around the one year mark.

The WHO says to start weaning (as in offer some solids in addition to breast milk) after 6 months and to breast feed tell age 2. I would be very hesitant to give a baby younger than 6 month anything other than breast milk because they don't need it and its just not natural.....still the bite here and there I gave my son was not enough to cause him harm.

3:11AM PDT on Apr 28, 2011

Agree with the article!

1:50PM PDT on Mar 18, 2011

there goes the 'breast feed untill your child says they want to stop" crowd. thankfully they don't live off of it when they are 5 years old

1:06AM PST on Feb 5, 2011

I breast fed all 3 of my kids till well after they turned 2. Each of them asked for other food at around 4 months so that is when I gently introduced it.They are all very healthy with no allergies or ill health at all. I truly believe breast milk is the best and safest food for infants where it is an option and is certainly better than the water much of the world has access to.

9:43AM PST on Jan 27, 2011

what is wrong with suplementing their diet with real food and weening them later in their development. you know real foods harvested from the garden and pureeded. rice cerial? and as they grow even some fruits
but lets stick with Mommy and vegies for a year at least.

8:28PM PST on Jan 25, 2011

Human Milk for Human Babies!!! Better than synthetic! When Baby is ready to wean start baby on food, not formula. Human milk until ready for food, human milk combined with food, then just fresh food. - Another mother for free breastfeeding!

12:40AM PST on Jan 25, 2011

Tittie Mommy

2:36AM PST on Jan 24, 2011

I started supplementing breast milk/formula with rice cereal when my son was 3 months old, but didn't wean him off until he was about 1. He'd also been introduced to a great variety of foods as he was big enough.

By the time he was 2, he was enjoying Japanese, Mexican, Chinese, and a variety of foods. He is 10 and still has a healthy appetite, and is still learning how to cook many things. He started with pumpkin pie just before turning 2, and can make Italian meatballs and sauce.

Anyway, he started with other cereals and fruits at 4 months old, and I had to stop breast feeding at 6 months, but continued the formula until 1 year. We added veggies at about 5 months, and by 8 months was eating mushed up table food. I only bought Gerber baby food for emergency use only.

8:07AM PST on Jan 23, 2011

Thank you for the article!

9:07PM PST on Jan 22, 2011

interesting an goo goo :)

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