I was referring to the AAP Breastfeeding and Human Milk Policy that states
"Pediatricians and parents should be aware that exclusive breastfeeding is sufficient to support optimal growth and development for approximately the first 6 months of life and provides continuing protection against diarrhea and respiratory tract infection.30,34,128,178–184 Breastfeeding should be continued for at least the first year of life and beyond for as long as mutually desired by mother and child.185
- Complementary foods rich in iron should be introduced gradually beginning around 6 months of age.186–187 Preterm and low birth weight infants and infants with hematologic disorders or infants who had inadequate iron stores at birth generally require iron supplementation before 6 months of age.148,188–192 Iron may be administered while continuing exclusive breastfeeding.
- Unique needs or feeding behaviors of individual infants may indicate a need for introduction of complementary foods as early as 4 months of age, whereas other infants may not be ready to accept other foods until approximately 8 months of age.193
- Introduction of complementary feedings before 6 months of age generally does not increase total caloric intake or rate of growth and only substitutes foods that lack the protective components of human milk.194"
While it does acknowledge that not all babies are the same and for some earlier food introduction may be necessary, the overall recommendation is exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months.
Interestingly the nutritionists at APP support the 4-6 month recommendation, so there is debate within AAP about it. The CPS (Canadian Ped Soc) and WHO support 6 months exclusively breastfed.
I'm sure there will be more research into this, which I am looking forward to reading! For now, I'm happy with the evidence to keep my guy EBF for 6 months.