A recent article in the New York Times shares information from a study conducted by the C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control) linking the early introduction of solids to babies with serious illnesses including obesity, eczema, and Celiac disease.
The article says:
For at least 20 years, the American Academy of Pediatrics had advised against feeding babies solid food before they turned at least 4 months old. Last year, encouraged by growing evidence of the health benefits of breast milk, the group raised that age, saying babies should be fed nothing but breast milk for six months. When breast milk is not an option, formula is an acceptable alternative, the group says.
But the survey suggests that mothers are not aware of the recommendations or find them difficult to follow. Popular reasons for giving solid food to babies before 4 months included “my baby is old enough,” “my baby seemed hungry,” “I wanted my baby to sleep longer at night” and — most alarming to researchers — “a doctor or health care professional said my baby should begin eating solid food.”
It goes on to say that socio-economic factors tend to play a large role in how well-educated a parent is about the appropriate time to introduce solids.
This article really resonated with me as I am among the group of mothers who was given very bad advice by a pediatrician and told to begin introducing solids at 4 months. I did not follow the advice because I knew better, but I am fortunate enough to have a lot of resources at my disposal. This study and article really highlight how childbirth, diet and health are not just medical issues but social issues as well.
You can read the article here on the New York Times website and then come back here and share your own experiences with introducing solids. Were you given good advice by your pediatrician? Did you feel pressure to introduce solids before 6 months? How did you handle it?