Study finds 40% of mothers feeding solids to infants too early
8:57 AM, Mar 26, 2013
9:36 AM, Mar 26, 2013
Four out of 10 babies are being fed solid foods before their little bodies can handle it, according to a new study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control.
Babies who are too young can't hold their heads up and they don't yet have the proper gut bacteria to digest the food, which not only makes eating solids difficult, but dangerous, according to a New York Times article.
But forty percent of the 1,334 mothers who took the survey said they fed their children solids before they were four months old, and 9 percent admitted to starting as young as four weeks old.
For the last two decades, the American Academy of Pediatrics has advised parents to only feed infants with breast milk or formula until they are at least four months old.
Due to an overwhelming amount of research proving the benefits of breastfeeding, doctors now recommend that parents preferably breastfeed until the child is 6 months old, or remain on formula if breast milk isn't a viable option.
Some of the reasons why mothers started babies on solids so early included wanting to have their babies sleep at night, or assuming their child was old enough. But researchers found the most alarming answer to be doctors actually advising parents that it was okay to do it.
The study found that poorer women tended to introduce solids sooner because formula was seen as too expensive. Uneducated or unmarried women also tended to prematurely feed solid foods to their babies.