American Academy of Pediatrics: Okay to feed babies solids starting at 4 months of age

Posted at 5:41 PM, Sep 20, 2016

Brian Black and his wife Zabrina welcomed Elliott into the world just 4 weeks ago and the thought of their little guy putting real food in his mouth is scary. Choking is the first fear and a legitimate one.

"It would definitely be a concern. We certainly would not feed him solid foods no way," said Black.

Doctors said that is why the American Academy of Pediatrics for years recommended waiting until babies were at least eight months old before giving them solid foods.

Now a surprising reversal. Doctors are following a European model suggesting solid food as young as four months old. Researchers found it did not lead to more choking than first thought.

Matt Gibson and his wife Jami read about studies in Europe and thought it was best for their son Bennett, now 16 months old. 

"It worked out great. It's one of the best things that we've ever done," sad Matt Gibson. "We think it's great that they are getting on board with Europe. We are a little bit ahead of the curve and we are very happy at the way it's turned out."

Turns out so are many other families. That's why Pediatrician Dr. Christina Canody is happy to see a study is finally published.

"I think there is a need for it because a lot of parents are following the European model and doing that on their own," said Dr. Canody.

But Dr. Canody is not 100% sold.

"Developmentally we still have to follow up with what babies can do," said Dr. Canody.

The study said it's ok to give babies soft foods like asparagus and banana's rather than purees.

The approach is called baby weaning. They said the benefits they found are less picky eaters and ultimately even leading to less obesity.

But Dr. Canody is not sure a four month old is ready.

"I think when a baby shows they are developmentally ready they are sitting up by themselves," said Dr. Canody.

She cautions that parents still need to be careful and there are foods that should definitely be apples, nuts and grapes.

She hopes moms and dads will follow this simple tip

"If you can mash it with the back of their fork they can mash it with their tongue," said Dr. Canody. "It's one of the things that you don't want people to take out of context."