(CBS Charlotte) — A recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics reveals that over 40 percent of new mothers had integrated solid foods into their baby’s diet before they were four months old.
Currently, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against the introduction of solid foods into your baby’s diet until they are at least six months old.
So why are American mothers feeding their babies solid foods before the recommended age?
The study analyzed data provided by 1334 new mothers who volunteered to take part in the survey. Half of the mothers reported that their pediatrician recommended that they introduce solids into their baby’s diet before the six month mark — a clear indication that not all doctors are “on the same page.”
Other moms involved in the study indicated that they introduced solid foods to their babies because they still seemed hungry after nursing or drinking formula, or that they thought solid foods, such as rice cereal, would help their baby sleep through the night. Other mothers stated that they thought their baby was old enough to eat solid foods, or that their baby wanted to eat solid foods.
Many mothers, especially new moms, are unaware of the possible consequences associated with introducing solid foods too early. However, babies who are fed solid foods before they are six months old may be more prone to developing allergies, becoming obese, and are more at risk for developing chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and celiac disease.
-Nichole Jaworski, CBS Charlotte