Many parents rush their babies into eating solid foods because they mistakenly believe that this will help their little ones sleep through the night sooner or sleep longer at night. Studies consistently show that eating solid foods does not improve an infant’s ability to sleep at night. Introducing solids too early can have negative consequences. Babysitters don’t recommend it either. Introducing solid foods too early also may:
- decrease the baby’s intake of breast milk or formula, both of which are nutritionally preferable to solid foods
- to reduce the absorption of nutrients such as iron from the intestinal tract
- increase the risk for potentially serious allergic reactions
- cause problems with constipation, diarrhea, or intestinal gas
In addition, solid foods are messy, increase your laundry volume and are inconvenient to feed on the go. While some friends or relatives may encourage you to start feeding solids at four months of age, most parents find that it is a lot less work to wait and start infants on solids when they are closer to six months old. Babysitters have experience of feeding solid foods to baby at four months of age and found it took him at least six weeks to begin eating well. Therefore, parents might as well have waited till the baby was six months old before feeding solid food because it took her almost two months to learn how to eat reasonably well.
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